Medicine Hat Media

The Fantastical World of Jeff de Boer

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program, southeast Alberta region, announced today the opening of a new travelling art exhibition at the Medicine Hat Public Library, 414 First Street SE. The Fantastical World of Jeff de Boer will be on display at the library until Feb. 24, 2010.

The Fantastical World of Jeff de Boer is populated by intrepid explorers, armoured warriors, robots, flying machines and mysterious ‘exoforms.’ He has spent a lifetime imagining the hero’s transformative journey through his art. The metal sculptures and schematic drawings presented in this travelling exhibition reflect the sculptor’s keen awareness of tradition and potential of technology to shape the future.

The son of a tinsmith, Jeff de Boer began working with metal at the age of five. He built his first complete set of armour before finishing high school. As a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1988, de Boer garnered much early critical attention with his unique armour for cats and mice. There are wonderful and intricate examples of cat, mice and rat armour in this exhibition that humorously explore the relationship between predator and prey, as well as the relationship of opposites in nature. De Boer also reveals his interest in Asian philosophy and culture with a major sculpture from the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts entitled, The Buddha in You.

The conception of de Boer’s highly refined sculptures often begins and develops through schematic drawings. This travelling exhibition presents work drawings related to his major commissions such as the RoboFamily at the Vancouver Science World.

“These drawings are very rare and have never been displayed until now,” says Dean Reeves, Manager of the southeastern region of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program. “De Boer provided the drawings to the program because he believes in their ability to inspire others, especially if people have a chance to see the real sculpture when it is complete. It shows both the beginning and the end of th e process.”

The drawings describe the concept of kinetic sculptures animated by various types of energy. There are other sculptural projects described through photographs and related drawings that reflect de Boer’s interest in science fiction and aviation.

The Fantastical World of Jeff de Boer is a touring exhibition developed by the Alberta Society of Artists for the Alberta Foundation for the arts Travelling Exhibition Program. It is currently circulating throughout southeastern Alberta under the guidance of the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre. The AFA Travelling Exhibition Program is financially supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

More info on Jeff de Boer can be found on his website.

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