Medicine Hat Media

New Fall Exhibitions Plumb the Depths

The Esplanade Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibitions, Michael Campbell’s Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting and Craig Cote’s Surfacing: Metaphor and Meditation, on display until October 23. There will be a reception with the artists on September 30 at 7 PM, part of the Downtown Artwalk and Alberta Arts Days.

Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting

Lethbridge artist Michael Campbell’s latest installation presents an eccentric flotilla of small ships – possibly sea or space-going vessels – that are made of driftwood and other ocean debris, weathered and recycled tin, metal strapping, and thousands of nails. Evoking retro-space fiction, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and west coast DIY aesthetic, Campbell’s engaging and poignant work also alludes to the exploration which brought Europeans to this continent, and the potentially catastrophic rising waters of climate change which could propel us into space in search of a new home, in the not-so-distant future.

Michael Campbell lives and works in Lethbridge, where he teaches in the Faculty of Art at the University of Lethbridge. He also maintains a studio practice in coastal British Columbia. Campbell received a BFA from the University of Toronto and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal, and he has exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Zurich Art International 2003 and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, amongst others. His work is held in public collections across Canada. Visit his website at

This exhibition is the result of collaboration with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario, and is accompanied by a publication produced by the AEAC, supported by the Esplanade Art Gallery and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, with texts by Jan Allen and Joanne Marion.

Surfacing: Metaphor and Meditation

Craig Cote’s new body of work plumbs the murky depths of myth, metaphor, dream states, and meditation, surfacing with strange, and strangely familiar, visions of human possibility.

In etched, overprinted and stencilled works on paper, Cote’s delicately conjured figures emerge, shift and transform, evocatively resolve and dissipate. Reflecting upon American 20th century scholar Joseph Campbell’s revelatory ideas about the metaphorical vocabularies of myth, and using an intuitive, deeply felt process, Cote develops the prints in multiple steps, over time and with attentive patience. The results are intriguing and quietly humorous meditations on our worldly and metaphysical human condition.

Craig Cote received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Alberta, Montana and New Mexico, and is held in public collections including the Esplanade Art Gallery and the University of Montana. Craig Cote currently lives and works in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where he teaches in the Visual Communications Program of Medicine Hat College.

User Comments

Leave a Reply