Exhibition Tour: Guidelines

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Red pastel  is used to create a detailed illustration of the lower half of a people walking in line single-file.

Heather Kai Smith, "Open Access: Claiming Visibility" (2019), 14 inches x 22 inches, pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Please join Walter Phillips Gallery for a tour of the exhibition, Guidelines by Carmen Papalia with Heather Kai Smith.

Since 2015, Vancouver based-artist Carmen Papalia's practice has been grounded in the conceptual framework he terms Open Access. This set of five tenants draw on Papalia's experience as a non-visual learner, a term he chooses to identify with over the medicalizing terminology of blind or visually impaired. Emphasizing what he understands as an institution's social accessibility, the framework of Open Access advocates for the artist's understanding of "accessibility as social practice" – a temporary experience that requires a relational approach to mutual care.

For this exhibition, Papalia is collaborating with Heather Kai Smith on an animation and series of works on paper which visually interpret the concept. Primarily working in drawing, Smith's work often engages ideas of mutual support through careful renderings of archival protest documentation. Materially emphasizing the labour, as well as ephemeral nature, inherent in a relational approach to accessibility, the commissioned works will mark the Vancouver-based artists' first collaboration. The exhibition design for Guidelines is by Goodweather Studio.