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Group Exhibition in Saskatoon, SK Treaty 6 Territory

March 26, 2022

Curatorial Statement

A night dedicated to celebrating emerging artists and their work, featuring the sounds of Chicago House and Italian Disco - vis-a-vis a cozy house party atmosphere. 

Our two basic needs as human beings are authenticity and connection.
We need to be seen and loved for who we really are, to feel safe in our uniqueness and imperfections.

In the past two years our distracted, fast-paced lifestyle has been challenged and sometimes completely upended. In this process of slowing down, we’ve been confronted with a greater understanding of ourselves, our values, and priorities.

What have you discovered about yourself during isolation? What’s important for you?

At this pop-up, we’re exploring how we can reconnect with and from our authenticity. We hope to provide inspiration and solace moving forward from this collective moment, a space to reflect on the beauty of our shared experiences through artistic expression.

To understand the impact of disconnection, we must acknowledge our biological need for social acceptance to survive and flourish. We begin repressing our authentic selves in order to belong. Thus our survival impulse becomes our source of shame and self-contempt.  

If we grew up learning and accepting that being inauthentic is the only way to survive, authenticity can be frightening. We might not feel excluded but we feel ashamed of who we are, and alone in our pain. We become disconnected from our true self.

This disconnection might seep into greater emotional dissonance and psychological distress. This forces us to find methods to cope through numbing our pain.  The more we numb, the more disconnected we feel in general, and the more pain and loneliness we have to stuff down.

This process of coping through compulsive behaviours and addictions is normal - a core part of our human experience. Yet, we further shame, punish, and exclude a subset of people who happen to be addicted to substances. Prairie Harm Reduction is representative of a modern view on substance abuse. It’s a community that understands addiction as only a symptom and recovery as a journey founded on relational, empathic, holistic, and shame-free principles. It's not about curing addiction, but about creating the right conditions for emotional healing.

Throughout lockdown, we have vividly realized the importance of our connection to our loved ones. We know now more than ever that the quality of our relationships dictates the quality of our lives. And so we ask, how can we create connections more meaningfully?

At the 525, we want to bring our community together in intimate experiences that foster authentic relationships. This pop-up event will feature gallery hours where people can interact with the artists to explore the emotional connections in their works. As the evening fades into the night, the AfterDark session provides a celebratory atmosphere through music and conversations.

Curated playlist's by DJ Fu

Participating Artists

Peace Akintade

Rowen Dinsmore

Kenton Doupe

Jaden Pierce

Rory Grace

Laura Lee Giesbrecht

Alessya Lautner

Abby Holtslander


Project Coordinator & Exhibition Curator: Isabel Bacalao
Project Coordinator & Exhibition Curator: Kehan Fu
Creative Director:
Rowen Dinsmore
Music: DJ Fu
Exhibition Contributors

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