Interview with Gallery A artist Mike Drolet

Mike Drolet has is our Gallery A ArtLab artist is residence from November 3, 2015 to January 3, 2015. Prior to his artist talk on December 6, we sat down with Mike to learn more about his work and what he has been up to during his residency.

The RMG: Hi Mike, Please tell us about yourself?

Mike Drolet: Hello RMG blog readers! I am originally from Whitby, Ontario and studied Fine Art at the University of Ottawa. In 2014 I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in psychology and a specialization in sculpture.

RMG: What materials do you work with?

MD: Although I don’t want to limit myself to a specific set of materials, generally I use materials that are traditionally sought after for construction, for example, wood, metal and concrete. I am always looking into expanding and incorporating new materials for new pieces to enable different compositions.

Art Lab

Mike Drolet, 2015

RMG: Why were you interested in Gallery A’s Art Lab residency? What have you made while working as an artist in residence?

MD: What first got me interested in the residency was the studio space that was available to work in to work in. The lab is quite large which for my work is essential. Additionally, the Gallery A space is a massive benefit for any artist to have. As many artists may know, documentation is almost, if not as important as creating/ having artwork. Having access to Gallery A allows for the opportunity to take great photos of the new pieces created during the Art Lab and even older pieces in case you don’t have any. The Gallery A space in conjunction with the Art Lab also provides a solid foundation for an artist to show their work to the public, which as an emerging artist is invaluable.

Besides the benefits the residency provides towards my artistic practice in terms of resume and documentation building, my stay at the gallery has also posed a unique set of problems, none of which I consider to be negative in any sense. Due to the nature of my practice, I produce a lot of aromatic “pollution” (dust, vapors, sparks etc) where generally the best place to run through these processes is outside. As my time slot for the residency was during the winter months it made nearly impossible to cast concrete or wield. These obstacles have forced me to change my approach towards creating works and from what I believe resulted in a unique set of sculptures I would have not done otherwise. So I encourage artists of all disciplines to apply, accept the rules and guidelines of the gallery, and push your creative practice further in new ways.

In terms of what I’ve made during the residency, I have completed a total of seven sculptures, possibly eight as one sculpture may become a part of a larger installation of multiples. I have also had much more time to work on maquettes for future projects and past ideas. I plan on completing two more works before my end date in the space at least, that’s my goal.

art project

Mike Drolet, 2015

RMG: Can you please tell us a bit about your exhibition on view in Gallery A?

MD: The exhibition Equipoise on view now in Gallery A is essentially a synopsis of my sculptural work that focuses on Precarious Balance. I use a minimalistic approach to comment and compose structures within the genre of abstract-expressionism. Every piece installed in the show uses its own weight to maintain the planned composition. The piece entitled Moon was actually the first piece that I had done in the theme of balance. All the other pieces in the exhibition were made just before I began my residency or during.

RMG: What inspires you? Is there a particular artist’s work that has influenced your practice?

MD: I can’t say that there is any one thing or person that has inspired me in terms of my artistic practice. My practice is more often the result of past experiences, research into various aspects of sculptural elements such as materiality and composition. Considering all these things applying them to two-dimensional drawings and realizing them in the third-dimension is where my ideas usually synthesize.

That being said, Chris Burden and his show “Extreme Measures” was definitely something that had some influence towards how I thought about composition and sculpture I would say. I still really enjoy his bridge works and his piece “Beam Drop, 2008.”

artwork

Mike Drolet, 2015

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Call for Submissions: Motor City Stories

Submission Deadline: 6 April 2015

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In conjunction with the Toronto 2015 Pan /Parapan American Games, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in partnership with the Motor City Boxing Club, invite regional artists to produce new works inspired by the sport of boxing. Selected artists will be invited to visit the Motor City Boxing Club (Oshawa), observe athletes in training, work in situ at the club and produce new work based on their observations.

Artists are encouraged to work in a wide variety of visual media including drawing, painting, photography, media and integrated art forms. The resulting work will be displayed in a group exhibition in Gallery A @the RMG in conjunction with other PAN AM exhibition programming

ARTIST FEE

Selected artists are provided a fee of $250.00

TIMELINE

Notification: by 10 April
Drop off work (ready to display): Monday 13 July, 1pm
Exhibition duration: 14 July – 2 August
Opening Reception: Sunday 19 July 1-3pm
Pick up artwork: Tuesday 4 August, 9am
ELIGIBILITY

Open to all professional artists and collectives residing in the Durham Region

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Letter of intent (maximum 1 page)
3-5 digital images or other relevant work
A current artist CV and biography in PDF format

SUBMIT at http://www.rmg.on.ca/gallery-a-motor-city-stories.php

 

Images courtesy of Motor City Boxing.

Introducing Gallery A

Introducing Gallery A – Fulfilling the Legacy of Aleen Aked and paving the way for collaboration, local artistic exposure and the growth of our vibrant arts community. Please join us for the Grand Opening at RMG Fridays on 9 January.

Elizabeth Aleen Aked was an accomplished artist and a woman with a strong sense of the history and culture of the places she lived, especially her summer home and studio in Tyrone, Ontario. Miss Aked died in 2003; in her estate, a generous portion of her legacy was gifted to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

With the support of the Aked Endowment and funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the RMG is thrilled to embark on an exciting new initiative aimed at fostering a thriving local arts community.

During the summer of 2014, the RMG was under major renovations to create a professional exhibition space reserved for exhibiting the work of local artists, community collaborations, and themed group exhibits. The new space, features a professional gallery, an artist studio and rooms designed for bringing together arts communities.

Opportunities are available for community partnerships and special initiatives as well as artist residencies that prioritizes artists who wish to experiment with new ideas, collaborate, and work in new directions. Artists will have increased opportunities to give public talks, participate in professional development workshops, and give and receive critical feedback from peers. Programming of this space is separate from our curatorial planning and proposal selections are made with a jury of local artists and arts professionals.

We invite you to visit the new space, take a workshop or apply for an opportunity at Gallery A. 

Get Involved!

Grand Opening:

RMG Fridays on Friday 9 January, 7 pm

Information Session:

Thursday 26 February, 7 – 8 pm

Application Deadline:

Sunday 15 March. Projects will take place from September 2015 to February 2016. Application form found at http://www.rmg.on.ca

On View

1 December, 2014 – 1 February 2015
Gallery A & Art Lab: Pete Smith, artist residency

4 February – 1 March, 2015
Gallery A:  Ruth Greenlaw
Art Lab: Toni Hamel, artist residency

3 March -29 March, 2015
Gallery A & Art Lab:  Toni Hamel, artist residency

31 March– 12 April, 2015
Gallery A: Speak Up! Youth Art Exhibition

14 April – 28 April, 2015
Gallery A: Durham College Fine Arts Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Events

Sunday 1 February, 1 – 3pm
Talk and Tour with Artist, Pete Smith and Senior Curator, Linda Jansma

RMG Fridays: 6 February, 7-10pm
Opening reception: Ruth Greenlaw

Sunday 22 February, 1-3pm
Talk and Tour with artists Ruth Greenlaw and Margaret Rodgers

Sunday 29 March, 1 – 3pm
Talk and Tour with Artist Toni Hamel and Running on Empty Curator Heather Nicol

Sunday 19 April, 1 – 3pm
Opening Reception: Durham College Fine Arts Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Workshops for Artists

Register online – spaces are limited.

Saturday 10 January, 1 – 3pm
Drawing Workshop with Ron Shuebrook

Ron Shuebrook will lead a workshop about the use of memories as a catalyst for art, while also considering aesthetic forms and expressive processes. Participants will explore a variety of graphic media such as graphite, charcoal, or ink, based on their interests. All materials provided but students are welcome to bring their own tools and materials if they prefer.

Registration required. $25 Members/ $35 Non-Members / Free for adults registered in Winter/Spring 2015 art classes

Sunday 15 February, 1 – 3pm
Grant Writing and Funding Opportunities for Artists

Zhe Gu, Visual Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) will lead this workshop aimed at professional Visual artists and Fine Craft artists. The workshop will cover the types of grants available, the selection process and how to prepare an effective application. Please bring any applications in progress, your artist statement, or previous grant text.

Free. Registration required.

Thursday 30 April – Saturday 2 May
By appointment during Gallery hours
Artwork Documentation Station

Over the course of three days, artists may document their artwork in an environment designed for effective, professional documentation. RMG staff will be on hand with the appropriate lighting, hanging and photographic equipment. Artists may bring their own camera, or alternately a 10GB USB memory stick to transfer images onto. Maximum of five artworks, no larger than 7ft x 7ft. Wall-mounted works only.

Free. Registration required.

Symposium
Sunday 7 March, 10am – 4pm

Abstraction in Canada: The Legacy of Jock Macdonald

Lunch and refreshments included.

$20 / $15 students / Free for RMG Members