Oct 1, 2013

Opening Night of Thinking Hat Exhibition

On Friday night (September 27) our exhibition, Thinking Hat opened in the Beveridge Block in downtown Medicine Hat. Spectacle, a Calgary based architectural firm made up of Jessie Andjelic and Philip Vandermey, had the idea  to showcase the existing history and potential future of the downtown, and partnered with me (Luke Fandrich) to make Thinking Hat a reality. 

For my role, I utilized some of my favorite sets from my Around the Hat photography series that featured iconic, and largely abandoned, downtown locations. This was paired with the conceptual work that Spectacle designed, showing how the downtown could be revitalized. Together, our exhibition emphasized the need to inject new ideas into our downtown core as a means of making the past and future of the downtown relevant. After my brief setup on Thursday night, and a few hours of exploring the Beveridge and checking out Spectacle's panels, I felt confident about the exhibition. Admittedly, we all still had our fingers crossed that people would show up.  

We opened on Friday from 7-10pm and were aligned with a number of events happening around the city for Alberta Culture Days and the Downtown Art Walk. Almost immediately we started to get a steady stream of visitors, including the mayor and a number of city councilors. Phil and Jessie can relate, because between snapping pictures, there wasn't a moment that night that I wasn't engaged in conversation about our exhibition. The images really seemed to spark people's imagination and Phil, Jessie, and I were continually making the rounds.

Here is a brief video I shot on Sunday afternoon to showcase the Beveridge Block, and document a bit more of what our exhibition and the space actually looked like.

The exhibition was a great opportunity to network and meet people, but I had no idea it would be so successful. Over the course of 3 hours we had about 350 people come through our doors. On top of that, it was a trip anytime someone recognized me from reading this blog. The compliments were incredibly kind and humbling and it was really motivating to be able to interact face to face and see so many reactions firsthand. I loved hearing all of the stories and connections people had to these locations too.

Thank you to everyone who came out on opening night and supported Thinking Hat - and a huge thanks to Phil and Jessie for twisting my arm and getting me on board in the first place. It was an amazing experience. Stay tuned for a few more pictures from the rest of the weekend.

Jessie and Phil (on the right) from Spectacle.

Phil speaking with Mayor Norm Boucher.

Beveridge Block all setup before the doors opened.

Self portrait with my work.

1 comment :

Les Pearson said...

"And a child shall lead them..." is an expression that resounds when it comes to the Thinking Hat! Young minds--with a history in Medicine Hat--have re-envisioned a downtown core that is vibrant and inspiring. Folks are talking! We needed to see what is possible. Now it is only a matter of doing....

Les Pearson