Heavy Metal

Rusted pieces of trolley track close-up for the Heavy Metal event

Heavy Metal

This community exhibition loosely reflects on themes of excavation, history, and the passage of time using heavy pieces of trolley track excavated from 3 Avenue.

Participating Artists: Alejandro Alvarez • Gaylen Armstrong • Cindy Baker • Alexis Bialobzyski • Jean Blackall • Karen Campbell • Beany Dootjes • Wayne Dwornik • Ewes & Mies • Rick Gillis • Selene Huff • Michael J Leeb • Mel Lefebvre • Halli Lilburn • Maria Madacky • Bev Mazurick • Mary-Anne McTrowe • Rob Miller • Thorsten Nesch • Troy Nickle • Hesam Ohadi • Shanell Papp • James Phelan • Alicia Proudfoot • Ryan Smitham • Michelle Sylvestre • Frater Tham • Be.Trit

This exhibition and opening are supported by the Heart of Our City
The Gallery at Casa is supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Art

People are naturally curious. We have an impulse to excavate the stories of our shared history and discover threads that tie a present moment to the past. Most frequently, we excavate history figuratively through the interpretation of documents, photographs, and stories unearthed from archives. For this exhibition, history has been literally uncovered and excavated in the form of monumental beams of steel that have been ripped from the ground. The stories they tell have been imagined through the creative lens of various Alberta artists.

These substantial pieces of heavy metal are lengths of streetcar track that were removed from 3rd avenue during the recent redevelopment. The tracks were discovered buried below the asphalt and were once used by a streetcar that ran the length of 3 Avenue (and further) from 1912 to 1947. The track was buried in road construction circa 1949 and resigned to history.

With the permission and assistance of the City of Lethbridge, we were able to retain several sections and provide them to artists for this project. We circulated a call, and all interested artists were welcome to participate by claiming a piece. We also invited artists in all media who were unable to work with such substantial material to submit something for inclusion. We welcomed recent or proposed work that loosely reflected on themes of excavation, history, or the passage of time. As well, artist Ryan Smitham has realized public pieces on Rotary Square and in the Casa kiosks. The call for submissions resonated further than expected, and we have artists from Lethbridge, the Crowsnest Pass, Edmonton, and Calgary contributing work being displayed throughout the building.

Each section of streetcar track sat forgotten as a silent repository of stories, mute and waiting for an artist to give them a voice.  We hope you can appreciate these amazing artists that took raw material, with so much historical significance, and used their inspiration to create something unique and engaging.

Date:June 25th, 2022  -  August 20th, 2022

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The cover of the Spring/Summer 2024 Casa Program Guide with a marigold cover and paper flower collage.

Casa Program Guide

The Casa Program Guide is produced three times a year; Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. Inside the guide find listings for the upcoming class and workshop schedule, upcoming exhibitions at The Gallery, information about artists in residence and seasonal events in the building. Program guides are free. Pick-up guides at Casa or at facilities throughout the city.