Favourite local visual artist

Photos by Keeley Braunstein-Black

Favourite local visual artist

1. Chase Martin / Hannah Reimer (tie)
2. Kieran Valde / Matea Radic (tie)

This year, artists Hannah Reimer and Chase Martin have tied in the category of favourite local visual artist. They are both in the final year of their BFAs at the University of Manitoba School of Art and enjoy collaborating and doing critiques together at school, though these activities have been somewhat limited this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When they started school, Reimer and Martin were both initially interested in painting, and since have been deepening their practices by exploring diverse mediums.

Reimer says, right now, she is mostly working with latex house paint. “I appreciate its accessible quality and durability,” she explains. “When I first started art school, I was like, ‘I’m going to be an oil painter. This is what I’m going to do,’ and I still love oil paint, but I really like the opacity and the texture of latex paint.”

Martin works primarily in paint, sculpture and pencil crayon. “I definitely enjoy figurative works,” he says, “I like exploring gender identity and sexual identity through an ambiguous lens.” 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted classes and showings, both Reimer and Martin have used this time to expand their practices in ways they hadn’t anticipated. 

“I’ve been getting into digital art, because it’s portable and small,” Reimer says. “It’s been really fun being a newbie in digital art: to take what I’ve learned about analog art and translate it digitally, and then go backwards and take what I learned digitally and try it in real life.”

Martin recently created a mural for Synonym Art Consultation’s Wall-to-Wall Mural and Culture Festival on WanaBees Diner on Broadway.

Normally, muralists work over the course of a number of weeks to create a mural, but this year, because of the pandemic, the festival called for digital submissions.

“Usually, I work two jobs during the summer, so I wouldn’t have had time to paint it,” Martin explains. However, because of the digital-submission format, he was able to create the piece on his own schedule and submit it. 

“The works were essentially scanned and put onto those walls,” he explained. “It was a really great experience.”

Published in Volume 75, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 3, 2020)

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