LICA

LICA – The Lewyc Institute of Contemporary Art

LICA (The Lewyc Institute Of Contemporary Art) is an experimental space situated in the home of Theo Sims – it exists to present site and context specific art within a domestic setting. The Institute is named in honour of Walter Lewyc, a keen supporter of the visual arts and until his sad passing in 2006, a resident of the same street as LICA (Lusted Avenue, Point Douglas). Walter had a dream that Lusted would be a pastoral way of visual artists, writers and musicians. Through this project his contribution to the arts in Winnipeg is celebrated.

The central idea behind LICA is to present artists who are asked to consider the site and context and to present works in a domesticated setting. There is a fusion and often some confusion between what is art, previously existing objects and artifacts – what could be an intervention or what in fact might well be Theo’s personal stuff. Welcome and find what you will.


Projects by over 30 artists to date include works as:

Performance,
Media,
Painting,
Inappropriateness,
Installation,
Sculpture,
and sound based work.
Works on paper,
Photography,
and text-based work.


Proposals

Proposals for artist residencies resulting in an exhibition (international and national) are welcomed on an on-going basis, however the applicants must understand that at this point they will require self-funding. LICA provides living accommodation, studio and a presentation venue. LICA will also provide promotional materials for the resulting events and exhibitions and will organise community presentations and studio visits for the participants.


Geographic context:

Winnipeg (i/ˈwɪnɪpɛɡ/) is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba in Canada. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The city is named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg; the name comes from the Western Cree words for muddy water.

At the turn of the century, Winnipeg was one of the fastest growing cities in North America and was known as the Chicago of the North. Today the city flourishes as one of the Canada’s leading cultural hubs.

Pop. Approx. 800,000



SO WHAT - Mary-Anne McTrowe

12 September – 10 October, 2015

The exhibition, titled SO WHAT, was a textile installation comprised of four large, multi-coloured buntings or banners, each one with a different phrase sewn onto it in white felt lettering- SO WHAT; THAT’S IT; WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE; and YEAH YEAH YEAH.  Three of the banners were displayed inside LICA, with the other suspended on the outside of the building.
As a sentiment, SO WHAT is seemingly out of place on this type of banner; one that usually conveys strictly positive or celebratory messages like CONGRATULATIONS, WELCOME BACK, or IT’S A GIRL.  Upon first reading SO WHAT is anti-celebratory, negative; the petulant teen’s “who cares”. But sometimes SO WHAT is a challenge for elaboration, for follow up- “how is your experience changing?” or “what is the impact this will have on the future?” In this way, the apparently antagonistic SO WHAT can be seen instead as a desirable aggravation, much like the grain of sand in an oyster.  Each of the phrases can similarly be read as, on the one hand, halting conversation or, on the other, prompting further examination or reflection.
LICA is an experimental space with a focus on site- and context-specific work within a domestic setting. Situated in a modernized house originally built in 1905, LICA is located in the inner city neighbourhood of Point Douglas, in Winnipeg’s North End, where ads on billboards and bus shelters promise lives and futures that contrast with the realities of many who live there. In this context, SO WHAT is meant to play on, and continue the dialogue around, that juxtaposition.

Mary-Anne McTrowe was born and raised in southern Alberta, where she earned her B.F.A. at the University of Lethbridge in 1998. She went on to pursue graduate studies at Concordia University in Montreal, and received her M.F.A. in studio art in 2001. Her work has spanned a number of different media, and her practice focuses on the question of how things that are familiar to us can be made unfamiliar; how a change in context can render something temporarily strange and perhaps even unrecognizable. Recent bodies of work include using crochet as a carrier of information, the crocheting of cozies for everyday objects, and performance and static work about the sasquatch. McTrowe is a member of the folk art-ernative band The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonoréalistes with Daniel Wong, was a founding member of Trap\door Artist Run Centre, and currently works as a technician in the art department at the University of Lethbridge.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Installation views, photos Theo Sims


PORTAL (doors * windows * passages) - ALEX PORUCHNYK

(with Susan Chafe, Murray Toews, Angela Somerset)
Friday 13th - 29th December 2013
Installation views, photos Theo Sims

                       The world is large, but in us it is deep as the sea.

Rainer Maria Rilke

 “If the truth, be told, I have always been fascinated by water. I am drawn to it. In my younger days I once found myself in a canoe with a friend paddling across the lower end of Lake Winnipeg. We came out of a channel right into a storm and had to keep paddling to keep from rolling over and to stay right, with the waves at our back. The memory of the sound and the sensation of its force still inhabit my body.” Alex Poruchnyk

Self-determination and improvising our existence from moment to moment are the underlying themes of this exhibition. The loss of trust in the world and an overwhelming need to protect one’s self and his family … like many people in this time of uncertainty, Alex endeavors to have some control. This is a chance. It is a way to explore story telling that offers the opportunity to create the protagonist in a situation that interests the artist.

In this exhibition Alex Poruchnyk explores the idea of change – physical, mental and spiritual. The exhibition comprised of single channel video shot in stereo camera and sited as installations maximizing the domestic context and physical attributes of the upstairs rooms of the Lewyc Institute. Monitors replaced windows, digital projections suggest narratives within the kitchen and bathroom and audio streams slip out from an intimate clothes closet. This project has evolved with the collaborative inputs of local artists Murray Toews, Jay Taylor, Susan Chafe and James Jansen (jaymez).

Alex Poruchnyk is a Winnipeg video and installation artist. He has taught at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art since 1989. Alex’s research focuses on issues of multi-media, both 2-D and 3-D spaces expressed through video, 3-D animation, and sculptural constructions. These become the backdrop to investigate destructed/restructured narrative. Alex’s single channel video continues to be screened both at home and abroad, and his work can be found in collections including the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Alex has been actively involved in the arts community in Winnipeg since 1978. He was President of Plug-In in 1981, an executive member of the original Artspace Board, co-founder of Video Pool, and now a member of the Central Canadian Center for Performance.

Installation views, photos Theo Sims


EXILE OFF MAIN STREET

Featuring twenty three Winnipeg-based artists

12th April 2013

Exile Off Main Street is the inaugural exhibition of the Lewyc Institute of Contemporary Art (LICA). We are starting with twenty-three artists. LICA is an experimental space situated in the home of Theo Sims – it exists to present site and context specific art within a domestic setting. The Institute is named in honour of Walter Lewyc, a keen supporter of the visual arts and until his sad passing in 2006, a resident of the same street as LICA (Lusted Avenue, Point Douglas). Walter had a dream that Lusted would be a pastoral way of visual artists, writers and musicians. Through this project his contribution to the arts in Winnipeg is celebrated.

The central idea behind this exhibit is to present artists who were asked to consider the site and context and to present works in a domesticated setting. There will be fusion and possibly some confusion between what is art, previously existing objects and artifacts – what could be an intervention or what in fact might well be Theo’s personal stuff. Welcome and find what you will.

Twenty-three artists have responded to the challenge. Presenting their work at the inaugural LICA exhibition; Aganetha Dyck, Anthony Kiendl & Joanne Bristol, Aston Coles, Bernie Miller, Blair Marten, C. Graham Asmundson, Collin Zipp, Frieso Boning, Gilles Hébert, Ian August, Irene Bindi, Jeanne Randolph, Kegan McFadden, Ken Gregory, Kevin Ei-ichi deForest, Louis C. Bakó, Osvaldo Yero, Rebecca Belmore, Roger Crait, Steven Leyden Cochrane, Valery Camarta, William Eakin.

Inventory:

Performance, Media, Painting, Inappropriateness, Installation, Sculpture and sound based work. Works on paper, Photography and text-based work.

Installation views, photos Theo Sims