By Nicole Fitzgerald
What: First Cut, An Uncensored Art Show
When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m.
Where: Auto Podium , Function Junction
When first looking at the above image entitled “Join the Resistance” by Justin Ormiston , I couldn’t understand the controversy behind the painting. In a fast-forward world, the image was afforded no more than a fleeting glance. But if I had looked past the bright acrylics both entertaining and satisfying my gaze to a point where nothing more of substance was pursued, I would have read between the lines of how eight small letters on a 5X7 foot canvas changed the face of Ormiston’s art, or at least how the painting was received when shown at last year’s BraveArt gallery exhibit at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
The angst ridden image only showed for one night at the weeklong exhibit. Garnering too much attention, the painting was removed to a back storage room.
Ormiston explained the artwork was too controversial, especially for a festival partly funded and partly owned by the organization the painting criticized.
On one of the chords sucking away the life force of the painted man, the word Intrawest is inscribed.
“A lot of people in the valley can relate to that exact struggle: the feeling of being tapped into Intrawest and being completely drained,” said Ormiston, a former Whistler-Blackcomb employee of eight years. “The painting only showed one night. We are running into censorship in a lot of the larger venues that aren’t representing the full potential of our artwork.”
The painting embodies the spirit behind a newly formed artist group, The Jettisons, whose members such as Ormiston refuse to let their work be closeted by censorship.
The Jettisons celebrate their newfound freedom with the inaugural exhibit, First Cut: An Uncensored Art Show Saturday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. at Auto Podium in Function Junction.
“I am pleased to be part of a group of artists who are not afraid to exhibit artwork dealing with controversial subject matter, which may offend some viewers,” collective member Dave Petko said. “The nature of art has been to create a reaction in the viewer, be it good or bad. I welcome your reactions, as I imagine our collective does.”