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Open Spaces: Windows to a View

Open Spaces: Windows to a View offers local artists an opportunity to exhibit their art in a highly visible downtown location. The program, which began in 2009, celebrates the diversity and quality of Calgary artists, while enlivening the Centre Street LRT Platform on 7 Ave. between 1 St. and Centre St. SE.

Art exhibit photograph

John & Lou’s 1923 Voyage...well, part of is an exhibition featuring a selection of photographs from John and Lou’s 1923 Voyage, a suite of 26 photographs created by John Will in 1997. These photographs are part of The City of Calgary’s Public Art Collection and were gifts from the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation in 2003.

In 1982, John Will bought a box of negatives at a garage sale belonging to local resident Louis W. Shulman, which chronicled Lou’s travel from Vancouver to Yokohama in 1923. Will scratched text onto the negatives, enlarged the images, and printed them in colour resulting in a semi-fictional recounting of the journey.

By crisscrossing the line between the evidence of Shulman’s life and figments of his own imagination, Will constructs a narrative in which the artworks become the visual subtext of larger cultural transformations: memory, loss and the yearning for posterity. Shulman’s discarded photographs, found, revitalized, and imbued with new meaning now function as both artifact and artwork. Will has connected daily life and art, turning the personal into the monumental and the private into the public. – Melanie Townsend, Former Curator at Walter Phillips Gallery
Art exhibit photograph

Artist’s Bio

John Will was born in 1939 in Waterloo, Iowa. Will studied both painting and printmaking in Iowa where he received his MFA. He attended the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam on a Fulbright Fellowship and was a Ford Foundation Printer Fellow at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico. Will settled in Calgary in 1971 where he continues to influence the art community. He is a board member of Stride Gallery and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary where he taught for 27 years. Will’s work is rich in meaning and intent and he explores a variety of media from painting and printmaking to performance and video. He delves into themes of mortality, death, politics, religion, and spiritual enlightenment. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is included in many private and public collections throughout North America.

Copyright notice

All photos and images on The City of Calgary Public Art Program web pages are copyright protected. Please see our copyright notice for more information.​