Alberta College of Art + Design

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Room 202
Sat: 10 am-6 pm

Utilizing alternatives to traditional artistic conventions, Chris Cran, Miruna Dragan, Tanya Rusnak and Christopher Frey share their impulse to facilitate creative outcomes among their students at the Alberta College of Art + Design by staging a one-day ArtLab inspired by the Surrealist movement. Participants will convey their unique responses to the changing history and enigmatic materiality of the King Edward School by partaking in collaborative Surrealist projects. This event provides a unique opportunity to experiment with Surrealism’s pictorial strategies, games of chance, and the subconscious. Through the creation of happenings, echo poems, and the development of large site-specific drawings, various techniques such as Frottage and Decalcomania will be used to explore and manifest the historical and material aspects of this space.


Chris Cran is an internationally recognized painter who lives and works in Calgary, Alberta where he teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design. His artwork explores issues of representation, on one hand related to the construction of personal and cultural identities, and on the other involving perceptual / cognitive illusion. Chris Cran has also ventured into a variety of other related activities including, in addition to teaching art, curating exhibitions, and theatre set design and has worked with the Surrealist cut-up for fifteen years with One Yellow Rabbit’s Summer Lab Intensive. Cran was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy in 2002. He received the ACAD Alumni Award of Excellence in 2011.

Tanya Rusnak is an interdisciplinary artist/researcher and educator who teaches in the Drawing Program area at the Alberta College of Art + Design. She studied at the Alberta College of Art + Design, L’École des Arts Décoratifs (Strasbourg, France), and the University of Calgary where she earned an MFA in Studio Art. Rusnak creates artwork that interacts with other fields, such as history, museology, and the visual cultures of science and display. Her work is characterized by a unique atmospheric phenomenology that stimulates the senses through acts of perception, memory, and consciousness. Rusnak’s work has been shown extensively in Canada and abroad. She is the recipient of grants awarded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts. Her work is held in both national and international collections.

Chris Frey (fr&#299;) professes criticalCreative thinking in Liberal Studies courses at Alberta College of Art + Design.  criticalCreative thinking / expression investigates knowledge and understanding through avenues of speculation and vigilant self-awareness / revision of speculative work in progress. A criticalCreative maker aspires to be both puppet and puppeteer. Chris is currently compiling a collection of self-generated criticalCreative essays entitled, cowBl&#363; boyz: postApocalyptic criticalCreative essays ’09 – ’12. The collection intends to reclaim personal artistic dignity following successful completion of a PhD dissertation on images of body marks in early modern English epic poetry. Frey likes to doodle.

Miruna Dragan is a visual artist. She was born in Bucharest, has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Beirut and the island of Paros in Greece, and is currently based in Calgary. Her work reflects themes of dispersion and transcendence through site-responsive acts. Working within and between the realms of intervention, video, fresco, drawing, and photography, Dragan’s projects have been exhibited internationally including solo and two-person shows at Museo de la Ciudad in Queretaro, Mexico in 2009 & 2012, Khyber ICA in Halifax in 2011, and the Calgary Biennial and Alberta Biennial (forthcoming). She has attended numerous residencies worldwide, holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and teaches in the Drawing program at the Alberta College of Art + Design.

The Alberta College of Art + Design has been the home of some of the most exciting voices in Canadian art and design for the past 86 years. With a comprehensive curriculum filled with a range of programs sure to inspire, challenge and stimulate emerging creative thinkers, ACAD is the leading choice for those going to work in a spectrum of creative industries.

ACAD is a leading centre for education and research, and a catalyst for creative inquiry and cultural development. Located in Calgary and overlooking the downtown core, ACAD provides a unique undergraduate experience for students in fine art, design and new media.