Evin Collis just returned from completing his master’s degree, but this summer he’ll be back on the road with the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s ART EXPRESS’D project.
The Charleswood resident was most recently in Chicago to do his master’s in fine arts, and after a quick stop at home in Winnipeg, he’ll be heading off to St. John’s to begin his journey east with a bigger-than-life art collaboration.
Collis, Jessie Buchanan and Becky Thiessen will each accompany a 20-foot shipping container as it travels from the outer edges of Canada to meet in the middle. Along the way, the artists will invite local residents to help add their own artistic touch with the theme of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
"It’ll be my first time in Canada’s east so I’m looking forward to it," Collis, 28, said. "This will be about what people want to share, their experience, their history, their understanding. Canada means different things to many different people.
"Place has something to do with that as well, as well as where you come from, your heritage, and it’ll be interesting to see and listen to everyone."
Collis’ theme comes from his experience working with Via Rail, and he’s planning on turning his shipping container into a kind of train car.
"I’m thinking of the landscapes, and Canada covers so much terrain and there’s such diversity in landscapes and culture," Collis said. "(Participants) will be making characters out of papier mâché, they’ll be painting the interior and exterior of the container.
"There will be stop-motion animation being created on-site so those will be projected inside as well, so it’ll be a whimsical rail car with all kinds of characters and beings and gadgets and there will be windows made inside that people can paint or create different landscapes or views."
Collis’ background includes painting, drawing, stop motion, sculpture and puppet-making.
"It’s all kind of connected," he said. "When I was in school doing my master’s, I had a fair bit of latitude to explore and work with different materials and combine different ideas so I play with many different mediums and materials, though I’d say I’m focused on drawing and painting and animation, which weaves into sculpture."
He’s also had the chance to facilitate art workshops with Art City and Freeze Frame, but this will be one of Collis’ biggest projects yet.
"It’s a pretty awesome opportunity so I’m very grateful, I’m looking forward to it," he said.
To see Collis’ work, visit evincollis.com
For more information on ART EXPRESS’D, visit canada150.wag.ca