Karie Liao: Curating Diversity at Lumiere

Karie LiaoThe CBU Art Gallery is one of the founding cultural organizations of Lumiere Cape Breton. Over the past six years Lumiere has grown into an independent event, but the Art Gallery’s collaboration with the Art-at-Night festival has not halted.

This year Karie Liao, CBU Art Gallery Curator, was asked to take part in Lumiere as their guest curator.

“As a guest curator, I am responsible for researching and making recommendations for invitational artists,” says Karie. “I was also involved in initial discussions with artists to talk about their artistic practices and artwork that would be appropriate for Lumiere; projects that would appeal to our community or create a new experience.”

One of the artists invited to participate in Lumiere 2016 is Jordan Bennett, a Mi’kmaq multi-disciplinary visual artist from Stephenville Crossing, Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). Jordan’s piece Mila’muksijik Kawiik (Coloured Quills) is a painted mural on the side of Crowell’s building at the corner of Charlotte and Prince Streets. Inspired by patterns, symbols and colours from Mi’kmaq and Beothuk cultures, the installation attests to the strength and vitality of our Indigenous communities within Unama’ki.

When curating pieces such as Jordan’s, Karie looked for artists whose practices reflect the diversity in our community and engage and intrigue the Cape Bretoner audience. She also looked for originality, artistic integrity and relevance to contemporary issues.

“I am looking forward to seeing Cape Bretoners take over downtown Sydney, transformed by new, inspiring, and big ideas,” says Karie. “I can’t wait to celebrate contemporary art and culture with the rest of our community!”

To learn more about the artists and installations at Lumiere, please view the Lumiere Festival Guide.