The Neon Kitten
NWP Permanent Collection
November 24, 2022 - April 9, 2023
Artwork from the Permanent Collection of
Curated by Melanie Jenner
The Neon Kitten features artwork from the Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) Permanent Collection. It’s a vibrant exhibition of printmaking and paintings from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, spanning animals, still life, landscape, portraits, and abstracts. The show includes critically acclaimed Canadian artists such as Rita Letendre, René Marcil, and Brian Marion, among others.
The student experience and perspective are the inspiration for the exhibition. Being a student in a college or university is a unique and personal experience. It’s often a time of rapid evolution of identity and personal growth.
The Neon Kitten is a bright and bold show of colour and neon highlighting the optimism of planning for the future with the kitten as a symbol of new beginnings. Some of the brightest artwork in the NWP Permanent Collection was selected to acknowledge the bridge between the new student, hesitant and nervous, and the graduate, eager and ready to take on the next adventure.
The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie aims to tell stories and curate experiences that can touch our community through art. It was a pleasure to make the local connection between the Curator of this exhibition who is an alumna of NWP, the concept, and the Permanent Collection of NWP with the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie. We are happy to showcase art that reflects on the college experience, not only right here in Grande Prairie, but anywhere people choose to plan their future and seek new adventures.
About the Northwestern Polytechnic Permanent Collection
The Permanent Collection features over 3,800 works and has been growing for decades as Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) continues to receive donations and purchase artwork from across Canada. Each year, it selects a few pieces of artwork created by students in the Visual Arts program to purchase for the Collection. NWP was previously known as Grande Prairie Regional College and was established in 1966.
Student Life is a smaller exhibition of work to accompany The Neon Kitten exhibition, both featuring artwork from the Northwestern Polytechnic Permanent Collection. It’s a show reflective of the emotional and practical elements of the college student experience.
College and University is often a time for students to dream big and find their path in life. It can often be a fun and rewarding experience when students are making new friends, joining new communities, and developing roots in a sometimes-temporary new home.
School work does have stress and pressure with all the classes, assignments, essays, exams, and deadlines. It can sometimes be lonely or isolating if students have moved away from family and friends. In a place with so many people and opportunities to connect, it can also be easy to feel disconnected.