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On Wednesday, September 25th at 6 pm, PHANTOM WING will be hosting a Panel Discussion at Alberta College of Art & Design featuring a collection of thoughtful alternative-space innovators in Calgary. We’ll discuss the trials and tribulations of creating opportunities for artists in unexpected contexts, do-it-yourself approaches to exhibition venues, methods for gaining permission to use alternative spaces (and avoiding getting caught when working without permission), the nitty gritty of working with extremely limited resources, and fascinating stories of all-but-forgotten alternative art spaces in Calgary’s contemporary art history. This panel includes:

For bios of the participants, please see below.

The panel will be moderated by PHANTOM WING co-curator Caitlind r.c. Brown.

This Panel Discussion is sponsored by Alberta College of Art & Design, and hosted by the School of Critical and Creative Studies, Professional Practices for Artists. Special Thanks to Diana Sherlock and MN “Hutch” Hutchinson.


Bart Habermiller is a creative protagonist who’s commitment to community is reiterated through his art practice. His sculptures often utilize both repetition of multiples, as well as numerous individual found objects unified through color to reflect the notion of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Habermiller is known for his ease in shifting between a collaborative art practice, often working with entire communities to realize an installation/sculpture to a solitary practice, favoring the method which best supports his creative vision for a particular artwork.

After receiving a full merit scholarship to complete his Masters in Sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago, Bart Habermiller returned to Calgary to continue his studio practice. Habermiller quickly become an integral part of Calgary’s burgeoning cultural community. With his strong sense of community, innovative thinking and leadership qualities Habermiller quickly established himself as a keystone in the visual arts. In addition to his 9 years of work as the Curator and Manager for the City of Calgary’s Civic Art Collection, his vast array of projects for which he initiated and facilitated has had an enormous impact on Calgary culture.

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Dawn Ford received a BA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Calgary, specializing in performance creation with marginalized groups, allowing people who have little voice the opportunity to express themselves through the arts. She went on to develop a theatre company that practised the work of her MFA thesis with youth, youth at risk, people with disabilities and mental health issues and LGBT community, touring shows through Europe and Canada, as well receiving multiple awards. Dawn has been working in the Community Cultural Development Portfolio for Arts & Culture for the past four years where she is proud to continue the valuable contribution of working with marginalized peoples through arts projects like ArtsCan, This is My City and graffiti mentorship programs.


From “Radiant” a performance / dance party by Shelley Ouellet on March 8, 2013
Photo credit: Rebecca Rowley

Shelley Ouellet is an artist working across a variety of media and focusing on community-based projects. She ran the Carpet ‘N Toast Gallery in her home presenting brief exhibitions of work by local and regional artists and has been involved in the local artist-run community for decades. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and the United Kingdom – most recently at MoCA Calgary in both the Warhol show and Made in Alberta: Part III. As the Calgary 2012 Artist-in-Residence at EMMEDIA, Shelley restaged the performance RADIANT for International Women’s Day.


Lane Shordee is a scavenger artist based in Calgary, Alberta. His sculpture and installations are informed by his chosen environment and the materials it offers. Construction begins as a series of schematics and drawings which are then fleshed out, assembled and disassembled. His process is of an organic and sometimes comical nature, and always open to flexibility. He engages the materials in a back-and-forth dialogue; an exchange of ideas what materials can be used for. The artist and his media enter into a  collaboration. Like the wind or the rain, the shapes and forms are delegated and left to chance or whimsy.  Lane employs a surplus of materials gathered from the local urban ecology that inform his daily life and incorporates it into his practise as an artist in a new, un-cached, reclaimed, repurposed and reframed to grant them an opportunity to be seen from a different perspective. The term “scavenger” itself, is often seen as derogatory, but through new perspective, it becomes something illuminated and open to interpretation.

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Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.
– Gloria Steinem

Sharon Stevens, an award-winning video artist and activist, is an instigator who’s made a career of integrating art, activism, feminism, and social justice into a series of projects that enlighten, enliven and entertain.

A life-long grass roots community activist, in 2010 Sharon was the recipient of the William Irvine Award for Social and Environmental Justice.  In congratulating the Unitarian Church of Calgary for their recognition of Sharon, the board and staff at The Arusha Centre described Stevens as, “a deeply rooted Calgarian who brings gusto to our City’s social justice and sustainability work.”

Since 1989 Sharon has worked as an independent video producer with a firm commitment to production values that include collective process and feminist analysis. She describes her interest in video and visuals as intersecting with audio to create a safe, unified, audio-visual space to “collect” stories.  Her unique approach to story telling has been evident from her earliest works such as PMS Hotline, through to her 1996 award-winning documentary, Doodlebugs:the Video, and to her current projects such as Ox: Crash Course with its audio podcast walking tour, and to her community engagement work with Id Collective where telephone and answering machines are used to collect stories today.

In addition to her own creative work, Sharon has served on boards for a number of artist run centres in Calgary, including six years volunteering for herland feminist film and video festival.  During her tenure with the festival she co-founded herland’s InCamera Film/Video Production Workshop where she shared skills with emerging artists as one of the program’s facilitator/mentors. She currently sits on the boards of the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the Alberta Media Arts Alliance. She has served on two Steering Committees for the Calgary Arts Development Authority.

As a feminist art practitioner Sharon has not shied away from challenging cultural norms.  Her 1991 collaborative project, Video Graffiti (with Not a Pretty Picture Productions) was screened on sidewalks from inside a newspaper box. It included Condom Nation, a short video that examined safer sexuality and PMS Hotline, a confessional exploration of menstruation and PMS.  Her work is rooted in the personal, but don’t expect a Dr. Phil moment. For Sharon not only is the personal political, the political is personal and her work continues to be animated by her engagement with her community.

Community celebrations, performance art, installations, net-based art have been the focus of Sharon’s art practice over the last ten years. LA Bridge Party, Id Collective, and OX: A Crash Course on Loving Calgary and most recently The Equinox Vigil are all examples of her community engagement through the arts.

Portfolio and video’s available at

Or even shorter? Sharon Stevens is a celebrationist, instigator and a media artist.

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