Saskatchewan is geographically diffuse. While half of the province resides in urban centres, the other half are spread across small communities and reserves on Treaty 4, Treaty 6, and Treaty 10 territories. Given the sparse and scattered provincial population, long road trips are a fact of life for many Saskatchewan residents. This prairie sprawl, along with the “boom and bust” rhythm of its resource-based economies, has shaped Saskatchewan people’s way of life and ways of working with the land. The free public services offered by libraries, museums, and cultural centres, often situated in within the downtown cores of Saskatchewan’s many cities and small towns, are critically important services serving as spaces for cultural exchange and participation. These places, which are typically free, build community by bringing people together for conversation, while also providing a site for refuge that presents opportunities to consider different perspectives and world views. Roadside Attractions, organized by Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina) and partners across the province, presents a network of contemporary art commissions across Saskatchewan during the summer of 2018. Each artist participating in Roadside Attractions considers the unique histories, geographies, and populations of various locations – factors that have shaped dozens of Saskatchewan spaces into meaningful places. While emphasizing the importance of historic downtown's and public institutions in place-making, Roadside Attractions encourages a sense of discovery among viewers. Original artworks positioned along a 20+ hour scenic prairie road trip create a network of unique public sculptures, site-specific installations, and sound art pieces across Saskatchewan.
The Mann Art Gallery is pleased to be part of this project, featuring a newly-commissioned collaborative artwork by Heather Benning and Tim Moore. See www.skroadsideattractions.ca for more information.