Cultivating Creativity

Carl Wiens: Works on Paper

Cultivating Creativity

Kodie Trahan-Guay

Carl Wiens: Works on Paper

Carl Wiens: Works on Paper opens May 2nd, 2024 from 4-6pm and runs until May 31st, 2024. This show is a presentation of more than a decade’s worth of work by Wiens that he is hoping will showcase an evolution in the style, medium and content of his work. For the past month Wiens has been working to build frames, print and sign the new editions that will be shown. He commissioned Spark Box Studio to print his work, and has spent quite a bit of time cutting and assembling the collages unique to each background.

Wiens teaches illustration at Sheridan College in Oakville to upper year students and is a graduate of OCADU. His background includes over thirty years experience as a full-time illustrator for newspapers, magazines and books as well as having his work hang in group and solo exhibitions. His love of creation began in childhood. Wiens loves how art can help people understand the world around them while providing them with joy. 

“I think that I simply held on to the joy of creating that we all feel as children. That’s easy to say, but it takes some effort to protect and nurture,” says Wiens. “Drawing and painting can help a person make sense of the patterns and phenomena that surround us. Working with different materials and looking for new ideas and techniques is a constant. I like to think that joy comes through in making new things, whatever medium is chosen.”

Wiens illustrations sometimes have a retro feel and often depict technical or scientific aspects of the world. Robots also make their way through a lot of his work. His inspiration comes from many different sources but he especially loves to incorporate the universe and science. He’s hoping this show will help people look at things from a new perspective. 

“The arcane, the obscure, the absurd, and unconventional beauty. I dig through used book stores and old technical journals seeking out illustrations and diagrams. Spending time in nature is also an endless source,” says Wiens. “I like exploring the overlap of science and art. Researchers constantly discover new species, subatomic particles and exoplanets. Look around, the universe is a beautiful place!”

While finding the time to create can sometimes be a challenge Wiens found that during the pandemic he was able to work on a project he had been putting aside and it has since driven him to put more of a focus on exhibiting his work.

I had an idea that developed over years and set aside. During COVID lockdown, I executed a large painting called ‘Step and Repeat’. It’s 5′ by 8′, isometric perspective of 25 toy robots which I painted over four months. The painting went up in a solo show and sold. It’s fueled my determination to get work into galleries, like this show.”

Carl Wiens: Works on Paper is on display at the QAC Cultural Hub, 36 Bridge St East, until May 31st. Opening night with an opportunity to meet the artist will take place May 2nd from 4PM-6PM. You will be able to catch more of Wiens work in March 2025 when he opens a new show in the Parrott Gallery at the Belleville Public Library. 

I hope you enjoy the show! Spend some time with the work, there’s lots of hidden surprises.”

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