Libby Leshgold Gallery

The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of Lani Maestro’s STILL. The screening will run May 13th through July 14th, 2024.

Presented as part of the group exhibition HOHOL (Hang Out Hang Out Lang) curated by Patrick Cruz and Christian Vistan at grunt gallery, this screening of Lani Maestro’s STILL brings the work – originally commissioned for a billboard in Toronto in 2002 – into a new, digital context. Maestro’s work has often taken the form of images that become embodied in the process of reading or utterance and STILL exemplifies the artist’s inquiries into language, the body and subjectivity.

Lani Maestro was born in Manila. She received a BFA in Editorial Design from the University of the Philippines. In the early eighties, she came to Canada to attend art residencies at the Banff Centre in Alberta and stayed on to pursue an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Her art practice includes exhibitions with installation and sculpture, incorporating writing and book works, drawing, video, photography, sound and film. Maestro’s work has been shown widely including the 57th Venice Biennial in Italy. Her work’s recognition has been celebrated with awards such as the Bienal dela Habana Prize, Havana, Cuba in 1986 and the Hnatyshyn Award for outstanding contribution by a Canadian artist in 2012. She is also the recipient of NSCAD University’s doctorate degree, honoris causa in 2019. More recently, her VAG site work was nominated by UAP (Urban Arts Project) as one of the best public art of 2022 alongside artists, Phyllida Barlow and Tracy Emin.

In the early nineties, Maestro co-founded and edited Harbour Magazine of Art and Everyday Life, a journal of artwork and writing by artists and theorists. For almost twenty years, Maestro taught studio art at NSCAD in Halifax and University of Lethbridge, Alberta. She also conducted graduate seminars in the MFA programme at Concordia University in Montreal.

Patrick Cruz is an artist and educator who considers the role of spirituality, improvisation, intuition and play as emancipatory tools to reify embedded colonial frameworks and ideologies in art making. Cruz employs meditation, divination, and hypnosis as research methodologies to exhume and retrieve hidden knowledge. His works are informed by the intersections of clown philosophy, magic, and the occult, and its syncretic manifestations and relationship in contemporary life. Most recently, Cruz has been making works using material retrieved from past-life regressions to navigate and side-step cultural and ancestral identity. He received the Thirteen Artist Award in 2021 from the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the 17th RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2015. He is an Assistant Professor in Studio Art at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Daniels campuses. He is co-director of the Kamias Triennial, a member of Ben Flores Fan Club Collective with Christian Vistan, and a member of the Plumb.

Christian Vistan is an artist from the peninsular province Bataan, Philippines, living on unceded xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. In their artworks, they translate experiences of distance and diaspora into hybrid forms that fold together elements of memory, place, poetry, and abstraction. They are particularly interested in thinking about and working with water as a material in their painting and in personal, familial, and migrant histories. They make paintings and texts, organize exhibitions and publications, and often collaborate with other artists, writers, curators, and their relatives. Recent projects include ‘Rice Cooker’ (2023), a site specific performance and collaboration with Kiyoshi Whitley at Boombox, Vancouver; and ‘dreams comma delta’ (2020-23), a room and DIY gallery space for artist projects and exhibitions that was located inside their family home in Ladner, BC and that they ran and co-curated with Aubin Soonhwan Kwon.

The Urban Screen, located on the north-east wall of the Wilson Arts Plaza, is an initiative of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program in conjunction with the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The screen operates daily from 8am-9pm.

For further information please contact the Libby Leshgold Gallery.

Canada Council for the Arts


Image: Still from STILL (2024), Courtesy of Lani Maestro.