Works from Yellowknife sculptors, painters and mixed-media artists are joined by a live performance from pianist Ari Snyder at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre on Friday.
The show is an innovative arrangement of music created by 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky to honour his late friend, the artist Viktor Hartmann.
Drawing from the collection of work Hartmann produced during his short life, the composer created a piece of music based on each painting.
“He interpreted 10 paintings in music, indicating for the viewer or listener to go from painting to painting,” said Snyder. “So what I have done is asked local Yellowknife artists to reinterpret the music using Northwest Territories imagery and symbols.
“We have oil and acrylic, watercolour, sculpture, mixed media, bead work, cross-stitching, all different kinds of work. And these art works will be on display before the concert in the concourse area, and then projected onto a screen together with the music that it is reinterpreting.”
Snyder is no stranger to putting together a show, with more than three-dozen musicals and choral performances under his belt.
An accomplished musician in his own right, Snyder was born in Paris, France and brought up in New York City, where he studied piano at the prestigious Juilliard performing arts school. He spent many years as a professor of English in Montreal, continuing to write and direct music and theatre, before moving to Yellowknife in 2020 with his wife.
Since then, he has performed solo shows in the city alongside collaborations with other local musicians.
Snyder approached a number of artists to see if they would be interested in participating in this week’s event. He received works from Rae Braden, Kevin Bolstad, Aidan Cartwright, Genevieve Clarke, Melanie Dumont, Joan Hirons, Terry Pamplin and Larrie Roosdahl.
Is he pleased with how they’ve interpreted the music?
“I’m chortling with glee,” he said, adding that he hopes the city’s residents will turn out to see the artworks for themselves.
The show runs for one night only on Friday, May 12 at 7:30pm. Tickets and details are available on NACC’s website.