Arts Commons Presents
Location: Ledge Gallery
Dates: March 9 - TBD
Artist Reception: Postponed
The first book of Pass Me By, introduced us to Ed in the early stages of his diagnosis. The story of Gone Fishin’ used humor and melancholy in equal measure to explore Ed’s deeply human struggle. Throughout production Ryan and I have found this story to be an incredibly useful tool to explore elements of masculinity and mental health. We’ve built a narrative centred on a very specific disease and utilized accessible imagery, characterization, and storytelling so an audience can connect with their own experiences of depression or feeling lost. In book one we were finding ways for people to connect with a character who is decades away from where they may be at in age, but may be emotionally very close to.
Returning to Ed’s past in 1972, book two Pass Me By: Electric Vice brings us to a chance encounter between Ed and the charismatic, enigmatic, and androgynous Lou, frontman of the pulse pounding glam rock band, Electric Vice. Suddenly Ed delves into a world of mascara, weathered leather, platform heels and neon. Electric Vice takes place during the rise of glam rock in 1972, an era that pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality in shaping one’s identity. Touring with Electric Vice, Ed beings to explore his sexuality and gender. Removed from a context of rigid expectations and culturally defined roles, Ed challenges masculine norms of rural Canadian life.
Kyle Simmers is a Canadian artist and illustrator born and raised in a special kind of nowhere known as central Alberta. Their work explores identity and relationships in the context of gender, queerness, and subjectivity.
As a freelance illustrator, Kyle has worked on everything from theatrical productions and product design to editorial illustration and large-scale mural projects. Clients include; Dept. YYC, Social School, Christopher Bates, Tubby Dog, Burnt Toast Studios, Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, Igneous Theatre Productions, Trad London, and Northern Brewers.
In addition to their work as a muralist, Simmers spent the greater part of 2018 working on a graphic novel titled Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’. The first in a five book series, the 120 page book raised $9,131 from 172 backers last august. Kyle is currently working with indie publisher Renegade arts entertainment to bring the book to a global release in fall of 2019.
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