Biofeedback Art Collective has created a virtual art gallery to feature emerging Saskatchewan artists who have lost opportunities due to the pandemic. (2 minute read)

SK Arts - Features - Virtual Gallery Features Emerging Artists

The exterior of the virtual gallery.

Saskatoon-based Biofeedback Art Collective noticed that many opportunities for emerging artists disappeared or were postponed because of the pandemic. In response, they created a virtual art gallery to feature emerging Saskatchewan artists.

Biofeedback Art Collective was established in 2019 by Emily Zdunich, Lauren Warrington and Kelsey Ford, shortly after they completed their bachelor of fine arts degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. The trio wanted to expand their artistic practice and believed a collective could be a fun space for experimentation and collaboration. Their inaugural show, BODY, was exhibited at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery that November and featured large-scale works that explored ideas surrounding the mind-body relationship and the human condition.

SK Arts - Features - Virtual Gallery Features Emerging Artists

Biofeedback Art Collective, we planted a seed, 2020, Digital Rendering, Carrots, Dirt, Grow Light.

The pandemic threw a wrench into plans for in-person exhibitions for the foreseeable future, but that didn’t stop the collective. They pivoted to create a 3D digital gallery with the help of a Micro-Grant from SK Arts. Their first virtual exhibition, Pending Install, was launched on December 15 at and features work by emerging artists created during the pandemic. “We wanted the first show in our gallery to be a uniquely Saskatchewan time capsule,” says Zdunich.

“We greatly appreciate the funding from SK Arts. The grant was key to the success of this project because it allowed us to pay honorariums while also covering the costs involved with the website. It allowed us to create our own space to support emerging Saskatchewan artists, which is something we value and felt was lacking in our community,” says Ford.

Works include digital renderings, paintings, sculpture and photography, and artists featured are: Aralia Maxwell, Brody Burns, Devon Plett, Negar Tajardan, Laken Carleton, Al and Marianne, and Zachary Knutilla, as well as Biofeedback Art Collective members Zdunich, Warrington and Ford.

SK Arts - Features - Virtual Gallery Features Emerging Artists

(L to R): Kelsey Ford, Lauren Warrington, Emily Zdunich.

Warrington says the exhibition was open to all forms of media because the collective wanted to incorporate physical and digital work in the same space. “Some artists expressed interest in playing with the scale of their work, while we were interested in expanding our knowledge of the virtual,” she says. “We had full control over the design of our exhibition space from selecting the cloudy blue sky to mounting art works in mid-air; 3D space was the medium that encouraged greater exploration and experimentation.”

The team was intrigued that people responded to the pandemic by undertaking activities such as gardening. “We took interest in this everyday activity that became a meditative place,” Zdunich says. Biofeedback’s contribution to the virtual exhibition, we planted a seed, mimics the emotions the artists felt from their natural environment but imposes a sense of uncertainty and loss of control when the laws that govern the physical world are no longer followed.

Zdunich, Warrington and Ford hope that the project will establish Biofeedback as a Saskatoon-based collective and virtual exhibition space. Future plans include events, exhibitions and collaborations with other artists.

Pending Install can be viewed on the Biofeedback Art Collective website.

Photos courtesy of the artists.