This Shatner inspired art exhibit is almost reason enough to go to Calgary.
What a Long, Strange Trek
An album called Has Been spawned an art show and book project in which William Shatner isn't just the man of the hour--he's all that and a bowl of All-Bran.
By Shelley Arnusch
Rather, as Vangool, a graphic designer and owner/director of Uppercase Gallery, and Dresser, her writer husband, navigated the convoluted highways of northeast Ontario listening to the actor's 2004 spoken-word album Has Been, the spirit of Shatner came upon them. And they were not afraid to be inspired.
As the couple contemplated the man, the myth and the voice that filled the car, an idea began to take shape for a group exhibition of Shatner-themed works at Uppercase, where Vangool's mandate is the support and promotion of original illustration.
The more the couple absorbed the unpredictable ebb and flow of Has Been, the more interested they became in artistically exploring the multi-faceted Shatner persona-- the old man, the young hunk, the Canadian son, the Hollywood player, the noble hero, the lampooned doofus, the novelist, the visionary, the benefactor, the pitchman, et al.
The idea snowballed as it rolled back and forth between the two creative minds. By the time they returned to Calgary, Vangool was ready to hit the ground running with plans for an exhibition called The Shatner Show. In the same way that you can't contain the icon who inspired the show, the concept expanded to include a hardcover book, for which Dresser contributed the introductory essay.
And just when the article couldn't get any better, Shatner himself weighed in:
"Every artist has their muse. Leonardo was inspired by the ceiling in the great chapel. Michelangelo found his art in the Italian marble. Who am I to stand in the way of all these fine artists and artisans who want to use my lumpy, aging face for inspiration? Some creators love a great sunset; some have in mind my bloodshot eyes. Nevertheless, out of awe, amusement or pity, you should come and see this unique show."