Art Dates & Locations

July 1st – August 31st

Zippy Mart
1610 1 Ave NE
Weyburn, SK   S4H 3E8
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Main Track Cafe
Hwy 13 & 39
Weyburn, SK   S4H 0W4
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Divya Mehra was curated by Dunlop Art Gallery and exhibited in Weyburn.

Artist Bio

Divya Mehra works in sculpture, print, drawing, artist books, installation, advertising, video, and film and is known for her meticulous attention to the interaction of form, medium, and site. Recontextualizing references found in music, literature, and current affairs, her acerbic body of work addresses the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism. Mehra’s work has been presented as part of exhibitions, screenings, and commissions, including with Creative Time (New York), MoMA PS1 (New York), MTV (New York), the Queens Museum (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Artspeak (Vancouver), Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Toronto), the Images Festival (Toronto), the Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), BielefelderKunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and is represented by Georgia Sherman Projects. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award.

Artist Statement

In World Famous, Come in We’re Open (Thoughts on a Better Tomorrow), 2018, Divya Mehra continues her investigation into local small businesses owned and operated by diasporic communities. The work is a pair of ceramic coffee mugs on public view and available for purchase at Zippy Mart (a convenience store) and MainTrack Cafe & Lounge (a truck stop), two independently owned businesses in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Each mug is printed with text that has been repurposed directly from both businesses for the context of Roadside Attractions (July 1–August 31, 2018). These multiples can be acquired for the cost of a single coffee from either the convenience store or truck stop, which are located at the entrance and exit to the city on Highways 39 and 13.

In September 2016 Statistics Canada announced that Canada had the largest population increase of all G7 countries. More than half of that increase was due to newcomers. Saskatchewan in particular provides an alternate and quicker means of entry into the Country through the Provincial Nominee Program, where applications are fast-tracked by the Canadian government. World Famous, Come in We’re Open (Thoughts on a Better Tomorrow) considers the complexity of diasporic communities existing in, evolving in, and shaping the Canadian Prairies. For newcomer entrepreneurs, struggles with language, communication, and new community often create barriers to so-called successful integration touted by the government. Mehra’s multiples recontextualize language found on display in both businesses to highlight who is considered a “local” as well as reposition relationships to this landscape while calling into question a commitment to the nation-state.