Arts & Culture City

New Khyber location brings hope to Halifax art community

The new location of the Khyber Centre of the Arts on Hollis Street, is a beacon of hope for artists who were surprised by their abrupt eviction from the Barrington Street location in the spring of 2014.
“I think a lot of artists and art goers felt helpless and that the city was pushing them out [of the building],” says current artist-in-residence Kyle Alden Martens.
Martens’ exhibit EQUIPMENT opened November 16 in tandem with the opening of the new location.
EQUIPMENT focuses on treating the exhibition space like a collage of objects. Sculptures are displayed at varying heights and are strung together by a single art piece that stretches from the floor to the ceiling. Each piece can be interacted with and made into a performative sculpture.

(photo: Alex McVittie)
(photo: Alex McVittie)

“I wanted the performances at the opening to intermingle into the crowd,” Martens explains, “the work definitely takes advantage of the new location’s installation possibilities.”
The Artistic Director of the Khyber, Hannah Guinan says that EQUIPMENT is the perfect exhibition to celebrate the new location. The Khyber’s new street presence allows for people to be drawn in by Martens’ innovative display.

“The Khyber is meant to be in downtown Halifax,” says Guinan, “having more of an arts presence downtown is what Halifax needs.”
The new Khyber is around the corner from NSCAD, allowing for unique opportunities for student artists that were not available at the two previous locations.
“It is really exciting that we are now able to coordinate openings,” says Guinan with a smile, “being able to have NSCAD events at the same time will bring so much traffic to the space.”
The new location of the Khyber is not only more convenient for artists and gallery go-ers but is also more accessible, it can now be accessed by wheelchair and through the entrance on Hollis Street.
Both Martens and Guinan say that this move abandoned all the negativity that was present at the Cornwallis location and allowed for a fresh start for the iconic organization.
“You see, the great thing is that we can make this space a cultural and artistic hub,” exclaims Guinan, “more people deserve to be included in this space.”

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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