There’s no telling what the vibe will be like at Jarvis Hall Fine Art on Thursday night. It might be a bit like West Side Story, as the abstractionists (they’d be the Jets) square off against the realists (definitely the Sharks).

The former will rally around Mark Dicey, who unveils new abstract paintings in a show called Signal/Drift. The latter will stick close to photographer Dean Turner, who is launching Epilogue.

Dicey is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design whose bold paintings in his latest series seem to broadcast both a clear message and obscuring noise. The problem is, the more you gaze at them the less certain you become about which is which.

The quiet and contemplative photographs in Epilogue reveal Turner’s interest in material objects and man-made landscapes that, if not at the end of their useful lives, have certainly seen better days. As with Dicey’s work, contemplating a Turner image leads you further into the picture plane. See for yourself:

Turner’s formal education is not in photography but rather in strategic studies, with a specialization in “information warfare, information dominance and critical infrastructure protection.”

That background might just be the thing to bridge the gap between abstractionists and realists at the forthcoming reception. It sounds like Turner and Dicey have a shared interest in electronic communication and its vulnerabilities. That common ground should ensure that things remain peaceful—at least as long as the wine and cheese hold out.

Mark Dicey: Signal/Drift and Dean Turner: Epilogue; Thursday, Feb. 7 to Tuesday, March 12; Jarvis Hall Fine Art; 617 11 Ave. S.W., Lower Level; 403-206-9942, jarvishallfineart.com.

Opening reception: Thursday, Feb. 7, 5 – 8 p.m.

—Bruce Weir

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