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In Advance of the Suburbs
felt marker, cartoon-like, simplified style, rural, prairie life, social issues , globalization, urbanization, nature and the environment, humour, illusion of texture, abstracted, whimsical, place, landscape, moose,work on paper,point of view, confrontation,absurd, reality, drawing, opposites, contrast, synthesis,line, diagonals, outlining , drawing, pen drawing, narrative, urbanization, elements of art, contemporary life, prairie landscape,

Gorenko uses his simplified  styleA way of doing something. Use of materials, methods of working, design qualities and choice of subject matter reflect the style of the individual, culture, movement, or time period.  to create readily accessible narratives that comment on social issues in rural prairie life. He shows how urbanization and globalization are rapidly creeping into every aspect of  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (  life and he reminds us how out of touch we are with nature and our environment. With his keen sense of humour, his works often awaken the viewer to the somewhat absurd and sometimes sad realities of the world we live in.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • What does the title In Advance of the Suburbs suggest? What is really advancing? How is this image humorous?
  • The power transmission towers and the moose in In Advance of the Suburbs are clearly opposites (technology, nature) but they appear to be somewhat similar in design. Has Gorenko suggested human qualities for the power transmission tower? What will happen to the moose if it advances to the suburbs?  What will happen if the suburbs, or power lines, advance toward the moose?  What is happening to land in and around city perimeters?
  • Can you think of other examples of animals and technology interacting in your environment?
Studio Activity
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  • Think of two concepts that are clearly opposites.  For example, good/bad, dirty/clean, weak/strong, and many others.
  • Place the two images in a simple landscape or setting.
  • Use markers to fill in the negative spaces and to create a tension between the two images.

Opposites in wax crayon

  • Work with the same concepts as in the previous activity, but draw the images and make marks with a strong application of wax crayons.
  • The wax crayon will resist the paint. 

Making connections

  • Make a connection between two things that look somewhat similar in appearance but are totally different, like the moose and the power standard in Gorenko’s artwork.
  • Draw the objects so they appear to have human qualities and encourage the characters to interact.


Transform one object into another over a  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of five to ten drawings.


Author unknown.  The Art Bank visits the Prairies.  News Releases, Canada Council, September 4-28, 2001.  Retrieved from the Internet on July 28, 2008 from:

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning