The first time I visited A Different Booklist in early 2004, I heard poetry being performed from the cosy backyard branching off from the main floor of the bookstore. Spoken word-friendly finger-snap applause beckoned me. This is my kind of bookstore, I thought, since I was running a poetry series at the time, and I soon sat down at an open mic hosted by author and event producer Dwayne Morgan.
When A Different Booklist first opened in 1995, on the west side of Bathurst Street just south of Honest Ed’s, its original owner, Wesley Crichlow, may not have envisioned how it would grow from its modest roots into a hub for the Black community.
A Different Booklist has been quarterbacked by the husband-and-wife team of Miguel San Vicente and Itah Sadu since 1998, when Crichlow secured a full-time teaching position, and they continue to stock and promote books reflecting the Black and Caribbean communities, and the African diaspora. They also encourage poets, authors and political scientists to host events at their space, which are often free to the public.
The store relocated to the east side of Bathurst in 2017, after development replaced Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village. A stroll among the tightly packed bookcases reveals a truly panoramic view of Black history and culture: one section features the work of James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Roxane Gay; another boasts fiction titles from Toronto authors such as David Chariandy and Catherine Hernandez. The children’s literature section offers such books as “I Love My Hair!” by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and E.B. Lewis, and “Mixed Me!” by actor Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans.
“(Young Black readers) are excited when they can see themselves reflected in books, which is not often the case,” San Vicente says. “And we really appreciate how so many schools have bought our books for their students, which has helped us survive all these years.”
For adult readers, San Vicente says the more popular books at his store include Frantz Fanon’s “Black Skin, White Masks,” a 1952 deconstruction of racism, which he says speaks to what Bob Marley called “mental slavery in ‘Redemption Song,’ and how a colonial mentality has affected many Black people.” Another hot seller is Toronto author Afua Cooper’s “The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal. There may be books about Canadian slavery written by white people,” San Vicente says, “but it’s important that a Black author shares these important stories.”
A Different Booklist saw a surge of shoppers during and soon after the protests stemming from the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. “It was great to see so many people coming out, including many non-Black readers, and buying books on fighting discrimination and racism and inequality,” says San Vicente. “And it really helped when the Black Lives Matter movement encouraged people to support Black-owned businesses like ours.”
The bookstore is also home to A Different Booklist Cultural Centre: The People’s Residence. Launched in 2016, the non-profit organization has held author talks, book launches, children’s programs and art exhibitions.
During lockdown, the store kept the public engaged with virtual readings and interviews, such as a Zoom conversation with George Elliot Clarke, Toronto’s former poet laureate.
In fall 2022, the store is set to move again, this time across the street. Its mission, however, will remain the same. “We want people to learn from the past and to challenge themselves to put their knowledge into action,” San Vincente says. “And our books and programming help with those goals.”
Art heist at Kelowna gallery takes four minutes – Vancouver Sun
The stolen sculptures included bronze, stone, and glass pieces. Altogether, the pieces weighed more than 300 pounds.
KELOWNA — Art thieves were in and out of a Kelowna gallery in four minutes early Saturday morning, stealing 11 sculptures worth almost $70,000.
Two masked men broke into Gallery 421 in the South Pandosy business district, triggering an alarm at 1:58 a.m. They fled at 2:02 a.m., according to a surveillance camera.
“It was most definitely targeted. They knew exactly what pieces they wanted to steal,” gallery co-owner Kelly Hanna said Monday. “They were fast, but their movements were deliberate. It wasn’t helter-skelter.”
The stolen sculptures included bronze, stone, and glass pieces. Altogether, the pieces weighed more than 135 kilograms.
“We’re going to put the word out to other galleries, pawnshops, and art houses about what was stolen,” Hanna said. It’s most likely the thieves will try to sell the pieces outside of Kelowna, either in Vancouver or the U.S., she said.
One thief was 5-foot-10, medium build, and wore a grey hoodie. The other was 5-foot-6, also of medium build, and was wearing blue pants with white runners.
The stolen pieces included works by artists Vilem Zach, Michael Hermesh, Vance Theoreet, and Jeff Holmwood.
Hanna and co-owner Ken Moen are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information with police that leads to an arrest.
Hanna and Moen bought the gallery, which opened in 2001, two years ago. Hanna said there have been smash-and-grabs of items such as computer equipment before, but never thefts of works of art.
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Can New Technology Bring Authentic And Transparent Trust To The Art World? Like VIN Numbers For Art-Works. – Forbes
In 1987, I was lucky enough to attend the auction of Vincent Van Gogh’s Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers at Christie’s in London. At the time, the sale price of $39.7 million was staggering. Inflation- adjusted, that’s $127 million today. Two years later, in 1989, the Dallas Cowboys were sold for $140 million. In November 2017, Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Salvator Mundi, was sold for over $450 million. The prestige associated with rare assets (Forbes estimates that the Dallas Cowboys are now valued at over $5.7 billion) has a lot to do with the market value of uncommonly traded assets. Still, authenticating the origin and history of a sports team is easy. But to do the same thing for expensive artworks has always been incredibly difficult.
The art market has seen extraordinary growth in its size and the value of its assets over the past 25 years and longer. Living artists are now able to sell their artworks at significant values at market entry – what are called primary market sales – during their lifetime and to see significant rises in the value of their art including in the secondary market. This is a relatively new experience for the market. History’s old masters and more modern artists never got to experience these trends during their lifetimes. Art market auction sales tipped $50 billion in 2021, and the unofficial private sector of the market is probably another $50 billion. Think about a $100 billion annual sales industry, that is based on trillions of dollars of assets, that all need to be authenticated, secured and monitored for many different purposes ranging from insurance to sales values and other market opportunities.
Our guest for today’s podcast is Lawrence Shindell, he is the Chairman, President and CEO of LMI Group International, Inc., headquartered in New York. LMI Group is a strategic investment bank-like firm that represents artwork owners and investors in the authentication underwriting and market release of major orphaned artworks – artworks that the data strongly indicate are by blue-chip artists and have expected market values between $15,000,000 and $200,000,000. A trial lawyer by background, Mr. Shindell holds licenses in a number of U.S. jurisdictions including admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before founding LMI Group in early 2018, Mr. Shindell served as the Chief Executive Officer of a regulated U.S. title insurance company catering to the international art industry.
His insights about the art market and its needs and trends over the next decade – ranging from technologies to solve the challenges of art object identification and authenticity to NFTs – provide a glimpse into a very complex industry sector. It is often said that the world’s art serves as the tree rings of society. Advances in technologies can bring efficiency to this market sector just as technology has brought efficiency to other markets, and can give us a sense of comfort about the integrity of these high value assets as we visit art museums, collect art, invest in art, or engage in and around art in many other ways.
Artwork, both old and new, and both digital and physical, make up a huge market that offers cultural engagement as well as incredible economic upsides for investors who invest in art. Improvements in four areas can change the level of comfort for investors.
- Anti-money laundering – legislation that is increasingly offering transparency but also putting pressure on market actors to verify source of funds, and seller and purchaser legal status and identity, whether for purchasing or selling art or using art as collateral for loans, for example.
- The advent of the blockchain and more recently NFTs are revolutionizing the ways in which we link irrefutable identifying references to physical and digital art, as these assets journey through the market via purchases, gifts, sales, exhibitions and events of condition-conservation among other events, and in the case of NFTs, especially as a medium in which to create art in the first instance, as a means to create verifiable fractional and complete ownership interests.
- Different technologies will separately allow us to imprint identifications on existing, secondary market physical works that can distinguish these objects from copies and also enable a conclusive linking of the information around the object captured via the blockchain to the exact physical object.
- Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning science and technologies that can aide traditional measures to appraise and verify art in complement with these other technologies.
The idea of reliable object identification is nothing new. We use VIN numbers for automobiles and CUSIP numbers for the securities industry. And we use DNA markers to authenticate the origin and history of, for example, cloning material.
Hollywood has been using tales of the historical art world for decades, the most known example is perhaps the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in the lead roles. While interests and tastes in the art world have evolved from old masters to modernists to an expansive contemporary art market today, the art market as a whole shows no signs of slowing down.
We can expect to see continued rapid growth including with the introduction of NFTs and factional ownership options. Each of the issues just highlighted are central to LMI Group and its specialization in authenticating to conclusive factual standards culturally and historically important works of art that have been lost to history but can reliably be reintroduced to the cultural sector, and in applying its expertise to cultural heritage initiatives that involve complex authentication of historical objects and information.
LMI Group is at the forefront of advances that are designed to enable objective, data-based analyses and decision-making in the art and cultural heritage sector.
Artists Invited To Enter Artwork In Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show – Osprey Observer
A call to artists has been issued by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) for the 2022 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show, which runs from Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 13 at the Festival Grounds in Plant City. The show will be held in the Milton E. Hull Building.
Adults are divided into professional groups (entry fee is $15) and amateur groups (entry fee is $12). Adults can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphic/mixed media and sculptures. The entry fee for miniature art (2D media) and sculptures (3D art) is $12.
The youth divisions are by ages. Youth can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphic/mixed media and sculptures. The entry fee is $5.
Adults can enter up to four entries, but no more than two in the same division. Youth can enter up to two entries.
Entries are eligible for substantial monetary awards. This includes $100 for the Strawberry Theme Award (an entry must include strawberries or reflect the current festival theme of ‘#1 for FUN!’). There is also $300 for Best of Show.
There are prizes for first ($150) and second ($100) place in all adult and youth divisions. Adult amateurs, miniature and sculpture entries receive $100 for first place and $75 for second. Adults who receive third and fourth place receive rosette ribbons.
For youth, first place receives $25 and second place receives $15. Entries who win third and fourth place receive a rosette ribbon. All youth participants receive participation ribbons.
Artists who do not win one of the above prizes are eligible for a Business Leaders Choice Award. Area residents can also become sponsors for the In Honor Award and select a winning artist who will receive a ribbon and $50.
Space is limited and entries are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Early entries are accepted until Friday, February 11. Artists can mail their entry form and fee to East Hillsborough Art Guild, P.O. Box 3055, Plant City, FL 33564. Artwork must be brought to the Festival Grounds on Saturday, February 19 from 12 Noon-6 p.m.
Chairperson Karen Crumley said, “Our entry day was moved to Saturday to allow easier access to more working people or parents with school age children.”
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