Pictured above are the authors and artists who collaborated on “Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants.” Back row: Dawn Fenwick, Kirsten Taylor, John de Jong, Author Norma Kroegar, Ann Holtby Jones,Front row; Yvonne Vigne, Bill McColl, Lynn Taylor, Anne Anderson, LaVerna Peters. Missing from photo: Josie Ruoss, Monique Cudbertson and Sam Millard. Photo courtesy Jenny Humphrey
For the Townsman
An elephantine event took place at 1401 5th Street North, on Sunday December 15.
Cranbrook and District Arts Council officially opened phase one of their newly acquired art space with the launch of their cooperative book project Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants.
The book has been a runaway success so far with over half of the first print run sold.
A slightly embellished story of Cranbrook Ed and the notorious Cranbrook historical event forms the basis of this book.
1401 was stampeded very quickly on Sunday with curious locals, friends and supporters of the arts.
Visitors were treated to the opportunity to have their books signed, Christmas treats and a first tour of this long awaited building addition to Cranbrook’s art scene.
Artists who participated in this project, including some of the students whose drawings formed the circus tickets are pictured on Page A1.
Cranbrook Arts invites members of the public to check out their new Activity Guide for January, February and March. A copy can be picked up at the Gift Shop on Baker Street or found on their Facebook page.
Cranbrook arts would once again like to thank Columbia Basin Trust for their support through the Community Initiatives and Capital Project programs. Thanks also goes to Cultural Spaces Canada for helping us to grow.
What are NFTs? Behind the crypto trend revolutionizing the art world – Toronto Star
The cherub looks like it’s ready to strike. Hovering idly in outer space, it points a hooked spear at the earth below and steadies its hand.
Grimes, the Canadian musician and visual artist, posted this unsettling image to an art auctioning site earlier in February. It’s part of a broader collection of digital artwork, called “WarNymphs,” that she codesigned with her brother.
Within hours of posting it online, hundreds of copies of the supersized demon baby had sold for $7,500 (U.S.) each. Total sales from her collection reached closer to $6 million.
At first, the frenzy may seem confounding. The image exists solely online. It’s not a physical painting or a photo. Those who bought it could easily have taken a screen grab and made it their desktop background for free.
Why spend all that money on a digital picture?
In short, the answer lies in a newly popular acronym: NFT.
Otherwise known as nonfungible tokens, NFTs are unique computer codes used to identify the authenticity of a digital item — often an image, animation or a video. The code is attached to the item to verify its originality, indicating which item is the original and which is a duplicate.
Items containing NFTs are bought and sold using blockchain, an online technology that records monetary transactions made in cryptocurrency.
To make this easier on the brain, think of “non-fungible” in terms of physical objects. A postcard of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” for example, is fungible: swap it for another identical postcard and you have the exact same thing. The original “Starry Night,” however, is non-fungible: swap it for a replica and you no longer have the original.
The NFT distinguishes the real from the fake. How value is assigned to the original items is just as subjective as any other form of art.
“If you visit my living room, you’ll see original-sized pictures of Monet paintings. They’re really nice, and really fancy, but they’re clearly not actual Monet paintings,” explains Andreas Park, an associate professor of finance at the University of Toronto who researches cryptocurrency.
“If I could have the original, I’d be thrilled.”
In effect, the NFT has introduced the concept of originality to the online world.
For artists whose work exists solely in the digital world, it’s an opportunity to attach a monetary value to their work. For buyers, it’s an opportunity to support artists they like, and hold artwork as assets — hoping the value of the artwork goes up so it can be sold for a profit.
The trend has also benefited from the internet’s typical eccentricity. A clip of LeBron James dunking a basketball sold for $99,999. Pink socks sold for $60,000. An image of beans, scooped in a ladle, sold for $469. The proud new owners of these items can brag about holding the originals.
It’s also being taken seriously by companies hoping to get in on the trend. Christie’s, the famed British auction house, recently became the first major auctioneer to sell a digital, NFT-based artwork. The featured artist, a popular digital designer known as Beeple, made $3.5 million in a single weekend from Christie’s sales.
More recently, Kings of Leon announced their new album will be released as an NFT in partnership with a tech startup called Yellowheart.
Nike, meanwhile, holds a patent for “blockchain-based NFT-sneakers,” called Cryptokicks (a sentence that, as confusing as it is now, would be completely indecipherable to anyone 10 years ago).
In the art world, the rise of NFTs and crypto art has sprouted a wide array of new platforms and online marketplaces where people can buy and sell art as they please.
Grimes’ latest collection premiered on a website called Nifty Gateway, owned by serial entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (of “The Social Network” fame), which functions as an online marketplace where users can sell they art they’ve bought at a higher price. Not sure if they’re selling the original image? Check for an NFT.
Park, who’s followed the rise of blockchain and NFTs for the past several years, says the token is here to stay, though some of the recent excitement is likely temporary.
“Right now, there’s a sense of novelty that’s driving the appeal for NFT artwork. It’s like Beanie Babies: they were popular for a while, because people liked them, and then it died out,” he said.
“But, more broadly, this is a very useful record-keeping technology. It’s easy to imagine NFTs being used as proof of ownership for a variety of things in the future.”
Bridging connections with online art | wellandtribune.ca – WellandTribune.ca
Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre seeks to help bridge the gaps between people with its first-ever online exhibition launched Feb. 27.
Titled “Connection,” the show presents submissions from its members, featuring a wide array of mediums. Besides a physical gallery still viewable at the centre under additional public protocols, it is also available on the centre’s website, with a guided virtual tour.
Curator Laurie Jones said she learned about the format from the Ontario Society of Artists and it was a way to improve access.
“Not everybody’s comfortable yet with being around, especially in public spaces,” Jones said.
The exhibition is an annual salon show, drawing from local talent, Jones said. The pandemic prompted the move to an online addition – and the theme for the show itself.
“It came up out of my own cravings for connections and missing people,” Jones said. “In many ways, we’re looking for alternate ways to connect.”
Artist Rosanna Dewey’s exhibition piece depicts one of those ways. It is an oil painting entitled “Zoom Room” depicting a call on the online meeting platform. She said the show’s theme was poignant.
“It’s so hard to be connected,” Dewey said. “It really made me think about what was going on and what my connections were.”
She said she had some skepticism about the online concept but found it turned out appealing.
“You want to be able to get up close to the artwork and you get more of a sense of the piece,” Dewey said. “But I found that people were still interested. People still needed to go and experience art, even if it was through a Zoom format.”
Arts and Crafts Festival on pause
But the community will miss one big way to connect with art in the summer. The Haliburton Art and Craft Festival – the gallery’s flagship event and fundraiser – is cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic, Jones said. She said it would be too logistically challenging to ensure safety amidst the pandemic.
“We don’t want to introduce any risk to our volunteers or staff or vendors or patrons,” Jones said. “Maintaining sanitary conditions would be impossible.”
Jones said the centre needs to decide early to inform artists and give them time to plan. She said there might be alternate programming, but that is being worked out.
For now, the Rails End is still putting on exhibitions and bringing arts to the community.
“We’re not trying to sell anything. We’re trying to provide an experience,” Jones said. “Hopefully, they feel the connection with the creative arts.”
“Connection” runs until April 17 and is available at the centre itself or railsendgallery.com.
Art Beat: Women's Day readings: Our Bodies – Coast Reporter
Three B.C. writers are observing International Women’s Day with readings at an event entitled 3 Women: Our Bodies, at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 8. Robin Stevenson will read from My Body, My Choice: The Fight for Abortion Rights; Caitlin Hicks will read from her novel Kennedy Girl; and Terrie Hamazaki reads from O-heso (belly button), published in the anthology, Swelling with Pride: Queer Conception and Adoption Stories. The free event, sponsored by the Writers Union of Canada, is scheduled for 90 minutes. Access via Hicks’s Facebook page Some Kinda Woman.
Reclaiming the internet
What happens to your private information when you use your smart phone? That’s a question that will be explored in a reading on Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at a Sunshine Coast Arts Council literary event with political science professor and author Ronald Diebert. Diebert will be reading from and chatting about his book, Reset: Reclaiming the internet for Civil Society. The Zoom event is free but pre-registration is required at the arts council’s website or eventbrite.ca.
Botanical drawing workshops
Visual artist Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi is teaching nature-drawing in a series of four Saturday afternoon workshops this month, starting March 6, hosted by the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. “In these workshops, you will develop skills in drawing plants and flowers from observation,” the council said in a release. “Using various drawing materials such as graphite pencil, pen, and coloured pencil, you will explore basic drawing techniques of line drawing, shading, stippling, and textural drawing.” The workshops are limited to 20 participants. The cost is $70 for members, $100 for non-members. Register at the art council’s website.
Friday, March 5 marks the return of live music at the Clubhouse Restaurant at the Pender Harbour Golf Club. Singer-songwriter Eddy Edrik kicks things off on Friday at 5 p.m. Then on Sunday, March 7, the Peter Van Trio performs, starting at 2 p.m. “Reserve a table for your bubble at 604-883-9542.” There’s a $5 cover on Sunday. A COVID safety plan is followed at the venue, which you can access on its website.
Space is limited in Art Beat but please let us know about your events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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