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Ablaze With Art: Thriving Galleries in Lower Manhattan – The New York Times



Walking around TriBeCa galleries recently felt strangely, blessedly, heartbreakingly close to normal. Some bars and restaurants — like the upscale diner in Cortlandt Alley — remained closed, but Lower Manhattan is ablaze with art. Just across the street from that empty diner, at Andrew Kreps Gallery, I visited Kim Dingle’s overhead views of restaurant tables, which she made in the 2000s while operating a restaurant in Los Angeles, and over at Canada I thrilled to Joan Snyder’s delicate but explosively colorful abstractions. (Note that both shows close Oct. 17.)

Luhring Augustine has opened a branch on White Street with a killer show of watercolors and found object sculptures by the Brazilian artist Lucia Nogueira (through Oct. 31), and a new project called Broadway has opened with a show by the Indigenous video artist and photographer Sky Hopinka. Ortuzar Projects is hosting a retrospective of Lynda Benglis’s sculptural works (through Dec. 3) in concert with uptown’s Cheim & Read gallery.

Vikky Alexander has incisive photo collages and eerie glass sculptures at Downs & Ross (through Oct. 25); Peter Freeman’s rotating group show (through Dec. 19) of 20th-century masters from Agnes Martin to Walker Evans is particularly strong; and you’ll want to catch Steve Mumford’s captivating graphic journalism at Postmasters (through Oct. 31). Below are six more exhibitions in or near TriBeCa — from Varick Street to the Bowery, more or less — that have stayed with me.

Through Oct. 24. Alexander and Bonin, 47 Walker Street, Manhattan; 212-367-7474,

Credit…Dalton Paula; Alexander and Bonin

There are no surviving images of the 24 Afro-Brazilian figures — some historical, some legendary — who populate the paintings in Dalton Paula’s “A Kidnapper of Souls,” his North American solo debut. (Mr. Paula, a Brazilian painter and multimedia artist who makes work about the African diaspora, did appear in the 2018 New Museum Triennial.) He modeled them, instead, after residents of a settlement originally founded by escaped slaves in the Brazilian state of Goiás.

Each figure, sensitively rendered in oil and gold leaf against a green or turquoise background — a style inspired by turn-of-the-century portrait photography — straddles a subtle lacuna: The 2-foot-by-18-inch panels they are painted on are made by screwing two narrow canvases together, and you can just make out the seam. It’s an understated gesture that carries a lot of weight, bringing to mind not just the syncretic origins of Afro-Brazilian culture, or the continued fusion of those origins with contemporary Brazilian life, but also the enduring marks left by cleaving people away from their homes and families.

Through Oct. 25. Martos Gallery, 41 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan; 212-560-0670,

Credit…Kayode Ojo and Martos Gallery

The conceptual artist Kayode Ojo continues to arrange found objects with a masterly touch in “The Aviator,” a sophomore show at Martos named after Martin Scorsese’s 2004 biopic of Howard Hughes. A phoropter, the device optometrists use to determine a patient’s prescription, hangs at eye level near the gallery entrance, at once a metaphor for art and art itself. (Let the artist shape your vision if you dare!) Or is it a comment about structural biases?

Things only get more slippery as Mr. Ojo goes on to arrange prop handcuffs, chrome-plated music stands, replica pistols, open Swiss Army knives, and other tools with reflective surfaces in minimal but well-ordered piles. Because the placement of all these objects appear to be as significant as the items themselves, they all become terms in a single, all-encompassing visual language, supple and thought-provoking but endlessly ambiguous.

Through Oct. 25. Storage, 96 Bowery, Manhattan; 646-504-5810,

Credit…William Cordova and Storage

The inaugural group show at this new project space, founded by the artist Onyedika Chuke in his own basement art studio, is a powerful mix of explicit politics and formal verve. Three of Emory Douglas’s graphic cover designs for the Black Panther newspaper remain as arresting as they were when he composed them 50 years ago. The Miami-based artist Yanira Collado contributes a spare, evocative sculpture reminiscent of a rooftop antenna, and a series of black-and-white photographs that document performances by Alicia Grullón are surprisingly striking in their own right. Two monumental works on paper — one, by William Cordova, a polymath of patterns, features a grayscale check pattern, and the other, by the Houston artist Rick Lowe, has a tidal wave of black marker lines on a golden yellow ground — are tacked directly to the walls, adding an extra burst of studio-visit excitement to an already energetic roundup.

Through Oct. 31. Kerry Schuss, 73 Leonard Street, Manhattan;

Credit…Mary Carlson and Kerry Schuss

A miniature is a refuge from the trials of real life, an otherworldly little kingdom you can enter with your eyes. But the palm-size landscapes in the ceramist Mary Carlson’s “Eden,” most of them sourced from the peripheries of old master paintings, are different. “Eden Trees (after Bruegel),” a thick brown puddle of desert under a cluster of lumpy trees, is precisely rendered and shiny with glaze; “Eden (after Cranach)” features a trim little cave perfect for some tiny hermit; and in “Reservoir Blue Hills,” the only piece from life, the land is even more luscious blue than the water. Weaving around the low white pedestals that these nine little patches of paradise reside on, you may suspect that the Kingdom of Heaven, while surely at hand, is in need of some protection.

Through Nov. 1. Page, 368 Broadway, Manhattan; 917-599-8140,

Credit…Dana Lok and Page

How would the world look if you could stand outside time? That’s the heady question behind “One Second Per Second,” a lush but tightly focused suite of paintings by the young Brooklyn artist Dana Lok. In the largest two, “Causal Wedge (Front)” and “Causal Wedge (Back),” a veil of neon mist parts to reveal a single foot trampling through the mud. Simple orange butterflies — perhaps a reference to the “butterfly effect” — flutter around in the tall grass. Jagged receding borders at the top of this vision suggest that it’s not just one instant Ms. Lok has her sights on, but a contiguous train of them. But what makes the concept work is that she doesn’t linger over the details. It’s just an uncommon way of highlighting what is, after all, the heart of most figurative painting — the strange and magical problem of fixing a moment in time.

Through Nov. 21. Queer Thoughts, 373 Broadway, Manhattan; 212-680-0116,

Credit…Megan Marrin and Queer Thoughts

After finishing a body of work about the life and death cycle, the New York painter Megan Marrin, in need of some conceptual recovery, began researching spas and wellness. But she eventually narrowed her focus to a single emblematic object and put together a small but memorable show, “Convalescence,” comprising four ominous paintings of the Edwardian sanitarium fixture known as the rib cage shower. Filling their tall and narrow canvases more or less exactly, these devices look like skeletons — almost alien but weirdly familiar — in cross-sections of shadowy flesh. They bring to mind all sorts of disquieting questions about luxury, technology and the sexual undercurrents of the industrial world. Do we shape our environment or does it shape us? Is the desire for comfort a product of the death drive? And just what are we after, anyway, when we design a bathroom? The paintings’ bilious colors and sticky-looking surfaces only amplify their psychological effect.

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Art Gallery wants major expansion, asking for cash, professional input – SooToday



Art lovers are familiar with what is described as ‘postmodern art.’

Now, the Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA) is envisioning a renovated and expanded post-COVID art gallery. 

“There are issues with this current building. We are limited in what we can do and how we can serve the community, whether it’s the arts community or the tourism sector. Now, in the time of COVID, everything is different, but this will not last forever, so we have to look beyond this and look at how we want to see the gallery re-emerge,” said Jasmina Jovanovic, AGA executive director and chief curator, speaking to SooToday.

The AGA board, staff and a special renovation/expansion committee, on Oct. 16, put out an invitation to experts with experience in developing proposals for art galleries to submit requests for proposals (RFPs) and present their ideas for the Sault waterfront attraction.

“We should feature permanently, one way or another, on a rotating basis, something that reflects The Group of Seven, also another space that reflects our Indigenous culture, also Dr. Roberta Bondar’s photographs…if you think of it from the tourism perspective, it would be nice to feature what is telling the story of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma,” Jovanovic said.

That wouldn’t be all.

The AGA would also like to have space to showcase work by Sault and area artists.

“We would also like to enable local artists to have more space on a permanent (but rotating) basis, but to have a dedicated space where they can feature their art, and also, of course, bring in travelling exhibitions from outside that a lot of people, especially these days, cannot see (due to COVID-19 transmission fears linked to travel),” Jovanovic said.

The AGA is also looking at adding a space for food and beverages to be enjoyed by visitors.

“The AGA would like to explore the potential of some form of food services within the facility. This facility could include a seasonal exterior patio, with access to the surrounding sculpture garden park allowing the AGA to offer refreshments and confections to not only visitors within the facility but also those using the external spaces,” an AGA document outlining the gallery’s vision states.

“We decided to put all our dreams out there (in calling for RFPs),” Jovanovic said.

“We have storage issues for art, and office space. Everything is tight. We outgrew this building.”

“The gallery did an amazing job over the last 45 years in growing this much but it is time now to look forward to the next 45 years.”

The AGA is currently 10,000 square feet in size, but Jovanovic said she does not have a specific new size in mind when it comes to the desired renovation and expansion. 

“I’m going to rely on the experts (in answering that question),” she said.

The AGA is anticipating the cost of the project to not exceed $200,000. 

“The funding is going to be grants, federal and possibly some provincial (local funding also a possibility),” Jovanovic said.

The gallery is asking for all RFPs to be sent in a sealed envelope to the AGA at 10 East Street in Sault Ste. Marie by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

The writer(s) of the chosen RFP will be notified Jan 8, 2021 (or sooner), with the project to hopefully begin Jan. 22, 2021 (or sooner).

“It will be a lengthy process but we don’t have enough space to function properly and there are building issues, just like any old house that’s showing signs of its age and we have to address that. We don’t really have a choice,” Jovanovic said.

“In a month or so we would know who our chosen candidate is but we will hopefully have some grant applications, then we will have to wait to get the funding. This is our wish list and is this list going to be feasible, that is the question.”

The need for work to be done on the gallery was identified five years ago, that need becoming more pronounced over the past two years, Jovanovic said.

Flooding problems at the gallery in recent years have been repaired as best as possible for now, Jovanovic said.

However, she added “the water is coming in, in different spots in the building, through the floor. According to the architect, there is pressure building underneath, the foundation. We’ve repaired the wall, we’ve repaired the roof and that enabled us to function, to still present some very good exhibitions and programming and engage with the community, but it isn’t a permanent solution.”

None of the AGA’s collection of 5,000 paintings, drawings, photographs and three-dimensional works of art such as sculptures and pottery have been damaged by flooding, Jovanovic said.

The special AGA renovation/expansion committee, which exists apart from the gallery’s board, consists of Dr. Roberta Bondar (honorary chair), Susan Myers (Algoma District School Board trustee), City Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, Sault architect David Ellis, lawyer Mark Lepore and The Algoma Art Society’s Nora Ann Harrison.

The gallery was closed due to the provincial COVID-19 shutdown in March, reopened since then with reduced hours of operation, open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. 

The AGA was launched as a non-profit public art gallery by a group of art enthusiasts and volunteers, incorporated July 7, 1975. The AGA moved to its present location in 1980 and includes four exhibition spaces, the Ken Danby Education Studio, the Gallery Café and the AGA Gallery Shop. The AGA is the only public art gallery in Algoma and also serves Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and five bordering states. 

The AGA’s operational/programming requirements are primarily funded by the City of Sault Ste. Marie (approximately $280,000 annually) and various other grants and funds support projects and on-going activities.

Details of the AGA’s invitation for RFPs may be found on the gallery’s website.

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Stony Plain: 'Punching above [its] weight when it comes to public art' –



Judy Bennett gazes fondly at her favourite mural in her hometown of Stony Plain, Alta. 

“To me it’s just downright grass roots. This is the way things happened. Around a kitchen table, talked about things that needed to be done and how they could do it together,” said the town councillor. 

The mural by James Mackay was commissioned in 2012 by cooperatives like banks, grocery stores and insurance companies in the community to mark the 100th anniversary of co-ops. 

The mural is one of nearly 40 dotting the town 40 kilometres west of Edmonton. The works not only draw tourists but are also a point of civic pride. 

Take a tour of some of the murals dotting the community of Stony Plain, Alta. 2:05

You can see more from the town of Stony Plain on Our Edmonton on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV and CBC GEM.

Bennett says since the first mural was unveiled around 30 years ago, they have come to adorn dry cleaning shops, hair salons, the post office and the arena. 

The murals depict the town’s past and colourful characters like local NHL goalie great Glenn Hall, long-serving country physician Dr. Richard Oatway, and teenage translator and telephone operator Ottilia Zucht, who could speak five languages.  

In a normal year, tourists can hop aboard a horse-drawn wagon with long-time tour guide Greg Hanna. In a pandemic year, Bennett encourages people to walk or drive the mural route using a map available on the town’s website

A mural called Goods in Kind by Stony Plain artist Windi Scott-Hanson shows the town’s first lawyer F.W. Lundy who often accepted goods rather than money for his services. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

“We wanted these murals to be outside, so they were always accessible and what a great idea that was, especially during the pandemic,” Bennett said. 

Mayor William Choy stands in front of the newest mural in the pedestrian tunnel below the CN rail line just off the skateboard park at 4401 49th Avenue. 

The bright colours, messages of hope and pineapples wearing sunglasses make the mural “awesome,” Choy says.

“That’s a living, breathing wall, allowing residents to express themselves in a productive and friendly manner,” he says. 

This summer, the town partnered with artists Daphne Côté and AJA Louden, short for Adrian Joseph Alexander, to host a public art project featuring an introduction to graffiti-style art. 

Artists Daphne Côté and AJA Louden offered a spray paint mural workshop in Stony Plain this summer. (Supplied by AJA Louden)

“The murals allow us to showcase the history and past of Stony Plain but also allows us to move forward such as the projects here,” Choy says. “A new generation of art and thinking.” 

Louden, an Edmonton-based contemporary urban muralist, worked with about a dozen skateboard and scooter kids and other residents who showed up to learn.

“I think we brought about 50 or 60 cans of spray paint,” Louden recalls. 

“My favourite part was watching that eureka moment, when people finally figure out a new trick with the spray can or realize that they could,” he says.

“They maybe didn’t see themselves as an artist before this and they’ve started to find a medium that felt fun and felt new. That’s really exciting.” 

Louden hopes to return next summer for more sessions at the skateboard park.

“I’ve always been impressed with communities like Stony Plain for punching above their weight when it comes to public art, lots of cool murals that celebrate the heritage of the town.”

The Book by James Mackay, completed in 2012, is featured outside the town’s public library. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

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Art and cultural venues get £75m boost from Culture Recovery Fund – Yahoo Canada Sports



A production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
The culture secretary has announced grants of up to £3m in a bid to save 35 of the country’s cultural icons. Photo: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

Arts venues and cultural organisations have received a £75m ($57m) injection from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The culture secretary has announced grants of up to £3m in a bid to save 35 of the country’s cultural icons, with £52m (70%) of funding awarded outside of London.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”24″>The culture secretary has announced grants of up to £3m in a bid to save 35 of the country’s cultural icons, with £52m (70%) of funding awarded outside of London. 

It is the largest boost from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to date.

Recipients of the grants include iconic venues such as Shakespeare’s Globe, Sadler’s Wells, the Old Vic, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Design Museum and the Sheffield Crucible.

London’s Shakespeare’s Globe will receive £2,985,707 to support start-up costs for a planned reopening in spring 2021, while The Old Vic will receive £3m from the fund.

The funding also aims to provide jobs across the country and support the wider community.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As part of our unprecedented £1.57bn rescue fund, today we’re saving British cultural icons with large grants of up to £3m – from Shakespeare’s Globe to the Sheffield Crucible. 

“These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are. This vital funding will secure their future and protect jobs right away.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="READ MORE: COVID-hit UK arts groups welcome government cash infusion” data-reactid=”31″>READ MORE: COVID-hit UK arts groups welcome government cash infusion

This is the fourth round of funding announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Independent cinemas, heritage institutions and cultural organisations were awarded grants of up to £1m in previous rounds.

The DCMS said more than £500m of support has now been allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund to British cultural institutions. The grants are designed to help them survive until April 2021.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said the funding has “provided a lifeline” to allow arts and cultural organisations to continue.

“This latest funding, which are the largest grants to date, will support some of the country’s most loved and admired cultural spaces – from great regional theatres and museums to historic venues in the capital – which are critical to the development of a new generation of talent and in providing work for freelance creatives,” he said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Watch: Oliver Dowden defends UK government’s record on arts funding” data-reactid=”36″>Watch: Oliver Dowden defends UK government’s record on arts funding

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