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Activists calling on City of Welland to document and preserve public art – St. Catharines Standard

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James Takeo, a member of the Welland Creatives Network, said he was "dressed for a funeral" when visiting the site where the mural formerly hung.James Takeo, a member of the Welland Creatives Network, said he was "dressed for a funeral" when visiting the site where the mural formerly hung.

The site where the Towpath mural formerly hung on Niagara Street now features an empty wall and pile of broken pieces that once made up the massive piece of art.

James Takeo wore all black, noting that he was dressed as if this were a funeral when he visited the site where the Towpath mural painted by Ross Beard in the 1980s formerly hung.

For Takeo, a member of the Welland Creatives Network and the City of Welland’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, the loss of this mural was deeply upsetting.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

“A great public art project that was well loved by the community kind of fell by the wayside. There’s a lot of factors involved in how that happened, and I just think that we have to work hard to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future,” said Takeo.

Before the mural was taken down, the Welland Creatives Network had been working diligently in an effort to “preserve the cultural legacy of the community,” which included working to try and save murals like the Towpath mural.

“We hoped for the best when it came to preserving and possibly relocating the mural, but the condition of the artwork and several other contributing factors tell us a different story,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services for Welland.

Rather than relocating the mural, an art conservator who was consulted about it concluded that the best way to preserve it would be to use “contemporary methods and advance digital technology to reproduce the painting electronically.”

Takeo says that he plans to propose the creation of a task force between the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and the Heritage Advisory Committee to begin creating procedures to document and maintain public artwork within Welland as soon as possible.

“There’s a lot of public art in the city, and I don’t want to see any of that public art end up in the same fate as these murals that we’re seeing today,” he added.

He says the first step that any group formed to address public art in the city should do is document everything, including photographs and the history of the artwork.

“We can’t keep putting this off. This is something we’ve got to start now,” emphasized Takeo. 

In a release following the Towpath mural being taken down, the City of Welland said they plan to take steps similar to what Takeo is suggesting.

“Moving forward, the city will work with the Heritage and Arts and Culture Committees to develop a complete inventory of murals throughout the city, their condition, and develop plans for the sustainability of all public art throughout the city,” wrote city staff in a press release.

Takeo says the sustainability of all public art in Welland is a topic that needs to be discussed, not just the murals.

“What is the lifespan of a public art project? What is the plan for when that lifespan comes to an end? Do we just continue to let it sit there and be forgotten and neglected, or do we replace it?” he questioned.

Groups like the Welland Historical Museum are already taking steps to preserve public art throughout the city.

The Welland Museum curator and archivist were both at the site where the Towpath mural had been torn down sifting through the pieces and “looking to save a piece of Welland’s history,” according to a post on their Facebook page.

The Welland Historical Museum and Welland Creatives Network have also partnered together to form an exhibition of the original maquettes of murals, like the Towpatch mural, across the city.

The exhibit is expected to open by Nov. 4, highlighting the history of both existing murals in Welland, those that are no longer around, like the Towpath mural.

 

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Hands-on art installation takes shape at college campus

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Artist Jill Price is showcasing some of her new art, called UN/making the Frame, at The Campus Gallery at Georgian College in Barrie.

Visitors will find in the printed handout that they are invited to “put on a suit, smell, water, zest, taste, move, touch, and rearrange elements in the space,” which helps illustrate “everyday performances that help to visualize how still-life paintings are neither two-dimensional nor still, and that the actions of humans matter.”

Price, a past instructor in Georgian College’s fundamental art and fine art programs, is an interdisciplinary artist and the recipient of several Queen’s University awards.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Her artwork has been shown may times overs the years going back to 2000 — in solo shows, as well as juried, group and invitational exhibitions across Ontario.

This particular exhibit “presents multiple assemblages that point to how a plastic garbage can or a ‘mere bowl of fruit’ whether painted or in the flesh, are all part of our animate and interconnected ecologies.”

“Embracing the ready-made for its potential to delineate space as well as bring attention to the accumulation and ‘liveliness’ of everyday objects.”

The arranging, placement and use of the objects is solely up to the viewer as they walk through the gallery.

There is also a stop-motion video screen that draws the visitor in to witness Price as she plays out the process of creating the pieces and documents the time, labour and the materials that were used in the artworks.

This whimsical and hands-on experience can be viewed at The Campus Gallery until Dec. 4.

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Hands-on art installation takes shape at college campus

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 on

Artist Jill Price is showcasing some of her new art, called UN/making the Frame, at The Campus Gallery at Georgian College in Barrie.

Visitors will find in the printed handout that they are invited to “put on a suit, smell, water, zest, taste, move, touch, and rearrange elements in the space,” which helps illustrate “everyday performances that help to visualize how still-life paintings are neither two-dimensional nor still, and that the actions of humans matter.”

Price, a past instructor in Georgian College’s fundamental art and fine art programs, is an interdisciplinary artist and the recipient of several Queen’s University awards.

Her artwork has been shown may times overs the years going back to 2000 — in solo shows, as well as juried, group and invitational exhibitions across Ontario.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

This particular exhibit “presents multiple assemblages that point to how a plastic garbage can or a ‘mere bowl of fruit’ whether painted or in the flesh, are all part of our animate and interconnected ecologies.”

“Embracing the ready-made for its potential to delineate space as well as bring attention to the accumulation and ‘liveliness’ of everyday objects.”

The arranging, placement and use of the objects is solely up to the viewer as they walk through the gallery.

There is also a stop-motion video screen that draws the visitor in to witness Price as she plays out the process of creating the pieces and documents the time, labour and the materials that were used in the artworks.

This whimsical and hands-on experience can be viewed at The Campus Gallery until Dec. 4.

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Ukrainian avant-garde art finds refuge from war in Madrid – Reuters

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MADRID, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Ukrainian art has found a refuge in Madrid where a retrospective on the country’s avant-garde in the early 20th century is showing works little known to the general public while offering them a safe haven away from the bombs.

On Tuesday, the Spanish capital’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum inaugurated the exhibit “In the Eye of the Storm. Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930s”. It showcases a collection of about 70 artworks in various formats representing different trends, from figurative art to futurism and constructivism.

Aside from paying tribute to a little-known period in the history of Ukrainian art, the exhibition takes on particular relevance amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.

“We wanted to do something in terms of showing Ukrainian art, but also taking Ukrainian art out of Ukraine and bringing it to Europe and to safety,” Katia Denysova, one of the exhibit’s three curators, told Reuters.

Denysova, who described her journey out of Ukraine as a “rollercoaster”, said that transporting the works through a country at war into the European Union ran into numerous challenges.

They included the temporary closure of borders in response to the impact of a stray missile on neighbouring Polish soil, which sparked fears of an escalation two weeks ago.

When the curators saw the works had made it to Spain safe and sound, they were “beyond delighted”, Denysova added.

She now hopes that Ukrainian avant-garde art will tell the public a story of creation and resistance.

“This is an integral part of our heritage, of our culture in Ukraine. This is what Ukrainians are fighting for right now.”

Reporting by Darío Fernández, Silvio Castellanos and Michael Gore; Editing by David Latona and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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