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There was a lot going on last year, so you can be forgiven if you didn’t notice that it was more of less the 100th anniversary of Art Deco, the exuberantly modern design style that emerged in the 1920s. But if you have any interest in design, it’s still worth pausing to look at one of the defining influences on decorative art, architecture, and fashion in the last century.
Instantly recognizable by its sharp geometry and sleek symmetrical lines, Deco design also favoured bright, hot colours, and often accented with metals. There were also big, bold strokes of black and white—especially in interior design. New materials, including resins and plastics, not only expanded options for décor accessories, but made them more accessible and affordable for regular folk.
In an excellent piece in The Washington Post, Michelle Brunner notes that Deco influences seem to resurface in times of social transition or turmoil, citing 1950s diner aesthetic, space-agey 1960s’ design, and the Memphis movement of the 1980s.
A century later, Art Deco is still being celebrated, including in the recently-launched DXV Belshire bath collection, a suite of fittings, fixtures, and furniture that the luxury kitchen and bath brand says marries the optimism and elegance of the era with contemporary convenience and technology.
Developed over three years, the line was inspired by the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, as well as the Stella Tower, the iconic structure designed in 1927 by Ralph Walker, a famous Art Deco designer who is credited with shaping the skyline of New York City during the Roaring Twenties.
Jewelry-like fittings are customizable, with a choice of lever, cross or cushion handles on low or high-spout faucets, and are available in satin brass, platinum nickel, brushed nickel, or chrome.
Cabinets and consoles are handcrafted in oak, walnut, and Carrara marble by Portuguese craftspeople. Wall-hung toilets and freestanding soaking tubs anchor the collection, which is available at showrooms across Canada.
Another deco design element we’re likely to see more of is ribbed surfaces, which was a common treatment for Art Deco ceramics. Over the last few years, it began re-appearing in soft furnishing. I recently saw the effect on Elmwood’s new Bregenz 20 cabinets—sleek, Shaker-style cabinetry with ribbed, cane-like inserts.
Deco’s penchant for black stone is reflected in the rise of the dark palettes in both kitchen and bath. One of the moodiest comes from Italian stone company Antolini, in the form of Black Cosmic, a deep-space shade of granite that can’t help but add drama to a space. Its veined white quartz and mica clusters stand out against the intense backdrop, giving it depth and personality.
From Caesarstone’s new Dark Collection there’s Oxidian, an inky black with a rust-like effect, and Tempal, a charcoal base with warm white hues.
Graphic floor and wall tiles are another way to get the look. Mass merchants like Home Depot have ceramic tiles with scalloped, herringbone, chevron and mosaic patterns—common Deco motifs—for floor, wall, and backsplash. Prices start at an accessible $7 per square foot.
Even the simplest accessories can nod to the grace and beauty of Art Deco.
Wild Sage—Bed Bath & Beyond’s in-house bedding, bath and accessories line—brings it into the bathroom with handsome, clean-lined wire accessories. Gemma baskets and three-tiered bath towers, for example, have the pleasing angularity of Deco design and come in chic black, gold, and silver. Prices for the line start at $7, so refreshing a bathroom won’t bust the budget.
Another smaller-scale, affordable option—a jazzy Ponti shower curtain or towel from Arren Williams’ line for The Bay. And to tie the topic together nicely, Williams’ pattern is inspired by Gio Ponti, the revered Italian architect who participated in the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, from which Art Deco got its name, proving once again that everything old is—eventually—new again.
Indigenous knowledge keepers help Winnipeg Art Gallery in renaming of art collections – CTV News Winnipeg
Indigenous knowledge keepers are helping Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq rename pieces of art that were given inappropriate titles.
Julia Lafreniere, head of Indigenous initiatives at WAG-Qaumajuq, has been working with researchers and Indigenous knowledge keepers to identify 57 works at the gallery that are in need of a name change.
It is part of the art gallery’s work to decolonize its collection.
“As with many historical art collections at galleries, there are often pieces that have inappropriate titles in today’s context. For example, some pieces will still carry words like ‘Indian,’ or ‘Eskimo,’ or ‘Savage,'” Lafreniere told CTV News.
Julia Lafreniere, head of Indigenous initiatives at WAG-Qaumajuq, has been working with researchers and Indigenous knowledge keepers to identify 57 works at the gallery that are in need of a name change. (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)
The gallery identified each nation depicted in these 57 pieces, and asked knowledge keepers from those nations to rename the art. She said Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, Inuit and Dene knowledge keepers joined the initiative.
“They all did it in their own way,” Lafreniere said, adding some knowledge keepers held renaming ceremonies, giving the pieces new names in their Indigenous languages.
One collection, formerly titled ‘Drawings of Eskimo Clothing’, is being given a new name in Inuktitut, ‘Ajjinuanga Angnaop Annuranganik.’
One collection, formerly titled ‘Drawings of Eskimo Clothing’ (pictured), is being given a new name in Inuktitut, ‘Ajjnuanga Angnaop Annurangnik’ as a part of WAG-Qaumajuq’s renaming initiative. (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)
While the pieces are getting new names, Lafreniere said the knowledge keepers have asked that the old names still be included to be used as an educational tool.
She said the renaming is an important step.
“The titles, oftentimes, are the first way that the artwork is introduced to the public and people engaging with that artwork,” she said.
“Giving them these new titles given by ceremonial leaders from the Indigenous community, it really ingrains Indigenous knowledge into the canon of art history.”
She said WAG-Qaumajuq is the first art gallery to do this kind of renaming initiative, but she hopes other galleries do the same.
More information about the Artworks Renaming Initiative can be found online.
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Art Beat: Prize-winning author pays Coast a virtual visit – Coast Reporter
The Sunshine Coast Arts Council’s Reading Series presents author Gil Adamson on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Adamson will read from her recent novel, Ridgerunner, a finalist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and winner of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Set in the Canadian and U.S. West in 1917, the book is a sequel to Adamson’s well-received first novel, Outlander. Publisher House of Anansi described Ridgerunner as “a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition… a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humour and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural world.” The reading is a Zoom event and it’s free. Register in advance through eventbrite.ca.
A Beautiful Mess
FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in Madeira Park is holding an opening reception on Saturday, Sept. 18 for its new exhibition, A Beautiful Mess: the joyful & random discovery of the artistic process. Creating something real out of the imagination can be a dishevelled and uncertain undertaking, usually carried out in private. Here, FibreWorks is turning that inside-out. “This show aims to create a sense of intimacy between the artist and the public.” The reception runs from 2 to 4 p.m. The show will run until Oct.31.
The Roberts Creek Legion has helped keep live music going on the Sunshine Coast through the warmer days over the past 18 months, thanks to its outdoor stage. Those setups have kept patrons in the fresh air and safely separated. Now the club is moving its visiting bands back to its indoor stage – and visitors onto its new dance floor – with a “Grande Re-Opening” on Friday, Sept. 17, featuring the Ween tribute band, Captain Fantasy. Doors at 7 p.m. The legion follows on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 11 p.m. with a string of acts, including The Locals, Eddy Edrick, Michelle Morand, and an open-stage jam. Proof of vaccination will be required for admission to all shows.
The Locals also play the outdoor venue at Tapworks in Gibsons on Saturday, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. That might depend on the weather, as (at press time) heavy rain was forecast for Saturday.
The Clubhouse Restaurant in Pender Harbour presents Karl Kirkaldy on Friday, Sept. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 19, Half Cut and The Slackers rock the Clubhouse from 2 to 5 p.m.
Joe Stanton is scheduled to entertain on Saturday, Sept. 18 on the patio at the Backeddy Resort and Marina in Egmont. Again, that’s weather-dependent.
Let us know about your event by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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