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Art Basel postponed as Switzerland closes borders – CNN

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Written by Oscar Holland

One of the art world’s biggest events, Art Basel, has been postponed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Europe, it was announced the four-day event will now be held in September.

The Swiss art fair, which last year attracted almost 93,000 visitors from around the world, was due to take place in June. But following the announcement of tightened travel restrictions across Europe, organizers said in a press release that the decision to postpone was reached “in close consultation with a wide range of gallerists, collectors, partners, and external experts, with the goal of both protecting the health and safety of our community, and ensuring that the fair will be attended by the largest possible number of collectors, curators, and arts professionals from our global network.”

Now in its 51st year, Art Basel is a key date in the cultural calendar, offering over 250 galleries an opportunity to court collectors in an industry still heavily dependent on in-person sales. Organizers have not yet announced details about refunds or compensation for exhibiting galleries and ticket holders.

In a statement, Global Director of Art Basel Marc Spiegler said: ‘We thank our galleries for the support and understanding of our highly complex decision to postpone the fair. We hope that the situation improves swiftly, and we will work closely with our exhibitors to deliver a successful fair in September.”

Visitors arrive at Art Basel 2019 Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

He further suggested that there was a possibility the new fair dates, currently set for September 17-20, might change. “At the same time, we are aware of how dynamic the Covid-19 situation is and will continue to monitor the developments closely… we will adapt all our planning to the developing situation,” he said.

At present, the Swiss government’s ban on public and private events only runs until April 19. But while Art Basel was not set to begin until June 18, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country, which borders northern Italy, continues to grow. Switzerland has thus far reported over 10,000 infections — more than both the UK and South Korea — and 153 deaths as a result of the virus.

Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, and is therefore excluded from the temporary closure of the bloc’s borders, the country has moved to restrict non-essential travel. On Wednesday, the government announced that only Swiss residents and citizens — and those of neighboring Liechtenstein — or people traveling for work-related or emergency reasons, will be permitted to enter.

Art Basel exhibition hall designed architects Herzog & de Meuron

Art Basel exhibition hall designed architects Herzog & de Meuron Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Art Basel joins a growing list of major art fairs to be canceled or postponed, from Photo London and Frieze New York to Jingart in Beijing. The economic impact of these cancellations is likely to be significant, with fairs responsible for over $16 billion in transactions — or 45% of sales made by art dealers worldwide — in 2019, according to a joint report by Art Basel and the investment bank UBS.

The Swiss fair had already pulled the plug on its Hong Kong edition, which would have taken place last week. Organizers instead arranged digital “viewing rooms,” which allowed potential buyers to browse and buy artworks via online. The initiative saw 235 galleries exhibit more than 2,000 artworks, as well as some hosting virtual tours. Art Basel said that 250,000 people “visited” the viewing rooms, though sales figures have not yet been disclosed

Art Basel’s Miami Beach edition is still scheduled to go ahead in December.

Art Basel had not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment.

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Vancouver Art Gallery, Royal B.C. Museum launch free digital activities for the whole family – CBC.ca

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The novel coronavirus has forced museums and galleries to shut their doors, but a couple of British Columbia’s biggest have made it possible to enjoy some of what they have to offer from the comfort of your couch.

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) and the Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM) in Victoria, B.C. are now offering live, interactive events online on a regular basis while people are holed up at home to slow the spread of the virus.

Every Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. and Friday at 4:30 p.m., the VAG will stream conversations with guests from local and international arts communities as part of its new digital Art Connects series. The events are free and anyone can join using the web-based video conferencing tool Zoom.

The series kicked off March 31 with two curators giving viewers an in-depth look at the VAG’s newest exhibition The Tin Man Was a Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics and Performances of Powerwhich was meant to open in the gallery the week the building closed.

“It’s a way that we can feature international artists during the situation,” said VAG’s interim chief curator Diana Freundl.

Freundl said she has already seen an enthusiastic response from the public, with more than one hundred people registering for the first event within days after it was promoted.

You can find out more details on how to participate in VAG’s Art Connects events here.

Drawing dinosaurs

The province’s flagship museum is offering activities for kids every Wednesday at 11 a.m. starting April 1. 

First up for the wee ones at RBCM is learning to draw a dinosaur with Victoria Arbour, the museum’s paleontology curator.

And not just any dino, but Buster, one of the first and most complete skeletons of a mountain dinosaur found in B.C. that Arbour helped identify and name.

Victoria Arbour looks over items from the paleontology collection at the Royal B.C. Museum. Arbour is looking forward to answering children’s questions about dinosaurs while teaching how to draw them. (Brandy Yanchyk/Canadian Press)

“I’ve got dinosaurs on my brain a lot of the time,” said Arbour Tuesday in an interview on On The Island.

She said drawing is a big part of her scientific research and she will be encouraging kids to ask her whatever they want to know about dinosaurs while they draw.

All that is needed to join Arbour is a Zoom connection, paper and a pencil.

And grownups, there is something at RBCM for you too.

Every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, the museum is offering online chats with curators and archivists to learn more about what they do, and how they do it from home these days. 

To find out more about participating in RBCM’s online programs visit here.

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Museum challenge has people to recreate famous works of art at home | Mapped – Daily Hive

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Channel your inner artist and bring some creativity to your quarantine with a challenge from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The museum issued a fun competition across their social media channels on Wednesday enlisting fans to recreate their favourite pieces of art with three household objects.

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“Thousands and thousands of re-creations later, we’re in awe of your creative powers and sense of humor,” the museum wrote in a blog post.

According to the post, the challenge was inspired by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

However, they’ve updated and adapted the playful game by using digitized, downloadable works from Getty’s online collection.

The competition has seen thousands of submissions from around the world of people utilizing the materials in their homes to create their own renditions of some of the most iconic pieces of art.

Getty Museum also provides helpful tips for those who may feel creatively stuck in forming their masterpieces. The full list can be found in the blog post.

“The only tools you need for this activity are your imagination and a picture of a work of art you like or find interesting,” the post describes.

Participants are instructed to browse the online collection and select a keyword to search for ideas.

If you have a particular household item that you think would work well, you can also begin by searching for that as your keyword.

Once you have an idea in mind of which piece of art you would like to create, the next step is to find the right materials.

“Any objects are fine: from a blank piece of paper to your most elaborate hat,” the post explains.

“You can stick to 3 and see what you come up with, but you’re welcome to use as many as you like.”

Getty Museum also encourages the incorporation of pets to add a fun flair to your submission.

And with that, you are ready to create!

If you plan on posting to social media once you’re finished, be sure to use the hashtags #betweenartandquarantine and #tussenkunstenquarataine.

Here are some of our favourite submissions:

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ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre looking for artists to exhibit in 2021 – Alberni Valley News

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MELISSA MARTIN

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Although the Rollin Art Centre is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Community Arts Council is still accepting artist applications for the 2021 calendar year.

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your own art exhibit or group exibit. Application forms are available online at www.alberniarts.com. All submissions must be sent by email to admincac@shawcable.com.

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2020.

SHOW POSTPONED

Due to Covid-19, the Celtic Chaos fundraising performance has been postponed (not cancelled). A new date will be announced as soon as possible. All tickets will be honoured.

WORKSHOPS CANCELLED

The watercolour workshop with Victoria artist Joanne Thomson and the Fun Flowers painting workshop at North Island College have both been cancelled. Email admincac@shawcable.com for a full refund if you were registered to be in either of these workshops.

GALLERY AND EVENTS

In response to the growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of our communities, the Rollin Art Centre gallery will be closed until further notice. This means that we will be postponing all performances and programs until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns about the gallery and programming —or are looking for a way to be creative during this period! —please reach out to admincac@shawcable.com.

*If you have any questions regarding cancelled/postponed events or programs, please email at the above address.

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412.

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