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Art gallery launches #myessential community mural project – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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What is essential to you?

Answers to this question by local youth – in the form of drawings and photographs – will guide a #myessential community mural project that will be created by Durham artist JP Morel inside Owen Sound’s Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

“We’ve really only been using this word ‘essential’ because we’re hearing about it in news and such and we’ve been told what’s been essential during this global pandemic,” said Heather McLeese, curator of public projects and education.

“And now we’re flipping that and asking people – what has been essential to them and their experience and what’s really gotten them through this difficult time of living through a global pandemic?”

Morel, a visual artist who has created several outdoor murals in Durham, said she plans to be at the gallery each weekday over the next two weeks to paint the #myessential mural on the walls in The Jennings David Young gallery space.

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It will be her largest mural to date.

“The kids provide the content, which are the images, and I would say the artist’s job is to answer that question – how does it come together?” said Morel, a youth workshop leader.

“That has to do with sitting with the ideas and absorbing them and stewing on them. There’s technical things; I’ll be dealing with composition and I’ve got a colour palette, so I’m concerned with all of those artistic questions. But I do want to really stay faithful to their images. I’m really interested in their images because it does lend their voices to the mural.”

The mural is one component of the community art project #myessential, which officially launched Saturday with the reopening of the gallery, following the recent provincial lockdown. It will run until May 1.

Also part of the project is an invitation to gallery visitors and others to share their answers to the #myessential question.

“I want it to be a project that really has a ripple effect through the community,” McLeese said.

Morel is no stranger to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. In 2017, the visual artist worked with the gallery on a large-scale mural project involving high school students.

She applied last year to participate in the gallery’s upcoming community artist spotlight, which provides local artists with a chance to display their work in the atrium on a rotating monthly basis.

She said she proposed in her application creating a mural with community input.

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But McLeese said the spotlight series was put on hold due to the lockdown.

While the gallery was closed, staff came up with the #myessential project idea and decided Morel would be the “perfect artist” to lead it.

To kick off the project, Morel led a series of virtual drawing classes last week with Jenn Klemm’s Grade 9 art class at Owen Sound District Secondary School. The 25 students submitted a combined 100 drawings, each answering the #myessential question.

“How JP is translating the mural in this space is through three different vantages – what has been essential in the past, what is essential now and what will be essential in the future?” McLeese said.

“The drawings the students did are really timely. There’s everything from Netflix to cell phones to family members to music to things that have really gotten these kids through a weird time.”

McLeese said John Fearnall’s photography class at OSDSS will be taking on the project this week by responding to the same question, but through digital images.

The gallery will show the students’ photographs on monitors in the #myessential space.

There’s also a table set up with pencils and paper, so visitors can contribute to the project. People can also participate on social media by answering the question in any form – a drawing, poem or photograph, for example – and using the myessential hashtag.

“I think it’s a question that everyone should be thinking about and perhaps haven’t really taken the time to think about what has been vital to them through COVID-19. I think it’s important to really reflect on those things that have been making the days go by and us adapting to this new normal of living,” McLeese said.

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“It’s been so refreshing and invigorating having youth answer this question, but it’s something that our whole community can answer and really get something from. I think it will be a wonderful experience to welcome people back into the art gallery, asking them that question about what has been essential to them through this pandemic.”

Along with the #myessential project, the new exhibition David Beirk: A Sanctuary for Thought also launched Saturday. It features art from the gallery’s collection – some of which has never been presented publicly before – that highlight the late painter’s “anxieties over a threatened ecological landscape and the erosion of beauty, humanism and morality in art,” the gallery says.

The popular exhibition Group of Seven: The View from Here, which showcases the gallery’s collection of Group of Seven works, will also continue.

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Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat

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Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.

“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.

Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.

“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”

The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.

Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.

“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.

“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”

Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.

April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.

Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.


Rylie Trampleasure, Grade 2, has her work on display at Cariboo Art Beat. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Isabella Buchner

Isabella Buchner

Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune

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Launching the conversation on Newfoundland and Labrador art history

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is a book that has been a long time coming, Mireille Eagan says.

While working at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Eagan curated an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation with Canada.

“As I was researching, I noticed that there was very little that existed in terms of the art history of this province,” she said. “There wasn’t even a Wikipedia article.”

Noticing this large gap, “Future Possible” was a book that needed to exist, she said.

As the 70th anniversary approached in 2019, Eagan, now living in St. John’s and working as curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, envisioned filling that gap.

Over two summers, The Rooms held a two-part exhibition. The first looked at the visual culture and visual narratives before the province joined Confederation and the second focused on 1949 onward, Eagan said.

“At its core, it was asking, what are the stories we tell ourselves as a province? It was looking at iconic artworks, it was looking at texts that have been written about this place, and it put these works in conversation with contemporary artworks,” Eagan said.

In the foreword to the book, chief executive officer of The Rooms Anne Chafe described it as a complement to the exhibition and a project that “does not seek to be the final say. It seeks, instead, to launch the conversation.”

History and identity

One example of that conversation between the past and the present mentioned by Eagan is the work of artist Bushra Junaid, who moved to St. John’s from Montreal as a baby. The daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Junaid said her experience growing up in the province in the 1970s, where she always the only Black child in the room, was not like most.

“All of my formative years, my schooling and everything, took place in St. John’s,” she said. “It’s very much shaped my current preoccupation.”

Her interest in history, identity and representation led her to making “Two Pretty Girls…,” which used an archival photograph of Caribbean sugarcane workers from 1903 with text from advertisements for sugar, molasses and rum from archived copies of The Evening Telegram collaged over the women’s clothing.

In her essay “Of Saltfish and Molasses” published in “Future Possible,” she described the work as “(allowing) me to place these women and their labour within the broader historical context of the international trade in commodities that underpinned Caribbean slavery and its afterlife.”

It’s a direct connection between Newfoundland and people in the Caribbean, a historical line not often drawn through the context of the transatlantic slave trade, but one she knows personally through the stories told by her mother, Adassa, about their ancestor, Sisa, who “as a teenager, survived the horrors of the Middle Passage, enduring the voyage from West Africa to Jamaica in the hold of a slave ship (Junaid).”

A book like “Future Possible” allows people to interpret themselves and their past, present and future, Junaid says.

“I appreciate the ways in which they really worked to make it as broad and diverse as possible,” she said. “It’s also striving to tell the Indigenous history of the place, the European settler history … and then also looking for … non-Western backgrounds such as myself. It’s enriching.”

What shapes us

St. John’s writer Lisa Moore contributed an essay called “Five Specimens from Another Time” that weaves together moments from her own life, the province’s history and current realities and the art that has inspired her over the years.

“It’s really interesting to me to see all this work of people that I’ve written about in the past and whose work influenced me, even in my writing of fiction, and then newer artists,” Moore said. “I just think that the book is a total gift.”

With such a rich cultural history ready to be written, she imagines “Future Possible” is just the first of what could be many books about art in the province now that the “ice is cracked.”

“The writers that (Eagan) has chosen to write here are also really exciting critics from all over the province, talking about all kind of different periods in art history,” she said.

As time passes, the meaning of the works in the book becomes richer, she said.

Mary Pratt’s 1974 “Cod Fillets on Tin Foil” and Scott Goudie’s 1991 “Muskrat Falls,” for instance, are two images with seemingly straightforward and simple subject matter. But any viewer looking now, who is aware of the cod moratorium and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, would find it difficult to see and interpret these images outside of those contexts.

“Artists, writers, filmmakers … they’re keen observers of culture and the moment that we live in,” Moore said. “They present things that are intangible like the feeling of a moment, or the culmination of social, political and esthetic powers that come together at a given time and shape us.”

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is available online and in stores.

Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.
[email protected]
Twitter: @andrewlwaterman

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Source:- TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Parrott Art Gallery goes virtual to help flatten the curve – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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WENDY RAYSON-KERR

Feeling stir crazy because of COVID and the latest lock-down? Take a virtual trip to Morocco!

On Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m., the Parrott Gallery will host Lola Reid Allin’s Armchair Traveler online presentation: “Morocco: Sea, Sand and Summit”. Allin is an accomplished photographer, pilot, writer and speaker. Travel with her through the land of dramatic contrast and hidden jewels, busy markets and medieval cities, and enjoy some virtual sun.

For more information and to register for this free online event, please visit bellevillelibrary.ca/armchair-traveller.php. The Armchair Traveller Morocco photography exhibit is also available to view through the Parrott Gallery website until mid-May.

Even though our gallery is currently closed to the public, our exhibitions are all available to view online. Sam Sakr’s show “The Housing Project” is certain to bring a smile to your face. His collection of mixed media artwork will take you to a playful land of fantastical creatures that inhabit imaginary, stylized cityscapes. If your spirit needs uplifting, you need to see to see this show. I hope that everyone will be able to view Sakr’s work both online and then in our gallery after the lock-down ends in May. Without a doubt, it will be worth the wait to see it again in-person when we re-open.

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Another exhibition that you can currently visit on the Parrott Gallery website is the group show “Spring Sentiments: a Reflection of Art in Isolation”. This was a collaborative effort by the 39 artists who submitted their work, our staff who put the show together in the gallery and online, and our guest curator Jessica Turner. We are thrilled that Jessica was able to transcribe her experience with this show into a final paper for her Curatorial Studies BFA degree at OCADU.

The fact that we have had to close our doors just as this show was opening is a sad reflection of the theme as the audience must now reflect on this artwork at home, in isolation. The up-side to viewing this exhibition online is that one can read the artist statements that accompany the work and get a more in depth view of the artists’ perspectives. We encourage viewers to support our artists by sending in their comments and to vote for their favourites in the show by following the appropriate link on the webpage.

When you can’t come in to our building, the Parrott Gallery will bring the artwork to you. And then when the sun and flowers come out in May, and when it is safe to return to our gallery on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, we hope to see you all again.

For questions about our online talk, our shows, or to purchase any of the artwork please call us at 613-968-6731 x 2040 or email us at gallery@bellevillelibrary.ca.

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

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