While Halifax, Nova Scotia wouldn’t be thought of as a spot known for any modern architectural marvels, the coastal city drew international attention for just that half a decade ago. After the Halifax Central Library was opened, it won several architecture awards and was counted on many lists for top architecture and library design. And if the success of this architectural feat is any indicator of what Halifax’s architects have to offer, then it is no surprise that the recently unveiled proposals for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia are nothing short of beautiful.
The initial announcement for a new gallery was in April of last year, stating that it would be a $130-million project. Just last week the three teams selected to compete for securing the contract made their proposals via a live stream. The teams consisted of Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones; DIALOG, Acre Architects, Brackish Design Studio and Shannon Webb-Campbell; and KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar.
Architecture49’s team put forth an open and bright concept with a large stilted platform as the key design point. This would lift the gallery above street level, opening the space even more and doing a bit to prevent visual obstruction of the waterfront. Multiple, separate rooms would line the top platform, and a large amount of green-space would be integrated into the design. Architecture49’s design seems to push for opening up the traditional gallery space to allow for a less imposing part of the cityscape and to integrate daily pedestrian life with the role the space serves.
DIALOG’s team presented a space with a whale inspired design, an arch in the construction creating a covered event space as well as an underground freshwater stream running along the street. With buoys and driftwood utilized in recreational areas, the seaside inspiration is clear, and a planned salon for Black Nova Scotian beauty skills highlights the team’s focus on Halifax communities. However, one aspect of this space that echoes an issue of many art galleries is the opaque walls that separate the public from the art, a contributor to less art-inclined citizens feeling cut off from such spaces. The clear views into Halifax Central Library are in fact one of the lauded features to combine modern aesthetics with openness to the populace.
The final design is by KPMB Architects, and their plan fully incorporates the symbols and heritage of the Mi’kmaq people. The shapes of the building resemble that of an eel, an important animal to the Mi’kmaq, as well as the shape of hats worn by Mi’kmaw matriarchs. KPMB’s plans use a division of the water, separating the outer harbour from an inner lagoon, with intentions of allowing for swimming and research areas, as well as a multitude of other community and commercial attractions. While a somewhat imposing building in the model, it is certainly a beautiful design and seems to integrally incorporate the current and historical significance of its surroundings.
Final decisions on the design for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will be made at the end of October, giving a chance for the public to weigh in with their opinions on the three proposals. With the clear goal to do for the art gallery what Halifax Central has done for libraries in the city, all teams seem keen to design something that is not only architecturally fantastic but is an asset for the coastal community.
Manitoba celebrates outstanding philanthropist in the arts – CHVN Radio
Six people from around the province are being recognized for their bold philanthropic efforts.
Michael Nesbitt is being awarded the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Manitoba Chapter (AFP).
There will be a virtual ceremony on November 13 to recognize six incredible people and corporations and their contributions to our province.
Nesbitt owns Montrose Mortgage Corporation, however, it’s his investment in the arts that has him being honoured.
Although there was not much art culture in Nesbitt’s household in his childhood, his love for it started when he went to Toronto after high school.
“My first exposure to art was when I graduated from University. My younger sister gave me a cheque and she said ‘think about buying some art, because art matters’.”
After learning more about fine art, Nesbitt went out in Toronto and purchased his first piece. Since then his love for art has grown.
He is being recognized for his investment in the U of M, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Graffiti Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Manitoba Opera.
Since COVID-19 hit, Nesbitt, like many, has missed being able to go see live performances, including the Opera.
“I think it’s fair to say music is a big part of my life.”
Nesbitt will be part of the celebration evening in November, put on by AFP.
“Typically in the past, I haven’t been willing to accept these awards and tried to be under the radar. But I think in the last while I’ve come to realize it’s important for others to know what people like myself are doing. I hope other people will take notice and step up and help, not only the arts but other charities,” says Nesbitt.
Press On Winnipeg sharing hope through art – CHVN Radio
A local art initiative says they were inspired by a Christian punk band to use art to spread joy.
The image of a flying blue sparrow accompanied by a logo reading “Press On Winnipeg” is catching the attention of both outdoor and art enthusiasts. The anonymous street art project organizers say they hope people find inspiration when they see the bird.
The group says they want to spread positivity and encouragement and have good things from people. They say have heard of people viewing their art for a number of purposes, ranging from using it as an excuse to take a walk to hunt for the birds.
“Art can be a really deep and fascinating way in which we experience something greater than ourselves,” an anonymous representative from the group says. “Others have had spiritual experiences where they have shared that when they have seen our art that they have had experiences with God or Jesus.”
The representative says they want people to have a spiritual connection to art and is glad to see it happening with their work.
They say the name, Press On Winnipeg, comes from Relient K’s “Pressing On.” Relient K is a Christian punk bank from Ohio.
“That is actually what inspired one of us to start this project.”
While they were inspired by the band 10 years ago, their intention since the beginning is simple: to spread happiness.
The movement is now catching the attention of thousands as the group ramped up their efforts during COVID-19.
Active since beginning to share their work on the Waterfront Bridge a decade ago, the group has only recently joined any form of social media. Their Instagram account was created in the spring after Winnipeg joined the list of cities affected by COVID-19. They currently have over 4,700 followers and say it is a great way to interact with people.
“When we only had 30 followers, one of the 30 followers in all of our group was actually the person that caught us.”
The group tries to stay anonymous and has only been caught putting their art up on a handful of occasions in the past 10 years. They say they try to be respectful regarding where they put their art and use special screws when posting their signs on trees and do not put art on occupied buildings unless requested.
Press On says they have received very little negative feedback.
“The whole idea of it was to share some happiness and hope with Winnipeg.”
The group shares art and the image of the bird both in Winnipeg and now outside the perimeter in unique spots.
Press On hints that the next Winnipeg location to see their work will be “very very high up.”
Now taken down for the winter, Press On shared that their Wall of Hope installation was fulfilling its purpose.
“The idea of it was to create this wall for people to be able to express themselves, to be able to create art that signifies hope for themselves.”
The tall structure acted as a gallery wall for people who wished to showcase their hope and what helps them “press on.”
Now waiting in storage, Press On promises that the wall will return.
No. 6: Because breathtaking, feel-good art is everywhere – Toronto Life
No. 6: Because breathtaking, feel-good art is everywhere
Plastering everything from 20-storey buildings to small traffic signal controller cabinets
StreetARToronto was launched by the city in 2011 with two main goals: to reduce vandalism and help support street artists. These days, it provides workshops for local artists and regularly hosts open call-outs for public art, often on themes of diversity and inclusion, to decorate Toronto’s empty walls and alleyways. So far, the initiative has sponsored over 1,000 pieces around the city, which plaster everything from 20-storey buildings to small traffic signal controller cabinets. When Covid-19 hit, the organization asked artists to submit ideas for murals honouring front-line workers. Here are a few that have been completed so far.
Emmanuel Jarus, an artist and muralist, has redone this same wall near Graffiti Alley three times over the past six years. He completed his latest reinvention during the pandemic. The idea came to him when he ran into a very tired friend in a parkette, taking a break from work. He thought her mood and stance perfectly reflected the exhaustion and uncertainty of the current moment. “I like to observe things—I call my work ‘painting journalism’—and my murals happen organically,” Jarus says. He snapped a bunch of photos of his impromptu model, created an image on his iPad and selected his colour palette from whatever was available at the discount warehouse down the road. The result is a striking image which Jarus hopes passersby find relatable and honest.
Adelaide and Portland
Alexander Bacon is an internationally recognized artist who’s been painting since he was a teenager in the 1990s. His vibrant, large-scale pieces, featuring portraits and historical references, can be spotted all over Toronto, including Kensington Market and the Entertainment District. The inspiration for this massive mural near Adelaide and Portland came to him when he was submitting ideas for a virtual art festival in Puerto Rico. The flower represents the fragility of life, and the gloved hand represents the strength of our front-line workers. The scene is also supposed to show the sacrifices everyone is making for the most vulnerable in our society. “We basically shut the world down for people who aren’t strong enough to fight this virus,” says Alex. “I think it’s beautiful humanity is willing to do that.”
Peru Dyer Jalea’s signature style uses simple geometric shapes, primary colours and clean lines to create puzzle-like patterns with a meditative vibe. This particular mural, which is on the side of Pancho’s Bakery, a Latino-owned business near Jalea’s home, was designed to honour firefighters. “It’s one of the noblest professions I could think of,” he says. “They’re often unrecognized and underpaid for doing one of the city’s most dangerous jobs.” There’s a station nearby, where Jalea had taken his two young children for a tour earlier this year. “My son is obsessed with fire trucks and my daughter’s favourite colour is red, so I was able to make everybody happy,” he says. For the mural, Jalea used geometric shapes spelling out “gracias,” blended with the image of a fire truck to guide the eye down the wall and around the corner to the bakery. He says the community has been thrilled to see the wall, which had been tagged with unsightly graffiti before, turned into a tribute to first responders.
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