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Art-inspired giving – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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I would be among the first to observe that Christmas and other holy-days are not (or shouldn’t be) about rampant consumerism, but I feel compelled to point out that by the time you read this, there will be very few days left before Christmas. Have you finished your shopping yet? If not, and if you’re seeking inspiration, look no further than Kingston’s local art scene and boutique shops. In our ongoing pandemic landscape, it’s more important than ever to shop local and support the artists, merchants and vendors who make our downtown so unique and vibrant. It’s a pretty safe bet that Amazon does not need further enrichment — and even if you have Prime, you’ll have your gifts in hand faster by shopping close to home.

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The seasonal decorations in downtown Kingston and other regional centres, on the streets and in the storefronts, are often a delight to behold, and inside Kingston’s many unique shops and galleries you’ll find gifts that are one-of-a-kind, refreshing, artful and often locally made. Giving the gift of art and craft does not have to be expensive — there are many very affordable options that will be sure to please even the most particular person on your list, and that will also benefit local artists, producers and vendors.

There are many, many art galleries and other venues in this region where you can look for that art-inspired gift. In the heart of downtown at the Market Square, with its terrific outdoor skating rink, step up into Studio 22 Open Gallery, which features artwork by artists from across Canada as well as from the Kingston area. Cornerstone Canadian Fine Art and Craft on Ontario Street (at Princess) features a wide array of items that are entirely and exclusively made in Canada by Canadian artists and artisans. Here you can find a host of stocking stuffers as well as more impressive gifts, including textiles, jewelry, glass, wood, Inuit prints and carvings, and pottery.

At the lower end of Queen Street, you can explore the Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery and Black Dog Pottery for more inspired gift ideas, and around the corner just off Wellington is the Martello Alley gallery with an eclectic array of art by local artists. Farther up Princess Street, be sure to check in to Frameworks. More than just framing, the shop also has original artwork and prints for sale, as does Gallery Raymond/Creative Framing still farther up Princess. Many of us have items that we’ve been “meaning to” get framed, and I’m sure you know friends and family who have long had the same intention — perhaps a gift certificate to get that cherished image or memento framed is just the thing to give this season.

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Have you ever considered gifting someone with an art course? The Kingston School of Art normally offers classes for both adults and children in several different media at different times of the year (check current offerings online), and the gift of tuition for one of these would be ideal for someone who has always wanted to try their hand at some kind of art-making. (Perhaps that person is you!) There are additional art class and workshop options available at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, too. In an intensely commercial season, consider giving the gift of creativity instead of consumerism. Gift certificates aren’t just for big-box stores and name-brand retailers — it’s a near surety that any local gallery, and even an individual artist, has (or can create) gift certificates for purchase. If you don’t want to take a chance on buying art for someone else, this could be a good route to go. Or treat yourself to the pleasure of original art — buy something that your neighbour two doors down didn’t also purchase as decor art — and feel good about the fact that you have bought locally and supported a small business.

Remember, artists are business people as well as creatives, and when you buy original art you support the gallery, the artist, the art supply store and all the people who work there as well. It has a tremendous ripple effect on the local economy and is a win-win for everyone.

With all best wishes for a joyous and artful holiday season, and all good things to you in 2022!

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Kamille Parkinson earned a PhD in art history from Queen’s University and is presently a writer, burgeoning copywriter and art historian at large. You can find her writing at Word Painter Projects on Facebook, and can contact her at   wordpainterprojects@gmail.com

Art About Town

Art Noise

• Smalls (until Dec. 24)

Gallery Raymond

• New works by Karen Fox (until Jan. 17)

Studio 22 Open Gallery

• Winter 2021 Artist Portfolio Series. Now open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., and online.

• “Y’know… for kids!”

• Bruno Capolongo, “Kintsugi Drips”

Window Art Gallery

• December: Paint the Town!

Modern Fuel ARC

• Re:Member – Members’ Show and Sale (to Dec. 18)

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

• History is Rarely Black or White (until March 20)

• Spirit Banter: Ezi Odozor (until Jan. 30)

• Studies in Solitude: The Art of Depicting Seclusion (to June 2022)

• Pandemical Lonliness (to Jan. 16)

• With Opened Mouths (until Jan. 30)

• Other Worlds (until Jan. 30)

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Restoration of Michelangelo’s Pieta statue in Florence reveals flaws in marble

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The restoration of Michelangelo’s famed Pieta dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence has revealed that the single block of marble from which the masterpiece was sculpted was flawed, offering a likely reason for why it was abandoned before it was completed.

The statue, better known as the Bandini Pieta, represents the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene holding the body of Christ as he is taken down from the cross by a man, Nicodemus, whose face is the self-portrait of the Italian Renaissance artist.

“It’s a Pieta that has suffered and is very intimate… it is a really personal statue,” Beatrice Agostini, director of the restoration project, told Reuters.

The works of restoration confirmed that the 2,700 kg piece of marble had veins and numerous minute cracks, particularly on the base, which may have been the reason for Michelangelo’s decision to stop working on the sculpture before finishing it, a statement said.

The artist had initially planned to place the sculpture next to his tomb but only years after beginning to sculpt it, in the mid 1500s, a then 75-year old Michelangelo decided to abandon the masterpiece, giving it as a gift to a servant, who then sold it to a banker, Francesco Bandini.

Restorers did not find any sign of hammer blows, making it unlikely the widespread hypothesis that an unhappy Michelangelo tried to destroy the sculpture in a moment of frustration, the statement added.

The non-invasive restoration started in 2019 but was interrupted several times due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Deposits were removed from the sculpture’s surface, which was then cleaned, bringing it back to its original hue.

The project was commissioned and directed by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and was financed by U.S. non-profit organization Friends of Florence.

“The operation has restored to the world the beauty of one of Michelangelo’s most intense and troubled masterpieces,” a joint statement said.

Visitors have been able to witness all stages of the process as the statue was always on display, in an open laboratory, on a platform, behind a glass screen.

 

(Reporting by Matteo Berlenga in Florence, writing by Giulia Segreti in Rome, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Art Beat: Arts Council keeps its friends close – Coast Reporter

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Until Feb. 6, the Sunshine Coast Arts Council is exhibiting works by its members in a variety of mediums.

The annual “Friends of the Gallery” show is hosted in the Doris Crowston Gallery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, at 5714 Medusa Street, in Sechelt.

Now in its 20th year, the “Friends” event began as a way to encourage emerging artists. Today, individual artists from the community are invited to submit one piece of work they completed in the previous year to be shown in the group exhibition.

Artworks are also available for purchase.

Youth Urged to Float Beachcombers-Inspired Creations

The Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society describes itself as “a magnet for creative souls on the Coast.” To mark this year’s golden jubilee of The Beachcombers, the iconic CBC Television program, the society is seeking to attract young creative souls through an art and writing contest.

Various types of submissions are welcome, including short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, scripts, cover artwork and colouring for the planned anthology and exhibit.

Written entries must contain at least one reference to The Beachcombers, the Coast or the beach. Allusions to jet boat manoeuvres and amicable ribbing at the lunch counter of Molly’s Reach are likely assets as well.

Details are online on the Society’s website at scwes.ca. Submissions must be received by midnight on June 1.

Family Literacy Week: Tales on Trails

The Province of British Columbia has proclaimed Jan. 24 to 31 as Family Literacy Week, marking the fifth successive year that Family Literacy Day (Jan. 27) has overflowed with a sevenfold increase in bookish intensity.

“Children’s literacy skills expand and grow much faster when families read, play and learn together,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Education. “Family Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on dynamic ways to support our youngest learners so they can develop the skills they need to succeed in their school years and beyond.”

Decoda Literacy Solutions, a province-wide literacy organization, is hosting a photo contest. Participants may take a photo using a “Let’s Be Active” theme and submit it by email to contest@decoda.ca or post it on social media using these hashtags: #LetsBeActive and #FLW2022. There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.

To mark the occasion, the Gibsons and District Public Library has encouraged families to host “reading walks” in which families and individuals stroll through local parks, reading along to stories.

The Coast Reporter encourages all such literary ramblers to glance up from time to time, in order to avoid mid-chapter collisions incurred while covering one’s tracks.

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Library Line: Parrott Art Gallery open to viewers online – Belleville Intelligencer

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By Wendy Rayson-Kerr

Although the Parrott Gallery is closed until at least January 26 due to public health restrictions, we are still working to bring you art.  We hope that our awesome gallery supporters will sign onto our website to view new virtual exhibitions, participate in online art workshops and register for free Armchair Traveller presentations on Zoom. We’ll also be increasing our social media posts, so please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to view artwork from our current exhibitions as well as from our permanent collection, because everyone could use a little more art in their life right now!

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Coming next: The Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild is presenting an exhibition called, “Outside the Block” which will be available to view online through our website starting on Saturday, January 22. The traditional Log Cabin Quilt design, generally speaking, starts with a center shape which is surrounded by strips of coloured pieces that follow a specific sequence of light and dark patterning. Colours have meanings in these quilts, whose shapes can be seen to symbolize log cabins with both dark and sunny corners, and much has been written about their connection to North American pioneers. In our upcoming exhibition, this traditional pattern has been given a modern interpretation. The twenty quilters represented in this group show have all used the Log Cabin Quilt pattern as their inspiration, resulting with an assortment of unique designs. Each artwork is as original as the artists themselves, and we certainly hope you will log in to view them on our website (for now) as well as get the chance to view them in our gallery in the near future.

Another exhibition that will soon be available to view online is called “Corona and Friends” by George Kratz. This prolific Stirling artist has assembled a large collection of paintings that he has been working on over the past two decades. He describes his Corona series as, “an abstract journey” which he completed during the pandemic. The earlier work in his Friends series is equally intense, full of symbolism both borrowed and unique to the artist. George Kratz is a story-teller and this exhibition tells the story of vivid colour, strong lines and imagery you will not soon forget.

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Both of these online shows will be available to view in person when we are allowed to re-open our doors once again.

We continue to offer Online Acrylic Pouring Workshops at the Parrott Gallery. These monthly projects are meant for beginners and skilled artists alike, and are the perfect way to learn knew creative skills. Prepared and presented by Warkworth artist Sheila Wright, these workshops are fun and easy to complete. Each kit costs thirty dollars and contains all you will need to create a unique artwork, including materials and video instructions. The January project is a painting called “Rainbow Swipe” and the deadline to register is Saturday, January 22. Please email us at gallery@bellevillelibrary.ca or call us as 613-968-6731 x 2040 if you are interested or would like more information.

On February 19, Photographer Lydia Dotto will be sharing her online Armchair Traveller presentation on the Antarctic. From the comfort of your own home you can take a journey across the globe, for free! “The Antarctic: Abundance of Life” is your chance to view a place that most of us will never have the chance to visit. You can register for this live Zoom presentation through our website. When we re-open our doors, our Corridor Gallery will feature the photography of Susan and Clint Guy, in a show they have called “India: The Golden Triangle”.  Plans for an in-person presentation are also under way, so stay tuned for this next part of our Armchair Traveller Series.

We know 2022 is going to be an exciting year of exhibitions and programs here at the Parrott Gallery, so we won’t let the current closures discourage us. We hope that we will be open for in-person viewing again soon.

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

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