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Art installation in progress aims to become healing space for families of MMIWG – CBC.ca

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A new art installation in Selkirk, Man., is being created to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and it is being spearheaded by a woman who lost her mother at an early age.

“Sometimes it’s really hard for people to articulate what it means to be a family member of the missing and murdered because our emotions get really involved in the process,” said Jeannie Red Eagle. 

“And sometimes we can’t articulate in the way that we can do it artistically.” 

Red Eagle is Anishinaabekwe member of Rolling River First Nation and is from Selkirk.

When she was four, her mother Mary Alvina Whitebird was killed. Red Eagle spoke about her experiences before the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“I began part of that healing journey when I spoke at the national inquiry regarding the death of my mother and for being a survivor of violence myself,” said Red Eagle.

Ashley Christiansen is a Métis tattoo artist from Selkirk, Man. She hopes that when the artwork is completed, people will see the talent that exists in the city and that people will look out for one another. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

After the inquiry, the Government of Canada set up a $13 million commemoration fund for projects to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Red Eagle submitted a project on behalf of the Interlake Art Board and Rolling River First Nation.

Her project was among those chosen and it received $50,000. They began consultations with families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls to talk about what they would like to see included.

The art installation will be set within the natural prairie grass field of the Gaynor Family Regional Library in Selkirk.

“It’s going to look like a gigantic turtle emerging up out of the ground,” said Red Eagle.

A healing space 

One of the consultants and artists helping with the project is Charlie Johnston, who has 32 years of mural experience. 

From above, the project will be the shape of a turtle and from the turtle’s nose to tail, the installation will be approximately 23 metres in length.

The project will include four panels made out of Lexan polycarbonate, and will be painted in four different colours representing the medicine wheel, the four directions and four seasons. It will have a space for a fire and will have rocks which will be placed in the shape of the turtle.

The plan was to design the space as a place for the community to gather.

“It’s a way for a person or family to come into this site and feel protected while they go on a healing journey,” said Johnston. 

Charlie Johnston shows a picture of what the finished turtle amphitheatre will look like. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Johnston, who is non-Indigenous, said his brother’s girlfriend Cathy Williams went missing in 1988. 
He said working on this project is an opportunity to honour her and he sees it as his own personal act of reconciliation.

Progress was slowed by the pandemic, but with the help of local artists Ashley Christiansen, Bradley Lent and Annie Beach, two out of the four panels have been painted.

Beach, who just graduated from the University of Manitoba, said she has experience painting about a dozen public murals but that this one is different.

“Eventually people can gather here or individually come visit the mural and spend time and just heal with it if they need to.” 

Red Eagle said phase one is completing the painting of the four panels and phase two will be landscaping the project, which is expected to begin in the spring and will hopefully be finished by fall 2021.

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ARTS AROUND: Grandmother and grandson team up for art exhibit in Port Alberni – Alberni Valley News

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MELISSA MARTIN

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

The next art exhibit at Rollin Art Centre will feature local artist Pam Turner and her grandson, Rylan Bourne.

Bourne is a 14-year-old Grade 10 student at Victoria High School, while Turner is a happy, proud grandma. This will be her first art show in 17 years.

The show is titled “INTRO: RETRO” and is a collection of abstract painting and acrylic on canvas, wood panels and collaged paper. The exhibit begins Oct. 7 and runs until Oct. 31.

LAST CHANCE FOR “TOGETHER”

“Together” is a very thought-provoking art display that touches upon today’s current events.

Five local artists—First Nations artist Cecil Dawson, Allen Halverson, Nigel Atkin, Lori Shone-Kusmin and Jennifer Taylor—collaborated, to create a truly spectacular show that touches upon significant social issues and features First Nations paintings, surfboard designs, carved river otters, drawings, cedar paddles and so much more.

You only have until the end of this month to see this magnificent exhibit, as it ends Oct. 2.

MYSTERY BAG OF BOOKS

Mystery bags of books are back at the Rollin Art Centre!

Due to COVID-19, we did not hold our annual giant book sale fundraiser in May, but now you can purchase a mystery bag of books and help out the Rollin Art Centre. You won’t know what is in the bag until you get it home—surprise!

For just $20, you will get 10 books, all in the same genre. The genres are fiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, pre-teen chapter books (e.g. Nancy Drew) and children’s books.

Bags are now available at the Rollin Art Centre. Get yours now because they sell out fast!

DONATE BOTTLE RETURNS

Here is an easy way to help with much needed funds for the Rollin Art Centre. Donate all your empty bottles at our local bottle depot (3533 Fourth Avenue).

When you return your bottles, our account is #E100093. Mention that you are donating to the Community Arts Council. Yes, it’s just that easy.

ANNUAL BOOK SALE

The news is out – we have a new venue for this year’s annual giant book sale!

We need your help, especially this year, to help raise much-needed funds. Mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 6 (6-8 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 7th (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), when the Community Arts Council will be holding its biggest fundraiser of the year with our annual giant book sale at the Alberni Athletic Hall.

This year promises to be the best year yet, with thousands of wonderful books and all the space we will have to spread out for more selections.

Due to all the generous amount of book donations, we will no longer be accepting book donations for this year’s book sale.

SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN PLACE

The Rollin Art Centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed to assure your safety during this pandemic. There will be no admittance without a face mask. The Rollin Art Centre will also have hand sanitizing, a limited number of patrons and directional signage to follow.

Please entre through our upper landing door only. Stop by the gallery to view our current art exhibit, check out our gift shop or just say hello.

CHAR’S PRESENTS ZOOM

Second and last Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. (virtual doors 6:30 p.m.), virtual Alberni Valley Words on Fire.

Visit www.charslanding.com for more information.

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. Email: communityarts@shaw.ca.

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A painting by Pam Turner. Turner’s artwork will be on display at the Rollin Art Centre starting Oct. 7. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

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The divide between art and sports can be vast, but sometimes art and sports have been friends – CBC.ca

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Hey guys! You know those movies from the ’80s, where the jock picks on the skinny kid with glasses — or the other way around, where the cool art kids treat the guy on the hockey team like a goon?

The divide between art and sports has been vast. So today, let’s talk about a few examples where art and sports have been friends.

Matthew Barney is an American artist who’s made epic, feature-length films with massive props. A lot of people might call his work dance, but here’s a good way of breaking it down. Barney used to be a jock — a football player, to be exact. And he made much of his early work, called Drawing Restraint, about the strong connection between the physical exertion needed for athleticism and the creative drive necessary to make an actual mark, whether it’s on a canvas or a bedroom wall.

Matthew Barney performing Drawing Restraint. (DrawingRestraint.net)

In all the different versions of this series, he attached himself to bungee cords or made his studio into a rigorous obstacle course, making it an incredible physical feat just to make a single short line on a surface.

Why do this? Barney was making a comparison between what it takes to be an artist and what it takes to be an athlete. We have this tendency to see athleticism as disciplined and ordered, where art is unrestrained and free. But Barney was making it clear that both are forms of expression that require control and letting yourself go.

That’s an example of where an athlete brought his physicality into the art studio, but what about art that simply celebrates sports and tries to close the divide between the two worlds?

Thierry Marceau, a performance artist from Montreal, takes on many famous people’s personas to try to give us a look into their world. And I’m not talking about an impersonation — he becomes them, performing critical moments from their lives and taking on critical elements of their personality.

Thierry Marceau performing as Wayne Gretzky in The Great Alberta Tour (2010). (Thierry Marceau)

When he did this recently with Wayne Gretzky, he called up not only what was mesmerizing about the young hockey hero, but how his physical genius invigorated everybody around him, particularly Edmonton, the town that grieved his loss to LA and still celebrates him today. This is art about sports, or at least about an athlete, and the symbolic meaning an athlete can have for a town.

For artist Esmaa Mohamoud, sports become a tool to tell stories of Black identity. They also become the core for her art — like in Glorious Bones, where she uses 46 repurposed football helmets covered in an African wax batik print, calling up both the history and sacrifice of Black athletes over generations of football and the beauty of the sport itself.

Glorious Bones (2018) by Esmaa Mohamoud. (Esmaa Mohamoud)

In Blood and Tears Instead of Milk and Honey, the footballs themselves are stained black and lie still on black astroturf — like a memorial, or a tribute, to the sport that’s meant so much to North Americans. 

And in One of the Boys, she incorporates basketball jerseys into epic swirling gowns, calling up the inextricable connection between fashion and basketball, while she points to some of the ideas around gender that are always part of the history of sport.

One of the Boys (2017-2018) by Esmaa Mohamoud. (Esmaa Mohamoud/Qendrim Hoti)

Why is there such a divide between the art studio and the football field? Here’s an idea: traditionally — and I’m talking ancient Greece here — sports were an arena to perform gender, to build notions of virility and strength. And maybe art has been more receptive to those whose ideas of both gender and physicality were a little more fluid. Maybe sports, which often requires team thinking, has been seen as a bit at odds with individual thinking.

Each of these disparate practices informs the other. Athleticism is creative. It requires intellect, lateral thinking and incredible mental patience — just watch tennis finals and you’ll see that everything from Serena Williams’s outfits to her serve involve a high level of intellect and creativity, not to mention an incredible performance. And art, on its side, requires a physicality, patience and drive that rivals anything that happens during practice.

Who’s someone you can think of that brings art and sport together? Send me a line here at CBC Arts and together, perhaps we can stop one kid from getting pushed into their locker at lunch or let another get through the day without being called a meathead.

See you next time for more Art 101. 

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Petrolia Discovery offering tours and art show Saturday – Sarnia Observer

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Oil and art are set to mix Saturday at the Petrolia Discovery heritage site.

Liz Welsh, with the Petrolia Discovery Foundation, is shown at the oil heritage site in Petrolia. It is offering self-guided tours and an art show and sale this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Paul Morden / The Observer

Oil and art are set to mix Saturday at the Petrolia Discovery heritage site.

The foundation that operates the working oil field and heritage site in Petrolia has been opening the gates for self-guided tours on several Saturdays during the summer and fall, and this Saturday’s event will include a show and sale by local artists and artisans.

The Artist Day and tours run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Foundation board member Liz Welsh said the event was organized for local artists who missed out on traditional shows and sales during this year’s pandemic restrictions.

“It’s an opportunity for arts and craft people who would normally be travelling around and spending their summer hitting up all of these shows and earning their income,” Welsh said.

The event will feature 15 vendors, socially distanced outdoors at the site for the walk-through show and sale.

Welsh said, “We’ve kept it very local” with nearly all of the vendors from Petrolia, and offering items ranging from jewelry to paintings, photography, as well as fabric and leather art.

“I think maybe one or two aren’t quite in Petrolia, but we filled up with Petrolia people first.”

Welsh said COVID-19 precautions will be in place during the show, and the self-guided tours of the heritage buildings and oil field. Volunteers will be at the site and visitors will be given plastic covered tour guidebooks that are sanitized between use.

“They get to support local art and local history at the same time,” she said.

Visitors are asked to use the site’s north entrance through Bridgeview Park.

The site’s plans for the event have been cleared with the town’s emergency management coordinator, Welsh said.

Visitors are being asked to use cash to make purchases from vendors, and to wear a face mask while browsing the art.

The site offers “lots of room to distance,” Welsh said.

“And, the weather looks like it’s going to be fabulous.”

Saturday will also feature live music by the Lambton Brass Quintet from about 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Welsh said the group is make up of members of the Lambton Concert Band.

She said anyone with questions about the event can call the Discovery at 519-882-0897, or contact the foundation through its Facebook page.

The tours at the Discovery have been “really well-received,” including a previous Saturday that featured a local car club. Welsh said.

“We had lots of people, that day,” she said.

The Discovery will also expected to be open for self-guided tours on the Saturday of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

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