An art installation as a popular park in the heart of Almonte was vandalized earlier this week, and there are fears some of the unique pieces in the display cannot be repaired.
Local resident Lori Timmins was shocked to see the damage, calling it “mortifying.”
“I’m really devastated that someone would come along to ruin such a beautiful piece of art that was given to the community to embrace Canada the way it does,” Timmins said. “I don’t know how it’s going to be fixed.”
The piece was originally commissioned by the National Capital Commission for Canada’s 125 birthday. It was gifted to Mississippi Mills in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150 birthday.
It consists of a structure similar in the shape of the dwellings indigenous peoples in eastern Canada lived in before Europeans arrived.
Attached to that structure are faces from all over Canada that were cast in glass to represent the diversity of Canada. When it was installed in Almonte, another six local faces were added to reflect the surrounding community.
Stephen Brathwaite, the local artist who created the piece, says he’s disappointed to see his work destroyed but does not feel the vandalism reflects the true spirit of the community.
“I love this community, it makes me feel great that people have embraced it. We will put it back together and I’m delighted people care,” Brathwaite said. If I can’t repair the ones that were broken I’ll cast some more from local people.”
Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry issued a statement to CTV News Ottawa, saying she was “shocked and heartbroken” at the vandalism.
“Shelter/Tissage is special because local artist Stephen Brathwaite created it,” the statement said.” It is special because it features people from all across Canada as well as members of our own community. It is special because a community-led initiative brought it home for us all to enjoy.
“The damage doesn’t appear to have been an impulsive act. These aren’t fragile glass faces. They’re solid and would require a heavy object and force to break. Many of the glass faces have been smashed.
“I have reached out personally to Stephen to convey my sadness over this senseless act of destruction. Although it is early yet to determine how or if repairs can be made, the outpouring of responses and support from the community is overwhelming.
“Our community has a tremendous ability to come together and find solutions. I have every confidence we will find a way to turn this around and in the end, make this story a positive one.”
If you have any information regarding this act of vandalism you are asked to contact the Municipality of Mississippi Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-256-2064.
Pandemic-inspired art exhibit – News 1130
Students explore art themes in Re/LAUNCH/ing, vol. 1 – St. Albert TODAY
Now that school is back in session, a new collaborative art project has been launched.
Re/LAUNCH/ing is aimed at hitting the same high notes that its predecessor with.draw.all did, but with the added emphasis on the intrinsic value of art to the artist.
At noon on the last Thursday of each month, StAlbertTODAY.ca will be displaying an online gallery of art created by high school students. This month’s rendition features 12 creations from students at Paul Kane, Bellrose and St. Albert Catholic High.
James Baker and the art of power – The Economist
The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III. By Peter Baker and Susan Glasser.Doubleday; 720 pages; $35.
DURING THE confusion that followed the attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life in 1981, Alexander Haig, the secretary of state, proclaimed at the White House podium: “I am in control.” Breathless and sweating, Haig reassured no one. While he floundered, someone else took command. James Baker, the chief of staff, monitored Reagan’s condition, kept the government running and crisply briefed colleagues. Throughout the tense day Mr Baker proved unflappable, say Susan Glasser and Peter Baker (no relation to their subject) in a new biography.
Widely regarded as the most effective chief of staff ever, Mr Baker ran the White House for both Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was also Reagan’s treasury secretary and Bush’s secretary of state, and led five presidential campaigns. Pragmatism and competence were his hallmarks. “There was little idealism involved and a fair degree of opportunism,” write the authors of “The Man Who Ran Washington”. By their account, Mr Baker “was not above political hardball to advance his team’s chances at the ballot box. He never lost sight of what was good for Jim Baker.” But he got things done.
Ms Glasser (of the New Yorker) and her co-author and husband (of the New York Times) are well-placed to chronicle Mr Baker’s life. They interviewed 170 people, including three former presidents and Mr Baker himself. Now 90, and a careful steward of his own reputation, he may have mixed feelings about the result. Yet it is a masterclass in political biography. The authors portray the man in full, managing to be both brisk and comprehensive.
They lay out his flaws, including his temper, cynicism, tendency to blame underlings and allegations of skulduggery. They decry his lack of vision in the last years of the cold war: he and Bush merely reacted to the Soviet Union’s demise, they argue, rather than devising a bold approach of their own. Yet the book also depicts a manager capable of handling almost any situation, from the Gulf war to the presidential recount in 2000, which Mr Baker confidently oversaw for the Republicans. He closed deals by focusing on the signature line rather than the fine print.
He was Jim to presidents and cabinet secretaries but “Mr Baker” to everyone else. Despite his patrician manner he could swear like a Texas roughneck; “ratfuck” was a favourite term for Washington backstabbing. He grew up among the Houston aristocracy, where the oilfield meets the tennis club. Bush, a fellow blue-blood, became his doubles partner, and the book explores their lifelong friendship. When Mr Baker learned from a doctor that his first wife’s cancer was terminal, he told Bush but not the patient herself. One key to his success, the authors write, is that he was adept at leveraging their connection. “Everyone knew that he was Bush’s good friend and that when Baker spoke, he was speaking with the authority of the president.”
His own name appeared on just one ballot: in the race to be attorney-general of Texas in 1978. He lost. Over the years he harboured presidential ambitions and, in 1996, came close to running. If he stayed out he could be remembered as the most important secretary of state since Henry Kissinger, a diplomat tested by great events and equal to them. If he ran and failed, he would be one more might-have-been. He weighed the options and made his choice. As so often, he was probably right. ■
This article appeared in the Books & arts section of the print edition under the headline “All the presidents’ man”
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