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Artists About Town: Experimental art pushes boundaries to cyberworld – St. Albert TODAY



When you can’t bring the people to the experimental art exhibit, you must bring the experimental art exhibit to the people’s computers. That’s just how you have to roll in 2020.

What might be lost in translation, however, is more than made up for in the substance of the largest-ever acceptance of Canadians into the annual open exhibition of the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA), a largely American organization. The show – this year, it’s called Pushing Boundaries (find it through – also has a significant St. Albert presence, with eight of the 24 northerners coming from this city, and that includes three award winners at the show.

When local artist Rick Rogers told the ISEA when he joined as a board member that he would boost the ‘international’ aspect of the group’s membership, he wasn’t just whistling Dixie. The show was meant to be on display at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, the same venue where the organization would have its annual symposium in September. It would have been the annual exhibit’s début north of the border.

He and the rest of the board put in a lot of work to promote the events.

“Because of that, they had more Canadian involvement than they ever have before, and because of the additional channel that we started promoting on – social media channels in particular but also calls for artists and those sorts of things – they also had more international involvement this year than ever before,” Rogers said.

He noted all four corners of the globe will have their turn being under the focus of the magnifying glass to get artists from all countries interested in ISEA. It was easier and made more sense for him to start locally for the simple fact that he already had tons of Canadian and especially Albertan contacts.

Entries poured in from Canada and the U.S. for certain, but they also trickled in from from Australia, Bahrain, Honduras, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom as well.

Perhaps true to its experimental and boundary-pushing ideals, or perhaps due to COVID-19 cancelling so very many in-person events, this year’s online exhibit also features video art pieces for the first time. Also new: a unique membership type to accommodate artistic collaborations. That’s a nice segue to offer some details on the piece Rogers worked on with Lisa Liusz.

The mixed media piece, Atomic, might be recognizable to local art aficionadoes as it was part of the GOOP of 7’s recent Panel Discussion exhibit. It’s painted on several wood panels, which have been assembled together. Let’s let Rogers try to explain it.

“In some ways, it’s a painting. In some ways, it’s a sculpture. In some ways, it’s an assemblage. It was truly an experiment.”

Joining Rogers and Liusz in Pushing Boundaries are such recognizable St. Albert names as Karen Blanchet, Doris Charest, Miles Constable, Helen Rogers, Barbara Shore and Samantha Williams-Chapelsky, as well as Edmonton-regional artists Cathy Bible, Carroll Charest, Karen Klassen, John Labots, Bette Lisitza, Aeris Osborne, Daniele Petit, Deann Stein Hasinoff and Judy Weiss.

In case you’ve got your calendar and a pencil ready, that ISEA symposium has now been delayed to 2022, but it’s still signed up to be held in St. Albert.

Quilters get the ruby treatment

Make sure to admire the new art on the walls of the Staircase Gallery when you visit the Art Gallery of St. Albert. Ruby Anniversary is the aptly titled piece created by 34 members of the St. Albert Quilters Guild to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The pattern started with Myra Mahy’s Country Faces, which was then adapted to feature the symbolic rubies, since 40 years is the ruby anniversary. The piece is meant to celebrate camaraderie and creativity and foster a sense of community through quilting. Reportedly, guild members hope the quilt not only brings a smile to viewers but also inspires some of them to take up quilting as well.

Ruby Anniversary will be on display from Aug. 18 to Nov. 7AGSA is located at 19 Perron St. Visit or call 780-460-4310 for more information.

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Powell: Art exhibit honors lives well lived – Toledo Blade









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Dry summer shrinks N.S. lake, revealing 'works of art' in ancient Mi'kmaw artifacts –



The dry summer shrank a lake in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, revealing ancient Mi’kmaw artifacts and starting a conversation about how to best preserve such finds.

Aaron Taylor, an archeologist, has seen both recent finds — a point likely prepared for a spear and an arrowhead. 

“They’re works of art,” he told CBC News in a phone interview. “The person making this, their family ate or didn’t eat, depending on how well their tools are [made].” 

Taylor, who teaches at Saint Mary’s University and Acadia University, has excavated sites such as the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage site, Beechville Black Refugee site and the Gaspereau Lake pre-contact site.

Both recent finds were likely made and used about 1,500 years ago, he said, as the material came from a quarry Mi’kmaw people used around that time. The larger point was left half undone. 

“Which means that the person using it was trying to make it into a point, but for some reason gave up on it, Taylor said. “It’s a beautiful piece, well-worked, but they didn’t continue on to create what was going to be an arrowhead or a point.”

Location shows Mi’kmaw trade routes

Taylor said it would likely have taken a skilled toolmaker half a day to turn the raw materials into a completed point. He speculates they may have detected a flaw in the stone that would have led it to break, so they abandoned it. 

The point was found about 100 kilometres from the quarry, showing the long-distance trade routes Mi’kmaw people used, he said. 

This Mi’kmaw arrowhead was created and used about 1,500 years ago. (Submitted by Nicholas Clark)

“The Mi’kmaq used rivers like we use highways,” he said. “All the rivers are places with high potential to find First Nations materials: points, arrowheads, scrappers, pottery.”

He said the people who made the artifacts likely lived in villages of 30-50 people and would have been well connected to other similarly sized Mi’kmaw villages and traded across Mi’kma’ki and into today’s Ohio Valley. 

Taylor is working to create a better way to study the land and predict where Mi’kmaw people would have lived in different periods of their 13,000 years — and counting — in this land. That will make it easier to find artifacts and learn more about their lives, he said.

Currently, most finds are like these two recent ones where people stumble over them while hunting or fishing. 

“It’s great to have it, but most of the information comes from what it was associated with. Where it was found, where in the stratum it was found,” he said.

A window into the deep past

Many such finds are eventually preserved at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.

No one from the museum was available for an interview about these finds, but Katie Cottreau-Robins, curator of archeology at the museum, said the artifacts are “significant and speak to Mi’kmaw pre-history in the province.” 

She said the changing climate has been exposing artifacts that long lay covered. More people contact the museum these days to share their finds, she said in an email. 

She said if someone finds such an artifact, they should leave it in place and contact the museum. 

“A new find may represent a new site. New sites contribute very important information to our collective understanding of the Mi’kmaq before and after the colonial presence,” she wrote. 

“Some individuals have donated private collections of artifacts to the museum. The artifacts are visited and studied by the Mi’kmaq, students, community members, and the archeology professional community. They are exhibited and loaned to organizations and used in teaching and training.”

Roger Lewis, curator of ethnology at the museum, said publishing the location of such finds can lead to treasure hunting and “looting,” so CBC is not publishing the name of the lake where they were discovered. 

Two modern fishers find ancient tools

Leah Stultz found the point while on a fishing trip in the Annapolis Valley. 

“We were walking along where normally it would be filled with water, the lake bed, and I found it,” she said. “I noticed the colour first. It was so vibrant and out of place.”

She picked it up and put it in her pocket as a curiosity. She later learned of its significance. 

Nicholas Clark found the arrowhead in the same area as he walked over the cracked earth that would usually be flooded. 

“I was looking where I was walking so I wouldn’t break an ankle,” he said. “I noticed what looked like an arrowhead sitting in the mud.”

He collected the find and has stored it in his home for now.


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Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show – Abbotsford News



The Abbotsford Arts Council is now accepting applications for its sixth annual Anonymous Art Show fundraiser.

The show runs as a digital exhibition from Nov. 1 to 30 at, and artists can apply until Oct. 10.

The show enables the community to support emerging artists and gives the buyer an opportunity to take home an artist’s original work at an affordable price.

The Anonymous Art Show features art that is submitted anonymously by members of the community of all ages and skill levels to be featured and sold in a lightly juried exhibition.

RELATED: Artists invited to submit proposals for ‘Unprecedented Times’ project

Each piece displayed in the show is on a 12” x 12” x 1.5” canvas and is sold for $100. Half the proceeds go to the artist, and the other half stays with the Abbotsford Arts Council.

When a piece is purchased, the work will be marked as sold and the artist’s name revealed. The Abbotsford Arts Council will announce each participating artist on Instagram @abbotsfordartscouncil as their work is sold.

The proceeds help fund programs such as free community events, exhibition space, arts initiatives and more.

Artists may submit their application online at until Oct. 10, and the completed works must be delivered to the Kariton Art Gallery (2387 Ware St.) on Oct. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. or by pre-arranged appointment.

The House of Fine Art (2485 West Railway St.) will include a $5 coupon (to be used toward a future purchase) with the purchase of the required pre-stretched canvas.

Visit the arts council’s website or email for more information.

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