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Arts community mourns death of Winnipeg's Cliff Eyland, known for transforming libraries with tiny paintings –



A prominent artist from Winnipeg who transformed public spaces across Canada with thousands of pieces of tiny artwork has died.

Cliff Eyland’s family announced the 65-year-old teacher, husband, painter and writer had died on Saturday.

He may be best known for works of art containing hundreds of index card-sized paintings and drawings dotting the walls of Winnipeg’s downtown Millennium Library and the Halifax Central Library, which welcome visitors to common areas in those spaces.

Untitled, his work at the Millennium Library, was originally made up of 1,000 three inch by five inch paintings, but he continually added to the work, according to the Winnipeg Arts Council.

He spent nearly two years creating the 6,000 paintings for the Halifax library work.

While his artwork has been showcased across the country, from the National Gallery of Canada to the art galleries of Ontario and Nova Scotia, his wife said he was most proud of his work at the two Canadian libraries.

“He just really liked working with libraries,” Pam Perkins, 56, said in a phone interview on Saturday afternoon.

“He developed a love of libraries as a child, it’s a story he always told,” she said.

Cliff Eyland, 65, is being remembered for his tiny art, which filled the walls of the Halifax Central Library and Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, shown here. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Eyland grew up in Dartmouth, N.S., where he turned to libraries “for information, for reading, for pleasure,” she said, before he later moved to the Prairies.

In art school he became fascinated with library file cards — soon to be obsolete technology, she said, which he found inspiring.

“So he conceived of his paintings, which were all, you know, file card-sized, as sort of little disparate pieces of information, like you’d find in a library file card,” she said.

Lung transplant survivor

Eyland and Perkins would have celebrated 30 years together next year.

Perkins said her husband lived with sarcoidosis that “basically damaged and destroyed” his lungs. As a survivor of a lung transplant in 2016, he was spending increasing amounts of time in and out of the hospital due to infections that kept developing, especially over the last two years.

He had a long hospitalization from August until December 2019.

He had been home since then, said Perkins, and “not able to do much other than just be around at home and do a little drawing and keep in touch with friends. But he enjoyed being at home these last few months.”

On Wednesday morning, he was taken to Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre with severe shortness of breath. His health took a sudden turn on Friday, and he died early Saturday morning.

‘Not just the walls’

His death has left a huge hole in the arts community.

As an associate professor in the University of Manitoba’s school of art, Eyland was invested in the success of younger artists and those he felt “were getting enough attention,” Perkins said.

Winnipeg artist KC Adams wrote on Facebook that Eyland had recognized her talents and helped further her career, and the careers of others.

“For years he had a small gallery and a large studio that he rented, and he would use that space to host shows by developing artists, artists who were being overlooked [and] artists who were developing their careers, and this was at his own expense,” Perkins said.

“He’s generous with his support for others.”

Hundreds of posts, comments and reactions are being shared on social media, including from family, friends and colleagues who say they will pay tribute by visiting his library installations.

In a Facebook post, Winnipeg Art Gallery CEO Stephen Borys recognized the way Eyland’s work transformed how “we see and engage with art.”

“His approach has penetrated museums, libraries, and public spaces across the country — not just the walls but the spaces between the object and the viewer,” reads the post from the gallery director.

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Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery – Victoria News



A protest against anti-black violence and racism is set to take place at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday night.

The protest Sunday (May 31) comes after nearly a week of protests in the United States, which were sparked by a Minneapolis police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe. Derek Chauvin was charged with murder Friday, and all four police officers present during Floyd’s death have been fired.

Floyd’s death was the latest in a series of confrontations, assaults and deaths of black Americans. On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, 26, was killed during a nighttime “no-knock warrant” by plainclothes Louisville police officers. On May 25, a woman called the police on Christian Cooper to tell them he was “threatening [her] life” when Cooper asked the woman to put her dog on a leash in New York’s Central Park.

In Canada, protesters also want answers about Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman fell to her death from a 24th-floor apartment when police responded to a 911 call. Korchinski-Paquet’s death is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Jacob Callender-Prasad, the organizer of the event, called for Sunday rally to be peaceful.

“We do not need to riot in Vancouver, we do not need to destroy our community – that’s not needed here,” Callender-Prasad said in a video posted to the Black Vancouver Instagram page.

“It’s not the same as the United States. We don’t have cops going around causing damage here.”

Callender-Prasad asked attendees to wear face masks and practice social distancing as COVID-19 precautions remain in effect in B.C. He said organizers are expecting between 1,000 and 2,000 people. The protest is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Callender-Prasad said Sunday’s event would include a social media shoutout to U.S. President Donald Trump “to ask him to actually push the governor in Minnesota, to push them to charge those other three officers.”

Callender-Prasad said that although police brutality may be more prevalent south of the border, there are still issues in Canada to address.

“We still have instances in Canada of these unwanted and unfortunate events.”

The Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter said it was not the organizer of the event but stood in solidarity with those protesting.


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Christo, artist known for massive public art installations, dead at 84 –



Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects died Sunday at his home in New York. He was 84.

His death was announced on Twitter and the artist’s web page. No cause of death was given.

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Along with late wife Jeanne-Claude, the artists’ careers were defined by their ambitious art projects that quickly disappeared soon after they were erected. In 2001, he installed more than 7,500 vinyl gates in New York’s Central Park and and wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in fabric with an aluminum sheen in 1995.

With lawsuits halting construction, artist Christo carries out other work for Colorado project

Their self-financed $26 million Umbrellas project erected 1,340 blue umbrellas installed in Japan and 1,760 blue umbrellas in Southern California in 1991.

FILE – In this Feb. 12, 2005, file photo, pedestrians walk along the edge of Harlem Meer under “The Gates” project, by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, in New York’s Central Park. Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects, has died. His death was announced Sunday, May 31, 2020, on Twitter and the artist’s web page. He was 84.

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

The statement said the artist’s next project, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, is slated to appear in September in Paris as planned. An exhibition about Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work is also scheduled to run from July through October at the Centre Georges Pompidou.

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“Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it,” his office said in a statement. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.”

FILE – In this June 7, 2016, file photo, Bulgarian-born artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev, known as Christo, gestures during an interview with the Associated Press on his installation ‘The Floating Piers’ on the Lake Iseo, northern Italy, Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects, has died. His death was announced Sunday, May 31, 2020, on Twitter and the artist’s web page. He was 84.

FILE – In this June 7, 2016, file photo, Bulgarian-born artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev, known as Christo, gestures during an interview with the Associated Press on his installation ‘The Floating Piers’ on the Lake Iseo, northern Italy, Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects, has died. His death was announced Sunday, May 31, 2020, on Twitter and the artist’s web page. He was 84.

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

Born in Bulgaria in 1935, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia before moving to Prague in 1957, then Vienna, then Geneva. It was in Paris in 1958 where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his partner in life and art.

Jeanne-Claude died in 2009 at age 74 from complications of a brain aneurysm.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Demonstration planned at Vancouver Art Gallery to honour George Floyd | News – Daily Hive



Local organizers are planning a demonstration Sunday afternoon at the Vancouver Art Gallery to demand justice for George Floyd, the Black man who died this week after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.

The protest will start at 5 pm in Robson Square, and attendees are encouraged to wear masks and spread out for safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are going to show the world that Black lives do matter,” organizer Jacob Callendar-Prasad said in an Instagram video Saturday night.

“This is a historic event for Vancouver. Everyone should… be proud and carry yourselves proud,” he continued. “We are rising up. We are making a change in this world for the better.”

Callendar-Prasad plans to begin with a moment of silence to honour Floyd and other Black victims that have been killed due to police brutality before moving into speeches and calls for action.

He said he’s been working with the Vancouver Police Department to plan the event and anticipates anywhere from 500 people to a few thousand to attend.

“This is the time to fight. This is the time to unite. No matter your skin colour, your pigment, where you’re from, this is something you should care about,” he said.

On Instagram, Callendar-Prasad was clear he wants the demonstration to be peaceful and that safety is his top priority.

“Do not start a riot,” he said. “Do not do anything that would assist in police presence to take people out of the protest.”

Protests in the US this weekend have turned violent as demonstrators and police clashed.

Sunday’s demonstration in Vancouver follows another protest Saturday afternoon and a large demonstration in Toronto demanding justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black woman who fell to her death this week while police were responding to a call at her apartment.

Although the demonstrations support the Black Lives Matter movement, Vancouver’s BLM chapter has said it’s not participating in any in-person rallies at the moment because of coronavirus concerns.

“We do not feel that we can ensure the safety of our community in public protest at this time,” the organization wrote in an Instagram post. “Black Lives Matter EVERY DAY. Indigenous Solidarity, ALWAYS. Not just when we are collectively traumatized by another guileless savage gang of cops.”

There are also more demonstrations planned in Vancouver for next weekend. On Friday, June 5, Callendar-Prasad is also involved in organizing a protest in front of Trump Tower beginning at 5 pm. On Saturday, June 6, there is another march planned to start at the Vancouver Art Gallery, an organizer told Daily Hive.

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