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B.C.'s Bloom the badger dips her paws into art world – CBC.ca

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A B.C. badger has dipped her toes into the world of art — quite literally.

Bloom, a 13-year-old female American badger, made her painting debut with the help of staff at Kamloops’ B.C. Wildlife Park, where she has lived since being found as an orphan in 2006.

Animal care manager Tracy Reynolds said keepers regularly encourage their animals to paint as a way to keep them stimulated and to create bonds with their human caretakers.

“It’s fun for the keepers and it’s fun for the animals,” Reynolds told CBC Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce.

“We just put the paint on the paper, first, in little blobs, and the keeper encourages Bloom to come up on her lap…. then Bloom comes up and just smears it around with her hands.”

The end result is what Reynolds called a “bold” mixture of reds, greens and yellows, “kind of like a Rorschach.” 

Bloom’s painting framed in recycled wood and glass salvaged from another painting. The starting bid will be $100. (B.C. Wildlife Park)

Reynolds said Bloom was primarily motivated by the food being offered to her while she painted, but thinks she enjoyed the process.

She said feeling the paint is a good sensory experience for the animals.

After consulting with fans on Facebook, the park has decided to auction off the painting to help pay for a new enclosure for another resident: Ranger, a flying squirrel who was found sick and dehydrated in August at an estimated age of four weeks old.

The park hopes to build Ranger a living space that simulates the night during the day and the day during the night so he’ll be active during park visiting hours.

Reynolds isn’t sure how much money Bloom’s painting will raise but hopes it attracts interest from animal and art lovers alike.

“I think it’s a pretty neat conversation piece,” she said.

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Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students – Surrey Now-Leader

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A Clayton Heights Secondary teacher has been recognized with a provincial award.

Visual arts teacher Dennis Memmott was awarded the British Columbia Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. The NAEA is a professional membership organization for visual arts teachers.

Memmott was given the honour “in recognition of his creative and thought-provoking work with youth in the arts,” according to a press release.

Memmott said the award is special to him because it was granted by his fellow art teachers.

“It’s kind of an affirmation that the career shift that I made – from doing youth work to combining my passion for art and my passion to see youth succeed – it makes me go, ‘I made the right decision.’ I think I have the best job in the world.”

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student a ‘stand-out’ talent

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student represents at Vancouver Model United Nations

Memmott said, growing up, art was always his thing.

“I never took art in high school,” he said. “I just did art on the side.” That side included photography through skateboarding and snowboarding.

Memmott teaches five photography courses and likes to push the digital image envelope through solargraphy (long exposures with homemade pinhole cameras) and glitch art (digital manipulation of an image’s code).

“I play around with anything I can make an image with,” Memmott added.

Memmott said he challenges his students to push that envelope too.

“So many techniques in photography came out of accidents and experiments,” he said. “So that’s the kind of mindset I try to get them in – sometimes your accidents are better than what you meant to do.”

Memmott started teaching in Surrey in 2006, first at Princess Margaret Secondary before moving to Clayton Heights.

Memmott will receive the award at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis at the end of March.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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Burnaby welcomes new public art by Ken Lum – Burnaby Now

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The bronze horse looking out over the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds is far from your usual equestrian statue.

It’s neither a noble steed bearing royalty nor a victorious warhorse carrying the triumphant general.

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Ken Lum with his work, The Retried Draft Horse and the Last Pulled Log, at the Kings Crossing Development at Kingsway and Edmonds. – Julie MacLellan

It’s an old horse with a sway back, caught in the act of dropping to the ground for a rest. It still wears its yoke, a sign of the work it has done for years, logging the wilderness that used to occupy the very ground on which it sits.

Ken Lum stands next to the statue, rubbing the yoke with his fingers – an act he hopes will become the “good luck” touch for visitors who will cross paths with his art in the years to come.

The Retired Draft Horse and the Last Pulled Log is a new piece of public art, commissioned by the City of Burnaby and Cressey Development Group and newly installed in the plaza at the new Kings Crossing development site. (An official unveiling ceremony is set for the morning of Monday, March 2.)

“I wanted it to evoke a past but also to address today. I didn’t want it to be about just what we have lost,” Lum says.

Rather, he says, he sees the work as an allegory that may speak to progress and change in the city and spur reflection of what we have built out of the wooded land that used to occupy this urban space.

The internationally acclaimed artist, born and raised in East Van, is most known in Vancouver as the creator of the East Van cross, formally known as the Monument to East Vancouver. Lum, who’s now serving as the chair of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in Philadelphia, is back in the Lower Mainland for the launch of his new book, Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life 1991-2018 – and, of course, for the installation of his new sculpture in Burnaby.

Lum’s quest to conceive a sculpture based on Burnaby’s history led him to a search of historical photographs, inspiring several ideas that he discarded for various reasons. Lakes and woods? Too romantic. The old Interurban tram? No, now we have SkyTrain. Mid-century architecture? No, an architectural-inspired piece seemed the wrong fit for the development.

Delving into Burnaby’s labour history gave him a few more ideas. He considered the donkey engines they used to use in logging, which he notes had an interesting modernist shape.

Then he hit upon the horses. He was familiar with the massive Percherons and Clydesdales who hauled giant wagonloads of produce down to the Fraser River for shipment out to English Bay and beyond.

But Lum didn’t hit upon the final design for his statue until he happened, by chance, to see a picture on the Internet of a sitting horse.

“I thought, ‘I didn’t know horses sat,’” he says.

As it turns out, they don’t; sitting is an unnatural action for a horse, and it only happens for a moment while the animal is transitioning from standing to lying down, or vice versa.

Lum liked the idea of a sitting horse who would “stand sentinel” at the busy intersection, looking out at traffic.

The piece evokes the history of equestrian statuary, Lum notes, but completely turns it on its head.

“Equestrian statues are really symbols of power, but this is a beast of burden,” he says, noting it’s an obviously older horse, wearing a yoke. “It’s not about the upper classes. It’s about the labouring classes.”

The Retired Draft Horse, Ken Lum
The Retired Draft Horse looks out over Kingsway and Edmonds from the Kings Crossing development. – Julie MacLellan

Lum says that fits well with Burnaby’s history, which has been strongly working-class, and with its present. The artist, who was born in Vancouver in 1956, says the Edmonds neighbourhood now reminds him very much of the East Vancouver he grew up in, with its multi-ethnic shops and restaurants.

“Burnaby is more like East Van to me than East Van is these days,” he says.

In keeping with the terms of the art the developer wanted – to occupy two separate locations at two separate entrances to the building – Lum created a second part to the piece: the large log, with chain, that the horse has now finished pulling. That piece will be on the Edmonds Street side of the development.

The entire work, which Lum first modelled in clay and then scaled up (a process that’s much easier now than it used to be, he notes, since everything can now be done digitally), took about a year in creation from initial conceptual drawings to the finished product in bronze.

Watching over the installation of the work on Thursday and Friday, Lum has been happy to see people already stopping to check out the work and take pictures of it.

A plaque that will be installed next to the work will give its title and Lum’s name – but it won’t, Lum says, tell them what they should think of it or how they should interpret it.

“I don’t like directions that tell people how to read the work,” he says. “I want them to enjoy it, and I want them to hopefully think about its meaning.”

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Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students – Peace Arch News

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A Clayton Heights Secondary teacher has been recognized with a provincial award.

Visual arts teacher Dennis Memmott was awarded the British Columbia Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. The NAEA is a professional membership organization for visual arts teachers.

Memmott was given the honour “in recognition of his creative and thought-provoking work with youth in the arts,” according to a press release.

Memmott said the award is special to him because it was granted by his fellow art teachers.

“It’s kind of an affirmation that the career shift that I made – from doing youth work to combining my passion for art and my passion to see youth succeed – it makes me go, ‘I made the right decision.’ I think I have the best job in the world.”

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student a ‘stand-out’ talent

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student represents at Vancouver Model United Nations

Memmott said, growing up, art was always his thing.

“I never took art in high school,” he said. “I just did art on the side.” That side included photography through skateboarding and snowboarding.

Memmott teaches five photography courses and likes to push the digital image envelope through solargraphy (long exposures with homemade pinhole cameras) and glitch art (digital manipulation of an image’s code).

“I play around with anything I can make an image with,” Memmott added.

Memmott said he challenges his students to push that envelope too.

“So many techniques in photography came out of accidents and experiments,” he said. “So that’s the kind of mindset I try to get them in – sometimes your accidents are better than what you meant to do.”

Memmott started teaching in Surrey in 2006, first at Princess Margaret Secondary before moving to Clayton Heights.

Memmott will receive the award at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis at the end of March.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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