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Charlottetown's Art in the Open went ahead despite rain and a pandemic – The Guardian

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

At Confederation Landing Park in Charlottetown, a woman puts a pile of dirt back into a dump truck one bucket at a time.

Nearby on the Charlottetown waterfront, the sounds of dial tones, operator instructions and whale calls drift out from scattered radios.

These two exhibits at this year’s Art in the Open joined others that ranged from art in downtown shop windows to large fake tree-trunks in the former Mavor’s courtyard.

Three of the radios broadcasting operator instructions and ocean sounds overlook Peakes Quay as part of this year’s Art in the Open. – Michael Robar

Due to Saturday’s weather, some exhibits were moved or rescheduled, though most went forward as intended, including the giant crow puppet which replaced the March of the Crows, said Ghislaine Cormier, executive director of Fédération culturelle de l’ÎPÉ, which helps run the annual festival. 

“It was the first time in 10 years, actually, that it rained for Art in the Open day, but you can’t win them all. That’s basically how we’re thinking about it.”

In Rochford Square, speakers were playing lullabies in over 40 languages. Titled Berceurs du temps, or Lulling Time, the exhibit featured a pop-up recording studio where people could add a recording of their own.

Dylan Goode went to Art in the Open to participate and decided to throw his voice into the mix.

“I sang a verse from You Are My Sunshine because it’s a pretty important one for me and my family.”

The song was one his mother used to sing to him and his sister, and he had little hesitation to record it.

“It’s something in the family, so why not share it?”

Guy Brun peels an onion as part of Valerie Salez's Alone Together Together Alone, in which people perform the activity they did most in quarantine while isolating in painted rectangles at Victoria Park. Brun, who moved back to the Island during the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic made plenty of soup while he self-isolated after arriving. - Michael Robar
Guy Brun peels an onion as part of Valerie Salez’s Alone Together Together Alone, in which people perform the activity they did most in quarantine while isolating in painted rectangles at Victoria Park. Brun, who moved back to the Island during the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic made plenty of soup while he self-isolated after arriving. – Michael Robar

Though less interactive, Norma Jean MacLean’s Work was plenty active, as the Island artist monotonously moved dirt for hours at the Confederation Landing Park.

“It’s about the processes of doing and undoing on a day-to-day level and highlighting that kind of cycle we go through every day with multiple tasks,” she said.

Inspired by her father, who used to drive a similar truck, MacLean sees Art in the Open as an opportunity to show people the potential art has to connect with their every-day lives.

“I hope they see how art can make a connection to the day-to-day using things that are quite common but not necessarily traditional artistic mediums.”

Artist Norma Jean MacLean shovels dirt into a plastic bucket as part of her art instillation in Confederation Landing Park. Titled Work, the performance art piece was meant to comment on the amount of work people do and undo every day. - Michael Robar
Artist Norma Jean MacLean shovels dirt into a plastic bucket as part of her art instillation in Confederation Landing Park. Titled Work, the performance art piece was meant to comment on the amount of work people do and undo every day. – Michael Robar

That aspect of Art in the Open, to engage with people who might not otherwise care, is part of what keeps bringing Dianne Campbell and Paul Wansbrough back every year.

“Art is an obscure type of thing and, like so many things, it’s all in the eye of the beholder,” said Wansbrough.

That obscurity makes it hard for some people to take it seriously, said Campbell, but Art in the Open can address it.

“It makes people appreciate the fact that art is, and could be more, important to them if they paid attention more.”

Twitter.com/MichaelRobar

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Review: Craig Johnson mystery involving art creates art, too – St. Albert Today

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“Next to Last Stand,” by Craig Johnson (Viking)

In “Next to Last Stand,” the 16th book in Craig Johnson’s popular mystery series, Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire is feeling his age. He’s not sure he even wants to stand for reelection. However, a good mystery can always get the veteran lawman’s heart pumping again.

He finds one when the director of the Wyoming Home for Soldiers and Sailors calls to inform him that his pal Charlie Lee Stillwater has passed away — and that he needs to examine what was found in the old man’s room. Arriving there, Longmire sees stacks of papers and file folders, a huge hoard of books about art, a scrap of canvass that appears to be a copy (or perhaps an actual piece) of a famous painting, and a box containing $1 million in hundred dollar bills.

It appears that Charlie died of natural causes, but where did the long-penniless old soldier get a million dollars in cash? When did he develop an apparent obsession with art? And is that scrap of canvass a clue or a red herring?

Johnson builds his story around a real work of art: “Custer’s Last Fight,” a not particularly good and historically inaccurate painting of the battle of Little Big Horn that was destroyed in a fire in 1946 at the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas. However, because millions of copies were distributed by Anheuser-Bush, it is one of the most well-known art works in American history. The original would be worth millions.

Could it have somehow survived the fire? The plot thickens when Longmire discovers that his old pal had been stationed at the Texas army post at the time of the fire.

Fans of the Longmire series will be pleased that many familiar characters, including stoic Henry Standing Bear and crude-talking Deputy Sheriff Victoria Moretti, play a prominent role in the tale that also involves a crooked art dealer, a skilful art forger, some Russian art collectors, and an assortment of violent thugs.

Johnson excels at introducing his series characters to new readers without boring longtime fans with details they already know. The plot is not as dark as the last few Longmire tales, but as always, a suspenseful one unfolds at an appealing pace and the prose is first rate.

___

Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels including “The Dread Line.”

Bruce Desilva, The Associated Press

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Announcing Thunder Bay's First Ever – Virtual Visual Art Fair – a virus free event! – Net Newsledger

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Exploring the artistic side at Youth Centres TBay

THUNDER BAY – Due to the current COVID-19 situation, CAHEP – Community Arts and Heritage Education Project and the Painted Turtle Art Shop are co-sponsoring the first-ever Thunder Bay Virtual Visual Art Fair as part of the Culture Days 2020 festivities – completely virus-free!

The Fair will be held over the course of a month, from September 25 – October 25, 2020, and will be hosted on Painted Turtle Art Shop’s website at this direct URL:  www.paintedturtleart.com/gallery  The Official Opening of the online exhibition will be Friday, September 25th at approximately 10:00 am and then open 24/7 for the duration of the Fair.

We’re thrilled to be showcasing 51 visual artists, who after an open “Call for Visual Art” will be displaying a wide and wonderful selection of their art including drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, digital works, textiles & sculptures.

All works are created by LOCAL visual artists who live and work right here in Thunder Bay, from student artists, emerging artists, mid-career artists to senior artists.  We will be featuring 2 artists & their work per day on our social media Facebook & Instagram accounts from Sept. 26 to Oct. 25, 2020.

As part of the Culture Days 2020 festivities, we are inviting & welcoming our Thunder Bay community as well as visitors from across Canada and beyond to our virtual online exhibition.

Join us virtually in viewing and exploring a variety of visual art with a certain and totally unique, Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario flair.

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Art and grieving: Painter Barbara Pratt honours mother Mary Pratt's life in new exhibit – CBC.ca

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There was no cake waiting for Barbara Pratt on her 56th birthday, something that until that point had been a tradition shared between her and her mother each year to mark the annual celebration of life. 

The warmth and love was missing for the first time.

Renowned artist Mary Pratt — her mother — died at 83 in August 2018. Mary made a career of painting hyper-realistic everyday scenes — including of baking — that resonated across the country and sent her to the top of the Canadian art world. 

Today, Barbara Pratt’s newest gallery, starting Saturday at the Emma Butler Gallery in St. John’s, pays homage to her late mother. 

“I had an idea back in 2018 to paint a painting of the cake pans, that’s in this exhibition, and I wasn’t really thinking about it in a really significant kind of way,” Pratt told CBC Radio’s On The Go

“But after my mother died, in that same year, the image became more poignant for me and I started thinking about other possibilities for images. When my birthday came I realized there wouldn’t be any birthday cake from my mom that year, for the first time ever, really, and that hit me pretty hard and fuelled my creativity.”

Pratt picked up painting from her parents. She also picked up baking from her mother, something she says is taken seriously in her family — particularly with birthdays. 

This cake was designed by Maria Clarke of Petite Sweet in St. John’s. Pratt painted it as part of her latest collection. (Submitted by the Emma Butler Gallery)

“It struck me that baking, and baking birthday cakes in particular, is essentially an act of love that you do for somebody else,” said Pratt.

“I don’t take baking birthday cakes lightly. I’m not going to bake a birthday cake for just anybody.”

‘It’s just part of what we do’

Pratt said the idea to paint cakes was obvious to her after going through some old family slides, many of which featured cake.

She said everyone in the family was happy in those captured moments, but added cake itself plays a role in societal norms. 

“Cake in general has a larger picture in our culture. We have cake with many of our rituals and celebrations. Retirement, graduations, weddings, obviously, and even at funerals you bring baked goods,” Pratt said.

“It’s just part of what we do, and that’s the way my mom approached art. It’s the way I approach it as well. It’s about representing what you know.”

Barbara Pratt says painting cakes for her newest collection came to her after the realization that she would not be receiving another of her mother’s. (Submitted by the Emma Butler Gallery)

Pratt’s new works feature actual cakes designed by Maria Clarke of Petite Sweet in St. John’s and some of her own. 

Eighteen of her paintings will be hung on the walls of the gallery from Sept. 19 to Oct. 10, and the memory of her mother and the paying of her tribute goes one step further. 

Many of the paintings were used using Mary Pratt’s brushes, and even some of her own canvases that she never had the opportunity to use, said Barbara Pratt. 

“I feel lucky, in that I have sort have been with her during the whole duration of creating work for this show,” she said. 

“There were days were days when it was very emotional for me, but uplifting at the same time.… I don’t know that it helped, but I did feel honoured by the ability to use her brushes, and her paint, and well an awful lot more of her supplies as well.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador 

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