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Danforth East Community Association asks residents to display art in windows to help lift spirits – Beach Metro Community News – Beach Metro News

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The Danforth East Community Association is helping build community spirit during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Danforth East Community Association is trying to spread a little bit of happiness and build community spirit with a campaign featuring art in the windows of neighbourhood homes and businesses today (Tuesday, March 24).

The art theme for today’s event is trees, and residents and businesses that are able are asked to display pictures, photos or other images of trees in their windows.

The campaign plans to continue each Tuesday with a different theme as the community deals with the COVID-19 crisis.

The Danforth East Community Association covers an area bounded by Main Street to the east; Monarch Park Avenue to the west; Mortimer/Lumsden to the north; and the railway tracks to the south.

For more information on the window-display campaign, please visit https://www.facebook.com/DanforthEastCommunityAssociation/


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Art 'hasn't failed us yet' – Winnipeg Free Press

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If you can’t make great art during a global pandemic, when can you?

That’s the view of Jordan Van Sewell, one of Manitoba’s best-known artists and a man who has been producing brilliantly whimsical ceramic sculptures for 47 years.

<img src="https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*425/NEP7941734.jpg" alt="RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Van Sewell works in his South Point Douglas studio.

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RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Van Sewell works in his South Point Douglas studio.

“It certainly feeds the imagination, living in these times,” Van Sewell, 65, told this columnist and longtime friend in a telephone interview from his home/studio in the Winnipeg neighbourhood of South Point Douglas. “For me, it gives me an opportunity to specifically address some of the big issues — such as, are we going to make it through the pandemic?

“When I look at some of the things that have happened in my work or my life — whether it’s the Beatles on Ed Sullivan or the moon landing in 1969 or the birth of my children — all these things are huge, but you think the possible end of the world is huge, too,” he said.

“I’ve got to continue doing what I do through this pandemic and understanding it in my little artsy way. In the big picture, none of us has a voice in this.”

The silver lining amid the tragedy is it has given Van Sewell the two things an artist needs most: the time to create and inspiration to fuel the imagination.

Van Sewell is hunkered down in his home/studio with wife, Joanne, son, Zane, and two cats, Pearl and Dude. His gallery on the second floor of The Forks Market has been shuttered since the novel coronavirus took its grip on Manitoba.

“No responsibility other than stay home and take care of yourself,” the artist explained. “I’ve been staying home and making stuff… The pandemic has given me the opportunity to do a lot of work and the subject matter. You try to figure out what the heck is going on, and reflect that in your art.”

It has led him to create five remarkable pieces inspired by the outbreak, whimsical-yet-serious ceramic sculptures to offer a sense of hope in dark times.

“All the pieces are meant to hang on the wall,” he said. “Three of these are called Heavy Seas. Each… has a plague doctor (a physician who treated victims of the bubonic plague) in it like you’d see in a painting by Hieronymus Bosch.”

The first features the long-nosed, sunglasses-and-babushka-wearing plague doctor on a raft with a skeleton and a dog. The second has the main character paddling a canoe in heavy waves. The third has the pointy-beaked figure and a surprised-looking dog in a barrel riding the waves.

“Each one also has an element of optimism about it,” Van Sewell offered. “The waves look like comforting arms that envelope you. It’s a double-edged sword: the waves could topple the boat but, at the same time, they look like welcoming arms.”

The last two pandemic pieces depict heaven and hell. “Those are the logical options. The idea that, inevitably, that’s where it ends, either heaven or hell.”

<img src="https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*574/NEP7941726.jpg" alt="RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

One of his latest pieces is called Heavy Seas, inspired by the pandemic and by artist Hieronymus Bosch.

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RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

One of his latest pieces is called Heavy Seas, inspired by the pandemic and by artist Hieronymus Bosch.

Van Sewell said he’s not yet worried about keeping his famously beret-clad head and signature beard above water as the pandemic crushes the economy and threatens lives.

However, he said, most artists throughout Manitoba are used to struggling, even during good times.

“Everybody is going to be affected by it and, unfortunately, the effect is the money,” he said. “Most artists are used to the idea (of scraping by). For a lot of these people, the idea of an income from art is not in the equation.”

His few outings in recent weeks have consisted mostly of visiting his shuttered gallery to water the plants.

“I go to The Forks, and there’s nobody there,” he said. “It’s like one of those dystopian or apocalyptic movies. You can see how some people might feel it’s the end of the world.”

The upbeat, self-effacing artist considers the sculptures inspired by reality of a deadly pandemic to be among his best work, and said they are intended to reflect optimism and hope for the future.

“I wouldn’t be making this stuff — even if it is tongue-in-cheek — unless I knew there was a future for it and for me,” Van Sewell said. “It’s going to end, and we’ll all end up in a new world and a better world as a result.

Artists have a critical role to play in helping people get through dark times, providing insight and a sense of hope, he said.

“It always has. Every day that goes by, art has helped me… art hasn’t failed us yet,” he said. “It’s a good thing to back during this pandemic. I’m betting on art.”

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Doug Speirs
Columnist

Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.

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Forgery, drugs and sex abuse in the Canadian art world exposed in new documentary – Art Newspaper

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Kevin Hearn with the fake Norval Morrisseau painting he bought
© David Leyes

When Kevin Hearn, a keyboard player and guitarist in the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, bought a painting ostensibly by the pioneering Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, he never imagined he was about to become enmeshed in a sinister web of art forgery, drug dealing, and sexual assault stretching from Toronto to the snowy wilds of northern Ontario.

“I just wanted to buy a painting, really,” Hearn says in a new documentary directed by Jamie Kastner, There Are No Fakes, released via iTunes in the US last month (and due to appear later in the UK on SkyArts). “I found myself in this complex, dark story that went beyond art fraud.”

Hearn paid C$20,000 ($15,000) for a canvas called Spirit Energy of Mother Earth. But when he lent it to an exhibition a few years later, a curator sounded an alarm; it was not an authentic work by Morrisseau, a charismatic figure often described as the “Picasso of the North” who died in 2007.

There Are No Fakes recounts Hearn’s battle to get compensation for the fraudulent work, bought from the Toronto-based Maslak McLeod Gallery. The film’s host of colourful characters includes ivory-tower art historians, drug-addled forgers, thuggish art dealers and a predatory villain at the centre of the web: Gary Lamont, appearing in one photo wearing a row of giant gold rings like knuckle-dusters.

Hearn’s civil suit finally succeeded. After appealing an initial court decision against him, he was awarded C$60,000 ($41,700)in damages last year. Following a criminal investigation, Lamont was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 for sexual assault; police are still investigating the forgery ring. One art dealer in the film, Don Robinson, estimates that Lamont’s ring may have produced as many as 3,000 fake paintings.

“[It’s] the greatest art scam in Canadian history,” says Robinson, who suffered a stroke because of the stress he endured in his campaign against a market awash with forgeries. “The more you dive into a pool of garbage, the more you get to know the garbage within it,” says Ritchie Sinclair, Morrisseau’s former assistant and another key figure in exposing the scandal.

Kastner’s deep dive into this sordid, wintry world blasts sizeable holes in stereotypes about clean-living, law-abiding Canadians. It includes interviews with several eye-witnesses to the forgery operation, including one artist, Tim Tait, who says he painted works for Lamont, to which Morrisseau’s forged signature was later added.

“I did it to get my fix,” Tait says with endearing honesty. “Crack, coke, Oxycontin.”

Dallas Thompson, an accomplice of Lamont’s, recalls around 26 trips to Calgary to sell forged paintings over a three-month period in 2006 and 2007. But Thompson was also among the victims—he says Lamont raped him hundreds of times.

It is voices like Thompson’s that take this documentary beyond the true-crime genre: it is also an uplifting tale of broken people who muster the courage to take the enormous step of telling the truth. Thompson was the first to speak up in 2012: after that, other victims came forward.

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Public art work lights up for health care workers every night – Vancouver Sun

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Frank, working in collaboration with Smartlight and Reliance Properties, said the eight-metre long horizontal LED lights on the south-facing exterior will switch to a tribute light display in three stages: the first displays an all-over flickering twinkle pattern meant to visualize people in the building reaching out to connect, Frank said in a statement. The second stage follows a synchronous clapping movement; the final stage ends with a heartbeat.

“This program will light up every day (at 7 p.m.) for as long as we are fighting this pandemic,” Frank said.

Frank’s public light artwork on the south-side of West Pender Place at 1499 West Pender is in the process of being restored. After the work was originally installed in 2011, the horizontal LED light strips started to leak and short out, ruining the installation.

Last year, the LEDs in the east tower were replaced with better quality light strips; the ones on the 130-metre, 36-storey west tower are scheduled to be replaced this year.

kevingriffin@postmedia.com

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