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Estevan is to see a new carved art project attracting attention to contemporary soldiers



Beloved chainsaw sculpture artist Darren Jones has been back in the Energy City bringing more art into the community.

Some of his local historical art pieces, such as the Soldiers’ Tree and Forever in the Clouds monuments, are well known not only in the province but also attracted attention from all across the country. Other creations such as tributes to Estevan’s industries and sports along with other private projects Jones completed became locals’ favourite sites.

This time he came to fulfill another valuable project, that is meant to bring light to the contemporary soldiers coming back from missions and living among us, often carrying emptiness and trauma inside.

Lester Hinzman, a man behind the ideas for the Soldiers’ Tree, Forever in the Clouds and now this piece, said that to him this monument is about love.

“Soldiers’ Tree is a story of war. Forever in the Clouds is the story of a terrible accident. And this is a story of love,” said Hinzman.

He went on to explain that the soldiers today fight for others and the Canadian values in peacekeeping missions, and they need help returning to normal life after they come back. But often they can’t ask for it, struggling with it in the silence of their own lives. So Hinzman wanted to do something to tell their story, as he saw what it takes for a man to come back from war first hand.

“This man fought for his country and his belief system,” said Hinzman explaining his idea of the project.

Hinzman came up with an idea to attract more attention to contemporary soldiers and the trauma they deal with a while ago. Then the wheels started turning and things started coming together like a puzzle. Jones came to Estevan to work on this and a few other projects about a month ago, and going by Hinzman’s idea and passion, he developed the idea and created a unique monument that tells a story of love, trauma and ignorance at the same time.

“I’m doing a returning soldier memorial to show appreciation for what they do,” Jones said. “They need assistance and we need to bring some awareness to veterans and returning soldiers and problems that they have. And we need to take care of them.”

Through his art, Jones wanted to show the real feeling behind Hinzman’s idea. He wanted to make something bigger than just a memorial.

“I’m doing the returning soldier and there is an Afghan child giving him a hug for giving him a book because we don’t make war, we should be peacekeepers. That’s the first part that you are going to see, a returning soldier getting appreciation from people he helped when he was overseas.

“But I also wanted to bring to attention to that the fellow sitting in the very front on the bench that you can sit with. He is the one that’s already returned and that’s been forgotten,” Jones explained.

Thus, the new monument consists of two parts. There is a soldier with a prostatic leg that is planned to be made out of steel hugging the Afghan child with a book in his hands, which represents the service and feats of Canadian soldiers. In front of them, there is a smaller monument of another contemporary soldier, who came back from a mission and ended up on the street, alone and forgotten, with a little help board in his hands. The bench next to the monument will allow people to sit next to the forgotten soldier and look closer at him, reminding them that it’s everybody’s part to remember and help the soldiers who’ve been protecting others paying a very high price.

Jones added that he’ll make the top part look like a real-life scene, and the bottom will be an actual monument, bringing the big idea down to earth and raising awareness about a serious problem that exists in the society.

“We need to support them and they don’t get the support. There is a lot of them that have problems dealing with the horror of it all, and the nightmares that they get. Sometimes they can’t tell the nightmare from reality. And they drink or (use drugs), which doesn’t help. It’s the way to escape it for a while, but they need help,” said Hinzman.

Jones used a picture of an Estevan man, who served in Canadian troops and was a part of one of the Canadian peacekeeping missions, as a prototype for the contemporary military working uniform.

The idea of the monument was inspired by a quatrain poem Hinzman wrote, which will be a part of the carved statue.

“The scars run deep, not all you see,

But like a root it’s still a part of the tree.

The pain is there, it’s part of life

It’s our duty to help with the strife,” Hinzman’s poem reads.

Hinzman explained that the monument represents what contemporary soldiers do and also different levels of trauma soldiers deal with.

“You can see the loss of a leg, but you can’t see the pain that’s in his heart and his soul. And like the root, it’s still part of that tree, and you don’t see it, but it’s an intercut part of that tree … And the pain is there every day. And it’s our job to help with that,” Hinzman said.

Jones added that the forgotten soldier monument at the base of the composition represents that inner trauma.

“There is going to be an underlying theme between the tree and the soldiers, and the memorial,” Jones said.

Even though Jones had some pictures that he is using as an idea, he is trying to keep both soldiers’ faces pretty generic as they represent many returning soldiers and their stories.

“I want it to really touch some people’s hearts. And maybe that’s going to inspire someone to stand up and do something for them,” Jones said.

For the monument, Jones used a dry, 108-year-old black poplar that was leaning over the road in the Estevan area. When the carving work is done, Jones will stain and colour the wood, making a transition between the real-life and the monument parts of the composition.

At the time of the interview, it wasn’t decided where the monument will be located after it’s completed. Follow the Mercury for more updates on the progress on the monument and its future.

And while Jones spent about a month in Estevan so far, the work on the soldier monument has been going pretty slow. Jones said that first, the emotion and passion behind the monument has to be captured and performed properly.

“I’m not rushing this one, but it’s coming out beautifully,” Jones said.

But the popular in this area artist also had several other projects to accomplish. Jones brought the refurbished benches back to Estevan Soldiers’ Tree site and together with some community members placed themn where they belong by the courthouse. He also worked on private projects in Hitchcock, Manor and Estevan.

“Since I got here I’ve done well over a hundred feet (30 metres) of curved sculpture. I worked every single day. I’ve carved a tattoo. I’ve carved a memorial bench for a lady in Manor for her husband that passed. It’s actually a tribute to their farm from trees that were on the farm,” Jones said.

Another person asked him for a totem pole, and he made a statue with wildlife, a lot of which was inspired by local animals he saw while driving around the area. There is also a bench at the bottom, making it functional. Jones also carved an eagle and a crocodile for other community members.

Once Jones is done with projects in the area, he will head back to Alberta, but he said he is going to be back again as he has really warm feelings for Estevan and the people here.

Source: – Estevan Mercury

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First virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture 'absolutely fabulous' – OrilliaMatters



“Absolutely Fabulous.” “A wonderful presentation, truly exceptional experience of art and land.” “A true labour of love.”

These were some of the online comments about Jim and Sue Waddington and their presentation, “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.”

The Waddingtons appeared live via Zoom at the first ever virtual Carmichael Art History lecture hosted by the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) on Oct. 21. 

When the OMAH History Committee, who coordinates this annual OMAH fundraiser, confirmed with the Waddingtons that the lecture planned for May would have to be cancelled, Jim and Sue rose to the occasion.

“Would you be interested in holding the lecture virtually?”

They were keen to help OMAH with their fundraising efforts by sharing their story this way.

Forced to step outside their comfort zone, OMAH and the History Committee partnered with the Waddingtons to make this virtual event a huge success.

Through their rich narration Jim and Sue shared with viewers a snapshot of their 43-year quest to find the over 800 actual sites where the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson painted, exhibiting their stunning photographs of the locations that mirrored each particular sketch or painting.

Special for the Orillia audience, they included many details about the Orillia-born Franklin Carmichael. 

The audience was also treated to a “reveal” of the location where Carmichael painted Old Barns, Miner’s Bay, the painting OMAH hopes to purchase, which is in the la Cloche region of Ontario, not in the Minden area as was first thought.

It was a wonderful evening. Thanks go to the Waddingtons and to the community for supporting this event.

OMAH will be sending out a general survey regarding future virtual programming. In addition, a survey will be sent specifically to attendees at the virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture. We want to hear about what is in important to you so we can develop rich online experiences that meets your needs and interests.

OMAH is committed to find ways to stay connected to the community both at the museum and virtually. Stay tuned for more virtual programming in the future.

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Qaumajuq_new name of Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit art centre, an act of decolonization – Turtle Island News



By Adam Laskaris

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

WINNIPEG, MAN-The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre has a new name.

Qaumajuq Street View Day Rendering. Photo Michael Maltzan Architecture

In a ceremony on Oct. 28, the gallery, known as WAG, announced the centre would be renamed Qaumajuq  1/8HOW-ma-yourq 3/8, an Inuktitut word meaning “It is bright, it is lit”.

Qaumajuq is set to open in February 2021 after construction began in March 2018 on a new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture. It’s home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.

The WAG building itself was given a name in Anishinaabemowin,Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah  1/8BEEN- deh-gen Bi-WAH-say-yah 3/8, meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here” or “the dawn of light is coming.”

The naming ceremony was hosted by Dr. Stephen Borys, director and CEO of WAG. The ceremony occurred with a small gathering of Borys and Julia Lafreniere, WAG manager of Indigenous Initiatives. A Qulliq lighting ceremony was conducted by Elder Martha Peet, with virtual appearances from Theresie Tungilik and Elder Dr. Mary Courchene. The latter two formally announced the new names in Inuktitut and Anishinaabemowin respectively.

Tungilik, an Inuk artist from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, said “Qaumajuq will be a place where all walks of life will experience, through the creation of Inuit art, our survival, hardships and resilience.”

Courchene, who comes from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, said the Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah name was created to “include all the Indigenous populations of Manitoba, the First Nations, the Metis, and the Inuit populations.”

“The language keepers and Elders came together in a powerful moment of cross-cultural reflection and relationship-building,”

Borys said. “This initiative is an act of decolonization, supporting reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge transmission for generations to come in an effort to ensure WAG-Qaumajuq will be a home where Indigenous communities feel welcome. Where everyone feels welcome.”

In addition to the new name of Qaumajuq, which will serve as the primary name for the space, various areas within the WAG will also have new names in Inuvialuktun (Inuit), Nehiyawewin (Cree), Dakota, and Michif (Metis) that were given by Indigenous language keepers.

“Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led initiatives will be at the heart of this new space and giving the spaces Indigenous names is just the start,” reads the WAG’s website where pronunciations and audio clips for the new names are available.

“We are thrilled to share the names of the spaces in the seven Indigenous languages of Manitoba and Inuit Nunangat,” said Dr.

Heather Igloliorte and Dr. Julie Nagam, co-chairs of the Indigenous Advisory Circle for Winnipeg Art Gallery, in a joint statement.

“The Circle demonstrates the breadth of knowledge that represents the relationship to the collection and the buildings and it has been an incredible experience for all Circle members. We are so honoured to gift the institution with these new names that point to a new path forward for galleries and museums in this country,” the statement continued.

The WAG also states that the “historic naming responds to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 13 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 14i, both of which reference the importance of Indigenous languages.”

Article 13 reads:

Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

TRC Call to Action 14i states: Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.

A press release issued by WAG states that Qaumajuq “will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming.” One of these features includes the three-storey tall column called the `visible vault’ that is filled with thousands of Inuit carvings and immediately viewable upon entry into Qaumajuq.

“This is a place that amplifies and uplifts Inuit stories, connecting Canada’s North and South. This is a site for reconciliation… We can’t wait to unveil this new cultural landmark in the heart of the country with these new names honouring Indigenous voices and languages,” Borys said.

Adam Laskaris is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of Windspeaker. com. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. 

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Pay Phones Turned Into Public Art, in “Titan” – The New Yorker



Photograph by Chris Maggio for The New Yorker

New York City’s pay phones are obsolete, and, by early next year, they will also be history—removed to make way for Wi-Fi kiosks. Through Jan. 3, a dozen artists (including Glenn Ligon, Patti Smith, and Jimmie Durham, whose contribution is pictured above) are making creative use of phone booths along Sixth Avenue, from Fifty-first to Fifty-sixth Streets. The project, called “Titan,” was co-curated by Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker, in collaboration with the Kurimanzutto gallery.

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