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Fredericton exhibit pulls back the curtain on creative process

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What’s more valuable than a finished piece of art?

The process.

That’s according to an exhibition at the George Fry Gallery in Fredericton. Pull Back the Curtain showcases completed works along with the artists’ initial sketches for the pieces.

Christina Thomson, head of the drawing studio at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, said the exhibit features 26 pieces, including metals, fashion, textiles, ceramics, digital design and visual arts.

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“We wanted to focus on the drawing process and how that informs all the different studios at the college,” said Thomson.

“We have this [notion] that brilliant ideas emerge as fully formed from your mind, and we don’t get to see all of the hard work and hours that go into making something.”

Christina Thomson, the head of the drawing studio at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, says she's very proud of the students displaying their work in the exhibition.
Christina Thomson, the head of the drawing studio at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, says she’s very proud of the students displaying their work in the exhibition. (Jonathan Collicott/CBC News)

Thomson said the exhibit was an “eye-opener” for her and showcases how the preliminary process in each studio differs.

Fashion and jewlery pieces start with conceptual drawings followed by technical drawings with in-depth measurements, she said, whereas a painting may start with a rough concept, sketch or even a feeling.

“I’m very proud of the students. I’m very proud of all the work that was submitted.”

Thomson said it’s not often that several studios take part in the same exhibition.

“It was really nice to not have it just be about drawing, but also how it connects with every other studio in the college,” said Thomson, “we don’t necessarily get a chance to check in with each other as much as we should and reconnect in that way.”

Grace Hallewell, a photographer and mixed media artist, said she’s showing her series, Cross Contour Light Drawing, where she used drawing and photography to bring a traditional technique to life.

The Pull Back the Curtain exhibition will be on display at the George Fry Gallery until Jan. 17
The Pull Back the Curtain exhibition will be on display at the George Fry Gallery until Jan. 17 (Jonathan Collicott)

“Taking something that’s traditionally just done on paper and bringing photography techniques with long exposures and a cat laser toy,” she said.

Hallewell said her friend lay on the floor while she took long exposure shots and used the laser to draw lines up her friend’s arms.

She learned about photography and working with light in her first year at the college, so she wanted to find a way to combine both concepts.

She said it’s interesting, and daunting, to see how far her work has come since those initial sketches.

 

Students ‘pull back the curtain’ on their work at Fredericton’s George Fry Gallery

Artists challenge their vulnerability by revealing the process behind their art.

“It’s intimidating. [I’m a] perfectionist and get self-conscious,” said Hallewell, “But in a way it’s kind of relieving to be like ‘I mess up, we all do’.”

She said it’s also a validating process. “I am growing, I am improving, I can say I’m a photographer, I’m an artist.”

Yousef Hussain, a multimedia designer and illustrator, said his display for the exhibit, CVD19 MIRROR, is a self-portrait done during the pandemic.

Hussain is originally from Saudi Arabia and moved to Canada in 2021.

Grace Hallewell, a photographer and mixed media artist, says her piece is a long-term series of how she's evolved as an artist.
Grace Hallewell, a photographer and mixed media artist, says her piece is a long-term series of how she’s evolved as an artist. (Jonathan Collicott/CBC News)

He said “COVID was a very rough period” because he went to China on a holiday and got stuck there for two years.

“I had to do a lot of art and self-reflection, a lot of looking into myself because no one could go out, I couldn’t meet up with friends or extended family,” said Hussain.

He said the work is a lot of what he learned through that period and portrays that “it’s okay to just let things go with the flow with life, learn from your mistakes and move on and don’t really focus on the negatives.”

Hussain said he’s never had his sketches on display before, but he was excited to incorporate his initial works for this piece.

“When it came to sketching and the idea phase,  I tried to focus a lot on seeing myself from different perspectives, how I look at myself, how I look at my struggles,” he said.

“They mean a lot to me.”

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Great news: The future of Catholic art is alive and well – Aleteia

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Amazing contemporary art is compiled into a gorgeous new volume … a wonderful thing for all fans of sacred art!

You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It’s free.

Sign up here

Take a walk through any art museum and you’ll see the glorious heritage of Catholic art. 

Catholic sacred art is central to the history of Western art. There are countless beautiful examples of art depicting Christ, the Bible, the saints and the angels in museums and churches all over the world.

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But most of these works were made centuries ago, and we might wonder whether they will be followed by anything comparable in our present age. After all, much of modern art doesn’t exactly inspire a sense of admiration for truth, beauty and goodness.

The good news is that the future of Catholic sacred art is alive and well. And there are plenty of examples to show you.

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St. Charles Lwanga

Neilson Carlin | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

One of today’s great artists, Marco Caratelli, lives and works in Siena, Italy. He specializes in the rare, ancient and beautiful egg-yolk tempera technique. His work draws comparisons to Fra Angelico and other all-time great artists.

Another is Christopher Alles, a sculptor of sacred art who works in Poughkeepsie, New York. He studied European sacred art in Italy, and today, his award-winning work is both inspired by and reminiscent of Michelangelo.

Even closer to home, there are a number of contemporary Catholic artists producing truly extraordinary works. Samples of their work are now compiled into a breathtaking new volume … a wonderful thing for all fans of sacred art!

Catholic Home Gallery

Courtesy of Ignatius Press

This new art collection, The Catholic Home Gallery, makes it clear that Catholic art is not something of the past. The volume showcases 18 works of sacred art by contemporary artists, revealing the beautiful diversity of their impressive talents.

The nine artists represented in the volume are Matthew Alderman, Neilson Carlin, Bernadette Carstensen, Matthew Conner, Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs, James Janknegt, Timothy Jones, Michael D. O’Brien, and Elizabeth Zelasko. The collection is the perfect introduction to their work, and can be a jumping-off point for exploring it in greater depth.

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Timothy Jones | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

The editor of the collection is John Herreid, a graphic designer and illustrator for Ignatius Press. He brought a discerning and experienced eye to choosing the artwork for the collection. 

Herreid explained some of the inspiration behind the collection, saying, “Most people are familiar with great Catholic art from ages past. But what many don’t realize is that we have many, many great Catholic visual artists working today. My hope for The Catholic Home Gallery is that it will introduce people to a few of these artists, as well as lead them to seek out, discover, and support others!”

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James B. Janknegt | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

He has been moved to see the positive response to the volume, saying:

It’s been extremely heartening to see the response The Catholic Home Gallery has generated thus far. It shows that, far from being a static heirloom from the past, Catholic sacred art is an ongoing, dynamic force that can’t help but move those who encounter it.

Best of all, each work in the collection is printed on an 8” x 10” detachable page, so you can easily remove it from the book and frame it in your home. What a perfect way to build your own collection of sacred art!

Jack Terzian
ARTIST

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France buys new masterpiece for Orsay museum with LVMH gift – CP24

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The Associated Press


Published Monday, January 30, 2023 8:14AM EST


Last Updated Monday, January 30, 2023 8:14AM EST

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PARIS (AP) — France has acquired a stunning Impressionist masterpiece for its national collection of art treasures, with a donation from luxury goods giant LVMH paying the 43 million euros (nearly $47 million) for “A Boating Party” by 19th-century French artist Gustave Caillebotte.

The oil on canvas shows an oarsman in a top hat rowing his skiff on languid waters. The work, remarkable in its realism, delicate colors and almost cinematic perspective, as though the artist was in the boat with the rower, went on display Monday in the Musée d’Orsay. It is the latest addition to the Paris museum’s already impressive collection of Impressionist art.

The painting was sold by Caillebotte’s descendants. It had been one of the last Impressionist masterpieces still in private hands, said Jean-Paul Claverie, an adviser to LVMH boss Bernard Arnault.

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Builder's clothing drive, tiny art show in Cowichan – Victoria Times Colonist – Times Colonist

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Builder’s clothing drive to boost families in need

Donations of gently used clothing, shoes and ­accessories for all ages and sizes are being sought for a clothing drive hosted by LIDA Homes, now until Jan. 31.

All donated items will be given to Our Place Society to be distributed to families in need in the community.

“As a community-focused business, we feel it is our responsibility to give back to the families and ­individuals who have supported us throughout the years,” said Dave Stephens, president of LIDA Homes. “We hope that this clothing drive will make a ­meaningful impact on those in need and encourage ­others to do their part as well.”

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Stephens has also issued a challenge to other ­builders to see who can collect the most clothing and have ­bragging rights.

The hashtag #LIDAclothingdrive has been created to encourage everyone to use it in their social media posts.

Donations will be accepted at LIDA Homes, 6015 Patricia Bay Hwy.

Tiny art show in Cowichan

More than 100 original artworks will be up for auction at the Six by Six Art Show and Auction, a special one-week fundraiser for the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Feb. 3 to 11.

The name for the show stems from the fact that each of the locally produced original artworks is limited to six by six inches in size. In addition to paintings, the show includes some sculptures.

Janet Magdanz, president of the group, says working at that scale can be a real challenge for artists used to creating larger pieces.

”Yet our talented local artists have produced some outstanding work, creating landscapes, abstracts and pieces both whimsical and thoughtful,” she said. “For buyers, the auction is a chance to pick up a small piece of work by a professional artist at a great price.”

The art will be available to view and bid on both online and in person, with bids starting at $30.

Proceeds from the auction will support and expand the art council’s youth programs and bringing regional shows to the gallery.

The finale of the week-long event will be a gala reception featuring live jazz, gourmet food and a cash bar, at the gallery Saturday, Feb. 11. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling the office at 250-746-1633 or at cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca.

In your neighbourhood

Victoria council has voted to increase the maximum amount available for its My Great Neighbourhood Grants to $7,500 for placemaking and resiliency projects and up to $1,500 for activities in 2023.

The money is expected to support up to 36 community projects.

“The My Great Neighbourhood Grant program is incredibly important during these times when community is coming together again,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “It is exciting to see residents start to reconnect with the goal of adding vibrancy and resiliency to their neighbourhoods.”

The funds are contingent upon matching equivalent contributions from applicants, including volunteer time and in-kind donations.

Grants are available to residents and community groups in the city. Not-for-profit organizations, schools or groups of residents can apply, although a sponsor is required for those without not-for-profit status.

In 2022, the city funded 13 community activities, 12 placemaking projects and 11 community resiliency projects.

Intake for the 2023 program will open in April, with city staff available to help residents through the application process.

Opera’s the ticket

Pacific Opera Victoria is making a night at the opera more attainable by distributing more than 1,000 free tickets to more than 40 community organizations for a second year.

The organizations hand out the tickets to members of the community who may be experiencing barriers, giving them the opportunity to attend one of three Pacific Opera’s 2022/23 mainstage live performances at the Royal Theatre.

“The North Park Neighbourhood Association was thrilled to participate in Pacific Opera’s Ticket Access Program,” said Sarah Murray, executive director of the association. “This program eliminates financial barriers to access, making Victoria’s thriving arts and culture scene a more equitable and inclusive space.”

Community organizations interested in taking part in the program should contact Pacific Opera. More information about the program is available at pacificopera.ca/ticket-access-program.

Art for Prospect Lake

The Prospect Lake District Community Association is looking for donations of artwork for its upcoming Art at the Lake fundraising online auction.

Proceeds from the event will be used for the maintenance of the heritage Prospect Lake Hall on the Saanich Peninsula, one of the last community-owned and maintained halls in British Columbia.

“Downsizing or just tired of looking at certain pieces? Give your old art pieces new life by donating them to Art at the Lake,” said Barbara Newton, a volunteer organizing the sale.

The association is looking for donations of any type of art — prints, watercolours, pastels, oils, posters, collectibles, statuary, vases or objects d’art.

• To donate, email jackie.wrinch@shaw.ca or telephone Mavis at 250-361-3236 by March 19.

$400M recovery fund

Community service organizations, non-profit organizations, Indigenous governing bodies and charities on Southern Vancouver Island and the Cowichan Valley can apply for funding through the federal government’s $400-million Community Services Recovery Fund, now until Feb. 21.

The money will help fund one-time projects focused on people, systems and program innovation. Organizations can apply for one of two tiers. Tier one includes funding ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, while tier two covers $100,001 to $200,000 for applicants that meet specific criteria.

United Way Southern Vancouver Island, the Canadian Red Cross and the Victoria Foundation will accept applications locally.

All unincorporated non-profits should apply to the Canadian Red Cross for funding for one-time projects that focus on how organizations recruit, retain, engage and support their personnel, including staff, volunteers and boards of directors.

Apply to the Victoria Foundation with projects that invest in systems and processes involved in creating the internal workings of an organization’s overall structure.

The United Way Southern Vancouver Island will accept applications for funding to support projects primarily focused on program and service innovation and redesign using information gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“United, we champion initiatives, programs, and projects that integrate and make a significant, positive change in people’s lives,” said Danella Parks, director of community impact with United Way Southern Vancouver Island. “As society recovers and rebuilds, United Way is honoured to support this investment by the Government of Canada with a focus on program and service innovation and redesign in the nonprofit sector.”

• For more information, go to communityservicesrecoveryfund.ca.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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