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Free art kits up for grabs from New West arts council – The Record (New Westminster)

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The Arts Council of New Westminster wants to help local residents get in touch with their creativity during COVID-19.

The arts council has 10 free art kits up for grabs, and residents can enter to win one on social media between Thursday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb. 18.

Program manager Laura Grady noted the arts council came up with the idea after cleaning out its storage shelves and sifting through all its art supplies – and finding enough supplies to create the art kits.

“During this time of staying at home, we want to encourage the community to find comfort and enjoyment in creating art,” Grady wrote in an email. “Whether you are interested in learning to draw, experimenting with watercolour painting or gluing your way through the therapeutic process of collaging, we have a kit for you.”

The 10 kits include:

  • Kids’ arts and crafts kits (5)
  • Watercolour kit (1)
  • Drawing kits (3)
  • Collage kits (2)

You can head over to the Arts Council of New Westminster Facebook page between Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 for a chance to win.

Winners can pick up their kits at the Gallery at Queen’s Park, in Centennial Lodge.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie, jmaclellan@newwestrecord.ca.

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ART SEEN: What are better questions than Where do we go from here? – Vancouver Sun

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At the architectural, symbolic and conceptual centre of the Vancouver Art Gallery is a text-work by artist Nya Lewis.

Called Commit Us To Memory, the work’s central location in the rotunda on the third floor focusses attention on the Black art experience in Canada. As well, its siting made me think of the historical role the VAG has played as an institution in defining what constitutes art in B.C.

The text-based work is in the exhibition Where do we go from here? which was guest curated by Lewis.

In an interview, she talked about the work and explained how the VAG reached out to her last year to include her in the planning and selection of works for the exhibition.

You can read that story here.

The story is mostly a positive one about a visual arts institution reaching outside to bring in someone with expertise in historical and contemporary Black Canadian art. Maybe best of all, the VAG listened and created a better exhibition as a result.

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But everyone wasn’t in agreement about everything all the time. Not surprisingly, when intelligent people get together, they often have different opinions. During planning for the exhibition, one area of disagreement was over the exhibition title.

Untitled Redacted Text by Chantal Gibson is in Where do we go from here? at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Untitled Redacted Text by Chantal Gibson is in Where do we go from here? at the Vancouver Art Gallery. PNG

Lewis said she challenged the VAG curators about the meaning of Where do we go from here?

For many Black Canadians, it’s like going backwards and posing a question that’s been asked before but never properly addressed.

“To me, it suggests that we haven’t been here before,” she said.

“We’re at this cross roads that for many non-Black people feels new but if you’ve lived thorough the Civil Rights movement, then it isn’t new.”

She said it’s also not new if you haven’t been recognized by an institution despite spending years making work as a Black artist.

The answer to the rhetorical question of the title, she said is “What’s missing? Who is missing?

“It’s not that we need to prove that voices aren’t important. We know that we are. But really we need to challenge the biases that would have them missing in the first place.”

Later on this year, Jan Wade is having a solo show at the VAG. Her vibrant textile-based works were one of the artists I was introduced to in Where do we go from here?

Lewis said that part of her contract with the VAG included requiring the institution to buy and collect work by Black artists during the next five years. As well, it included a commitment to hire someone on permanent staff and to have solo shows by Black artists.

“These were things that I required to work with them so it wasn’t a one-off situation,” she said.

“I left them to do that work.”

Nya Lewis is the guest curator of Where do we go from here? at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Photo: Francis Georgian/Postmedia.
Nya Lewis is the guest curator of Where do we go from here? at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Photo: Francis Georgian/Postmedia. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

Where do we go from here? continues through Black History Month in February until May 30 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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Texas ranch heiress' art collection going up for auction – North Shore News

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DALLAS — An art collection worth an estimated $150 million that belonged to the late Texas oil and ranching heiress Anne Marion is going up for auction this spring in New York.

Sotheby’s said Wednesday that Marion’s private collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Franz Kline.

Marion, who founded the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, died last year at the age of 81. Marion and her husband, John Marion, a former Sotheby’s chairman and auctioneer, established the museum in 1997.

Sotheby’s said three masterworks at the heart of the collection are expected to each sell for over $20 million. They are: Warhol’s “Elvis 2 Times,” Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park No. 40,” and Clyfford Still’s “PH-125 (1948-No. 1).”

Marion, the great-granddaughter of Capt. Samuel Burk Burnett, was the heiress to the historic Four Sixes Ranch in King County in West Texas.

Sotheby’s said the masterworks that formed her art collection were featured in her Fort Worth home, which was designed by architect I.M. Pei.

Sotheby’s said that a number of other works from her collection will be gifted to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

The Associated Press

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Pandemic art sales: Prettying up the walls we’re staring at – 570 News

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NEW YORK — If you’ve been watching experts and commentators appearing on television from their homes, their increased attention to decor might look familiar: In the early days of lockdown, they, like many of us, sat in front of blank white walls, while now their homes frequently display prominent artwork.

“Cinderella has nothing on these people,” said Claude Taylor, who created the Room Rater Twitter account with his fiancee, Jessie Bahrey. “I don’t think art is even something people thought of in April.”

Room Rater scores speakers’ setups on a 10-point scale for details like lighting and camera level. Good artwork can boost a score. For example, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson scored a 10/10 for appearing on Morning Joe in front of artwork by his wife, Avis Robison.

It seems many Americans who are stuck staring at their walls have decided the pandemic gives them a good reason to pretty them up.

My first hint at an uptick in art spending came last summer. When businesses shuttered and laid off employees in March, we braced for my artist husband’s sales to plummet. For a while they did. But then, his numbers didn’t just return to normal. They spiked.

I thought it might be an anomaly. My husband, John Tebeau, illustrates beloved bars; maybe people were buying his bar art because they missed their favourite watering holes?

But then friends who work at a framing shop said they were as busy last fall as at Christmas. Artists we know said they, too, were selling more than usual.

Online arts marketplace Etsy confirmed the trend. Comparing March-December 2020 to the same nine months in 2019, Etsy reported:

• a 95% increase in searches for wall art.

• an 80% increase in searches for stained glass window or wall hangings.

• a 46% increase in searches for sculptures.

Etsy doesn’t release data on actual sales. It’s fair to assume at least some of those searches were daydreams that never led to purchases, if my own time scrolling through listings for upstate houses I have no intention of buying is any indication.

Adobe Analytics does track purchases online, and those numbers are even more dramatic: Average daily sales of “art goods,” which includes sculptures, artworks and frames, increased 134% between the pre-COVID-19 months of 2020 and last fall. Comparing September and October 2019 to the same two months in 2020, average online daily sales increased 109%. Adobe’s analysis of e-commerce sales includes 80 of the 100 largest online retailers in the U.S.

Atiba T. Edwards has just the combination of experience to explain what’s happening. He worked in banking for several years and is also the cofounder of the arts non-profit FOKUS, which offers arts education, hosts art events and publishes an online magazine.

Edwards noted that many people who kept working during the lockdown suddenly weren’t spending money on travel, going out to restaurants or movies, or getting babysitters. They were probably home more than ever before, so they might have redirected some of that discretionary income to art.

Edwards is an example himself. He loves and appreciates art, but in the before times, he left his Brooklyn apartment early in the morning, went to work as chief operating officer of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, then got home late after coaching basketball or going to an art event. Now he works more at home, and misses seeing art at work and elsewhere.

“I have hung six pieces in the last three months,” he said. “People are seeing the benefit of surrounding themselves with beauty.”

Edwards has worked with hundreds of artists as executive director of FOKUS, trying to create accessible art experiences in nontraditional spaces. He believes the traditional art show or gallery experience feels intimidating to someone who doesn’t feel knowledgeable about art, while social media algorithms can serve up artists to peruse with no pressure to buy.

“The newcomer can look at art at home and not have the feeling of it being unwelcoming,” he said.

Higher unemployment rates caused by the pandemic mean many people, of course, don’t have the money to buy art now.

But for some of those still working, buying art can also be an attempt to help support others.

“I had people reaching out to buy a piece of art to save my gallery,” said Eden Stein, owner of Secession Art and Design in San Francisco, which sells the works of about 70 creators. “That money not only supported my family, it supported the artists and their communities.”

Stein said making art sales during the pandemic has felt a little like a wedding reception: She has reconnected with friends and clients from throughout the gallery’s 13-year history.

Typically, Stein would host two or three events a month, while foot traffic to nearby restaurants and a music venue next door would also bring in new visitors. Instead, for the last year, she’s talked to many buyers by phone or arranged visits by appointment.

“This year has been really personal.” Stein said. “If you can’t hug people, selling a piece of artwork feels a little like that.”

Colleen Newvine, The Associated Press

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