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Gibsons to revive public art advisory committee – Coast Reporter

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The Town of Gibsons is expected to make a call this month for members to sit on a public art advisory committee.

The Town set up a similar committee in 2006, but it was eventually disbanded.

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Mayor Bill Beamish brought the idea of reviving the committee to council at its last meeting of 2019.

In a written report to the Dec. 17, 2019 meeting, Beamish said the original committee was set up “to respond to interest expressed by the community in acquiring and displaying art to culturally enrich public spaces, including those in new developments.”

Beamish’s report also said, “today there is increased opportunity to acquire public art that will help to distinguish our community and to foster a sense of pride and attachment to public spaces and buildings.”

“We’re noticing now that there’s interest in different projects coming forward – Gospel Rock being one opportunity for public art. The supportive housing project [is also] an opportunity for public art,” Beamish told council.

“It’s good to have the perspective of some independent people… We are such a strong arts community on the Sunshine Coast and we need to reflect that community in things we do as well as working with the culture and history of the Squamish Nation.”

Beamish said the committee should be made up of volunteers, and the board of the Gibsons Public Art Gallery should be invited to appoint a member.

He also said council should work with the committee to update the “public art in public spaces” policy created in 2006.

Coun. David Croal suggested the committee’s work also include creating an inventory of existing public art and the possibility of creating an “art bank.”

“I think having a committee to look at [public] art is one thing, but I think it needs to have almost a strategic plan so it grows into something that becomes an asset of the community.”

Youth councillor Eilis Mackenzie also had a suggestion – inviting one of the Elphinstone Secondary School art teachers to sit on the committee as a way of getting the perspective of student artists. “If they have a say in the art that’s created, they have a connection to the community.”

Council voted unanimously to accept Beamish’s proposal. According to an update on the Town’s website, it expects to put out the call for potential committee members to submit “expressions of interest” sometime this month.

 

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Flattened Basketballs as Art – The New York Times

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For many of us, the outdoors serve as a refuge — a place to gather (at a social distance, of course) and live some sort of normalcy as the pandemic continues to disrupt society.

Then there is the artist Tyrrell Winston, who has spent years scouring the outside world to gather the material he has made integral to his work. Winston’s pieces are typically made with objects he finds outside — most commonly, flattened basketballs and cigarette butts.

“When I’m walking down the street, I’m seeing art materials,” Winston said during a recent Zoom interview. “It’s literally, ‘What can I use or what can I look at that I have never seen before?’”

Winston, 35, is based in New York City and has no formal art training, but he has made a career out of combining his two loves — basketball and art — to create compelling three-dimensional works. He said he was currently constructing something for Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers: a piece of 168 flattened basketballs. (Gilbert had commissioned two other pieces by Winston that are outside the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where the Cavaliers play.)

Once Winston finishes this piece, it will be the largest artwork of flattened basketballs collected by an N.B.A. owner, supplanting one that belongs to Michael Rubin, a Philadelphia 76ers co-owner, who has a Winston piece made of 105 basketballs.

The flattened basketballs used to come from Winston’s travels through Manhattan and Brooklyn. A used basketball, he said, tells its own story. “And I do not have to ascribe, put words with it, and it becomes abstract in that way,” he said. “I want my work to mean many things to many people. There is no one definitive meaning.”

Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

Now, Winston has graffiti artists sourcing balls for him in California, upstate New York, Florida, Texas and other parts of the United States. They often come from train tracks, Winston said, a common home for basketballs. Or junk shops. Estate sales. Any place. They just have to be used.

“Weather is my favorite assistant, and that’s just something I have no desire to try to figure out how to manipulate or that I want to, because the ethos of the work is about all of these touches that are not mine,” he said.

One reason Winston started using found pieces for his art was that he had $150,000 in college debt when he graduated from Wagner College with an arts administration major during the recession in 2008. He did not have money to buy materials, and on top of that, he didn’t know how to paint. But he knew he wanted to be an artist, especially after attending a Dada exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

Two of Winston’s biggest influences are Marcel Duchamp, the French artist who died in 1968, and David Hammons, an American artist. They pioneered “found art” pieces — although in very different ways. Duchamp was a father of Dadaism, an avant-garde art movement of the early 20th century that aimed to be “anti-art.” He dabbled in the whimsy and the outward rejection of conventional art, as in his piece “Fountain,” a urinal he signed “R. Mutt,” considered one of the most notable artworks of the 20th century. In the latter half of the 20th century, Hammons constructed several vivid commentaries on being Black in America through pieces made from hair on the floor in barbershops, from sweatshirts and from constructing basketball hoops several stories high, among many others.

Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

Sports are a clear influence on Winston’s art, even aside from flattened basketballs and used nets — another common material for him. He grew up a Los Angeles Clippers fan in Orange County, Calif. One of his pieces, 2019’s “Don’t Forget to Floss,” has a used basketball rim on top of a stool. It is a direct homage to Duchamp, who did the same with a bicycle wheel in one of his early works. Winston’s latest exhibit is a digital display with the gallery Library Street Collective in Detroit. Sports fans will find many of the pieces familiar and possibly sacrilegious, depending on one’s point of view.

Winston, whose work has been displayed all over the world, takes on a sports-obsessed society, particularly the hype surrounding sports memorabilia. Here is a look at some of the pieces on display.

Credit…Courtesy of Tyrrell Winston and Library Street Collective

In this series of paintings, Winston recreates the signatures of some of the most famous athletes in history — painting their autographs over and over in a series called “Punishment Paintings.” Among the athletes whose autographs Winston recreates are Michael Jordan, Pete Rose, Muhammad Ali and Mickey Mantle. He suggests that their level of fame is a form of “punishment” in itself, because society does not allow them to be flawed.

“I want people to ask, ‘Why have I chosen these people?’” Winston said, adding, “We have commodified some of these athletes and we look at them as immortal and put an unfair expectation on them sometimes.”

But Winston said that the punishment of fame isn’t the only kind of punishment he is concerned with. There is also the physical.

“So when I say, ‘Punishment Paintings,’ too, it’s the training and the mental endurance that these people that we put on these pedestals have to endure,” Winston said.

Credit…Courtesy of Tyrrell Winston and Library Street Collective

This is one that hard-core sports fans may find surprising. Winston simply takes pieces of valuable, authenticated, signed memorabilia — such as a Jordan-autographed basketball and a Rose-signed baseball — and puts his own John Hancock on them, a purposeful act of desecration.

The act is a homage in itself. Winston likened it to one by Robert Rauschenberg, the influential American artist who, like Duchamp, specialized in turning artistic expectations on their head. Rauschenberg once took a valuable drawing by Willem de Kooning, another 20th-century giant of American art who popularized Abstract Expressionism, and erased it with de Kooning’s permission. He put the blank piece of paper on display in 1953. Even as one of Rauschenberg’s most daring pieces, to take a valuable drawing and perform an act of what some would consider destruction, it did not create a public sensation until the 1960s.

To Winston, the signing of the Jordan ball is a tribute in itself. But he has an analogy that basketball fans today may more readily recognize as an explanation for this piece of work.

“It is Iverson crossing over Jordan his rookie year and hitting that shot,” Winston said. “I like to have those parallels. This is a moment in our history, but it’s also an athletic accomplishment. And me doing that Jordan ball, I mean, I’ll tell you, man, I was so nervous. It’s because of the respect and the admiration that I have for Michael Jordan as a basketball player. And I still think my signature looks kind of funny on it because I have so much respect.”

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Manitoba celebrates outstanding philanthropist in the arts – CHVN Radio

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Six people from around the province are being recognized for their bold philanthropic efforts.

Michael Nesbitt is being awarded the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Manitoba Chapter (AFP).

There will be a virtual ceremony on November 13 to recognize six incredible people and corporations and their contributions to our province. 

Nesbitt owns Montrose Mortgage Corporation, however, it’s his investment in the arts that has him being honoured. 

Although there was not much art culture in Nesbitt’s household in his childhood, his love for it started when he went to Toronto after high school. 

“My first exposure to art was when I graduated from University. My younger sister gave me a cheque and she said ‘think about buying some art, because art matters’.”

After learning more about fine art, Nesbitt went out in Toronto and purchased his first piece. Since then his love for art has grown.

He is being recognized for his investment in the U of M, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Graffiti Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Manitoba Opera.

Since COVID-19 hit, Nesbitt, like many, has missed being able to go see live performances, including the Opera. 

“I think it’s fair to say music is a big part of my life.”

Nesbitt will be part of the celebration evening in November, put on by AFP.

“Typically in the past, I haven’t been willing to accept these awards and tried to be under the radar. But I think in the last while I’ve come to realize it’s important for others to know what people like myself are doing. I hope other people will take notice and step up and help, not only the arts but other charities,” says Nesbitt.

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Press On Winnipeg sharing hope through art – CHVN Radio

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A local art initiative says they were inspired by a Christian punk band to use art to spread joy.

The image of a flying blue sparrow accompanied by a logo reading “Press On Winnipeg” is catching the attention of both outdoor and art enthusiasts. The anonymous street art project organizers say they hope people find inspiration when they see the bird.

The group says they want to spread positivity and encouragement and have good things from people. They say have heard of people viewing their art for a number of purposes, ranging from using it as an excuse to take a walk to hunt for the birds.

“Art can be a really deep and fascinating way in which we experience something greater than ourselves,” an anonymous representative from the group says. “Others have had spiritual experiences where they have shared that when they have seen our art that they have had experiences with God or Jesus.”

The representative says they want people to have a spiritual connection to art and is glad to see it happening with their work.

They say the name, Press On Winnipeg, comes from Relient K’s “Pressing On.” Relient K is a Christian punk bank from Ohio.

“That is actually what inspired one of us to start this project.”

While they were inspired by the band 10 years ago, their intention since the beginning is simple: to spread happiness.  

The movement is now catching the attention of thousands as the group ramped up their efforts during COVID-19.

Active since beginning to share their work on the Waterfront Bridge a decade ago, the group has only recently joined any form of social media. Their Instagram account was created in the spring after Winnipeg joined the list of cities affected by COVID-19. They currently have over 4,700 followers and say it is a great way to interact with people.

“When we only had 30 followers, one of the 30 followers in all of our group was actually the person that caught us.”

The group tries to stay anonymous and has only been caught putting their art up on a handful of occasions in the past 10 years. They say they try to be respectful regarding where they put their art and use special screws when posting their signs on trees and do not put art on occupied buildings unless requested.

Press On says they have received very little negative feedback.

“The whole idea of it was to share some happiness and hope with Winnipeg.”

The group shares art and the image of the bird both in Winnipeg and now outside the perimeter in unique spots.

Press On hints that the next Winnipeg location to see their work will be “very very high up.”

Now taken down for the winter, Press On shared that their Wall of Hope installation was fulfilling its purpose.

“The idea of it was to create this wall for people to be able to express themselves, to be able to create art that signifies hope for themselves.”

The tall structure acted as a gallery wall for people who wished to showcase their hope and what helps them “press on.”

Now waiting in storage, Press On promises that the wall will return.

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