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Google celebrates Group of Seven with online art display and virtual tour – Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal

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On May 7, 1920, a group of artists calling themselves the Group of Seven mounted their first formal exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario). Their landscape paintings captured the raw, rugged beauty of Canada, and although many of their works depicted scenes in Eastern Canada, members of the group also ventured westward and recorded what they saw, painting scenes in or around Ashcroft, Yale, Field, and other places in B.C. and Alberta.

Travel restrictions mean that it’s difficult to visit some of these sites, but Google Canada is inviting Canadians to celebrate the Group of Seven and this landmark of Canadian art history with virtual visits to the real-life locations that inspired the artists, alongside the paintings that the artists created.

The McMichael Gallery in Ontario has the world’s largest collection of works by members of the Group of Seven, and Google Canada is partnering with the gallery to digitize between 150 and 200 of the items. Alexandra Klein of Google Canada’s communications team says that they are “incredibly excited and humbled” to be working with the McMichael on the project.

“What Google can do really well is use their global platform to share Canadian culture with Canada and the world,” she says. “It’s especially significant given their importance, and the 100th anniversary.”

The original members of the Group of Seven were Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, Franz Johnston, J. E.H. MacDonald, Fred Varley, and A. Y. Jackson. In 1945 Jackson visited Ashcroft, leaving behind a painting and a sketch of the town, both of which have been interpreted as glass mosaics (one on the Rolgear building and one in the Heritage Park).

While the artists and their works are now seen as landmarks of the Canadian art world, initial reaction to their paintings was by no means one of universal praise. One critic dubbed them the “hot mush” school of art, a reference to the texture of the paint they used, which the critic said made him think of gobs of porridge.

Google Canada recently released images of several of the digitized paintings, along with Google street view images of the locations where or near where they were painted, including the historic church in Yale.

“We’ve made a commitment to create a digitized, centralized Group of Seven ‘hub’,” says Klein. “They’re representative of Canadian art history, and they have a significant history in the west. They definitely had a presence in B.C. and Alberta as well as in Ontario. It’s important for people to know that’s reflected in their work.”

She says that pairing the paintings with street view is a way for Canadians to engage with our culture, history, and geography from home during COVID-19. “Now is the time when people are usually planning what their summer will look like. Street view allows us to learn about the Group of Seven virtually from the comfort of our homes, and plan future trips.”

Klein says that another thing Google is trying to do is democratize art.

“Not only are the Group of Seven known across Canada for their work, which represents a certain place and time, they’re known around the world. Google has art from around the world, and it’s not just for people who can access galleries. I hope people around the world learn about each other and each other’s culture.”

While Google has the platform, Klein says they are relying on staff at the McMichael to guide them in terms of selecting the artwork. “They’re the curators. What we’ve done is show a taste of what’s to come, and hint at what the experience will be like.

“Google allows us to work with art from around the world. The cameras are designed to best reflect the details of a work of art. There’s a difference between taking a straight-on photo and one that shows interesting details in, say, a watercolour painting.”

Klein says the paintings and street views can be found at the Google Arts & Culture website (https://artsandculture.google.com/).

“Everything is in there. And we’ll be making a second announcement when everything is online.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

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‘Mountain Solitude (Lake Oesa)’ near Field, painted in 1932 by J.E.H. MacDonald (l) beside the Google street view of the location. (Photo credit: Google)

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Kids can make art to brighten Red Deer seniors’ lodges – Red Deer Advocate

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The Red Deer Public Library is calling on young artists to help brighten seniors’ lodges.

The library is calling for “mini-artists” to drop off their paper creations — whether it’s flowers, drawings, letters or cards — into bins outside two participating Red Deer seniors’ lodges this week.

They are Timberstone Mews (42 Timberstone Way) and Harmony Care (200 Inglewood Dr.).

Staff from the lodges will “proudly display the creations,” bringing joy to residents and staff.

They are also planning to make some social media posts featuring art that is on display at the lodges.

Red Deer Public Library

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A virtual Art in the Garden festival is happening on the North Shore this weekend – North Shore News

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The North Shore’s annual Art in the Garden event is gearing up to go digital this weekend.

The event has been re-imagined as a livestreamed art and music demonstration this Saturday and Sunday evening, while encouraging community members to share pictures of their own green spaces online.

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Last month, North Van Arts made the decision to suspend the 21st annual Art in the Garden festival due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of practising physical distancing during an event which melds visual arts with some of the North Shore’s most extraordinary gardens.

The decision was made to offer an online version of Art in the Garden in order to keep the spirt of the long-running festival intact, according to Nancy Cottingham Powell, executive director of North Van Arts.

“Art in the Garden is the longest running North Shore garden tour and we didn’t want to just cancel this event that inspires gardeners, artists and nature lovers,” stated Powell, in a press release.

As part of its new online event, for the month of May the arts and culture organization reached out to visual artists and musicians who had participated in past festivals and asked them to create short videos outlining their work, inspiration and methodology.

The six artist videos were released weekly on North Van Arts’ social media channels and website.

This weekend, local painters Nicola Morgan and Pierre Leichner are set to take over the organization’s Instagram account as they livestream the creation of original artwork over live music performed by North Shore musicians Ava Maria Safai and Paul Silveria.

Viewers can tune in on May 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. each night.

North Van Arts is also encouraging people on the North Shore to comment and share pictures of their gardens and green spaces this weekend, as well as their own nature-inspired art, by using the hashtag #ArtintheGarden.

“These extraordinary times have forced us to look at how we connect with our community. Art in the Garden Online is an opportunity for us to support our members and local artists in a unique way,” stated Powell.

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Art from isolation: the fourth instalment of with.draw.all – St. Albert TODAY

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While students continue to learn from home, art students from three of St. Albert’s high schools are contributing to with.draw.all, which will be posted to the Gazette’s website every second Thursday.

Artist: Eleanor Bordian
Grade 11
Medium: Chalk pastels
Artist statement: “Our challenge was drawing our favourite character in chalk pastels. Portraits can be drawn in so many mediums and I really enjoy drawing and painting them.”

 
Shannon Ruddy Fine Art PhotoArtist: Shannon Ruddy
Grade 12
Medium: Photography
Artist statement: “I decided to express a few things that I care about into a photo.”

 
Aislinn LibichArtist: Aislinn Libich
Grade 11
Medium: Collage
Artist statement: “The weekly challenge was to choose a household item and incorporate it into my artwork. I chose a binder clip and incorporated it into the body of a dragonfly. I then completed the rest of my drawing with four complimentary colours to complete my drawing.”

 
Jayda Gardner in my fridgeArtist: Jayda Gardner
Grade 11
Artist statement: “I’ve never thought to draw the insides of my fridge before. The different shapes and shadows the items in my fridge created piqued my interest and so I focused on a few items. I really enjoyed this challenge.”

 
Chantal LafraniereArtist: Chantal Lafraniere
Grade 11
Title: Starry High Tops
Medium: Coloured scrapbooking paper and magazines
Artist statement: “It was a lot of fun creating this collage by finding cool textures from magazines and piecing them together to create an image. I also tried to use some darker and lighter textures to add light and shadows to give the collage more dimensions. Art has been helping me during COVID time by encouraging creativity, and fun hobbies to pursue during this pandemic.”

 
Avery WitterArtist: Avery Witter
Grade 12
Title: COFFEE
Medium: Letters cut into squares from an old fashion magazine
Artist statement: “During this pandemic, art has helped me a lot. It helps me cure my boredom, which not even the television can do anymore. It also helps me to relieve stress and forget about what is happening in the world for just a few moments. I find myself being way less productive during this pandemic so art is one of those things that makes me feel productive and helps me start my day on a productive path. I aim to start my mornings by doing any type of art. It helps me get into the right mind space and also helps me set a bit of a routine.”

 
Cierra Santiago copyArtist: Cierra Santiago
Grade 12
Title: Dear COVID-19
Medium: Magazine cutouts
Artist statement: “The process of this piece was very simple yet revealed my creativity and true emotion. I decided to create my piece about COVID-19 because there is not a day that passes without thinking or even being reminded of this awful pandemic. Although my piece is very simple, the meaning varies and is understandable to many. “I miss the normal life” is clearly referring to my life before this pandemic. I often think about how my high school experience is not how I imagined and how our graduation, the day I have been waiting for almost all my life, is being taken away and replaced with something not even close to what I envisioned. This pandemic has been an unexpected journey full of emotion and has impacted my life drastically but also has helped me explore my abilities and skills. I am very thankful for all parents and teachers supporting their children and students during this time and trying their hardest to make sure our school experience is as best as it can be.
Personally creating art during this pandemic has been a complete escape for me and has helped my creativity develop even more. Quarantine has helped me create pieces that I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. When creating art my mind is placed somewhere else, where I forget all my problems and all the negatives of this pandemic. Although COVID-19 has ruined many opportunities for individuals there are still positives during this pandemic. Despite all the negatives of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has really helped me appreciate and enjoy my art skills to another level.

 
Lee AndersonArtist: Lee Anderson
Grade 11
Medium: Pencil and marker
Artist statement: “It has been a busy time for me but I always find time to explore my characters.”

 
Dax ZieselArtist: Dax Ziesel
Grade 11
Medium: Pencil
Artist statement: “This challenge was to draw a face pressed up against glass. The portrait became more about the shadow and light and less about getting a likeness.”

 

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