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Gothic art influence on Kingston – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Barriefield was built in 1844. (Kamille Parkinson/Supplied Photo)

Sometime around the year 1140, in the small region known as the Île-de-France (Paris and vicinity), the era of Gothic art emerged, developing from the earlier Romanesque period. As it spread from the Île-de-France to the rest of the country and then through all of Europe, Gothic art was often referred to as opus modernum — or modern work — signifying that it was considered innovative for its time. While Gothic art was made manifest in most forms of art, it was in architecture that a coherent Gothic style was formed. While used for civic buildings, palaces and castles, the Gothic style is most visible in religious buildings, to which it is eminently suited.

In Romanesque (in the Roman manner) architecture, when you encounter arches in windows and doors, they are rounded at the top. While this formation allowed much greater height in walls, aisles and naves in stone-built churches and cathedrals than the ancient post-and-lintel system, it still had its limitations. In a Roman arch (because the arch wants to collapse), the thrust from the apex of the arch presses against the springing of the arch — where the arch meets the vertical pillar on which it is mounted — pushing the pillars apart with lateral force. This outward thrust needs to be counteracted or contained, usually by building very thick walls.

A Gothic arch, on the other hand, is pointed at the top. While there is still lateral thrust at the springing of the arch, a significant amount of thrust is directed downward into the ground rather than outward (because the pointed arch does not want to collapse on itself). This means that less buttressing is required in the walls, and the spaces the arches span can be much wider and more open. Early Gothic structures were still somewhat tentative in their use of space (though much more open than Romanesque buildings), but by the time of the Late Gothic, stone walls soared to unimaginable heights, filled with illuminating windows of stained glass.

And what, you might ask, has any of this to do with Kingston? Quite a bit, actually. Our Limestone City has numerous examples of Gothic (Revival) architecture, especially in its churches. (It also has a large number of Romanesque and Classical Revival buildings, but that’s another story.) Interestingly, when you saunter around town and the greater Kingston region, you can almost trace a progression from Early to High Gothic (we never made it to Late it seems).


St. Mary’s Cathedral was built in 1848 with the tower added in 1890. (Kamille Parkinson/Supplied Photo)

St. Marks (1844) in Barriefield, and St. Paul’s (1845) at Queen and Montreal streets, are roughly comparable Early Gothic-type structures, with relatively small windows and narrow bays. St. Paul’s has a higher nave elevation but St. Mark’s has a taller central tower with innovative buttressing at its corners rather than the sides. The former First Congregationalist Church (1865), at Wellington and Johnson streets (currently empty, it appears), and the former Queen Street Methodist Church (1886, or 1864 depending on what source you’re using), at Clergy and Queen streets (now the Sanctuary Co-working space), are good examples of a sort of mid-Gothic revival architecture, with greater vertical emphasis and penetration of the walls with tall windows. Both of these structures have had many additions and alterations in their lifetimes, so their architectural footprint differs from most Gothic-style churches. For High Gothic revival architecture, we have in Kingston two excellent examples: St. Mary’s Cathedral (1848, the tower added in 1890) at Johnson and Clergy streets, and Sydenham Street United Church (1852, the tower and spire added in 1854), a.k.a. The Spire, at Sydenham and William streets. Both of these structures are characterized by soaring walls and windows (St. Mary’s in particular) and impressive towers, all elements linked to the Gothic striving for the heavens and the perception of the dissolution of the walls to allow more light to enter the building.••

There are numerous other examples of Gothic Revival architecture throughout our region, as well as through the rest of Ontario and in many places elsewhere in Canada, especially in religious structures (to which it is so well suited). Close to Kingston, you can see it in the Holy Name of Jesus church near Kingston Mills and farther along Highway 15 at St. Barnaby at Brewer’s Mills. In Gananoque, there are at least a couple of examples of Gothic Revival churches. The style lent itself to everything from very modest wood frame churches to soaring, elaborate cathedrals, and everything in between.

As well, there is at least one example of secular Gothic revival architecture (done in a style known as Regency Gothic, a more romantic approach) in downtown Kingston. Do you know what it is? And, if you happen to be driving around admiring the local scenery, you might very occasionally spy a Gothic-arched window above the central front door on an old limestone farmhouse, instead of the more usual and staid Roman-arched window — perhaps requested by the owner in a fit of whimsy.

Kamille Parkinson earned a PhD in art history from Queen’s University, and is presently a freelance writer and art historian at large. You can find her writing at Word Painter Projects on Facebook, and can contact her at artabouttownygk@gmail.com.

Art About Town

Please check with each venue to see if the event/exhibition is actually taking place!

• Bon Echo 2020 Festival of the Arts: Juried Exhibition, July 24-26, Bon Echo Provincial Park.

• Fantasy in the Forest: 25th annual outdoor art exhibition, July 18-19, 1860 Draper Lake Rd.

• Kingston School of Art 2020 Juried Art Exhibition and Sale: July 3-28, Window Art Gallery, 647 Princess St.

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Calgary community takes art to the streets as COVID-19 shutters galleries – The Globe and Mail

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Residents in the Calgary community of Sunnyside have taken to getting their garages and fences painted with murals, brightening up the community.

Todd Korol/Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

It has been a tough year for art around the world. Artists have not had a venue to hang their art. Galleries have locked the doors trying to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.

In the little community of Sunnyside in northwest Calgary, more than 20 new pieces of art have been added to the community’s collection. Their collection is free to anyone who walks down the alleyways – the canvases are the residences’ garage doors.

A poem is posted outside a home on a fence post in the community of Sunnyside, part of one of Canada’s largest art walks.

Todd Korol/Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

What started out as a few homeowners painting murals on their garage doors has now grown into one of Canada’s largest outdoor art walks, featuring murals of polar bears, Olympic cross-country skiers, magpies and much more.

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“It’s snowballing now,” homeowner Christie Page says. “It’s become a place where people from outside the city come and look at our art. It’s a place you want to stop and visit. I feel it’s made our neighbourhood safer and better for businesses.”

A golden moose sculpture stands on a front porch in Sunnyside, on Nov. 21, 2020.

Todd Korol/Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

Ms. Page has created an Instagram page for the art walk; she’s also added it as a location on Google Maps.

This past summer, the community received a grant to get more garages painted, helping struggling city artists in the process.

One of the garages of Sunnyside, part of one of Canada’s largest art walks.

Todd Korol/Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

In these days of physical distancing, art fans can safely visit the neighbourhood and view the outdoor exhibition that has grown with sculptures, small outdoor art galleries and painted fences.

“You can hire an artist, or just get some paint and paint it yourself. Draw a stick man or a flower,” Ms. Page says.

“It all makes our neighbourhood better.”

Todd Korol/Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

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Art Gabor initiated bantam football to give young athletes a chance – BayToday.ca

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In 1958, when Chippewa Secondary School opened and many NBCI & VS students transferred to the new high school a bitter rivalry was born. NBCI & VS became ACS – Algonquin Composite School.

The official reason they called it Composite is because the school offered arts and science, commercial and technical disciplines. The down-low chatter was that A.S.S. would be misinterpreted on banners, signs, and school uniforms and jackets. Anyway, shortly thereafter Mr. Art Gabor, formerly of NBCI &VS and now the head physical education teacher at the new school, came up with the brilliant idea to create a new level of football. The ‘bantam’ level was created but only three high schools initially participated for the Art Gabor Trophy. Chippewa, ACS, and Mattawa were the teams.

See relatedArt Gabor obituary

Of course, with a new school, the team had new equipment and uniforms and a beautiful practice field at the rear of the school. Our old school, ACS had old equipment, from the 40s I am sure, and not a regulation field to the side of the school bordered by the railway tracks, Bourke Playground, and houses on Jane Street.

If the junior or senior boys football teams were practicing on the school field the bantam team was relegated to the Bourke Playground.

I remember one practice where our full back, Brian Wiggins, came sweeping around the left end and I was playing defensive halfback. He went between me and the boards for the playground rink, so instead of tackling him, I body checked him into the boards. Both Frenchy Kennedy and Moe Drolet, who were the coaches for our team, started to laugh and asked me why I did that. I told them I figured that was the only way to stop Brian without me possibly getting slivers in my hands.

Maurice ‘Moe’ Drolet and Laurence ‘Frenchy’ Kennedy were senior football players in the technical program at ACS who took time out to coach us young and very inexperienced football wannabees.

There was no organized football until you got to high school and junior football went up to 16 years of age so you could be 13 and 5 foot 2 and 98 pounds, as I was in Grade 9, and be up against players 90 pounds heavier than you. So, by starting the bantam program, that increased the number of possible future junior and senior players who now knew the fundamentals of the game. Art Gabor was very forward-thinking in this respect.

Anyway, the 1961 ACS Bantam Football Team played two memorable games that I would appreciate you bearing with me for my remembrances of these two games.

The first game was against the Mattawa High School and the game was played in Mattawa. Mr. Norm Grant was the assigned teacher to accompany the team on the rented bus as Moe and Frenchy were students and could not be officially assigned the duty of responsibility for all team members.

We arrived in Mattawa and were not permitted to go into the school to dress. We changed on the bus and the game got underway. Algonquin ran up 56 points and Mattawa had not had a sniff at our goal line.

A lot of our players were playing both ways so I approached the two captains, Roger Bowness and Brian Wiggins, and suggested we let Mattawa score a touchdown. I do not believe they had scored any points that year to that point.

Everyone was in agreement except for my defensive secondary partner, who we shall call player X. He was one of our offensive half backs and he stated that the Mattawa players were trying to gouge his eyes, pulling the hair on his legs and the centre for Mattawa, who had a ‘steel’ helmet was trying to pile drive player X into the ground every time there was a pile-up.

Anyway, on the next play, we let the Mattawa ball carrier go through the line and as he made for the goal line, player X tackled him. On the next play, we had to tackle player X so Mattawa could score. They did and the game ended up 56-6.

After the game, the high school facilities were opened to us and there was even a small food and drink offering made available. This was a good life lesson in sportsmanship that team sports teach young players.

We could not beat Chippewa in the two regular-season games we played them. They had big Dusty Marshall at fullback, Gordie McGuinty was their quarterback and Bill Johnson was their swift back fielder.

We got into the final game for the Gabor Trophy, which we had won the year before, and we were bound and determined to beat Chippewa that day. We did not have a home field but Chippewa had won all of their games so the game was played at Chippewa on a very cold and windy afternoon in late October.

No one could score in that game and there was very little time left on the clock. The Chippewa team had the ball on our 20-yard line. Their kicker, Alan Gray, booted the ball past our goal line about 10 yards deep. Our player, Sid Price, caught the football and booted it back out into the playing field. I believe Alan Gray retrieved the ball and booted it back into the scoring area. Again, Sid Price fielded the ball and tried to run out of our end zone. He was tackled about two yards deep in the end zone and we lost the game 1-0.

Those were two very memorable games that went different ways but were enjoyable just the same.

The player for Mattawa with the steel helmet was well known in sporting circles in and around North Bay. His name was Corky Lessard and he played with only one arm – both football and fastball.

Player X will not be named but I will give you a big hint of who he is: He was a very fast-skating right winger for the North Bay Trappers Junior teams in the mid-60s and he scored eight goals on Espanola Eagles goalie, Paul Menard, one Sunday afternoon I believe in 1965.

Sadly, our two coaches, Maurice ‘Moe’ Drolet and Laurence ‘Frenchy’ Kennedy both passed away in vehicle accidents in their very young years. I will never forget them for their generosity of time and expertise in mentoring some young football players.

Our Captain in 1961 – a more than wonderful guy – also passed away at 16 years of age. Brian Wiggins was not with us too long but he was a joy to know and a very good guy in all respects.

Story originally posted in the A Bit of the Bay nostalgia Facebook Group, republished with permission from author Brian Darling.

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Former Vancouver Canucks goalie’s art featured in Kelowna Art Gallery exhibition

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Richard Brodeur used to make his living holding a goalie stick, but these days, the man formerly known as “King Richard” by Vancouver Canucks fans, is more likely to be found with a paintbrush in his hand.

“It’s always a challenge like [when] you play professional hockey, you have a challenge every day, every game and then I feel the same every time with a painting. It’s a challenge every time you face the canvas,” said Brodeur.

The new Okanagan resident is one of three artists featured at the Kelowna Art Gallery in an exhibit that reveals the story behind the artwork.

“I’ve been dealing with depression for over 30 years and I have had about 13 concussions when I played so that didn’t help,” said Brodeur. “You gotta find something that will get you out of it or help you anyway and that’s what my painting did.”

The Art Council of the Central Okanagan is striving to bring art to the community safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With what’s going on in the world there is really nothing we can do to control it but we can control our own environment,” said Kirsteen McCullouch, Arts Council of the Central Okanagan executive director.

“I think it’s really critical to bring joy and peace and harmony in a time of darkness and through art, we do that.”

Storytellers also feature Summerland artist Danielle Krysa and Vernon’s Jude Clarke. Clarke’s story is inspired by her environment.

“The lake made a huge impact on me, water is really a beautiful environment for me I was in the water, I was on the water, I was around the water and hiking in the hills all the time,” said Clarke.

As for Brodeur, his work is telling the story of his childhood, playing pick up hockey on outdoor rinks growing up in Quebec.

The exhibit will be open to the public until Jan. 31 at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

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