Rob Burke was quarantining at his property in St. Peters Bay, P.E.I., earlier this year when he decided he needed a project — and set his sights on a dead tree.
Burke teaches in Ontario and came back to the Island in June. Due to COVID-19 protocols he had to go through 14 days of quarantine, and that’s when he got a little bored.
“There was a tree in my front yard that has been dead for probably four or five years and I really didn’t want to cut it down,” Burke said.
“I thought, ‘there has got to be something I can do with this.'”
He searched online and came across a tree painted by an artist in Colorado. So he decided the tree in his front yard would become a sort of canvas.
Before Burke finished his quarantine he prepared the tree for paint, he said.
“Roughly 50 hours of debarking this tree and sanding it down and cutting off various branches,” he said.
After his self-isolation was over, he headed for a local hardware store, and told a store employee he planned on painting a dead tree.
“She gave me a bunch of options and we settled on a latex stain.”
Next was the colour. Burke said the employee convinced him to choose a shade of orange — “the same colour of all the farm machinery that you see around, sort of that bright reddish coloured orange,” he said.
The entire project took about 65 hours to complete, Burke said.
“I’d go out to this tree, it’d be like eight or nine in the morning. I’d come in to have maybe a snack at about one,” he said. “And six o’clock would come and it’s like — ‘I’ve just spent eight hours sitting or hanging in this tree either painting or debarking.'”
Burke couldn’t help wondering what the neighbours were thinking.
“As people were driving by I am sure they could see me in this tree.”
Burke returned to Ontario, but is now back on P.E.I. quarantining once again at his property in St. Peters Bay through the holidays.
“There has been tons of reaction,” he said, since he posted photos of the tree on social media.
“I think it’s had close to 700 likes and tons and tons of comments.”
Many people have stopped by the roadside and grabbed their phone to snap pictures, Burke said.
More from CBC P.E.I.
Canadian students create program that turns your thoughts into abstract art | Venture – Daily Hive
A team of students from the University of Alberta has developed a program that turns its wearer’s thoughts into pieces of abstract art.
Called RemBRAINdt, the program uses a 3D-printed headset and electroencephalography (EEG) to record a user’s brain activity through their skull, explained Eden Redman, the president of NeurAlbertaTech and team lead on the project.
After a baseline reading, the wearer is then shown various words and images that are intended to illicit an emotional response.
A graph is created from that heightened brain activity which RemBRAINdt, using machine learning, is able to translate into abstract art.
Rather than simply reading happiness as yellow or anger as red, though, the device measures emotions and feelings on a gradience, Redman said, ranging between “valance” and “arousal.”
Valance records positive or negative feelings, and arousal measures how calming or exciting something is.
The result is beautifully swirled lines of colour, each piece giving a new look into someone’s mind.
Redman, 24, is currently studying Industrial Design and East Asian Language Studies as an “after-degree,” but has a background in psychology and computational neuroscience.
He first came up with the idea for RemBRAINdt in January 2020 as a way to support a fundraiser at the University of Alberta’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute.
Although the project was temporarily stalled when COVID-19 hit, the NeurAlbertaTech team picked it back up, remotely, in the summer.
Since then, RemBRAINdt has eared them some “pretty decent funding,” Redman said, including $20,000 from NeuroNexus 2020, a neurotechnology design competition in Alberta.
It’s also been incorporated as an official business under the name RemBraindt Neurotechnologies Inc.
Post-pandemic, Redman’s long term goal remains having the device at public and private events. Short-term it’s “nose to the grindstone,” as the team continues to improve RemBraindt.
“People are getting interested,” Redman said. “I’m pretty excited.”
Art and technology combine for new Minecraft residency at Mackenzie Art Gallery – Global News
“So many arts and cultural events have had to find their online forms last year and this year. So I suppose this is an attempt to do that in a way that we haven’t really seen,” said Sarah Friend, artist and co-curator of Ender Gallery (“Ender” is the name of one of Minecraft’s digital realms).
“It’s fun, new and crosses different creative communities.”
Friend, who is also a software engineer and is based in Berlin, approached her friends Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll with an idea to create a virtual art space last year.
Bluemke is the digital operations coordinator at the Mackenzie and Carroll is the digital programs coordinator, .
“In talking with them the idea got fleshed out and turned into its current form in partnership with the Mackenzie,” Friend explained.
The first of four planned two-month residencies is scheduled to begin in March.
Anyone with a Minecraft account will be able to log into Ender Gallery to view the art pieces. Friend said discussions are ongoing about finding a way to display the art somewhere within the Mackenzie itself, and added that the Ender Gallery team is planning to document the exhibitions via video as well.
“Though Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, its not something that everyone has access to,” Friend said. “So we want this to be available to the widest audience possible.”
Applications for the residencies are being accepted until end-of-day on January 31.
Applicants will need to select their preferred residency period, a written proposal and a portfolio, among other things, but don’t need to be experienced artists or have extensive experience with Minecraft to apply.
Each artist will be paid a $1,600 fee.
“Proposals are already coming in. Some of them look like buildings, filled with different creations, that someone on the server can see and walk through. Other proposals are creations that tell a story as you view them,” Friend said.
“We even have proposals that would be something not built on the server, but installed on the server. Minecraft has a modding community where people create new game functionality within Minecraft, or new skins so that it looks like a different game.”
Friend said the residency follows a growing trend of projects highlighting the artistic potential of video games.
“I think we’ve only begun to see the amount of creative content that will come from that intersection.”
Thames Art Gallery seeking community submissions for Black History Month art quilt – CTV News Windsor
WINDSOR, ONT. —
The Thames Art Gallery is calling on members of Chatham-Kent to celebrate Black History Month by participating in a community art “quilt.”
“Celebrating Black Lives” is the theme of the digitally based installation.
For those who wish to participate, the gallery asks that you complete a work of art on the theme in any media, whether it’s a painting, drawing or writing.
Once complete, photograph your work and send it to email@example.com
Gallery staff will print and assemble the works into a community art “quilt” which will be on public display in the ARTspace window for the month of February.
A donation will be made for each participating artist involved to support the distribution of the film “The North Star: Finding Black Mecca.”
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