Calgary’s Southcentre Mall is showcasing a variety of colourful works from Indigenous artists focusing on their history, culture and heritage.
Colouring It Forward (CIF) Reconciliation Society partnered with the mall for the timely exhibit, which launched in the weeks leading up until the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“The fact that a mall is willing to collaborate with an Indigenous social enterprise is a really good step forward for Truth and Reconciliation,” CIF board chair Diana Frost said. “It shows that you can collaborate with a commercial entity and achieve social goals.
“Truth and Reconciliation is something that we all should care about,” said Frost. “It’s not just an Indigenous problem, when you know a large portion of our population is suffering, we should all care about that.”
This year marks Keevin Rider’s second being involved with the art installation.
His painting is of a mountain scene similar to where he grew up.
He says he consulted with one of his spiritual adivsors about what animals to include.
“I started with the tatonka – the Buffalo – and then from there it went out and then the animals appeared like the eagle, the wolf and the bear.”
Rider says his culture believes that all things have a spirt and when he gets closer to those spirits it helps him heal.
“My parents were residential so it affected me, it’s actually affected my grandchildren,” said Rider. “So you know we have our spirit and we always call our spirit back.”
Flora Johnson, a sixties scoop survivor, was split up from her brothers who were sent to residential schools.
“I may not be completely healed,” said Johnson. “But this is a part of my healing, when I paint, I feel loved, vibrant, I feel it’s just my passion.”
Kalum Teke Dan’s painting style is popular with pieces commissioned all over Calgary, but he says it wasn’t always that way.
“30 years ago I couldn’t sell very many pieces,” he said. “People just didn’t understand or didn’t want to know, or they wanted us to be pushed into the corner and not thought about or cared about, so we’re showing them we’re strong, we’re resilient, we’re powerful, we’re here and we’re proud.”
Frost says that since 2017, CIF Reconciliation Society has led the effort to provide opportunities for Indigenous peoples by delivering art-based workshops and events that educate the community and promote healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
“I’m seeing more and more people interested in finding out about Truth and Reconciliation and supporting Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange shirts,” she said. “It’s nice to see people from all walks of life wanting to contribute.”
The works of art are supported by a double-sided activation wall. One side features information about the CIF Reconciliation Society and on the opposite is a canvas for visitors to express their own ideas and visions of reconciliation.
In addition to viewing the art, people can learn about a number of reconciliACTIONS.
Alexandra Velosa is the mall’s marketing manager. She says the actions are practical tips to help foster reconciliation. The signage is placed around the upper balcony on the second level that overlooks centre court and the art installation.
“ReconciliACTION is a key component of our initiative,” said Velosa. “As a community connector, we want people to come here and learn about how they can be a part of the reconciliation, how can they make a difference.”
To learn more about the Colouring It Forward Reconciliation Society you can visit the organization’s website.
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Football and art come together in the first NFT exhibition of its kind – Canada NewsWire
– The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture’s From Strike to Stroke exhibit features 64 FIFA World Cup match results in a unique man-machine collaboration
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 6, 2022 /CNW/ — The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) celebrates the art of the beautiful game in a unique exhibition at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. From Strike to Stroke features 64 NFTs by 32 artists from the competing nations, while Artificial Intelligence (AI) fuses the pieces from the contending two countries in each of the 64 matches into a unique piece based on the match outcome. The result will be a singular collection of one-of-a-kind NFTs created through a collaboration of man and machine. Strike to Stroke runs at the Msheireb Galleria Doha, Qatar until December 23.
Ithra, a cultural bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, channels the world’s passion for football into its infatuation with the arts as the world comes together for the World Cup. The exhibition melds the man-made with the machine-made, and combines art, sport and technology in an innovative fashion.
It features the work of 32 emerging and established artists, each tasked with creating a piece representing their country and using their respective team’s jersey colors. After each match, the AI-powered algorithm combines the artists’ creations with match statistics to generate unique pieces that represent each game. The collection will be a unique set of pieces presented as NFTs – non-fungible tokens. These cryptographic assets are based on blockchain technology, and created in a process similar to cryptocurrencies.
From Strike to Stroke includes artists who have never created NFTs and NFT artists who had not worked within traditional fine art.
“The passion shared by football fans for the love of the beautiful game can be tangential to the passion shared by art aesthetes,” said Dr. Shurooq Amin in her curator’s brief to the exhibition. “By connecting 32 artists from both the traditional and digital arenas, Ithra not only bridges the gap between Web2 to Web3, and between football and art, but furthermore between human and machine, as the artists collaborate with AI generation technology to create unique NFTs that combine art, football and technology.”
Images and exhibition catalogue can be found here.
For more information on Ithra and its programs, visit www.ithra.com.
SOURCE King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra)
Richard Serra's art installation hard to miss in Qatar desert, once you get there – The Globe and Mail
Art stands tall in the desert some 75 kilometres northwest of Doha.
You need a rugged vehicle and no small resolve to find it, given signage is almost non-existent. The last few kilometres take time as you cross the desert on a slightly flattened but irregular path well away from the closest blacktop. Proceed with caution.
But East-West/West-East by American sculptor Richard Serra is worth the effort.
Completed in 2014, the installation comprises four giant steel plates – the outer two stand 16.7 metres high and the inner two 14.7 metres – and span more than a kilometre. Slightly different in height, to compensate for the difference in ground level, they line up like enormous fence posts in the barren desert flanked by gypsum plateaus at some points.
If not the middle of nowhere, it’s well on the way.
Possibly the last place on earth you’d expect to see “one of the most significant artists of his generation,” as Serra is dubbed by the Gagosian Gallery which has showcased his work in both New York and France.
“Taking art to the people,” is how Qatar Museums, the country’s arts and culture arm, explains it.
Depending on the direction you approach, you see only part of the art. As you get closer, the dark plates get bigger and bigger and you get to see all four.
“After the perceptual bombardment of Doha, with its architecture dominated by idiosyncratic shapes and kitschy facades, the sensuous experience prompted by the rigorous abstraction of the (desert) sculpture is at once bracing and sensitizing,” wrote Artforum magazine.
“Serra reminds the viewer, like 19th-century German Romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, of man’s frailty in the face of nature’s omnipotence,” added Numero magazine.
For non art-critics, imagine the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey on steroids and times four in the desert. Stand next to one and you feel like an ant – a very hot ant under the blazing Qatari sun.
You’ll also likely be alone, albeit under review from what seemed like security in a nearby pickup truck.
The 84-year-old Serra, who worked in steel mills during college, is known for his large-scale abstract steel sculptures.
There is another in Doha itself. A sculpture called 7 – the number seven has spiritual significance in Islamic culture – was commissioned by Qatar Museums.
Built out of seven steel plates, it faces the sea at MIA Park, adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art.
Like a billionaire stocking his mansion with objets d’art, the government of Qatar has dug deep into its oil-filled coffers to decorate the country with world-class art.
There are big-ticket art works all over.
In 2013, Qatar Museums Authority head Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the emir of Qatar, was listed atop ArtReview magazine’s annual Power 100 list “on account of her organization’s vast purchasing power and willingness to spend at a rate estimated to be US$1-billion a year – in order to get top works of art for its Doha museums,” ArtReview said.
Le Pouce, a giant golden thumb by French artist Cesar Baldaccini, is front and centre in Doha’s Souq Waqif market. French-American artist Louise Bourgeois’ Maman, a giant spider that can also be found outside Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada, stands inside the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), which doubles as the World Cup’s main press centre.
Another edition of Maman, one of seven, was sold for US$32-million by Christie’s in 2019.
“The Miraculous Journey” by English artist Damien Hirst is hard to miss outside Sidra Medicine centre just down the street from the QNCC. The 14 monumental bronze sculptures chronicle the gestation of a fetus inside a uterus, from conception to birth – ending with a statue of a 14-metre-tall anatomically correct baby boy.
Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022
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