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Indigenous artists join together to add art to new Nanaimo skatepark –



The city’s newest skatepark will be adorned with art by a pair of indigenous artists.

On June 23 the City of Nanaimo announced in a press release that wood carver and illustrator Joel Good of Snuneymuxw First Nation and mainland-based interdisciplinary artist Bracken Hanuse Corlett, who hails from Wuikinuxv and Klahoose First Nations, have been chosen to add paintings to the concrete surface of the new skatepark at Harewood Centennial Park.

The project was led by the the Nanaimo Art Gallery and was meant to coincide with the opening of Border X, a travelling exhibition of skateboard-, snowboard- and surfing-inspired art by indigenous artists. That show ended up being postponed due to COVID-19 but Hanuse Corlett was one of the artists in the show.

NAG curator Jesse Birch brought Good and Hanuse Corlett together to work on the skatepark project because he felt their art styles and practices fit together and because they share a connection to skateboard culture, the release noted.

“I grew up skateboarding in Nanaimo and I know how precious this new skatepark in Harewood is to the community,” Birch said in the release. “Skateboarding is an inherently creative pursuit, and it follows that many skaters go on to work in art and culture. From the start, Joel and Bracken considered how their paintings could tell a story in synergy with the place, and with the flow of skating.”

The artists visited the park and spoke with Snuneymuxw elder Gary Manson, who discussed the importance of the nearby river as a passage for salmon returning home. The release said the artists felt it was important to acknowledge the history of the land in their work.

“My hope is that this new park will be used by the full spectrum of skaters, and it will give space to kids trying to learn and progress,” Hanuse Corlett said in the release. “We all started with the kick-push at some point.”

Painting is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed in late June before the park officially opens to the public.

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Pandemic Art Exchange wraps up in Hay River – NNSL Media



Barb Hunt-Atwell was one of 10 participants in the Pandemic Art Exchange, which wrapped up in Hay River on June 17.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Even during a pandemic, art must go on.

On June 17, the Pandemic Art Exchange – a project involving multiple anonymous artists contributing to the same pieces of art over five weeks – wrapped up in Hay River.

The project, which began in May, was organized by Dale Loutit, one of the artists.

“I thought it was a great idea considering how dreadful Covid-19 has been on everybody and how we’ve been having to social distance from people,” Loutit said. “It’s definitely created a disconnect between us socially. So I thought it was a good way to keep us connected, and in a safe manner.”

The project involved 10 artists divided into two teams of five.

Each of the artists started a painting/drawing, and Loutit would then rotate the works to the other artists on a team. That means five artists would contribute to one work.

“Each of them had their own canvas to paint on,” said Loutit. “And each week they would submit it to me and I’d switch it with another person who’s on their team. And the teams are anonymous.”

In the end, there were 10 completed paintings/drawings, and the person who started a work kept it.

The artists gathered on June 17 to see all the completed works.

Along with Loutit, the project involved Ashley McKay, Mary Buckley, Barb Hunt-Atwell, Jillian Zdebiak, Kirsten Fischer, Heather Hirst, Lisa Ruggles, Kate Latour and Cynthia Mandeville.

Loutit was impressed with the finished works of art.

“I can’t believe how talented these people are for all their art capabilities,” she said. “It’s blown me away how artistic they are and how amazing.”

It was recommended that they not paint with oils, since that takes too long to dry, but they could use anything else for the works of art, including pencils, markers, stickers and even fabric.

When Loutit received the works back each week, she took progress photos so that, in the end, everyone could see the evolution of the creations over time.

The organizer was inspired to start the Pandemic Art Exchange when a friend in Yellowknife launched a similar project there.

Loutit ensured safety from the coronavirus during the project by having the works of art placed in envelopes and dropped into a bin outside of her home.


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Crap 80s Metal Art is our new favourite thing – Louder



The 1980s was The Golden Age Of Metal. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Mötley Crüe, Celtic Frost, Winger… pound for pound, it threw up more great bands than any other decade in the history of this beautiful planet we call Earth.

But it was a fantastic time to be alive for another reason. The 1980s was the era of really bad album art – and nothing did bad album art like metal.

We’re not talking about the 5th Grade demon that adorns the sleeve of Slayer’s Show No Mercy, or even the physics-and-biology defying cover of Anthrax’s Fistful Of Metal (just how do you punch somebody’s lights out from inside their mouth?).

No, this is next-level insanity. The kind that is usually cooked up by people who don’t usually get to play with anything sharper than crayons. The kind that makes Pantera’s heroically awful Metal Magic cover look like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (actually, now we mention it…)

Handily for lazy journalists everywhere, the Facebook group Crap 80s Metal Art has pulled together a gloriously grotesque gallery of album sleeves that range from the hilariously wrongheaded to the who-in-the-name-of-a-badly-scribbled-Beelzebub-thought-this-would-be-a-good-idea?  

You’ll find all manner of wrongness there. Woefully rendered barbarian hastily plooped by people who have clearly never seen an actual human before. Snarilng monkey-wolves with 17 eyes and 12 teeth and tongues that would make Gene Simmons weep. Topless demons riding unicorns. Topless unicorns riding demons. And lots and lots of album covers from Italy. Ye gods! Have we forgotten the Rennaissance?  

We’ve cherry-picked some of the best for your delectation here – and by ‘best’ we obviously mean ‘worst’. But we can’t take any credit here – that goes to the mighty warriors who dedicate their lives to digging through crates to unearth these masterpieces. Or at least spend a couple of minutes googling them.

There’s plenty more where these came from. Some might say too much more. But not us. So head over to Facebook to feast your eyes, fill your boots and drink in the full glory of Crap 80s Metal Art. You’ll thank us for it.

Battleaxe – Burn This Town (1983)

Axes? Motorbikes? Furry boots? This should be hanging in the Louvre

Various – No Substitute For Steel (1985)

It’s the HMV logo. Only with a demon instead of a dog. See what they’re doing there? You guys kill us.

Creepin’ Death – Errare Humanum Est…Perseverare Diabolicum

“Look, Keith, you told me to turn it off and turn it on again.”

Because nothing says ’80s heavy metal’ like a topless unicorn playing a skull guitar in front of a Pride flag.

Another comp, another rainbow colour scheme. Is there something you want to talk about, 80s metal?

Rod Sacred – Rod Sacred (1989)

“Do ya think I’m sexy?” Oh, wait, that was Rod Stewart.

Skeletor: The KK Downing Years.

Angeles del Infierno – Todo Lo Que Quiero

Nom, nom, TWANG!

Drysill – Welcome To The Show

Er, we’ll give your show a miss if it’s all the same.

M.T. Eyes – Thunder In My Ears b/w Walk On The Road (1985)

Beware of the… dog? Snake? Finger? Fingersnakedog?

Sphinx – Here We Are (1981)

Suck on this, Powerslave!

We genuinely have no idea who this is…

Larpa? Earpx? Help us out, will you.

Or this…

Seriously, we give up.

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Barrie by-law demands 10-year-old's Canadian flag art be removed from city property – CTV News



Erin van Kessel says she was sitting outside her north-end Barrie home Thursday morning when a by-law officer handed her a warning. The Barrie resident was told she is to remove chalk-art of a Canadian flag drawn by her 10-year-old daughter in honour of Canada Day on Wednesday.

“2004-142-2,” says Van Kessel, while looking over the document citing her infraction. The City’s by-law for that particular code refers to use of public property.

“2. No person shall throw, drop, place, or otherwise deposit garbage, paper, paper or plastic products, cans, rubbish, or other debris on any City property, unless authorized by the City.”

Van Kessel said large green plastic objects which may have been children’s items left at the curb near the end of her driveway did not belong to her. The chalk art however has left her disappointed. Van Kessel was informed by the by-law officer someone had complained of the chalk spray-painted art on the lawn at the end of her driveway. The chunk of grass, painted red and white, is city property.

“They couldn’t really say why, I mean, mostly because it is on city property but really,” said Van Kessel in response to the by-law violation.

Van Kessel was informed she had 24-hours to remove her daughter’s chalk painting from the lawn or face a potential fine. Her daughter, Van Kessel says, is distraught and doesn’t understand why the chalk art needs to be removed.

“Not too happy,” said Van Kessel. “Because she did put a lot of work into it and now we have to remove it,” she said.“It’s a child doing something exciting when she’s been stuck in the house for four months; and no school, no friends, so what more is there to do!”

The City of Barrie confirmed a complaint was made and a by-law officer visited the home; providing the following statement to CTV News.

The city’s enforcement services received and responded to a complaint about individuals painting on city property. By-law officers are obligated to investigate and respond to all complaints received.

While the homeowner advised that the paint was washable, the officer was unable to confirm if it was or not, which was why the property owner was warned that they had 24 hours to remove it from the city’s boulevard. A warning was issued to the property owner, not the child.”

Van Kessel plans to have the art work removed by Friday morning.

“I guess other people don’t appreciate it or look at it the same way we do,” she said. “What can you do? I guess it’s the way of the world these days.”

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