Owning a private collection of nearly 140 artworks by luminaries like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein would be a godsend for most arts organizations, but it was a burden for the Keith Haring Foundation.
Legal counsel had warned the nonprofit for years that keeping a collection made by artists other than its founder might fail to serve its charitable purpose. So last year the foundation began arranging with Sotheby’s to sell the artworks in an online auction called “Dear Keith,” with all proceeds benefiting the Center, an L.G.B.T.Q. community organization in the West Village.
The sale is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26 and is expected to raise nearly $1 million with a selection ranging from a $100 painting by David Bowes to a $250,000 Warhol print featuring Mr. Haring and his lover Juan Dubose. An exhibition of the collection will also take place online and by appointment at the Sotheby’s headquarters in Manhattan.
“It feels as if Keith himself rallied his friends to make art for this specific purpose,” said Gil Vazquez, acting director of the foundation. “The Center embodies so much of what Keith was about: community, empowerment and the support of our future, the youth.”
The auction features a significant number of artists associated with Club 57, the storied nightclub located in a church basement that operated through the late ’70s and early ’80s as home base for members of the East Village’s avant-garde scene like the sculptor Bruno Schmidt and the performance artist John Sex. Members from the period’s street art movement are also well represented in the collection, with John Matos, Lady Pink and Lee Quiñones being particular standouts.
“The collection is remarkably autobiographical, just as any great collector’s estate is a window into their individual perspective,” said Harrison Tenzer, head of Sotheby’s online contemporary art sales. “Keith Haring collected through relationships to those he was stylistically, morally and intellectually aligned with.”
And according to the auctioneer, “Dear Keith” comes at a moment when buyers are becoming more comfortable with explicitly queer work. “The market is changing, and there are also great L.G.B.T.Q. collectors who want to support their own community,” added Mr. Tenzer.
Largely considered one of the most successful graffiti artists of his time, Mr. Haring gained international recognition for his cartoonish universe of dancing figures and barking dogs. His short career began as a graffitist in New York’s subway system and developed through the
’80s with dozens of museum exhibitions, public art commissions and advertising deals. He was also known for his political activism, particularly around homophobia and the AIDS crisis. The 31-year-old artist eventually died from complications of the virus in 1990; the Sotheby’s auction commemorates the 30th anniversary of his passing.
“Keith Haring fostered hope and resilience during difficult times,” said Glennda Testone, executive director of the Center. “He painted his 1989 mural, ‘Once Upon a Time,’ on our walls to celebrate sexual liberation and envision a world without AIDS, in direct opposition to the fear and stigma that fueled that pandemic.”
And help couldn’t come fast enough for the Center, which is facing a projected $5.4 million shortfall in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Ms. Testone, the loss amounts to a 34 percent decrease in funding at a moment when the nonprofit has experienced a 40 percent increase in demand for services like mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. (On average, the Center serves around 340,000 visitors per year.)
“Sometimes, I like to think what Keith would do if he were still alive,” said Ms. Testone. “I think that he would be really proud of the work that we are doing within our community to strengthen our bonds and our resiliency.”
Black Lives Matter street art installations coming to Dartmouth, Halifax – CBC.ca
The Halifax Regional Municipality will be painting the words “Black Lives Matter” in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend.
The municipality said it was doing it to show support for the movement.
“This public solidarity augments several measures being taken by the municipality corporately to help address anti-Black racism and continue to build [a] better relationship with the municipality’s communities of African descent,” the municipality said in a news release on Friday.
Work on the first installation at Alderney Drive in Dartmouth will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Work on the second installation at Brunswick Street in Halifax will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The municipality said sidewalks will be open and access to businesses will be maintained and that at least one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction will be maintained while work is underway.
The bicycle lane on Brunswick Street will be closed while work is happening and cyclists and vehicles will share one single file lane around the work area.
Oxygen Art Centre launches new adult classes – Nelson Star
After much planning Oxygen is excited to launch their fall lineup of adult education opportunities, combining a fine array of online and small in-person classes.
Oxygen conducted a student survey earlier in June to find out how people were feeling (with COVID in mind) in regards to participating in arts education this fall. The response was very positive and clear — students want to be creative! Oxygen then got to work with their talented team of instructors and volunteers to re-vision how the educational offerings could be delivered in an innovative and safe way.
“Oxygen will be offering seven online courses and three small in-person courses this fall,” says education co-ordinator Natasha Smith.
“Many of our instructors have specifically created classes that can be taught online, utilizing the many tools that we now have available to make this learning experience rewarding, interactive and convenient for our students. Another benefit of online programming is that we are removing the barrier of travel for students that live outside of Nelson.”
The three in-person classes include Resurrecting the Lost Art of Letter Writing with Rayya Liebich, Eco-Printing on Textiles with Seathra Bell, and Painting on Another Level with Natasha Smith. The class sizes will be limited to a maximum of five students and all COVID-19 safety protocols at the centre will be in place.
Oxygen is also offering two online professional development courses for creatives this fall. Starting with Art Shack with artist Ian Johnston.
“It’s a visual arts professional development free-for-all!” says Johnston. “Over four evenings of group conversation we will harness the hive mind and the experience of the participants to explore a self-identified group of professional development issues such as proposals, statements, audience, networks and researching opportunities.”
This is an opportunity to share, develop your skills, and meet other artists in a supportive, collaborative space. The second professional development course is How to Submit to Commercial Galleries with artist Kristy Gordon, who will unveil the practical steps you can take to develop a connection with a commercial gallery. The one-session course includes a lecture, discussions and individual feedback.
Deborah Thompson has designed an online drawing course: Drawing with the World in Mind. This course will run twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the month of October.
“The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has highlighted a long list of global problems; climate change, homelessness, opioid crisis, racism, classism and more. Leaning into a creative practice during these times is helpful in developing meaningful insights and in cultivating imaginative ways to give constructive shape to the future,” says Thompson.
Many students will be excited that Bessie Wapp is offering Singing the Blues Goes Virtual this Fall. In this seven-week course you will explore the rich swamp of the human voice in a relaxed and supportive environment through online group and one-on-one sessions. In November, Rayya Liebich will be offering an online Poetry Immersion course. From the comfort of your home immerse yourself in the language of poetry. Weekly online classes will focus on studying the craft of poetry (image, form, feeling) and allow time for a series of guided writing prompts to help hone your writing skills.
Also running in November and over five classes Natasha Smith will be offering Moving into Abstraction as an online course. Through a series of hands-on projects, students will explore various techniques and alternative ways to develop ideas and images that will encourage a more abstract way of working.
Interdisciplinary artist, prOphecy sun will be offering an innovative course this Fall: Sonic Imaginaries: An Introduction to Creating Electronic Compositions. This online beginner level studio course explores a wide range of methods and conceptual approaches to creating electronic sound. prOphecy explains: “Each week will explore how sound emerges and will survey conceptual and methodological techniques used in music, video, sound art, and other artistic production.”
Register today for online and in-person art classes taking place throughout October and November with Oxygen’s incredible artist instructors. Don’t wait — spaces are limited. Learn more about the upcoming classes below and on our website at https://oxygenartcentre.org/classes/adult/.
Hot air balloons, drive-in concerts and highway art: What's on this weekend in Calgary – CBC.ca
Organizations are continuing to come out with fresh and creative ways to entertain Calgarians, and this weekend is no different.
There’s good eats, concerts and multiple art shows that highlight local talent.
Ellis Choe from The Homestretch on CBC Radio has compiled some of those offerings, so check out the events below!
There’s a pop-up marketplace celebrating prairie food this weekend that also ensures gathering people safely.
The Prairie Grid Market will have over 50 local food and drink vendors at the Carter Cadillac car dealership on Heritage Drive in southeast Calgary.
Dan Clapsen, the organizer of the event, says a majority of the stalls are operated by local restaurant and bar owners.
“There’s a really interesting build-your-own-cocktail kit booth setup by Cannibale, which is a popular cocktail bar in Bridgeland. Bridgette Bar has made a line of dried pastas,” he said.
On Saturday and Sunday, there will be music and art for patrons to enjoy.
It’s recommend you pre-book your visit online, given the limited capacity and physical distancing required.
The 8th Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival is underway in High River, but due to COVID-19, only Canadian balloons are participating.
The festival was scheduled to take place from Wednesday through Sunday, although high winds have forced cancellations. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, it was unclear whether they’d be able to take off at 5 p.m. Friday. If not, there are three more chances depending on the weather: Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. Check the festival’s Facebook feed to see if it’s a go.
The committee says that while no passengers or spectators will be allowed at the launch site, you can volunteer to be part of the field crew and get a front row seat.
Karen Williamson, the committee vice-chair, says that while there’s no guarantee, the pilot may let you be a passenger on board as well.
And for those who don’t volunteer, head to the northwest corner of High River to see them launch.
If you like road trips and art, you can catch the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta, which is a part of Alberta Culture Days.
Along Highway 22 and Highway 2A, otherwise known as “Cowboy Trail,” there is a community of artists opening their studios and galleries to the public.
Catch artwork in Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Okotoks to learn more about the diverse group of artists working outside of Calgary.
The open studio events will be on from Friday to Sunday, but each gallery has different operating hours.
And if you like your art paired with a movie, the Indefinite Arts Centre is holding an open house/movie night.
You can check out the artwork of artists with disabilities, as well as the screening of Infinity — a documentary about the world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka dot installations.
The free event is on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but make sure to reserve a spot.
And finally, some concerts in the Calgary area! Grab your social circle and attend the drive-in concert at Telus Spark.
“Rise Up Weekend” is brought to you by local organizations, including Calgary ReggaeFest, Folk Fest and Stampede.
Patti Pon, one of the organizers as well as president of Calgary Arts Development, says the event is all about the coming together of six organizations presenting six concerts.
“We wanted to find a way to create some amazing art experiences, albeit smaller settings with fewer people,” she said.
Tickets are $25 per car for up to four guests.
The first show is Friday at 6:15 p.m., when Calgary Folk Fest presents Sargeant X Comrade and the Blake Read Band.
For something more contemporary, the National Music Centre is continuing its hybrid live music and virtual concert series, RBC Live, from the King Eddy.
You can attend the free event in-person or stream from the comfort of your home.
The first show is Friday at 8:30 p.m. and features Lucette, an alt-pop artist from Edmonton.
And then for another virtual concert experience, you can stream Early Music Voices, a local group that presents music from the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods.
The group is kicking off its season with a virtual concert featuring Calgary musician Benjamin Narvey, who plays the lute.
Enjoy the music this Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and listen to a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.
With files from The Homestretch
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