Ladysmith Art Council announces new Poet in Residence - Ladysmith Chronicle - Canada News Media
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Ladysmith Art Council announces new Poet in Residence – Ladysmith Chronicle

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The Ladysmith Art Council has announced their inaugural Poet in Residence, John Edwards.

Edwards was born in 1946 in London, England. He holds six degrees, and is a Rhodes Scholar in classical languages at Oxford University. He is a poet, a painter, and an organic quince and hay farmer on 100 acres in Yellow Point. Edwards is a volunteer instructor at the VIU Elder College and teaches a variety of courses on English literature, classical poetry, and greek philosophy.

“The Arts Council of Ladysmith is excited to have John as part of our team and feel this an important step for the arts. John is a master at his craft and continues to share his knowledge at VIU and will be hosting classes at the gallery for those who want to learn,” Art Council president, Kathy Holmes said.

RELATED: Council rejects plans for Ladysmith Poet Laureate Program

With his education in classical languages, Edwards does many translations of classical poems. He takes the original poem, works with a literal translation, and recasts the language into English poetics.

“It’s difficult to do that. When I write my own poetry, it’s me. But when I’m translating I’m trying to get into the mind of whoever this person was 2,000 years ago,” Edwards said.

Edwards has published numerous scholarly articles, poetry books, and translations. His publications include The Iconoclastic Satires of Persius; The Urbane Satires of Horatius; The Love Poems of Sappho and Anakreon; and an epic poem, The Straits of Anian, which describes life on Vancouver Island from 1588 until today. It is presently being illustrated before publication.

In his original poetry, Edwards enjoys celebrating nature. He gets his inspiration from the landscapes of Ladysmith, the Cowichan Valley, and his farm in Yellow Point.

The Ladysmith Art Council created the Poet in Residence program to create awareness of literature in the community, as well as support poets, students, and budding writers of all kinds in 2020.

Edwards’ first official duty will be to open the Waterfront Gallery’s Love exhibition on February 1 with an original poem. Edwards will also offer a workshop, To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme in April at the Waterfront Gallery. He will give other workshops in April. The workshops will not be as academic as his courses at the Elder College – Edwards aims to inspire writers to write in a way that’s accessible.

“I hope that more people will want to try the craft of writing,” Edwards said. “It’s somewhere for people to have a voice.”

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Germany returns Nazi art from Gurlitt trove to French family – National Post

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BERLIN — Germany on Wednesday returned three art works to a descendant of a Jewish French collector who owned them until his death in 1941 in Nazi-occupied France.

Two of the pictures came from a trove of works held by Cornelius Gurlitt, which was discovered in 2012 by German tax inspectors in Munich. His father had been an art dealer and sold what the Nazis dismissed as “degenerate” art.

At a ceremony in Berlin, culture minister Monika Gruetters said the return of the pictures was a small but important step.

“We Germans know of our wrongdoing and know that we can never put right the misery. But at least returning these kinds of art works are small but important and necessary steps towards justice in one small area,” she said.

A great niece of the pictures’ owner, Parisian lawyer and art collector Armand Dorville, said she was very touched by their return.

“If pictures could speak, if they could tell us their journey, they would tall us an incredible amount about robbery, theft, fraudulent sales and what we can learn from that,” she said at the ceremony, asking not to be identified.

She thanked the German government for its efforts to discover the provenance of artwork and return them where possible, especially 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.

“You are fulfilling the obligation to keep alive the memory and that this is taking place today on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is … a symbol,” she said.

The two pictures from the Gurlitt collection were a watercolor entitled “Lady in an Evening Dress” and an oil painting “Portrait of a Lady” by Jean-Louis Forain. The third work, “Amazonian on Rearing Horse,” was a drawing by Constantin Guys which had been in private ownership.

All three had belonged to Dorville, who sought refuge at his estate in the Dordogne in unoccupied France in June 1940, where he died about a year later. Other members of his family perished at the Auschwitz death camp.

When anti-Semitic legislation was imposed in German-occupied France, Dorville’s heirs decided to sell the pictures at auction in Nice in 1942. It was not clear who bought them, but the family were not allowed to use the proceeds, which instead went to the Vichy government.

Gurlitt inherited the art works from his father and stored them in his Munich apartment for decades. Switzerland’s Kunst Museum Bern learned in 2014, the day after Gurlitt’s death, that it had been named as the sole heir to 1,500 works, including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

The German government said 13 art works had now been returned to their lawful owners after being identified as looted art. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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This newly restored 15th-century lamb is worrying art lovers – CTV News

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“There are no words to express the result” was the beaming reaction of Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, after a 15th-century masterpiece — painted over shortly after completion — was restored to its former glory.

And they were right — commentators have been left speechless by one particular aspect of the newly revealed painting.

The latest panel of the “Ghent Altarpiece,” a large work by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, was unveiled in December as part of an ongoing project to restore the painting to its original design.

The painting — also known as “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” — depicts a lamb, representing Jesus, being sacrificed on an altar.

And it’s this holy lamb that’s giving viewers nightmares.

Why? Well, the creature’s remarkably human eyes are just a bit too lifelike — not to mention intense — for many amateur art critics.

The project’s head, Hélène Dubois, told The Art Newspaper the discovery was “a shock for everybody — for us, for the church, for all the scholars, for the international committee following this project.”

Dubois noted that the original lamb had a more “intense interaction with the onlookers” than the repainted version.

The Royal Institute were effusive in their praise for the restoration, saying in a statement that the project has “brought back the original vividness, richness of detail and brilliant colours for all to see.”

The final phase of the restoration is expected to start next year, and the panels restored so far will be available to view at St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent from February.

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'Vodka for butter': The art of bartering for food in snow-covered St. John's – National Post

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By Prajwala Dixit

Before grocery stores reopened in snow-covered St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday, locals took to the age-old, yet ingenious way of surviving — bartering.

Faced with shuttered stores for four days and a state of emergency there was little else people could do.

When Andie Bulman, a chef and caterer with the Artist Cafe, wanted to make some blueberry crumble, she put a post on Facebook asking for butter and brown sugar, in exchange for top-quality tonic water. However, exchanging alcohol seemed to garner the most success.

“I’ve been doing dry January, so I mostly used my booze as leverage,” Bulman said. “I traded vodka for butter, gin for butter, rum for butter.”

Bulman wasn’t alone. Many people in the provincial capital region of nearly 180,000 were caught off guard by the storm that virtually shut down the city. That’s why there were massive queues to get into stores when they finally reopened. Even with the city advising people to buy enough food for 48 hours – some were too daunted to wait in line and others, by the time they made it to the stores, found some shelves practically empty.

Hence the bartering done in person and through social media may continue. Cigarettes, beer, and chips quickly became storm currency during the past few days.

Lea Mary Movelle posted to a Facebook group making an earnest request for toilet paper in exchange for alcohol.

“We’ve been lucky enough that it’s the only thing we’ve run low on, and the community quickly rallied to get us several rolls,” she said. “Most people didn’t even want our booze! The offer is still good though.”

It’s really important to make sure that everyone is taken care of

With plenty of alcohol and weed exchanging hands, some expect there could be a mini baby boom in nine months time. However, contraceptives were also bartered for, so that may not come to pass.

A post by Kathryn Burke on Facebook about bartering led to a seemingly timely save. When she learned a wheelchair-bound woman living in a senior’s complex was running low on her diabetic pills, she set out to help. Several phone calls and social media messages later, a bag of chocolates, veggies and sausages were delivered to assist her out until she could get her pills.

What many have realized is how precarious island living can be – especially if supplies aren’t available.

It didn’t take long for Steph Power who is part of the St. John’s food-sharing co-op Stone Soup to realize people in her neighbourhood were looking for goods. Baby formula, over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol and Advil, and menstrual supplies were all in demand. And, of course, so was food – namely milk and eggs.


A resident shovels snow in St. John’s on Jan. 19, 2020, following a major storm.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Aware that not everyone was comfortable asking for help publicly, the ad-hoc group, which formed during the state of emergency, put a bin full of non-perishables such as pasta, canned food and cereal out on a snowbank on the corner of Barter’s Hill and Cabot Street downtown with a sign that said: ‘Take some or leave some.’ The contents were quickly snapped up.

“I think in a time of crisis it’s really important to make sure that everyone is taken care of, regardless of if you know them or not,” Power said.

More bins have since popped up across the city becoming tangible displays of communal support and reminders of the insecurity of living on an island.

Meanwhile, about 450 troops continue to dig the city and region out.

Most businesses other than groceries stores in St. John’s were directed to remain closed on Tuesday, with exceptions for gas stations and some pharmacies. The city said it would allow the St. John’s International Airport to resume flights Wednesday at 5 a.m.

Some grocery stores will also open during the day again, enabling people to stock up on necessities and bartering goods until the state of emergency is lifted.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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