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LIBRARY LINE: Celebrating art at the Parrott Art Gallery – Belleville Intelligencer

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The Parrott Art Gallery on the third floor of Belleville Public Library is a vibrant centre for art and culture in the heart of downtown. If you have not had a chance to visit lately, take some time to check out the gallery and the Parrott Gallery Shop, where you can find unique gifts made by local artists and artisans. Here are some things you can look forward to at the Parrott over the next few months.

Have you had a chance to enjoy one of our free Armchair Traveler series yet? If not, you are in for a treat. On Saturday, Feb. 1, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., photographer and world traveler Lola Reid Allin guides us on a 10-day camping trek through snow-covered mountain passes and rushing rivers in Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut. This is a repeat performance after our recent session with Lola was packed in December.

The next Armchair Traveler event is by accomplished wildlife photographer Bill Bickle, who explores British Columbia’s Khutzeymateen National Park Bear Sanctuary where he has encountered pristine forests and fabulous wildlife on six separate trips. Join us on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for Bill’s presentation. Images from his adventure will be on display in the corridor gallery February through March.

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Our next musical event will be a treat for your ears as we welcome Quinte Concerts on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 12:15 p.m. Enjoy a grand concert highlighting piano and vocal works by Mozart and Haydn. Indulge in the sensational musical imagination of composers from the classical era illustrated through their arias and sonatas. Renowned vocalist Douglas Rice hosts this classical music concert. Admission is free but donations to the musicians are appreciated.

If you have not dropped in to see our current exhibitions, they are amazing and different than almost anything we have had before. In Gallery One, enjoy the comic art of Blas Villagomez, in his installation entitled “Captain Albert and the Chronicles of Edenia.” There is artwork and comic books from his original series, along with some great sculptures. It is a very special show from an artist who is well-known in South America for his traditional murals and fine art. In Gallery Two, you should not miss “Inheritance” by artist and sculptor Kimberly Tucker. This unique show incorporates stunning felt work and a wide variety of found objects. It is a strange and disturbing show in some ways but it is one of my favourite exhibitions ever. Both shows close on February 13.

We are looking forward to the next show in the Parrott Gallery, running from February 20 – March 25. This exhibition features a variety of artists from the East Central Ontario Art Association for their annual juried show. This is year 62 for their juried show and we are thrilled they are having it here. Join us for the opening reception and awards ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m..

Speaking of juried shows, are you an artist who is interested in showing your work? Enter the Parrott Gallery’s bi-annual juried show, which will be exhibited from May 7 to June 4. The deadline for entry is Friday, March 27 and the fee is just $25 for up to two entries. The theme this year is “Faces and Places”, so your work should reflect some aspect of the theme, however you choose to interpret it. For more information about how to enter your work for consideration in the show, call or visit the gallery section of our website, www.bellevillelibrary.ca. Join us for the opening reception and awards ceremony on Thursday, May 7, at 6 p.m.

There are also great art workshops in the gallery every month. The Drawing Room offers non-instructional studio sessions for drawing and painting the human figure from a draped model. Join us on the third Thursday of each month from 2 – 4 p.m. in the meeting room. Donations are welcome for this free program. The Doodle Group, led by artist Marita Langlois, is a guided, mindful drawing session for all, on the third Friday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Remember to bring your supplies.

If you have any questions about any of our exhibitions, programs, or events, drop by the Gallery, email gallery@bellevillelibrary.ca, or call 613-968-6731 ext. 2040.

– Trevor Pross is the Belleville Public Library CEO

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Diplo ‘Wins’ Art Basel Miami by Topping ATM’s Leaderboard

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Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams/Getty Images for Ocean Drive

Diplo has about $3 mil in the bank, FYI. The celebrity DJ who once streamed Sophie Turner’s wedding to Joe Jonas (remember that?) claimed to have “won” Miami Art Basel this year. One of the most talked-about pieces at the annual art fair is an ATM that posts your picture and bank balance if you use it. The ATM has a leaderboard, which Diplo topped on December 2. At the time he posted his “high score” on social media, Diplo had $3,004,913.06 in his account. So we know his cash assets, but do we know if he’s in on the joke? This piece is from Brooklyn art collective MSCHF, who are known for their trolly stunt art. “ATM Leaderboard is an extremely literal distillation of wealth-flaunting impulses,” MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg said on NPR. “From its conception, we had mentally earmarked this work for a location like Miami Basel, a place where there is a dense concentration of people renting Lamborghinis and wearing Rolexes.” The piece is goofing on ostentatious displays of wealth, Diplo. Having the most ostentatious display isn’t the flex you think it is. The ATM was a collab between MSCHF and the gallery Perrotin. They had the banana duct taped to the wall, to give some more context on where everyone involved stands on the art vs. prank spectrum.

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Free Press celebrates launch of art exhibit

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The Winnipeg Art Gallery has opened its doors to an exhibition focusing on the Winnipeg Free Press and its 150th anniversary.

Headlines: The Art of the News Cycle, which includes works from seven artists from across North America as well as archival material from the Free Press and the gallery’s permanent collection, looks at the many changes that have taken place in how the Free Press and other news organizations let their readers know what’s going on in the world around them.

The exhibit runs through to May 21, 2023 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

— with files from Alan Small

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Inuk art scholar makes leap to National Gallery of Canada

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The National Gallery of Canada is home to a rich contemporary Indigenous international art collection, as well as important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian and European Art from the 14th to 21st centuries. (Photo by Christine Mastroianni)

Jocelyn Piirainen, from Cambridge Bay, will help the gallery curate its Indigenous and Inuit art collection

Jocelyn Piirainen is bringing an Inuk voice to the way the National Gallery of Canada acquires and exhibits Inuit and Indigenous artwork.

The arts scholar and former Cambridge Bay resident was appointed in early November to the role of associate curator for the gallery.

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Piirainen brings experience from her previous role as associate curator of Inuit art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq museum, which she has held since March 2019. Qaumajuq is a collection of almost 14,000 contemporary Inuit art pieces, making up the largest collection of its kind in the world.

Curators organize and set up exhibits, said Piirainen in an interview from her home in Winnipeg.

Jocelyn Piirainen is an urban Inuk artist and curator originally from Cambridge Bay. She was recently appointed to the role of associate curator at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Piirainen)

“The curator is really there to allow artists to tell their stories,” she said.

“If there’s a specific carving that has a story or legend associated with it, you know, you want to tell the public about it.”

Piirainen joins the national gallery’s recently formed Indigenous Ways and Decolonization department. It has a mandate to amplify the voices of Indigenous artists, curators and scholars.

In an email, Michelle LaVallee, director of the department of Indigenous Ways and Decolonization, recognized Piirainen’s skill as a collaborator in her work with arts and culture professionals and Indigenous communities to highlight Inuit artistic and cultural practices.

“I am excited about her lived and professional experience as an Inuk curator which she brings to the national gallery,” she said.

Piirainen is joining the gallery as some controversial changes are taking place there. The Globe and Mail and other national media reported last month the departure of four curators from the gallery’s Indigenous Ways and Decolonization department. A former senior curator, Greg A. Hill, tweeted he was fired because he disagreed with the “colonial and anti-Indigenous ways” the department was being run, the Globe reported.

Piirainen said the Canadian art world needs more Inuit curators and art professionals. She credits a government-funding initiative, called Inuit Futures, for leading the way in that respect.

Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project supports Inuit and Inuvialuit by giving them access to the training, mentorship and professional opportunities necessary to find success in the arts industry.

Piirainen was invited to be a mentor in the Inuit Futures program in 2019, where she was paired with mixed-media artist Aghalingiak (Zoe Ohokannoak). Aghalingiak, who identifies as they/them, is in their fifth year of study of fine arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Aghalingiak said in an interview that being a participant in the Inuit Futures program as a research intern and mentee has been both challenging and a confidence boost, accelerating their development as an artist.

Multimedia artist Aghalingiak is grateful to the Inuit Futures Leadership in Arts initiative for boosting their confidence and helping to launch their career in the arts. (Photo by Jonas Henderson)

In April 2022, they curated their first exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq Museum under the mentorship of Piirainen. The exhibition is called Kakiniit Hivonighijotaa: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings.

“I didn’t think that I would ever be curating exhibitions at this point,” Aghalingiak said, reflecting on their recent solo exhibition and their experience with Inuit Futures.

As Piirainen prepares to move to Ottawa in January, she acknowledges that although this appointment provides an opportunity to be part of the national gallery’s efforts to ensure Inuit art and culture are appropriately represented, her hiring is not a solution in and of itself.

“There is also a lot of pressure that comes to that, to be kind of representing all Inuit, but I am aware that I can’t do that either,” she said.

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