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Little house-shaped libraries double as public art in 5 Chilliwack parks

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Five parks in Chilliwack are now home to little house-shaped libraries that also double as pieces of public art.

It was a team effort to bring the libraries to the parks, said Tony Gore with Gore Brothers Group who helped with the project.

“That’s why I love projects like this, everyone is totally into it,” he said. “It was a fun project to bring everyone together to build this cool thing, which isn’t just book houses but also art exhibits.”

What makes the book houses unique are the hand-painted murals on them by local artist Jack Hendsbee.

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The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Hendsbee painted images of dinosaurs, astronauts and children having fairytale adventures. The children in the paintings are none other than the young children of Tony and his brother Mark Gore, who all helped build the houses.

Tony’s kids, seven-year-old Wyatt and five-year-old Naomi, and Mark’s six-year-old son Jack not only helped build the book houses, but shared with Hendsbee their ideas of what they wanted to see on the side of them.

One of the kids riding a dragon? It’s on there. The children floating through space? Hendsbee made it happen.

He painted the murals on small canvases and then Gidney Signs transferred them to sheets of metal. If one ever gets damaged, it can be printed off again and replaced.

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

It was Rotarian Arlene Ackerman who contacted the Gore Brothers asking if they could build more book houses for parks throughout Chilliwack.

The Gores had already built one which was installed about four or five years ago in River’s Edge, so they took that house-shaped design and went on to build five more.

Carpenter Tonny Cormier built the wooden frames for the libraries, then the Gores and their young children completed the construction.

 

Richard Fortin, manager of parks planning for the City of Chilliwack, gave them a list of ideal locations for the book houses.

The libraries were revealed on Thursday, Nov. 10 at Fairfield Park. One will be installed there and the other four at Barber Park, Kinsmen Park on Portage (Portage Park), Jinkerson Park and Sardis Park.

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. Front row (from left): Chilliwack artist Jack Hendsbee, six-year-old Jack Gore, five-year-old Naomi Gore and seven-year-old Wyatt Gore were all part of the project. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. Front row (from left): Chilliwack artist Jack Hendsbee, six-year-old Jack Gore, five-year-old Naomi Gore and seven-year-old Wyatt Gore were all part of the project. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

After completing the project, Hendsbee brought one of the book houses and his painting supplies to Wyatt’s Grade 2/3 class and gave the students a lesson on how to paint. Each kid received a little canvas board and Hendsbee went step-by-step showing them how to paint and how to mix colours.

“They were incredibly receptive and had a blast,” Tony Gore said.

The book houses will be restocked regularly by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack.

Jack Gore, 6, sticks his head inside a little library. The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Jack Gore, 6, sticks his head inside a little library. The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The five book houses with murals on them were unveiled at Fairfield Park in Chilliwack on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)


 

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Criss Bellini Art Fans Urge for Pop-Up Gallery – E! NEWS

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Since the brand’s launch in 2020, Bellini’s sales have skyrocketed, selling over $1 million in its first year and exceeding its sales in 2021, in 2022, with over 2 million sales in euros. Seeing this, it is clear that art sales are booming, and people want to see more of his unique pieces.

However, because Bellini’s website is the only place to view and purchase his art, the public has begun to request a gallery or a pop-up gallery where they can go visit Bellinis’ work and see it for themselves.

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Wish you could set fire to the last 3 years? A huge flaming art installation is coming to Toronto – CBC.ca

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3D digital rendering of The Burn, an art installation. Visible is a brassy dodecahedron adorned with perforated patterns. It appears to glow from within and floats above still dark water.
Rendering of The Burn, 2023. (Javid JAH)

What if you could just set fire to the past? Would you feel liberated — free to start fresh in 2023, flush with feelings of love and peace and other things you could file under positive vibes?

The City of Toronto launched an interactive art project last Thursday called The Burn, a seven-week initiative that aims to offer a moment of respite in the wake of COVID-19, and it comes to a climax on March 11 — the third anniversary of the pandemic. 

On that date, a monumental art installation will go up at Nathan Phillips Square, and the centrepiece involves three towering steel sculptures that’ll be set aflame for 24 hours — fires that will keep on burning with a little help from the public, who’ll be invited to add bits of (supplied) wood to the blaze.

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It’s a scenario that sounds significantly more thoughtful and controlled to hear Roger Mooking describe it. Mooking is the lead creative on the project, and he talks about The Burn as a chance to heal and grow as a collective. In short, it’s bigger than an all-day bonfire. 

Mooking says he began thinking about the work in 2021, prompted by the “overwhelming melancholy” of lockdown. “I recognized that I was not the only one, that we were in this kind of collective consciousness globally, and we all needed to heal,” he tells CBC Arts. And with The Burn, he’s inviting Torontonians to actively begin that healing process. 

The first phase of the project is already underway, and involves a series of interactive sculptures — significantly smaller vessels than the ones that’ll go up at Nathan Phillips Square. They’re being stationed at public sites around the GTA as part of a tour that launched Jan. 19 in three locations: Fort York National Historic Site, the Toronto Zoo and Twist — Mooking’s restaurant at Toronto Pearson International Airport. 

Here he is, testing it out in Terminal 1.

As of writing, people can find The Burn at three new sites through Feb. 1: Spadina Museum, Native Canadian Centre and the Market Gallery at St. Lawrence Market.

“We want to make sure that we’re hitting every corner of the GTA: north, east, south, west, central — all the nooks and crannies,” says Mooking. Twenty-one locations are currently scheduled for the tour, and a full map and schedule can be found through the city’s website. 

Through March 11, visitors will find metallic dodecahedrons at different destinations — sculptures created by local artist Javid JAH. And under each sculpture is a bowl of wooden balls: spheres the size of marbles that have been carved out of cedar. 

Photo of a brassy dodecahedron adorned with perforated ornate designs. It's mounted on a wooden stick. A wood bowl full of small wooden spheres rests below the polyhedron. In the background, two step-and-repeats printed with extensive instructions for how to engage with the artwork, are visible.
Find vessels like this one throughout the GTA. This shot was taken during The Burn’s install at Fort York National Historic Site. (CBC Arts)

Take a ball, and you’ll be asked to stop and think — to sit with your feelings, really. In the language of The Burn, you’ll be “setting an intention.” Is there something weighing on you: an emotion you wish you could change or simply set free? Once you’ve identified that feeling, you’re asked to drop your ball inside the sculpture. It’s a moment for “letting go,” so to speak. 

“People are carrying so many things, especially coming through this COVID time,” says Mooking. “It’s a very simple thing … that can be very, very emotional.”

A multihyphenate known for his success as a chef, TV personality (Man Fire Food), and musician (Bass is Base), Mooking’s presented participatory art projects for the city before. Just last August, to coincide with Emancipation Month programming at Toronto history museums, he launched Read(In), an interactive installation that also appeared in multiple locations throughout the GTA. 

To bring The Burn to life, project curator Umbereen Inayet connected him with collaborators JAH (who designed and produced the installation’s ornate sculptural elements) and artist Catherine Tammaro, a Wyandot Elder who served as an advisor, particularly concerning the project’s spiritual bent. Says Mooking: “There’s a deep history of Indigenous cultures using fire and water for cleansing and preservation and healing, so we needed that guidance to make sure that we were respecting that tradition.”

The wooden balls collected at each tour site will eventually fuel the fire on March 11, and Mooking says those attending the activation at Nathan Phillips Square will also have the opportunity to set an intention. At the big event, visitors will send their cedar spheres down a chute, directly into the flames. And when the fire’s extinguished, all the ash that’s left behind will be collected for use in city gardens. “We’re really trying to emulate the cycle of life: from the spark to the ash,” says Mooking. “We’re looking to carry the spiritual intentions from everybody in the city to fortify our Earth.”

The city says it will be announcing more public projects that respond to COVID’s impact on residents. Like The Burn, they’re part of a program called Stronger Together that launched in late November. More programming is expected to be revealed in February.

In the first few days of The Burn’s cross-city tour, Mooking says he was receiving reports from the participating venues. Folks are interacting with the sculptures already, he says. “It’s been cathartic, I hope. … I can’t wait to see how much healing we’re able to do when we really roll out the full scale of this at Nathan Phillips Square.”

Full event details, including a map of The Burn’s tour locations, can be found on the project’s website.

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Art is everywhere this weekend

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Saturday, Jan. 28

2023 ArtsEverywhere Festival

Multiple locations; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

From film screenings to drag brunches and book fairs, the free annual festival has something for everyone. Learn more here.

Winterstock

Royal City Studios; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Join Royal City Studios for a live music tribute to Woodstock 1969; attendees are encouraged to wear their best 60s style clothes. Get tickets here.

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Music Weekends

Western Burgers & Steaks; 2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The genre-bouncing Probable Cause will perform live at The Western, pay-by-donation. Doors open at 2 p.m., show starts at 2:30.

Sunday, Jan. 29

2023 ArtsEverywhere Festival

River Run Centre; 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The last day of the free festival features a lecture and a film screening, both at the River Run Centre. Learn more here.

Music Weekends

Onyx Nightclub; 2p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join SHEBAD for their live concert at Onyx. It’s family-friendly and pay-by-donation. Doors open at 2 p.m., show starts at 2:45.

OHL Hockey

2 p.m.: Guelph Storm vs. Sudbury Wolves, Sleeman Centre

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