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MacLaren Art Centre throws its first Art Party

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A new series of art events hosted by the MacLaren Art Centre is adding a creative choice to Barrie’s downtown entertainment scene, with sold out attendance for its pilot date. On the last Wednesday of each month, adults can enjoy interactive “Art Parties” led by professional artists from the region. The series kicks off Jan. 29 with an embroidery workshop instructed by local painter and printmaker Katie Green.

Each Art Party will feature a different creative project based on the instructor’s area of expertise, so every month is a new and exciting experience. Participants can pair their art-making session with pizza, a quesadilla or samosas and a glass of wine purchased from The Gallery Café. No prior experience is necessary and those of all skill levels are welcome.

The premiere Art Party with Katie Green will explore embroidery on textiles with unique silkscreened imagery. Participants will learn the basics of embroidery by stitching over top of silkscreened imagery to embellish and personalize an illustrated image. Everyone will take home a hand-stitched work of art they can be proud to call their own.


Those who missed registration for the first Art Party can take heart knowing the series will continue throughout the year. Upcoming parties include One of a Kind Monotypes with Kim Brett on February 26, Soft Sculpture with Ingi Gould on March 25 and a Painting Party with Andy Vail on April 29.

MacLaren Education Officer Tyler Durbano says “Many people don’t have time to commit to a full six or eight week course. In these social workshops, we want to offer participants the chance to learn a new skill and take home a handmade artwork in the amount of time they would spend meeting a friend for a coffee. It’s our hope that everyone involved will become more knowledgeable about the talented artists that call our community home, and make new like-minded friends along the way.”

Find out more about MacLaren Art Parties at www.maclarenart.com or by phoning 705-721-9696. Registration is available online, over the phone or in person at the MacLaren Art Centre’s 37 Mulcaster St. location. Tickets are $25 each. MacLaren Members receive a 10% discount.

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'Cautious and measured': Harrison Festival of the Arts summer planning underway – Agassiz-Harrison Observer

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The show must go on – but carefully.

The Harrison Festival Society released optimistic – yet cautious and careful – update on Friday morning regarding the famed Harrison Festival of the Arts for this summer. The 42-year-old festival is one of a lengthy list of events delayed or outright canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since the Festival is in July, we are carrying-on with our planning in a cautious and measured way,” the release stated. “We will, of course, be keeping an eye on the every-evolving situation and make informed decisions with health and safety as our top priority, aware that we live in a community with a large population of seniors, who are the most adversely affected by COVID-19.

RELATED: Harrison Festival to share the culture behind the music

The Festival Society canceled the last two season shows due to COVID-19 worries.

The Festival Society said they will delay their lineup announcement, which was scheduled for sometime in mid-April.

“Because we have so many traveling artists each year and the situation just keeps changing, we will postpone that announcement until early May,” the statement said.

RELATED: Boundary-pushers and party-makers at the 41st Harrison Festival of the Arts

The Ranger Station Art Gallery is at this time closed due to COVID-19 concerns and all Festival Society staff are currently working from home. Any questions can be forwarded to info@harrisonfestival.com.

“We’re a very creative bunch, so look forward to some creative solutions coming your way,” the release said.

The Festival Society encouraged residents to let their creativity flow during this time of isolation and uncertainty.

“Go ahead and create something,” the statement reads. “Paint, sing, dance, learn a new song or learn a new instrument. The other side of this situation is going to look very different, and we might not be able to control that, but what we can control is how we as a community of artist can come out of it with new skills, knowledge and passion for our creative selves. Take that leap and just go for it!”

To stay up to date on all the Festival Society is involved in, check out their website at https://harrisonfestival.com/.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

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Drive-by Art project – The Battlefords News-Optimist

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North Battleford Galleries is asking people to put their art on display and “break free out of isolation”.

The idea is for people to send a photo of their art on display in their yard, porch, patio and doorway. Then they will share it on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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This idea came after local artist Heather Hochbaum displayed one of her quilts for National Quilt Day. “We loved the idea, and since then she has been hanging a new quilt each day. She plans on displaying a new quilt daily until she runs out of quilts or the pandemic is over. (She has a lot of quilts.)”

Those looking to participate can send a photo to North Battleford Galleries; alternative people can given them a call and they will drive by your art and snap a photo. Call 306-445-1760 or email lgarven@cityofnb.ca; make sure to provide a description: title of the work, and the media.

 

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Swiss Museum Settles Claim Over Art Trove Acquired in Nazi Era – The New York Times

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Twelve years after the city of Basel, Switzerland, rejected a claim for restitution of 200 prints and drawings in its Kunstmuseum, officials there have reversed their position and reached a settlement with the heirs of a renowned Jewish museum director and critic who sold his collection before fleeing Nazi Germany.

In 2008, the museum argued that the original owner, Curt Glaser, a leading figure in the Berlin art world and close friend of Edvard Munch, sold the art at market prices. The museum’s purchase of the works at a 1933 auction in Berlin was made in good faith, it said, so there was no basis for restitution.

But after the Swiss news media unearthed documents that shed doubt on that version of events, the museum reviewed its earlier decision and today announced it would pay an undisclosed sum to Glaser’s heirs. In return, it will keep works on paper estimated to be worth more than $2 million by artists including Henri Matisse, Max Beckmann, Auguste Rodin, Marc Chagall, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel. Among the most valuable pieces are two Munch lithographs, “Self Portrait” and “Madonna.”

The turnaround is a major victory for the heirs but also a sign, experts said, of a new willingness on the part of Swiss museums to engage seriously with restitution claims and apply international standards on handling Nazi-looted art in public collections. “Switzerland was neutral during the war, but it was a marketplace for art,” David Rowland, the New York lawyer representing Glaser’s heirs, said. “It is now making great progress in coming to grips with these cases. This is a big step forward.”

The Kunstmuseum said it also plans to mount a comprehensive exhibition in 2022, in consultation with the heirs, about Glaser’s role as “a collector, art historian, critic and museum director.”

“It has taken a long time, but this is good news,” said Valerie Sattler, Glaser’s great-niece and one of his heirs. “We were initially all very skeptical that anything would change with this review.”

Born in Leipzig, Glaser began work as an art critic in 1902. From 1909, he was a purchaser for the Royal Gallery of Prints in Berlin. He began to build his own collection and was appointed director of the city’s Kunstbibliothek, or art library, in 1924. At regular art salons, Glaser and his wife entertained artists and intellectuals over tea and liqueurs in their Berlin apartment in the 1920s.

Soon after the Nazis seized power in 1933, Glaser was ousted from his post and the accompanying apartment. He decided to leave Germany and sold most of his collection in two auctions in Berlin. Among the bidders at the Max Perl auction house in May 1933 was Otto Fischer, a curator for Basel’s public collections, who had been given permission to “make cheap acquisitions.”

The Kunstmuseum says its research suggests Glaser received the proceeds for the sales. He left for Paris in 1933 and eventually made his way to the United States in 1941. He died there in 1943.

Glaser’s heirs first approached the Kunstmuseum in 2004. Four years later, the government of Canton Basel, which oversees the museum, rebuffed their claim. It argued the prices that had been paid for the works were typical of the time. It said the auction catalog had given no indication that the works belonged to Glaser and the Kunstmuseum had “exercised all requisite care” in its acquisition.

The heirs, most of whom live in the United States, accused the canton and the museum of “failing on a human level” and “minimizing the Holocaust in all of its aspects.”

But in 2017 the Basel Art Commission, a committee that supports and advises the museum, agreed to review the case. There were several triggers for this reassessment.

In 2014, another Swiss museum, the Bern Kunstmuseum, inherited the tainted collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, a recluse who had hidden away in his Munich and Salzburg homes about 1,500 works inherited from his father, an art dealer for Adolf Hitler. His bequest, and the burden of responsibility it placed on the Bern museum, trained a spotlight on Switzerland’s patchy record in restituting Nazi-looted art and raised public awareness of the plunder and of works sold under duress that had made their way into some museum collections.

Then in 2017, the Swiss public television channel SRF reported that Basel had not been entirely open in its assessment of the Glaser claim. Minutes from 1933 meetings revealed that the art commission at the time was aware the works belonged to Glaser. They also described the purchases as “cheap,” if not “fire-sale prices.”

Meanwhile, other museums and private collectors, particularly in Germany, had agreed to restitute Glaser works sold at the two 1933 auctions. Among those that returned art to the heirs were the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2014, the Hamburg Kunsthalle in 2015 and 2018, and Berlin’s State Museums, which also installed a plaque honoring Glaser at the Kunstbibliothek in 2016.

When the Gurlitt case drew wide attention to the Kunstmuseum in Bern, Felix Uhlmann, the president of Basel’s Art Commission, said the committee took up “informal contact” with officials there to discuss best practices when it came to international restitution standards.

“The Gurlitt case opened up lots of questions and prompted us to look more closely at the legal basis for restitution decisions,” he said by telephone. “We also looked at how other institutions had responded to Glaser claims, and saw that some had reached different conclusions to the Basel decision in 2008. So we thought we must at the very least revisit this case.”

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