A Saskatoon woman who arranged a performance art piece across the globe has decided to share her story through a unique art exhibit in the city.
It’s called To Whom It May Concern and features a collection of photographs and letters which address the rise of domestic violence during COVID-19.
The project was started by Natalie Feheregyhazi in Toronto a few years ago.
Feheregyhazi dressed up in a wedding dress with a white mask covering her entire face. She would sit in various places in the city and write letters to be left where she was sitting.
She was given the nickname ‘Toronto’s Masked Bride’ as her identity remained anonymous.
Feheregyhazi said the idea to do an art project about a bride had been in her mind for several years prior to the performance art piece but some experiences in 2015 and 2016 inspired the final project.
She said one of the experiences happened after a brief conversation with a local artist, Daniel O’Shea, in a shop in Saskatoon.
“[He] showed me a painting he had done for a friend of his who had recently been murdered in a domestic violence situation,” Feheregyhazi said.
The woman in question was Beverly Littlecrow, a 36-year-old woman who the Crown prosecutor argued had been a victim of manslaughter at the hands of her spouse Gabriel Faucher in 2016.
In 2018, Faucher was found not guilty of manslaughter in the death of Littlecrow as the judges could not rule out the possibility of Littlecrow’s injuries having been accidental. The appeal of Faucher’s acquittal was dismissed earlier this year.
“We talked about this painting and he ended up gifting it to me because he said he didn’t know what to do with it,” Feheregyhazi said. “He felt it was meant to go to me.
“I really feel like Beverly’s spirit has been with this project since that moment.”
Leaving a dangerous relationship
Feheregyhazi said getting the painting coincided with her leaving a dangerous relationship after she had found out “all sorts of kind of terrifying things” about her partner who she had been with for eight years.
“It was a whole host of things that had happened kind of simultaneously and when it came to that summer and that spring, I didn’t know how to process all of this,” Feheregyhazi said. “And that’s when all of the pieces kind of came together.”
She said she knew the bride in the project had to be masked, and had to be voiceless, because she didn’t know how to express it otherwise.
Feheregyhazi said she didn’t want people to know who she was since the project involved her leaving notes around Toronto with real life stories, and she did not want the stories to be brought back to the people they involved.
She described the letters she left around the city as love letters, as the experiences she was trying to express in the art piece had to do with abusers being loved by the people they abuse.
“That conflict, that love is really what keeps us kind of caught in these cycles and I mean it’s complicated,” Feheregyhazi said. “There are a lot of elements to it and sometimes it’s fear and sometimes it’s unfortunate conditioning but it’s also love.”
She said she hoped that through writing in this uncensored and spontaneous manner it would bring to light the positive feelings often felt in abusive relationships which make it harder for victims to leave.
“One day and one moment you’re remembering the beautiful anniversary you had or that time when it was snowing, like it currently is in Saskatoon, and you decided to cuddle up and watch five movies in a row and just be loving,” Feheregyhazi said.
“Versus being assaulted, being yelled at, being sexually violated, those are the things that don’t get addressed nearly often enough when we talk about domestic or intimate forms of violence.”
The performance art project took Feheregyhazi to many places including Europe and Africa. She said she met many people, including men and people with mental illnesses, who shared their stories with her.
“What strikes me is how deep our collective longing for kindness and connection and love is,” She said. “Sometimes I didn’t catch everything but they would come and identify with the vulnerability of the figure that was just there to kind of listen, it wasn’t speaking it created the space for them to share.”
She said many people came up to her to share intimate and painful parts of their lived experiences with her and she just listened.
“There was kind of a silent agreement of trust [and] these stories are confessed and shared because no one knew who I was.”
Taking the mask off
Feheregyhazi said the reason she now decided to take the mask off and attach her name to the project has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re living in a situation where since the quarantine went into effect domestic violence has been on the rise,” she said. “And this is all happening in very confined, restricted basis.
“People who are already isolated are even more isolated and have less easy access to help.”
She said the exhibit in Saskatoon, which runs until Nov. 29, touches on some young women who died in the spring and summer of this year due to alleged domestic violence.
One of those women is Tina Tingley-McAleer who was killed in her home in Hillsborough, N.B., in May. Police arrested her partner, Calvin Andrew Lewis, and charged him with first-degree murder.
Feheregyhazi said the exhibit also includes on Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman, a 25-year-old woman from Brampton, Ont., who was allegedly shot to death by her boyfriend Darnell Reid in August.
The last woman who is honoured in the art exhibit is Brittney Ann Meszaros. The 24-year-old Calgary woman was found dead in her home in April, and her common-law boyfriend, Alexander Moskaluk, was charged with manslaughter.
“I really hope [the exhibit] will bring to surface a reminder of who these people were like these aren’t just statistics they’re mothers, they’re sisters, they’re friends and they got caught in a situation that for some reason socially we still tolerate to some degree,” Feheregyhazi said.
“I don’t know why we mind our own business when we hear something going on or how we’ve been conditioned to kind of just accept that there’s a certain level of violence that women and girls may encounter.”
The To Whom It May Concern art exhibit is in Saskatoon at 20th Street West at Avenue E and is free to view.
“I hope people will be moved to ask and demand that these kinds of violences come to an end once and for all.”
If you need help and are in immediate danger, call 911. To find assistance in your area, visit sheltersafe.ca or endingviolencecanada.org/getting-help. In Saskatchewan, pathssk.org has listings of available services across the province.
Outdoor public art exhibit of painted canoe paddles comes to downtown Peterborough in February – kawarthaNOW.com
A new outdoor public art exhibit featuring 20 canoe paddles painted by volunteer artists in the community is coming to downtown Peterborough in February.
Presented by the Downtown Vibrancy Project, the Painted Paddle art exhibit will be installed in street-front windows at various locations through the downtown area, including the Peterborough & the Kawartha Tourism Visitor Centre, Le Petit Bar, St. Veronus, Boardwalk Game Lounge, Sam’s Deli, Black Honey Bakery, Cork and Bean, B!KE, Watson and Lou, Cottage Toys, By The Bridge, GreenUp Store, Night Kitchen, Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area office, Meta4 Gallery, The Avant-Garden Shop, Sustain, Bluestreak Records, and Peterborough Social Services.
For those interested in taking a self-guided tour of the Painted Paddle exhibit, a map of all locations will be available at linktr.ee/LoveForTheBoro.
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“Art brightens the spirit and has a way of making people feel good,” says Tracie Bertrand, director of tourism at Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development. “The Painted Paddle art project will put a smile on people’s faces as they fondly reflect on their memories of being outdoors here in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.”
Some of the people and organizations who have contributed paddle art for the project include Peterborough mayor Diane Therrien, Hiawatha First Nation, Wiigwaas Hiawatha Store, Peterborough Police Service, Peterborough DBIA, GreenUP, Trent Gzowski College, Trent Veg Garden, Peterborough Pollinators, Princess Gardens Retirement Residence, Empress Gardens Retirement Residence, St. Anne’s School, VegFest, B!KE, the Art School of Peterborough, city councillors Kim Zippel and Kemi Akapo, mother-and-daughter team Eileen and Kendron Kimmett, local Anishinaabe artist Kyler Kay, and local artist Tiphaine Lenaik.
“The paddle creates a unique way to honour and acknowledge the original families in Treaty 20,” says Tim Cowie, lands and resource consultant with Hiawatha First Nation, one of many creative community members who lent their artistic skills to the Painted Paddle project. Cowie painted his paddle to look like a piece of birch bark (wiigwaas) and painted the clans (dodems) on his paddle to showcase the family ties of the Michi Saagiig.
Jill Stevens, economic development officer of Hiawatha First Nation, incorporated Michii Saagiig culture as part of their painted paddle installation.
“Having a paddle as the canvas was the perfect backdrop for the Hiawatha logo, which depicts someone paddling through manomin (wild rice) stands,” Stevens says.
The Painted Paddle exhibit will be on display in downtown Peterborough from Monday, February 1st until Friday, March 5th.
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Painted paddles from the exhibition will be available in a virtual auction beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 19th and continuing until 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 4th, just before the March First Friday Peterborough art crawl.
Proceeds from the auction at www.32auctions.com/paintedpaddles will go towards the One City Employment Program, which provides meaningful work to those with barriers to traditional employment.
2021 Sobey Art Award Call for nominations open, National Gallery of Canada exhibition returns and long-list awards increased – Canada NewsWire
“It’s an honour to chair the jury for this national award for the first time, and I look forward to discovering artists from coast—to coast—to coast through this experience,” said Sasha Suda, PHD, Director and CEO of the NGC.
“The Sobey Art Award is designed to seek out and promote the work of young artists across the country” said Rob Sobey, Chair of the SAF. “Every year we work with jurors and artists to improve the Award’s structure and impact. In its twentieth year, we are pleased to announce that we are increasing the long-list prize to $10,000 to each of the twenty artists on the list, raising the overall award to $400,000. We look forward to seeing the return of the National Gallery’s exhibition this fall.”
The 2021 award structure will be:
- $100,000 to the overall winner
- $25,000 to each of the four other shortlisted finalists
- $10,000 to each of the 20 long-listed finalists
The five shortlisted artists will be featured in an exhibition at the NGC during the fall of 2021. An independent jury consisting of curators from five regions (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon), as well as an international juror, will oversee the selection process.
Nominations are open until Friday, March 5, 2021. The NGC will accept nominations for the Award from recognized agents, artists, and institutions. The NGC will notify the sender by e-mail upon receipt of a nomination package.
DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS: Friday, March 5, 2021, no later than 6 p.m. EST
PLEASE MAIL NOMINATIONS TO:
2020 Sobey Art Award Nominations
c/o National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A,
PLEASE SEND EMAIL NOMINATIONS TO:
About the Sobey Art Foundation
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with the mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, who was a dedicated collector of Canadian art. In 2002 the Sobey Art Award was founded and quickly became the preeminent award for contemporary Canadian visual art. Awarded annually to artists aged 40 and under, the award shines a spotlight on many of the most exciting emerging artists in the country.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the largest collection of contemporary Indigenous art in the world, as well as the most important collection of historical and contemporary Canadian and European Art from the 14th to 21st centuries. Founded in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
SOURCE National Gallery of Canada
For further information: Denise Siele, NGC Senior Communications Manager, [email protected] | (613) 298-1380
Cochrane based artist helps Calgary seniors craft public art installation – Cochrane Today
CALGARY— A local artist has found a unique way to celebrate everyday beauty with a carefully crafted arts package for seniors.
Karen Begg, of Studio West Bronze Foundry & Art Gallery, created the art installation Birds & Blooms using the Public Art Grant for Artist-initiated projects.
The grant was used to design and distribute a senior’s safe painting kit.
“I look at the project as two parts— One it was a senior’s safe activity … The second part of it was we installed them publicly at the Twin Views Communal Gardens in Dover,” Begg said. “The need was just unbelievable.”
The kit was distributed to 74 seniors located in Calgary, including Bethany River View properties who share a border with the community garden. Begg also worked with the Calgary Vietnamese Women’s Association. She added the partnership was especially neat because it allowed for the art project guide was translated into Vietnamese.
She especially enjoyed partnering with the Calgary Vietnamese Women’s Association as it allowed for some of the projects to become inter-generational through grandparents working with grandchildren while painting.
The youngest painter was five-years-old and the idlest was 92. The majority were seniors and was a cool experience as many of the artists who participated were born in the 1930s.
The cut-outs were created by Sunshine Laser Creations in Cochrane and embraced a garden theme by creating flowers, butterflies and birds.
Begg designed the kits to include eight paints, a bunch of brushes, stamps and stencils to decorate. She added the tools she chose were fashioned for arthritic hands to ensure they were easier to use.
“It was really great to give the seniors a safe project to work on as well as to put them on public display to show our community how valuable our seniors are— While keeping them involved in the community,” Begg said.
Seniors were asked to paint a cutout and then send the completed project to Begg to install at the community garden. Seniors were able to keep the art supplies and were provided a canvas so they could keep creating.
Begg was inspired to create the project because she felt bad for seniors who were living in isolation.
“I just got thinking about seniors needing activities … Because, they can’t see their friends,” Begg said. “I feel really bad for them it’s been a really hard year on them
Begg said she was impressed with the senior’s creativity in decorating the art pieces.
A popular pedestrian path runs through the community garden, Begg said, and she is looking forward to passersby enjoying the newly installed art pieces.
“It brightened a really dim corner and just brought some life back into the community,” Begg said. “I’m really proud of everything that they’ve accomplished.”
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