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Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding – Monday Magazine – Monday Mag

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Two arts and culture groups in Nanaimo have received more than $100,000 from the provincial government to help improve their spaces and support arts programming.

On Jan. 22 the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport announced in a press release that nine arts and culture groups on Vancouver Island and its adjacent islands received more than $440,000 as part of the B.C. Arts Council’s new arts infrastructure program. Among the local recipients are the Nanaimo Art Gallery, which got $75,000, and the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, which got $31,933.

NAG executive director Carolyn Holmes was thankful for the grant and said the funds will be spent on expanding the ArtLab studio.

“These renovations will make it possible to increase the capacity of our programs and involve more members of our community in art-making experiences,” she said in the press release. “This recent year has showed us just how important these creative outlets and learning opportunities are for our well-being.”

Other recipients on the Island include the Belfry Theatre, CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers and Victoria Baroque Music Society, all located in Victoria, as well as the Cumberland Museum and Archives. The Hornby Island Arts Council, Alert Bay’s U’mista Cultural Centre and the Sointula Museum and Historical Society also received funding. In all, 49 group from across the province received nearly $2 million in grants.

“Art and creative expression are so important for people to maintain healthy lifestyles, especially right now,” Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson said in the release. “We are supporting arts and culture spaces across the province and here in Nanaimo, assisting them through the pandemic and helping to make them better for the future.”



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In Gallery 1313’s ‘Lockdown Show,’ John Ferri’s art reflects the beginnings of optimism – Toronto Star

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A year ago, our lives changed. We’ve endured isolation, changed our habits. Where once we walked through a lively bustling city, now we walk through quiet streets. It’s changed the way we see the world.

That is true, too, for artists. John Ferri, a former senior editor at the Star and now a vice-president at TVOntario, has been creating digital collage work, a composite of photography and digital design elements, for almost 10 years.

He says the pandemic has changed what he sees as he peers through the lens of his camera.

“I see more people alone, not sitting or walking in groups,” he said in an email exchange with the Star. “I think I’ve always been interested in the idea of being alone in a public space, of being isolated even in a crowd. Well, the crowds are gone. The artwork I’ve created over the last year no doubt reflects this.”

In the image, above, a single figure walks their dog. A path winds its way through zones that contain riots of colour and individual bubbles.

His art, he hopes, offers “a unique visual perspective that balances precision, whimsy, and a fascination with human movement,” he wrote in his comments for the show this work, called “Morning,” is featured in online at Gallery 1313. “This piece is a counterpoint to how we’re all feeling after a year of living with fear and isolation. I didn’t set out to create a feeling of hope and optimism, it just went there on its own.

“I believe that we are finding our way forward and out of this pandemic, and I hope that this piece captures the tenuous sense of optimism we’re all feeling.”

Though we might still walk alone, vaccines are coming. Spring is around the corner. As we venture outdoors, from beyond our own four walls, we are getting closer.

“The Lockdown Show” features a range of more than 60 artists from across the GTA who belong to the Gallery 1313 collective. You can find it online — www.g1313.org — until the end of March.

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In Gallery 1313's 'Lockdown Show,' John Ferri's art reflects the beginnings of optimism – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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A year ago, our lives changed. We’ve endured isolation, changed our habits. Where once we walked through a lively bustling city, now we walk through quiet streets. It’s changed the way we see the world.

That is true, too, for artists. John Ferri, a former senior editor at the Star and now a vice-president at TVOntario, has been creating digital collage work, a composite of photography and digital design elements, for almost 10 years.

He says the pandemic has changed what he sees as he peers through the lens of his camera.

“I see more people alone, not sitting or walking in groups,” he said in an email exchange with the Star. “I think I’ve always been interested in the idea of being alone in a public space, of being isolated even in a crowd. Well, the crowds are gone. The artwork I’ve created over the last year no doubt reflects this.”

In the image, above, a single figure walks their dog. A path winds its way through zones that contain riots of colour and individual bubbles.

His art, he hopes, offers “a unique visual perspective that balances precision, whimsy, and a fascination with human movement,” he wrote in his comments for the show this work, called “Morning,” is featured in online at Gallery 1313. “This piece is a counterpoint to how we’re all feeling after a year of living with fear and isolation. I didn’t set out to create a feeling of hope and optimism, it just went there on its own.

“I believe that we are finding our way forward and out of this pandemic, and I hope that this piece captures the tenuous sense of optimism we’re all feeling.”

Though we might still walk alone, vaccines are coming. Spring is around the corner. As we venture outdoors, from beyond our own four walls, we are getting closer.

“The Lockdown Show” features a range of more than 60 artists from across the GTA who belong to the Gallery 1313 collective. You can find it online — www.g1313.org — until the end of March.

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What are NFTs? Behind the crypto trend revolutionizing the art world – Toronto Star

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The cherub looks like it’s ready to strike. Hovering idly in outer space, it points a hooked spear at the earth below and steadies its hand.

Grimes, the Canadian musician and visual artist, posted this unsettling image to an art auctioning site earlier in February. It’s part of a broader collection of digital artwork, called “WarNymphs,” that she codesigned with her brother.

Within hours of posting it online, hundreds of copies of the supersized demon baby had sold for $7,500 (U.S.) each. Total sales from her collection reached closer to $6 million.

At first, the frenzy may seem confounding. The image exists solely online. It’s not a physical painting or a photo. Those who bought it could easily have taken a screen grab and made it their desktop background for free.

Why spend all that money on a digital picture?

In short, the answer lies in a newly popular acronym: NFT.

Otherwise known as nonfungible tokens, NFTs are unique computer codes used to identify the authenticity of a digital item — often an image, animation or a video. The code is attached to the item to verify its originality, indicating which item is the original and which is a duplicate.

Items containing NFTs are bought and sold using blockchain, an online technology that records monetary transactions made in cryptocurrency.

To make this easier on the brain, think of “non-fungible” in terms of physical objects. A postcard of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” for example, is fungible: swap it for another identical postcard and you have the exact same thing. The original “Starry Night,” however, is non-fungible: swap it for a replica and you no longer have the original.

The NFT distinguishes the real from the fake. How value is assigned to the original items is just as subjective as any other form of art.

“If you visit my living room, you’ll see original-sized pictures of Monet paintings. They’re really nice, and really fancy, but they’re clearly not actual Monet paintings,” explains Andreas Park, an associate professor of finance at the University of Toronto who researches cryptocurrency.

“If I could have the original, I’d be thrilled.”

In effect, the NFT has introduced the concept of originality to the online world.

For artists whose work exists solely in the digital world, it’s an opportunity to attach a monetary value to their work. For buyers, it’s an opportunity to support artists they like, and hold artwork as assets — hoping the value of the artwork goes up so it can be sold for a profit.

The trend has also benefited from the internet’s typical eccentricity. A clip of LeBron James dunking a basketball sold for $99,999. Pink socks sold for $60,000. An image of beans, scooped in a ladle, sold for $469. The proud new owners of these items can brag about holding the originals.

It’s also being taken seriously by companies hoping to get in on the trend. Christie’s, the famed British auction house, recently became the first major auctioneer to sell a digital, NFT-based artwork. The featured artist, a popular digital designer known as Beeple, made $3.5 million in a single weekend from Christie’s sales.

More recently, Kings of Leon announced their new album will be released as an NFT in partnership with a tech startup called Yellowheart.

Nike, meanwhile, holds a patent for “blockchain-based NFT-sneakers,” called Cryptokicks (a sentence that, as confusing as it is now, would be completely indecipherable to anyone 10 years ago).

In the art world, the rise of NFTs and crypto art has sprouted a wide array of new platforms and online marketplaces where people can buy and sell art as they please.

Grimes’ latest collection premiered on a website called Nifty Gateway, owned by serial entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (of “The Social Network” fame), which functions as an online marketplace where users can sell they art they’ve bought at a higher price. Not sure if they’re selling the original image? Check for an NFT.

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Park, who’s followed the rise of blockchain and NFTs for the past several years, says the token is here to stay, though some of the recent excitement is likely temporary.

“Right now, there’s a sense of novelty that’s driving the appeal for NFT artwork. It’s like Beanie Babies: they were popular for a while, because people liked them, and then it died out,” he said.

“But, more broadly, this is a very useful record-keeping technology. It’s easy to imagine NFTs being used as proof of ownership for a variety of things in the future.”

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