The Nanaimo Art Gallery’s teen art group is presenting its final exhibition, and this year the artists’ collected works can be held in one’s hand.
This week the gallery’s youth program Code unveiled Code: A Collection of Youth Art, a 26-page colour magazine full of drawings, paintings, sculptures and writings by 11 local artists between the ages of 11 and 25. The works are by members of the NAG group and submissions were welcome from the community as well.
“We really wanted to give kids some sort of platform to be able to show off their work,” Code program co-ordinator Amber Morrison said. “There are not very many outlets for young artists in Nanaimo … so we were just looking for a way to be able to share and spotlight their work to the community.”
The artists were asked to create pieces that reflect the NAG’s ongoing thematic inquiry, ‘What moves?’ They then completed their work at home with minimal guidance from Morrison, who took the final pieces and put them together into a magazine.
“Normally we assist the youths quite a bit. We cultivate workshops and we bring in guest artists for them and we really try and work with them to develop the artwork,” Morrison said. “But this is many of them just working alone at home in their off time to create something. So that said, I’m just incredibly proud and impressed by what they’ve created.”
Code participant Solace Stuart, 15, said it was “really cool” to see her and her group’s work in the final magazine form. She has two items in the magazine: a collage composed of ripped-up maps and watercolours, and a painting of a girl beneath a sky lit by fireworks inspired by a playlist the Code group put together.
“It just made me think about light and celebration and lots of movement and colour,” she said.
The magazine is an ongoing project and Morrison said more issues are coming in the new year. Submissions will again be open to the public, as the goal is to give young artists in the area a place to display their work and build their portfolios.
“Normally in Code we have exhibition opportunities for them. We don’t have those right now,” Morrison said. “Art Walk has been cancelled and we’re unsure about what’s going to happen moving forward into next year as well, so this magazine is a new form of an exhibition for them.”
Copies of Code: A Collection of Youth Art are available at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial St. Morrison said the work will soon be available online as well.
Weekend Round-Up: Stylish Set-Dressing, Madden Strategy, And Parisian Art – HODINKEE
Peter Schjeldahl has been the head art critic at The New Yorker since 1998. I would be lying to you if I said I was a frequent reader of his work, but I’ve always made it a point to bookmark his criticism when I stumble across it. That doesn’t mean I always return to it, mind you, but his writing generally ends up saved inside a perpetually growing list of need-to-read tabs on my laptop, waiting for me to grow restless enough to come back to it. This week, I opened up one of his more recently published pieces, The Art Of Dying, from December 2019. In this thoughtful piece of self-reflection, Schjeldahl discusses a recent lung cancer diagnosis, his years of sobriety, and how he’s lived his life thus far. Nothing is normal these days, and Schjeldahl’s writing here reminds us that we’re all nothing but a sum of our personal experiences and that how we tell our story truly matters. I highly recommend it.
– Logan Baker, Editor, HODINKEE Shop
Italian art gallery becomes a COVID-19 vaccine centre – The Globe and Mail
The Castello di Rivoli, near Turin, has been a marvel of reinvention over its thousand-year history. It has been a castle – castello in Italian – royal palace, military barracks, refugee centre and, lately, a UNESCO World Heritage site and art gallery.
In March or April, it will assume another role, COVID-19 vaccination centre, when the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, the site’s main tenant, opens its galleries to visitors who fancy combining a bit of culture with their inoculations.
The idea of turning one of Europe’s best-known contemporary art museums into a temporary health clinic was conceived by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, 63, the museum’s American-Italian director. “Art has always helped and healed,” she said. “It provides an experience that includes and involves others and can be a form of therapy to treat trauma.”
While vaccinations are normally not considered traumatic experiences, getting one in an airy gallery might take the edge off any lingering jab anxiety. Polls suggest there is vaccine hesitancy among significant minorities of Europeans.
The vaccines will be administered in the third-floor gallery of the museum, where the walls are lined with the creations of Claudia Comte, a Swiss artist whose work, according to museum literature, comprises “large scale environmental installations … of a form of consciousness primarily shaped through the digital experience.”
While Ms. Comte’s art may not be to everyone’s taste, the gallery no doubt beats a sterile, windowless hospital room as a vaccination centre. Ms. Comte is also working on what Ms. Christov-Bakargiev called a “soothing, calming” soundtrack that will be played while medics administer the vaccines.
After they get their jabs, the newly inoculated will be allowed to wander the lower galleries (assuming Italian pandemic restrictions allow them to open), where one of the new installations will include Sex, by German visual artist Anne Imhof. Works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Amadeo Modigliani are also on display.
The vaccinations will be done by the local health authority, which will have to ensure that the proper safety protocols are in place. Ms. Christov-Bakargiev said the museum should be ideal for the inoculation effort, since it is already equipped with thermal scanners and a climate-control system and has ample space for physical distancing, waiting rooms and vaccination booths. The third floor covers 10,000 square feet.
She said the idea of turning the museum into a vaccination centre came to her months ago but took on new urgency on Dec. 13, when museum chairman Fiorenzo Alfieri died of COVID-19 after a month-long illness. He was 77.
“The day after he died, I thought that I needed to do something more than close the museum during the pandemic and wait,” she said. “We had to do something more.”
Many museums and art galleries in Europe began as hospitals, including Les Invalides in Paris and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, home of Picasso’s Guernica. Castello di Rivoli is just doing it in reverse order – a museum that is becoming, in effect, a hospital.
According to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, Italy, which has seen 83,000 pandemic deaths, had administered more than 1.2 million vaccine does by Jan. 19. Ranked by doses per 100 people, the tally puts it well ahead of the European Union average.
Italian health authorities are planning to open vaccination sites in public spaces across the country, including city squares. Cultura Italiae, a group of cultural leaders, has proposed that other museums and cultural centres copy the Castello di Rivoli vaccination model. After all, “public museums are committed to creating an accessible, pluralistic space to serve our community,” Ms. Christov-Bakargiev said.
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Chatham gallery creating art 'quilt' for Black History Month – CBC.ca
An arts organization in Chatham-Kent is looking for contributions for a unique community project to mark Black History Month.
The theme of the project is “celebrating Black lives” and the Thames Art Gallery and ARTspace are seeking submissions from the public for original works of art on the theme. The art can be any media, including painting, drawing and writing.
The public submissions will be combined and set up in a pandemic-friendly public display.
“What we’re having people do is produce a piece of work and then photograph it and then send it to us and we will print it out and then assemble it in the form of a quilt,” Phil Vanderwall, curator of the Thames Art Gallery, said on CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning on Friday.
The completed work will be displayed in the window of the ARTspace gallery on King Street in downtown Chatham.
“So it’s a nice public space,” he said.
The ‘quilt’ format of the project allows for community participation while preventing close contact. Both ARTspace and the Thames Art Gallery are closed due to COVID-19.
Vanderwall said quilt-making is currently undergoing a bit of a revival.
“This seemed like a good opportunity to explore that,” he said.
Submissions are already coming in and the deadline is Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m.
The quilt will be unveiled Feb. 5 and will remain on display until Feb 26.
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