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.
Charles Hartnell, 18, has a painting of a Nanaimo street scene and a nude in the magazine. He’s a past participant of the NAG’s summer youth program Dazzle Camouflage currently studying virtually at Ontario College of Art and Design. He said the magazine is a good opportunity for young local artists to connect.
“Half the reason for making art work is to talk about it and bring people together,” Hartnell said. “And so this is why I was so excited to participate with this because it shows, No. 1, that young artists in Nanaimo are creating things and, 2, it’s something for us artists to show to other people.”
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.
Admiral Art McDonald's Maritime origins | CTV News – CTV News Atlantic
On Thursday, Admiral Art McDonald was appointed Canada’s new chief of the defence staff – taking over from General Jonathan Vance, the longest-serving in the position in modern day. Having been born in New Waterford, Nova Scotia, his Maritime roots are evident; but mystery also surrounds his ties to the region.
Originally from the seaside Cape Breton community of New Waterford – a community of just over 6,000 people – Canada’s new top military man was born in the town in 1967, according to his military biography. However, beyond a birth year and a place of birth, there aren’t many details of McDonald’s life in the region.
On Saturday morning, a few residents of the town spent the morning at a local coffee shop trying to uncover and make sense of McDonald’s Maritime connection.
“This is all second hand, but I know he grew up on Irish Brook Road. I think he moved to P.E.I. eventually,” says former New Waterford councillor Lowell Cormier, who has done some digging into McDonald’s family tree.
“His uncle was Francis MacKinnon, the former town clerk,” says Cormier. “He has another uncle, father Art MacKinnon, who was murdered in the Dominican Republic, and I think Art is named after him.”
Regardless of the details of his past, McDonald is now tasked with leading Canada’s military into the future.
On Thursday, during his virtual swearing-in ceremony, he apologized to victims of racism or discrimination while serving. The Prime Minister has said McDonald’s first major task going forward will be to help lead the country’s fight against COVID-19. His appointment to the position makes McDonald the first naval officer to hold the top military job in 25 years.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Art McDonald; it’s a prestigious position,” says Cormier. “And the whole community, because he’s a native son, is delighted.”
While New Waterford is mostly known for its mining history, the community has a proud military history as well. And even though McDonald hasn’t lived in the area for a long time, many in the region see his tenure at the top post as part of the next chapter.
“We’ll claim him for sure,” says Cormier. “We’ll definitely claim him.”
Canadian students create program that turns your thoughts into abstract art | Venture – Daily Hive
A team of students from the University of Alberta has developed a program that turns its wearer’s thoughts into pieces of abstract art.
Called RemBRAINdt, the program uses a 3D-printed headset and electroencephalography (EEG) to record a user’s brain activity through their skull, explained Eden Redman, the president of NeurAlbertaTech and team lead on the project.
After a baseline reading, the wearer is then shown various words and images that are intended to illicit an emotional response.
A graph is created from that heightened brain activity which RemBRAINdt, using machine learning, is able to translate into abstract art.
Rather than simply reading happiness as yellow or anger as red, though, the device measures emotions and feelings on a gradience, Redman said, ranging between “valance” and “arousal.”
Valance records positive or negative feelings, and arousal measures how calming or exciting something is.
The result is beautifully swirled lines of colour, each piece giving a new look into someone’s mind.
Redman, 24, is currently studying Industrial Design and East Asian Language Studies as an “after-degree,” but has a background in psychology and computational neuroscience.
He first came up with the idea for RemBRAINdt in January 2020 as a way to support a fundraiser at the University of Alberta’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute.
Although the project was temporarily stalled when COVID-19 hit, the NeurAlbertaTech team picked it back up, remotely, in the summer.
Since then, RemBRAINdt has eared them some “pretty decent funding,” Redman said, including $20,000 from NeuroNexus 2020, a neurotechnology design competition in Alberta.
It’s also been incorporated as an official business under the name RemBraindt Neurotechnologies Inc.
Post-pandemic, Redman’s long term goal remains having the device at public and private events. Short-term it’s “nose to the grindstone,” as the team continues to improve RemBraindt.
“People are getting interested,” Redman said. “I’m pretty excited.”
Art and technology combine for new Minecraft residency at Mackenzie Art Gallery – Global News
“So many arts and cultural events have had to find their online forms last year and this year. So I suppose this is an attempt to do that in a way that we haven’t really seen,” said Sarah Friend, artist and co-curator of Ender Gallery (“Ender” is the name of one of Minecraft’s digital realms).
“It’s fun, new and crosses different creative communities.”
Friend, who is also a software engineer and is based in Berlin, approached her friends Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll with an idea to create a virtual art space last year.
Bluemke is the digital operations coordinator at the Mackenzie and Carroll is the digital programs coordinator, .
“In talking with them the idea got fleshed out and turned into its current form in partnership with the Mackenzie,” Friend explained.
The first of four planned two-month residencies is scheduled to begin in March.
Anyone with a Minecraft account will be able to log into Ender Gallery to view the art pieces. Friend said discussions are ongoing about finding a way to display the art somewhere within the Mackenzie itself, and added that the Ender Gallery team is planning to document the exhibitions via video as well.
“Though Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, its not something that everyone has access to,” Friend said. “So we want this to be available to the widest audience possible.”
Applications for the residencies are being accepted until end-of-day on January 31.
Applicants will need to select their preferred residency period, a written proposal and a portfolio, among other things, but don’t need to be experienced artists or have extensive experience with Minecraft to apply.
Each artist will be paid a $1,600 fee.
“Proposals are already coming in. Some of them look like buildings, filled with different creations, that someone on the server can see and walk through. Other proposals are creations that tell a story as you view them,” Friend said.
“We even have proposals that would be something not built on the server, but installed on the server. Minecraft has a modding community where people create new game functionality within Minecraft, or new skins so that it looks like a different game.”
Friend said the residency follows a growing trend of projects highlighting the artistic potential of video games.
“I think we’ve only begun to see the amount of creative content that will come from that intersection.”
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