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New 2SLGBTQ+ art installation unveiled at Halifax Common – HalifaxToday.ca

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A new 2SLGBTQ2+ art installation was unveiled this afternoon at the Halifax Common.

Titled “Chosen Family,” the art piece was created by non-binary, transgender and queer artist Margot Durling. It stands at the edge of the Halifax Common at the North Park Street and Cogswell Road intersection.

“Seeing yourself reflected in the built environment is a very powerful form of validation and belonging,” Durling, who’s also a designer and musician, said at the unveiling. “Especially when you’ve lived most of your life not seeing yourself reflected in the world. There is a significant difference between ‘all are welcome’ and ‘this space was created with you in mind.’”

The art piece shows five brightly-coloured poles with various abstract gender symbols mounted on top.

“It was important to me and to our community that these reflected both our joy and also our pain,” said Durling. “For that reason, I made them bright and colourful but also upright like flag posts, with heads held high breeding honour and dignity to our community and those we have lost.”

Durling said many people, such as “homophobic trolls,” went online to express confusion and issue with the piece. One common reason was because some didn’t understand its meaning.

But Durling said they purposefully used normal gender symbols, combined them and made them abstract.

“Knowing that these people are online searching gender symbols and learning about that makes me deeply, deeply happy,” they said.

Durling also avoided using the colours of the rainbow. They said those colours have recently been used by corporations as a form of pinkwashing — a way corporations and political entities promote themselves as gay-friendly to downplay their negative behaviour.

“This is life-changing for many who do not see themselves widely represented in power structures throughout their life,” said the Youth Project’s executive director Carmel Farahbakhsh. “Public art is crucial. It is our city’s way to represent various communities in K’jipuktuk that allows for imagination, creativity and magic and play to be alive.

“Chosen family is heart, future, home for so many. I know that youth will see this art and feel a reverberating resonance and feel seen.”

The art installation is a part of the North Park Intersection Redesign — a project that’ll transform the area where the art installation lives. So far, the project has brought two new roundabouts and eight new public art pieces on the Halifax Common.

091120 - Chosen Family Art 2Dozens gathered to watch the unveiling of the art piece at the Halifax Common (Chris Stoodley/HalifaxToday.ca)

“Public art has such an important role to play in creating these strong, welcoming communities where people want to make a home,” Mayor Mike Savage said. “And pieces like this one truly make our city more beautiful and engaging and a better place for everybody to live.”

The unveiling also saw a poetry performance from artist Mateo Ferguson and short comments from city councillors Lindell Smith and Waye Mason.

While Durling created the piece “Chosen Family,” they said they recognize their privilege and wishes to see Black and Indigenous members of the 2SLGBTQ+ have their work and vision represented.

“In order for that to happen, bigger systemic change needs to happen,” Durling said. “Public art needs to be more than an afterthought. We need to invest in community from the root up. Public art can be a powerful act of healing when the work is conceived and executed by and for artists, not for the sake of performative allyship.”

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Vernon Community Art Centre holding annual Christmas art sale – Vernon News – Castanet.net

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You will not find any of these gift ideas in a big box store.

The Vernon Community Art Centre is hosting its 15th annual Artsolutely artisan sale full of Christmas gifts.

Sheri Kunzli, with the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, said all of the works are made by local artists and are a one-of-a-kind creation.

The art centre sells art year round, but in December they shut down their programs and dedicate the entire Polson Park building to the art sale that is open seven days a week through Dec. 24.

Works from more than 35 artists are on sale.

Every piece is carefully handcrafted and locally made, and each artisan is selected through a jurying process to ensure the highest quality throughout.

“Everything is hand made, unique quality and all of the artists go through a jurying process to participate which keeps the quality up,” said Kunzli.

“The Arts Centre is one of Vernon’s gems. It’s more than a place to shop, and it is more than an arts education facility. It’s a community space that offers a place for people of all ages and abilities to create, play, laugh, gain skills, release stress, heal and develop friendships. Having to shut down the Arts Centre in the Spring was devastating on many levels.

“As a non-profit, the closure set us back significantly, but it also impacted the hundreds of people that utilize the Centre. We are working hard to keep the doors open because our community needs us. This place tells the stories of why the arts matter to individuals and our community at large. It’s a place that has been a haven for creatives and allowed people to thrive.”

For more information on Artsolutely, click here.

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North Vancouver's Anonymous Art Show identifies safe way to hold exhibition this year – Vancouver Is Awesome

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A well-known annual event where anonymous local artists are encouraged to sell their original works will now feature a buying public who will remain largely unseen as well.

North Van Arts’ 16th annual Anonymous Art Show has moved online this year in order to follow new provincial health orders.

Following a week-long preview, the sales begin tonight (Nov. 26) at 7 p.m. and will continue until Dec. 19 at 5 p.m.

Unlike live performance venues, arts retail spaces and galleries – such as CityScape Community ArtSpace where the show is usually held – are technically allowed to remain open under new COVID-19 restrictions put in place on Nov. 19, as long as no formal community events are held.

While the exhibition is being installed and will remain at CityScape, North Van Arts has opted to essentially suspend its in-person exhibition this year and is instead encouraging the public to check out and purchase the pieces online, according to Nancy Cottingham Powell, executive director at North Van Arts.

“Normally on opening night we would have 300 people going through this gallery. Obviously that’s not going to happen right now,” said Powell. “Viewing it online is really the way to go.”

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Original artwork from 250 emerging and established artists from North and West Vancouver will be up for grabs for $100 apiece. Proceeds from the art show are split between the local artists and North Van Arts, who will use the funds to supports ongoing programming.

The artist behind each painting will remain anonymous until their work is sold and their name is revealed, according to Powell.

“It’s a great test-place for people,” said Powell. “I think it’s an important show because we’ve got the whole community at the table.”

More than 125 would-be art buyers have already registered for the opening night of sales, added Powell.

Click here for more information about this year’s Anonymous Art Show.

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Quebec fights to give Jean-Paul Riopelle's art a proper home – The Globe and Mail

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Les masques by Jean Paul Riopelle, 1964.

Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle

Jean-Paul Riopelle had returned from Europe 12 years before his death in 2002, but Quebec is still fighting to give its modernist art star a proper home. It’s a battle, made tougher by the pandemic, to preserve a precarious cultural legacy, but the artist’s supporters are digging in on two separate fronts.

One is a major exhibition arguing that Riopelle, a painter best remembered for the aggressive abstraction he produced in the 1950s in Paris, was influenced both by the northern landscape and the Indigenous presence in Canada. That ground-breaking show was supposed to be opening this month at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), but COVID-19 closures have delayed it until January at the earliest.

The other front is the recently formed Riopelle Foundation, dedicated to creating a permanent gallery and research centre in time for the artist’s centenary in 2023. With only three years to go, the foundation is still looking for a building after the MMFA announced last week that it is canceling plans to house the project because of the pandemic’s impact on finances.

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Pangnirtung, 1977.

Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle

“I believe the work of Riopelle deserves to be better understood and presented. … His critical stature has shrunk from being an international star to a provincial legend,” Stéphane Aquin, the new MMFA director, said in an interview. Aquin believes restoring Riopelle’s lustre is probably best achieved by the foundation presenting itself as a stand-alone destination in Montreal. At any rate, he is not going to expose his institution to the rapidly rising construction costs of adding a new floor to the museum’s Desmarais Pavilion on the south side of Sherbrooke Street.

“Our attitude is very definitely to move ahead and seek other alternatives, whether to acquire an existing building or build a new one,” said Michael Audain, the Vancouver developer and collector who co-founded the foundation. He was planning to donate his 36 Riopelles to the MMFA’s cancelled project.

The rupture between the foundation and the MMFA is not irreparable, as the museum unveils its new Riopelle exhibition, albeit online only. The artist’s daughter, Yseult Riopelle, who also established the foundation, was present for the show’s media launch Wednesday.

Jean-Paul Riopelle, second from left, on a fishing trip in Quebec, about 1975.

Claude Duthuit /Archives Yseult Riopelle

Author of her father’s catalogue raisonné, she began researching his interest in Indigenous art after his death. “We imbibed that atmosphere,” she said in French, describing the Inuit and Northwest Coast art that surrounded the family during the artist’s Paris years. In 2016, she joined forces with MMFA curators already working on the thesis that Riopelle, who began returning to Canada for hunting trips in the 1970s, was influenced by the idea of the North. And so, Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures came together, originally intended as a run-up to the new Riopelle wing.

That space was the latest of many ambitious expansions – probably too many – undertaken by former MMFA director Nathalie Bondil before she was controversially fired last summer. At Wednesday’s media conference nobody mentioned her name, but the exhibition that includes both historic and contemporary Indigenous art alongside 110 works by Riopelle seems typical of the multidisciplinary and cross-cultural directions she was championing.

The public can see the show online between Dec. 1 and Jan. 11, at which point the MMFA hopes to reopen. A full analysis of the exhibition’s thesis and art is going to have to wait for that physical tour: Riopelle’s best-known work is famous for a sculptural impasto applied with the palette knife rather than the brush.

Yet one goal of both the exhibition and the foundation is to broaden that popular image of wild-man modernism to include Riopelle’s delicate drawings and complex sculptures as well as the later landscapes and iceberg paintings. Audain, an impassioned fan, often speaks about the need to introduce the work to a younger generation across Canada. The show will tour to the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, B.C., and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, but so far not to any international venues. Still, in an era when mid-century modernism is trendy and Indigenous art is highly prized, the exhibition might yet fuel a Riopelle revival.

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Meanwhile, the foundation pushes ahead. The Quebec government has promised that the $10-million grant attached to the MMFA’s wing will now follow the foundation to wherever it lands. “Riopelle lived in France for 40 years and returned in the end for the last 12 years,” said foundation director Manon Gauthier. “It’s about bringing a great Canadian hero home to Montreal.”

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