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New Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibition explores generations through film – Nanaimo News Bulletin

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The Nanaimo Art Gallery is wrapping up its yearlong inquiry, ‘What are generations?’ with an exhibition by Vancouver-based photographer and recent Governor General’s Award recipient Sandra Semchuk.

In her show, A Generational Retrospective, opening at the NAG on Feb. 6 and running until April 5, Semchuk and NAG curator Jesse Birch have assembled a collection of photographs and video work spanning the ’70s to the present day, including new pieces created specifically for this show.

Many of the photographs are what Semchuk calls “co-operative self-portraits,” taken with family members. But she said the pictures are about more than just her.

“I use myself as a way to consider larger issues,” she explained. “Particularly, how we come to know one another or how we come to see one another from person to person and within our families and within different cultures and across species.”

Semchuk said people have “an enormous difficulty” in coming to know and relate with one another and it’s questions around that dilemma that she investigates in her work.

“The art of coming to know each other across cultures is crucial to our very survival,” she said. “So, one, how do we come to see ourselves? And how do we come to see someone else? … How do we know when we’re projecting on someone else or another species or someone we care about? How do we simply come to know someone? What does real intimacy look like?”

Birch has been following Semchuk for more than 20 years and said that her body of work fits well with the gallery’s thematic inquiry.

“Throughout her practice there’s been a thread of work where she’s collaborated with people of different generations in her family, through her friends, through other people in the community,” he said. “And that intention to communicate through art across generations was something that is so perfect for this year.”

The day before the show closes on April 5 Semchuk will return to the NAG for a launch and reading from her new book. The Stories Were Not Told, a project 12 years in the making, examines Canada’s First World War internment camps through photographs and interviews with descendants of internees. Semchuk said she felt “compelled” to write the book after learning about the internments and needing to “figure it out.”

She said the book relates to the exhibition’s idea of the importance of dialogue for identity.

“It’s in dialogue that we are negotiating identity with someone else and if the stories are suppressed, then we tend to buy into dominant narratives of who we can be,” Semchuk said. “So it opens up and loosens up identity so that we can be more specific and nuanced and understand why we carry certain kinds of … trauma or strength or resilience. It opens up possibilities of understanding more deeply and authentically who we are.”

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for A Generational Retrospective takes place at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial St., on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. Show runs until April 5. Book launch and reading for The Stories Were Not Told happens at the gallery on April 4 at 1 p.m.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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Go Figure: We sketch a picture of BC's private fine art world – BCBusiness

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Van

Credit: Vancouver Art Gallery

At 1.1%, B.C. has the highest concentration of artists per capita in Canada

$24,304 – Median annual salary for a B.C. painter, sculptor or visual artist in 2016

337 – B.C. galleries, studios and cooperatives listed in the Galleries West database

Metro Vancouver/Whistler corridor: 178

Victoria, Island and Sunshine Coast: 89

Interior: 59

North: 11

Share that are public: 65%

400,000 sq. ft. – Estimated loss of artist studio space in Vancouver over the past decade due to residential and commercial conversion or redevelopment

$22.80/sq. ft. – Median reported annual rent for artist studio space in the City of Vancouver, not including taxes or triple-net lease

$17.65/sq. ft. – Average rent for industrial space

US$67.4 billion – Value of the global art market in 2018

Leading countries by market share:

U.S.: 44%

U.K.: 21%

China: 19%

In 2019, British Columbians imported $29,328,878 worth of original paintings, drawings and pastels from 47 countries

Exports: $23,663,131

83% of exports by value went to the U.S.

4 Canadians made the 2019 ArtNews Top 200 global art collectors list:

3 work in real estate

1 (Bob Rennie) is from B.C.

The Rennie Collection includes about 2,100 works by 370 artists

Purchase price of the first piece of artwork Bob Rennie bought (a Norman Rockwell print, in 1974): US$375

Purchase price of Untitled (Red, Black, Green) by Kerry James Marshall, which Rennie bought in 2011-12: US$26 million

B.C.’s highest-grossing art auction, which took place in Vancouver in 2007, totalled $23,033,925 in sales

Highest-priced painting by a B.C. artist sold by Vancouver-founded Heffel Fine Art Auction House: The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase) by Emily Carr, selling for $3,393,000 in 2016

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Mysterious ancient rock art may have been made with beeswax – Science Magazine

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L. M. Brady

This 500-year-old rock art is among the rarest in the world. Found at a site called Yilbilinji near northern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria—and depicting a humanlike figure holding a boomerang (right), surrounded by more boomerangs—it’s a type of stenciling that involved creating miniature outlines of humans, tools, and other shapes. Similar, much older mini-stencils have been found elsewhere in Australia and around the world. Now, scientists think they know how ancient people made them.

Australia’s Aboriginal populations have been creating rock art for at least 44,000 years. Typically when stenciling, the artist held their hand or other object up to the rock and sprayed pigmented liquid onto it, leaving behind a life-size negative on the wall.

But the red-rock overhang at Yilbilinji features much smaller figures: 17 minihumans, boomerangs, and geometric patterns—all too tiny to have been modeled after a painter’s hand or a real object. One of the new study’s co-authors remembered seeing Aboriginal people using beeswax as a kind of clay for making children’s toys resembling cattle and horses. Might the ancient rock artists have used beeswax to form stencils?

Working with representatives of the local Indigenous Marra people, the researchers attempted to replicate the ancient art using only materials native to the region. By heating and molding beeswax, sticking it to the rock, and spraying it with a white-pigment paint, they managed to produce rock art exceptionally similar to the originals found at Yilbilinji, they report today in Antiquity.

The miniature art may have served a spiritual or ritualistic purpose, the researchers note. Or, they suggest, because many of these stencils are positioned relatively low on the rocky overhang, it may have just been child’s play, the ancient equivalent to children scribbling on the walls.

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Art for art's sake – Patrick Weiss, Canmore mail carrier – The Crag and Canyon

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Patrick Weiss delivers the mail to a community mail box on a rain day in Canmore. photo by Pam Doyle/www.pamdoylephoto.com

jpg, BA

Patrick Weiss is a front line worker in Canmore.

Weiss is a Rural and Suburban Mail Carrier with Canada Post and he has been working since the Covid-19 virus was first detected.

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stops the mail from being delivered,” Weiss said.

You could also add ‘virus’ to his statement.

Weiss delivers to the communities of the Peaks of Grassi, Mineside, Homesteads and Prospect Point. People depend on their mail even more than before the virus disrupted normal routines.

“I’ve definitely been much busier during the pandemic,” Weiss said. “My parcel delivery is up almost 40 percent for this time of year increasing the workload to Christmas-like volume. This is probably due to all the online ordering of goods during the lockdown.”

Working through the -30 C cold snaps of the last few winters has been challenging though, he said.

The thought of taking a break from work now because of the coronavirus hasn’t crossed his mind.

“I’m not worried about the virus or getting sick due to the low numbers in the Bow Valley,” Weiss said. “And being equipped with the proper PPE and taking all necessary precautions.”

He is outside for most of his workday and happy to be there, he said.

“I love this job as it lets me be outside getting exercise and interacting with the community,” Weiss said. “I’ve been doing it for almost two years.”

The community has been appreciative that he is still on the job.

“People have been awesome to me during this time,” Weiss said. “Very thankful and supportive that we are still delivering their letter mail and packages during a time when they have limited access to the town and its services.”

The community mailboxes can fit a wide variety of parcels, he said.

“What does not fit I gladly hand deliver to customers’ doors to ensure they receive their goods,” Weiss said.

It’s been business as usual with not much downtime at the job. And the typical stereotype of dogs versus mail carriers does not apply, he said.

“I love cats and dogs and I am always happy to have interaction with them while working,” Weiss said. “Never had any bad experiences with them.”

When he isn’t working, he skateboards, snowboards, mountain bikes and tries to keep up with his cross fit workouts, despite the gym being closed for the time being, Weiss said.

“I started skateboarding in the early 70’s skateboard boom and rode my board to school in Calgary at elementary, junior high, and high school,” Weiss said. “I recall getting chased by teachers down the hallways while riding it back in my younger years. Carving and grinding the bowls in Canmore and Banff is a passion of mine that will never die. Both parks are killer and open now and I hit them whenever I have the time and weather permits. I’ve made countless friends skating at them over the years.”

Weiss carries the nickname Snaketrick, because of the boa constrictor cowboy boots he wore in high school. But he doesn’t mind if you call him that.

“I feel very fortunate to live and work in Canmore as it lets me pursue all the outdoor sports that I love,” Weiss said.

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