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North Vancouver couple covers street corner with art – North Shore News

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One North Vancouver couple has turned their neighbourhood corner into an ever-changing street art project featuring messages of hope and encouragement for these strange times.

Since the COVID-19 crisis started, the duo has hit the sidewalk outside their home, tucked away on a quiet street near a central North Vancouver high school, to paint intricate designs alongside inspirational messages that often echo the words of B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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The pandemic pushed them down this creative path, says Brenda, one of the artists, who uses the name Bren.Vancouver when making her creations.

“I want to shout from the rooftop that despite everything, beauty is still thriving,” she says. “My intention is to bring joy, inspiration and hope to everyone. With or without COVID-19, all sorts of people deal with stress and emotional turmoil. If I can take someone from a not so pleasant place and lift their spirits for a few moments, I am making a difference in this world.”

Bren.Vancouver often channels Dr. Bonnie Henry with the chalk art in front of her North Vancouver home. photo Andy Prest, North Shore News

Bren focuses on chalk designs with inspirational messages – including some intricate two-metre-wide designs she has made in local parks to encourage proper physical distancing – while her partner Paul specializes in orcas and thunderbirds using watercolours. The ephemeral nature of their art is made clear every time it rains – the designs of chalk and watercolour wash away, leaving a blank slate to be filled once again.

“This impermanence reminds me of how delicate life is and the importance of embracing the now,” says Bren. “Rather than get lost in the details and strive for perfection (admittedly a guilty pleasure), the impermanent nature of the chalk frees me to take risks and try something new. If the art doesn’t work, it will be erased in a few days. When the art is good, and the rain washes it away, I honestly do get sad and go through a grieving process. I question if it was worth investing so much time on something that would not last. I reflect on the people I saw light up walking by my art and the exponential joy that was sure to follow for others … and so I begin again, to do my art, to do my part.”

The couple has filled their corner with art, but they aren’t interested in much fanfare – they were discovered when a reporter happened to walk by their work – and they don’t want to broadcast the exact location of their creations.

“We would rather people find us unintentionally,” says Bren. “To walk down a random street on a random day and have their heart spark joy when they come across some random art. An unexpected delight, a hidden treasure, something uplifting, a blissful moment, a welcome interruption from an intense thought. I think the unexpected element is what I love most about my backyard public art and why I am inspired to do more.” 

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Orca. photo Andy Prest, North Shore News
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This chalk design is two metres wide as a nod to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines. photo Bren.Vancouver

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Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre to host annual Christmas art show – Hanna Herald

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The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season and is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is hosting a Christmas arts sale in November, with attendance by ticketed appointment to control crowds. (Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre)

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season so is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Deck the Halls craft sale will feature original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry and quilted items, and run for three days from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

To accommodate crowd size limits and safe social distancing, people are asked to register for a ticket and attend during a designated 45-minute time slot. Tickets are free, and masks are mandatory.

After the three-day sale, many goods will be available in the gallery during regular hours.

Find more information and tickets at creativeartscentre.com.

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Red Deer city council opts to leave public art selection to a commission – Red Deer Advocate

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Red Deer city council quadrupled the size of municipal projects that would trigger the one-per-cent budget spending on public art — raising the threshold from $250,000 to $1 million.

But most councillors refused to takeover decision-making authority on public art installations from the public art commission.

This last suggestion was floated by Coun. Vesna Higham, who mentioned two controversial Calgary public artworks that were largely derided by taxpayers as a waste of money. One of them was a large metal hoop, costing $400,000.

Higham said she didn’t feel right allowing non-elected officials on a commission to have the authority to spend taxpayer money. People elect city council for that purpose, added Higham, who wanted an art committee to make recommendations to council, who would have final authority.

But other councillors refused to wade into the thorny area of second-guessing what a group made up of art experts, as well as general citizens, decides.

Coun. Tanya Handley said art is subjective. Contradicting a committee’s opinion would not only be awkward but would indicate little respect for the group members’ time or expertise, she added.

Three years ago, council decided to upgrade a former art committee to the present art commission specifically to give it the authority to adjudicate art without having to get council’s approval.

Two un-elected citizens are appointed to serve on the Municipal Planning Commission, entrusted with making major development decisions — so why not trust un-elected citizens with the selection of public art, a councillor noted.

Coun. Lawrence Lee said having an art selection commission has worked well, with few people taking issue with installations such as the bronze statues of young hockey players and a referee in front of Servus Arena. “We have to trust in the process.”

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes did not favour raising the threshold for when one per cent of a municipal construction project’s budget would need to be put aside for public art. It used to be when projects hit $250,000. Administration had recommended this be raised to $500,000.

But most councillors eventually voted to raise the threshold to $1 million after hearing that only once in the last decade had a project worth less than $1 million triggered a public art component.

While the regional economic slump was one rationalization given for this change, Lee also reasoned that a certain amount of money would be needed to pay the artist for a quality artwork that was substantive and meaningful.

Wyntjes believes that public art adds so much to a community’s public spaces that it’s one of the most important legacies for any city council.

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Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre to host annual Christmas art show – Sarnia Observer

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The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season and is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is hosting a Christmas arts sale in November, with attendance by ticketed appointment to control crowds. (Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre)

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season so is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Deck the Halls craft sale will feature original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry and quilted items, and run for three days from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

To accommodate crowd size limits and safe social distancing, people are asked to register for a ticket and attend during a designated 45-minute time slot. Tickets are free, and masks are mandatory.

After the three-day sale, many goods will be available in the gallery during regular hours.

Find more information and tickets at creativeartscentre.com.

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