Former White Rock-area musician Art Bergmann is among 61 new Order of Canada appointees announced Wednesday (Dec. 30) by Governor General Julie Payette.
Bergmann, who now lives in Rocky View County, Alberta, has been made a Member of the Order of Canada “for his indelible contributions to the Canadian punk music scene, and for his thought-provoking discourse on social, gender and racial inequalities.”
A Member designation recognizes “outstanding contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity.”
Bergmann, 67, was a punk-rock trailblazer in the Vancouver music scene of the late-1970s and 1980s, with bands including The K-Tels and Young Canadians, and in 1996 won a Juno Award for Best Alternative Album (“What Fresh Hell Is This?”).
“Thanks for the well wishes, friends,” Bergmann tweeted on Wednesday. “Canada is changing; to award someone like me with the keys to the empire is a courageous move, hah!”
Thanks for the well wishes,friends.Canada is changing; to award someone like me with the keys to the empire is a courageous move,hah!
— Art Bergmann (@ArtBergmann) December 30, 2020
Back in the late-1970s, Bergmann played music while living in the White Rock area.
In his 2001 book Guilty of Everything, fellow musician John Armstrong wrote about discovering punk-rock music through his association with Bergmann. They became roommates at a three-bedroom apartment on White Rock’s Marine Drive, where Armstrong learned guitar chords in a call-and-response game with a couch-surfing Bergmann.
“Why he tolerated me I have no idea,” Armstrong wrote, “expect perhaps that he liked me or that I amused him or that I would shoplift cans of beans or soup from the Chinese grocer halfway between school and his house, as a sort of tuition fee.”
Armstrong (aka Buck Cherry) expands on the story in an “Early Days” post on Bergmann’s website, from liner notes for “No Escape,” a Young Canadians compilation CD.
“Art and I became friends, then roommates, living in various soon-to-be-condemned dwellings. We liked most of the same things – an affection for the Kinks, early Who and Yardbirds, David Bowie and the Velvet Underground – and, more importantly, hated all the same ones: mid-70’s FleetwoodMac, the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, Elton John, Dark Side of the Moon. By the summer of ‘77, half a dozen of us like-minded types were living in a huge hundred-year old house on the outskirts of White Rock and a friend of Art’s showed up after a trip around the world with a cassette he’d picked up in England. On it were the Sex Pistols and things were never the same.”
Nearly four decades later, in May 2016, Bergmann returned to White Rock to perform at Blue Frog Studios.
Armstrong’s musical path continued with a band of his own, with guys (re)named Bill Shirt, Mud Bay Slim and Bad Bob. The bandleader’s handle was a play on Chuck Berry, apparently inspired by a TV commercial that featured a cartoon cowboy (“Libby the Kid”) shilling canned pasta and beans. Band rehearsals were held in the living room at Beach Apartments, Armstrong recalls in his book.
The band’s public debut was during the White Rock Sea Festival, and the gig wasn’t exactly a family-friendly performance.
Wrote Armstrong: “Instead they got a drummer who used an old toilet for a drum stool and looked unnervingly like Charlie Manson but without benefit of the prison’s dental plan, a bass player with a paper-bag disguise over his head, two guitarists who played the same three chords in slightly varying progressions but always at furious speed and maximum volume, flagrant onstage drinking, casual profanity, invitations to perform unnatural acts on the band either later or right there, and a singer who called the audience a worthless bunch of fat-assed breeders and stuck his outthrust thumbs under his T-shirt in an imitation of perky teenage nipples.”
‘Glorified littering’: Junk street art installations popping up around Montreal – Global News
From the Van Horne skate park in the Mile End to NDG’s Saint-Jacques Escarpment, bizarre art installations are popping up around the city.
Prowling panthers, massive abstract beasts — it’s all put together from the imagination of the artist under the pseudonym Junko.
It’s a fitting name, for all the art he creates is entirely made from miscellaneous “trash” that he finds on the street.
“Basically, they’re carefully arranged piles of garbage,” Junko said. “You can call it glorified littering.”
Using things found on the street like car tires, bike frames, even shoes, everything is a workable piece in Junko’s creations.
Car bumpers are a common staple in his creatures.
“They’re definitely a popular item for me,” he said with a laugh.
Over the past few months, he has put together some six different statues around the city and abroad, all varying in size from small to towering.
A timber frame made from recycled wood holds the installations together.
“I’ve been making art my whole life,” Junko said. “My art has always been around creating creatures and characters. This is a new chapter in that.”
He says finding the junk isn’t that hard in the city but finding the right piece can be.
“Sometimes it’s extremely easy. I’ll be walking and find something and carry it home,” he said.
While shying away from the spotlight, Junko says he isn’t trying to make a point with his art, which he says speaks for itself.
“There no deep hidden meaning, it’s just a way to expressing myself,” Junko said.
That so-called trash is getting a lot of likes and recognition on social media and on the street.
“There is a lot of art in the neighbourhood, so it’s good, I’m not against it,” resident Nick Barry-Shaw said.
Juno sees his form of expression as a legal grey zone.
“The people are into it but I’m not sure about the city, though,” Junko laughed.
He said that unlike graffiti, his street art is not vandalism but simply “an organized pile of trash.”
So far, all four art installations in the city have not been taken down, according to Junko.
The young artist says there is a lot more art to come and people should keep their eyes peeled.
“I’m just getting started so, yeah, you can expect more work,” he said.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Fine art in your mailbox: local artist creates unique postcards – TheRecord.com
WATERLOO — A new postcard art project will use snail mail to rekindle memories of travel while sharing evocative original artwork.
Art galleries are closed due to the pandemic, and opportunities for local artists like Paul Roorda to display and sell their artwork are sparse.
“I just wanted to find a way to get my art out there so people can see it,” Roorda said.
His project “Somewhere Anywhere Postcards” is a series of hand-printed postcards that feature abstract landscapes, vintage stamps and messages of hope.
Roorda photographed different parts of an old, weathered wall. The lines and markings reminded him of beautiful landscapes, the ones you typically see on postcards from tourist destinations.
The postcards are small works of fine art, Roorda said, from the imagined landscape of the weathered wall he photographed, down to the vintage stamps he found and attached to each individual postcard.
The photographs were processed using an age-old technique known as cyanotype. Roorda mixes chemicals and brushes them onto paper. He then exposes the photographs in the sun and develops each photograph in water. The result of this process creates cyan-blue prints.
“I wanted to stay true to the vintage nature of the art,” Roorda said.
He has also written hopeful messages on the back of each postcard to uplift people during the pandemic as it keeps everyone indoors this winter.
“Right now with COVID we are surrounded by our walls, and we can see walls around us as barriers. I wanted to write something about seeing past those barriers at a time when people are feeling discouraged.”
Roorda is fascinated with vintage and antique items as well as found objects. Three years ago he created mini art galleries out of metal cash boxes and attached them to utility poles throughout Waterloo.
Roorda was ordered to remove them by bylaw officers, but was later granted permission by the city to temporarily display his art. The project was called “Time Stops” and each piece featured a musical element, found objects and messages.
Roorda’s postcard project is supported by a grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. He launched “Somewhere Anywhere Postcards” last week and has already mailed postcards to addresses across Ontario and to Europe.
Roorda’s postcards can be found in his online shop at www.paulroorda.com.
Watch: Marty One-Boot's art of the Yellowknife Snowcastle pour – Cabin Radio
Snow is like concrete, they say.
To build Yellowknife’s Snowcastle – even this year’s amended design, which is more like a castle grounds than a castle itself – you need to know your construction methods.
Putting together the walls that hold snow structures together requires plenty of carpentry to build wooden frames, then a snowblower and some nerve while you stand under a blizzard of snow and compress it with your feet.
Martin Rehak – Marty One-Boot, to give him the nickname he acquired after this exercise once went wrong – described the process to Cabin Radio. Here’s a little look at how preparations are going ahead of this March.
Camera, editing: Ollie Williams
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