Hello and welcome to 2021 … which might look a lot like 2020, at first glance. Yes folks, we are in lockdown again, and we can only hope this helps us keep each other safe and our hospitals and health-care workers able to manage.
Lockdown the second time around, especially in dreary January, could be a bit of a drag, but, never fear, there are some bright moments in arts and culture to look forward to, even in this dark time in the year…and history.
A reader reached out to me to let me know some good arts news about a former Orillian, Tina Wallace, who was born and raised in Orillia and went to Twin Lakes Secondary School.
Art and music were staples in the Wallace household, with dad’s interest in music and mom’s in pastels. Tina delved into art in high school, in an after-school art club run by Ms. Shaw and with the encouragement of her Grade 9 art teacher, Ian McEwen, who, Tina says, “really encourages his students to explore art passionately and unapologetically.”
However, it wasn’t until Wallace was in university that she heard of animation as a way to create art and make a living. Wallace went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Ottawa and a degree in Animation from Algonquin College.
These days, she is working as a storyboard revisionist in the cartoons industry. What does that mean? Wallace says, “basically I draw comic strips for TV.”
So, what’s the good arts news about Wallace? Let’s hear it from her:
“I’ve been living in Ottawa since 2009. I suppose working backwards, my husband is a music venue owner (LIVE! on Elgin in Ottawa) and big fan of the Collective Arts brand of beer.
“Our contact who makes our deliveries was chatting me up one day after my husband mentioned I was an artist, and he encouraged me to apply to Collective Arts’ Artist-Submissions program for a chance for my work to be featured on their beer cans.
“You can select up to three works of art per ‘season’ of submissions (not sure what the timeline is but they do calls for art on their socials every now and again), and I applied over eight different times,” Wallace explained.
“I would say I was more annoying than lucky in that regard. I know it’s a rotating wheel of judges who select the artwork, so every season I picked what I thought were my three best images, and for a good three to four years I’ve been applying,” she said.
“It’s really exciting to have been selected because I really didn’t think anything was going to come of it, especially getting rejection upon rejection.”
You can see Tina’s selected work here.
Congratulations Tina and thanks for the good news story! Orillia really is a hub of arts and culture.
In other good news, local youth will have a chance to participate in Otter Art Club’s Bear Builds a Beaver Dam series of online art workshops, starting this weekend. This series is the brainchild of Travis Shilling and Naomi Woodman, and will really help local youth this dark pandemic winter.
The workshops and art kits are free for members of Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Orillia Youth Centre, UPlift black, and Barrie Native Friendship Centre. For all other youth, the workshops are $60. The first session focuses on oil painting and runs for six weeks starting this Sunday at 1 p.m. For more information, and to register, go to the website.
Mariposa Folk Festival has been uplifting our pandemic with online concerts and now, an addition to the Mariposa Stories on its website, all about Gordon Lightfoot and the festival. You can check out this story and others, here.
There is an online poetry open mic, Shouting Into The Void, happening this Saturday at 8 p.m. Local poet Josh Poitras along with Jeff Manning, are stickhandling this, and it should be a great chance for local poets to air some new works and perhaps gain some new fans. Check out the Facebook event page for all the details and registration information.
Stage Whispers, the podcast on all things theatre in Central Ontario, is still going strong, with a new episode out this Friday with a feature on The Curtain Club Theatre in Richmond Hill. You can catch all of the episodes on any of your podcast streaming platforms, including Spotify, shown here.
The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH), Leacock Museum, and Orillia Opera House are all closed as per the current lockdown directives, but the Orillia Public Library is offering curbside pick up, and some online programming, including writing groups, conversational French, and virtual storytelling through its YouTube channel. For more information, click here.
The OMAH online shop is open and you can click here to browse and buy from the comfort of your couch.
One last fun, not-so-local cultural event. A friend alerted me to this piece in The Guardian, entitled A 31-Day Literary Diet for January. We might not be able to drink or eat sweets with impunity this month, but this diet will not break the…diet!
Thirty-one days of cultural feasting, with a different feature each day, ranging from poetry readings, music, plays, and movies and more. This is a wonderful site to bookmark and come back to daily to expand your cultural horizons.
Enjoy and hang in there!
If you have cultural news to share, please email email@example.com by Tuesday at noon to be included.
Inglewood home of limited augmented reality art exhibition – CTV Toronto
Local artists will be bringing their works to augmented reality in the windows of businesses in Inglewood during a limited six-week exhibition.
Northern Reflections is four years running and is an augmented reality exhibition that will feature 11 teams of artists celebrating the power that music, art and business have.
It will run from Jan. 21 through Feb 25.
“It brings business, it brings activation to a neighborhood, this is super COVID safe and it’s also making people think maybe what the future of art is and what that means in terms of participation and engagement,” said Maud Collective creative festival producer, Kevin Jesuino.
Rebecca O’Brien, executive director of the Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA) was excited to bring this exhibit to the Inglewood community.
“I was like yes, this makes total sense because one of the main roles of the BIA is to bring vibrancy to the main street which is very challenging during a pandemic,” said O’Brien.
The exhibit will showcase the works of painters, animators and there will be murals paired with music produced by local and international entertainers.
“People can walk up and down the street, check out the murals, see the magic of the augmented reality but at the same time listen to this music that’s made by local musicians,” Jesuino said.
This is the first time the art will all be held within the one community for viewing.
“You can do a walk and see all 10, all 11 murals in one go, within 40 minutes you can see them all,” said Jesuino.
Uii Savage, an emerging artist in Calgary did the animating art for the exhibition.
“I’m really pleasantly happy with it, this is my first-time being part of the festival, so I am someone who works alone, I don’t really work collaboratively but this was a really great experience to work with other people,” Savage said.
Savage created 3D hands that reach out from the branches of the mural and coming together to hold each other which brings attention to the importance of human contact and how it’s missed during the pandemic.
Inglewood resident Dawn Warner was highly impressed by the artistry on display.
“It was just amazing, I’ve never seen anything like that in a picture in my life, like a bunch of hands were moving coming in to the picture, it was really cool,” said Warner.
Participants can download the free Augle app onto their phones to get involved with the interactive element of the exhibit.
The Northern Reflections exhibition is a part of a large winter art festival, Chinook Blast, taking place throughout the city from Feb. 11-28.
With files from Ty Rothermal
Art Beat: Rogue Arts Festival goes virtual on Saturday – Coast Reporter
The music and cultural gathering that is the Rogue Arts Festival was among the many arts cancellations last summer, thanks to the pandemic. But the funkiest annual festival on the Coast is bringing last summer’s planned lineup of acts back for a mini-fest this weekend, online. “We are thrilled to be able to showcase a diverse sampling of 2020 Rogue Fest artists while remembering the volunteers, vendors, staff and supporters that have made us who we are today,” Rogue Fest said in a Facebook post. On Saturday, Jan. 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. you can catch Bits of String, Disco Funeral, Parlour Panther, Sadé Awele, Sarah Noni, Stephen Hamm, and Tetrahedron. “Hosted by the ever-awesome Ndidi Cascade.” Go to roguefest.ca for details on the performers and information on how to link up on Saturday afternoon.
Also online this weekend is an opening reception, art exhibit, and meet-the-artist session all in one. On Sunday, Jan. 24, Sechelt artist Lynda Manson presents Tracing Footsteps, a collection of paintings based on sketches by her uncle, Bruce Black, who was killed in action in the Second World War. Manson will show Black’s sketches made while he was off-duty in the U.K., her re-imagined and elaborated takes on them, plus other works related to the theme. Proceeds from the exhibition will go to the bursary fund of the Sunshine Coast branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women. Tickets are $10 at eventbrite.ca or at cfuwsc.org.
The pandemic has been just as hard on the arts community as other parts of the community and economy since early 2020, so the B.C. government has come up with a new grant program to help out. “Together with the arts sector, we are working hard to make sure that dancers, writers, painters and other artists can continue being resilient and finding innovative ways to keep creating through COVID-19,” B.C. Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark said in a news release. The ministry has created a new, $500,000 Pivot for Individuals program through the BC Arts Council. B.C. residents can apply for up to $12,000 to learn new skills or adapt their practices. The program is available to professional artists and cultural workers, including: dancers and choreographers; visual artists; writers; actors; multi-media artists; and arts administrators. To learn more, go to bcartscouncil.ca and follow the links.
Due to the pandemic, all listed live events are subject to change. Check ahead. Space is limited in Art Beat but please let us know about your events at firstname.lastname@example.org
President Biden Picks Oval Office Art, Inauguration Spotlights Paintings, and More: Morning Links from January 21, 2021 – ARTnews
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PERFORMERS WERE THE STARS OF YESTERDAY’S INAUGURAL ACTIVITIES, with singers like Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen participating in the celebration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, and poet Amanda Gorman delivering an address that stole the show, but visual art is playing a symbolic role in the transition of power, as well. Washington Post reporter Annie Linskey and photographer Bill O’Leary got a look inside Biden’s Oval Office, and found that a portrait of Benjamin Franklin had taken the place of one of President Andrew Jackson (a favorite of President Trump). The presence of Franklin, who was an inventor, writer, scientist, and more (really a jack of all trades), is “intended to represent Biden’s interest in following science,” Linskey writes. Also present: busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, a moon rock, and a 1917 Childe Hassam flag painting that President Obama also displayed in the office. (Trump had it on view for a stretch, but eventually removed it.) As it happens, historian Jon Meacham, who’s known to have Biden’s ear, used another Hassam for the cover of his 2018 book, The Soul of America.
PRESIDENTS CAN BORROW ART FROM THE SMITHSONIAN TO DECORATE the White House, as Smithsonian magazine detailed in 2009. Obama’s picks included pieces by Ed Ruscha and Glenn Ligon. It’s not known yet what the Bidens may have picked, but Alex Greenberger reported in ARTnews that First Lady Jill Biden did help select a landscape by the pioneering Black painter Robert Duncanson to serve as the official painting of the inaugural. The work is owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C., and its inclusion signals “a new administration with an insightful understanding of art’s potential power,” Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight writes in a column. It was not the only painting getting some special attention. Olaf Seltzer ’s 1927 painting Lewis and Clark with Sacajawea at the Great Falls of the Missouri, 1804 was printed in the inaugural’s official program, Tulsa World reports. It’s in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, and was just put on view yesterday in an exhibition called “Americans All!”
One last Inauguration-related item: street artist Adrian Wilson was responsible for transforming a New York subway sign at 46th Street in Queens to read “46th Joe”—an image that spread quickly around the world. [Gothamist]
Collector Roberto Polo, a “financier whose roller-coaster career included a major art fraud scandal that landed him in prison,” is showcasing his holdings in new art spaces in Toledo, Spain, Raphael Minder reports. [The New York Times]
Australian artist Adrian Jones has died at the age of 63. The cause was pancreatic cancer. [ArtAsiaPacific]
Ruben Suykerbuyk has been tapped by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to be its new curator of Old Masters . . . [Press Release]
. . . and collectors Laurens Vancrevel and Frida de Jong have donated a number of Surrealist paintings and publications to the museum. [The Art Newspaper]
The Hyundai automobile company is partnering with the digital-art group Rhizome on a series of projects, online and off. [Aju Business Daily]
Canon has launched a website that allows users to take photographs of space via satellite technology. [Hong Kong Tatler]
Since many art museums are closed in the United Kingdom amid lockdown restrictions, The Guardian is taking a tour of their collections in a series of articles. Today’s focuses on a Rose Wylie work. [The Guardian]
Musician and artist John Lurie is the subject of a new show, which “is like an apprenticeship with a crotchety bohemian Yoda,” James Poniewozik writes. [The New York Times]
Curator Robert Storr has a new compilation of essays out—and he is as pugnacious as ever in a new interview. [Artnet News]
Hong Kong–based artist Phoebe Hui Fong-wah has been working on a new project with curator Kwok Ying that has involved collaborating with NASA. Sadly, though, just when she was about to see moon dust at one of NASA’s buildings in Houston—she was in her hotel room there!—officials told her not to come, citing coronavirus precautions. “I basically refused to leave until Ying convinced me to fly back,” she tells the South China Morning Post. “I didn’t want to bullshit. I wanted to see moon dust myself. I was gutted. But, of course, we managed in the end with Zoom and emails.” [South China Morning Post]
Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.
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