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Stony Plain: 'Punching above [its] weight when it comes to public art' – CBC.ca

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Judy Bennett gazes fondly at her favourite mural in her hometown of Stony Plain, Alta. 

“To me it’s just downright grass roots. This is the way things happened. Around a kitchen table, talked about things that needed to be done and how they could do it together,” said the town councillor. 

The mural by James Mackay was commissioned in 2012 by cooperatives like banks, grocery stores and insurance companies in the community to mark the 100th anniversary of co-ops. 

The mural is one of nearly 40 dotting the town 40 kilometres west of Edmonton. The works not only draw tourists but are also a point of civic pride. 

Take a tour of some of the murals dotting the community of Stony Plain, Alta. 2:05

You can see more from the town of Stony Plain on Our Edmonton on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV and CBC GEM.

Bennett says since the first mural was unveiled around 30 years ago, they have come to adorn dry cleaning shops, hair salons, the post office and the arena. 

The murals depict the town’s past and colourful characters like local NHL goalie great Glenn Hall, long-serving country physician Dr. Richard Oatway, and teenage translator and telephone operator Ottilia Zucht, who could speak five languages.  

In a normal year, tourists can hop aboard a horse-drawn wagon with long-time tour guide Greg Hanna. In a pandemic year, Bennett encourages people to walk or drive the mural route using a map available on the town’s website

A mural called Goods in Kind by Stony Plain artist Windi Scott-Hanson shows the town’s first lawyer F.W. Lundy who often accepted goods rather than money for his services. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

“We wanted these murals to be outside, so they were always accessible and what a great idea that was, especially during the pandemic,” Bennett said. 

Mayor William Choy stands in front of the newest mural in the pedestrian tunnel below the CN rail line just off the skateboard park at 4401 49th Avenue. 

The bright colours, messages of hope and pineapples wearing sunglasses make the mural “awesome,” Choy says.

“That’s a living, breathing wall, allowing residents to express themselves in a productive and friendly manner,” he says. 

This summer, the town partnered with artists Daphne Côté and AJA Louden, short for Adrian Joseph Alexander, to host a public art project featuring an introduction to graffiti-style art. 

Artists Daphne Côté and AJA Louden offered a spray paint mural workshop in Stony Plain this summer. (Supplied by AJA Louden)

“The murals allow us to showcase the history and past of Stony Plain but also allows us to move forward such as the projects here,” Choy says. “A new generation of art and thinking.” 

Louden, an Edmonton-based contemporary urban muralist, worked with about a dozen skateboard and scooter kids and other residents who showed up to learn.

“I think we brought about 50 or 60 cans of spray paint,” Louden recalls. 

“My favourite part was watching that eureka moment, when people finally figure out a new trick with the spray can or realize that they could,” he says.

“They maybe didn’t see themselves as an artist before this and they’ve started to find a medium that felt fun and felt new. That’s really exciting.” 

Louden hopes to return next summer for more sessions at the skateboard park.

“I’ve always been impressed with communities like Stony Plain for punching above their weight when it comes to public art, lots of cool murals that celebrate the heritage of the town.”

The Book by James Mackay, completed in 2012, is featured outside the town’s public library. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

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High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court – North Shore News

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WASHINGTON — Jed Leiber was an adult before he learned that his family was once part-owner of a collection of centuries-old religious artworks now said to be worth at least $250 million.

Over a steak dinner at a New York City restaurant in the 1990s he had asked his mother about his grandfather, a prominent art dealer who fled Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power. “What was grandpa most proud of in his business?” he asked.

“He was very, very proud to have acquired the Guelph Treasure, and then was forced to sell it to the Nazis,” she told him.

That conversation set Leiber, of West Hollywood, California, on a decadeslong mission to reclaim some 40 pieces of the Guelph Treasure on display in a Berlin museum. It’s a pursuit that has now landed him at the Supreme Court, in a case to be argued Monday.

For centuries, the collection, called the Welfenschatz in German, was owned by German royalty. It includes elaborate containers used to store Christian relics; small, intricate altars and ornate crosses. Many are silver or gold and decorated with gems.

In 2015, Leiber’s quest for the collection led to a lawsuit against Germany and the the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The state-run foundation owns the collection and runs Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts, where the collection is housed. Germany and the foundation asked the trial-level court to dismiss the suit, but the court declined. An appeals court also kept the suit alive.

Now, the Supreme Court, which has been hearing arguments by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic, will weigh in. A separate case involving Hungarian Holocaust victims is being heard the same day.

At this point, the Guelph Treasure case is not about whether Leiber’s grandfather and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms that joined to purchase the collection in 1929 were forced to sell it, a claim Germany and the foundation dispute. It’s just about whether Leiber and two other heirs of those dealers, New Mexico resident Alan Philipp and London resident Gerald Stiebel, can continue seeking the objects’ return in U.S. courts.

In a statement, Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, argued that the suit should be dismissed. The foundation and Germany have the Trump administration’s support.

“Our view is that Germany is the proper jurisdiction for a case which involves a sale of a collection of medieval German art by German art dealers to a German state,” Parzinger said.

The suit’s claim that the Guelph Treasure was sold under Nazi pressure was also diligently investigated in Germany, he said. The foundation found that the sale was made voluntarily and for fair market value. A German commission dedicated to investigating claims of property stolen by the Nazis agreed.

Parzinger said records “clearly show that there were long and tough negotiations on the price and that the two sides met exactly in the middle of their initial starting prices.”

The art dealers’ heirs, however, say the purchase price, 4.25 million Reichsmark, was about one-third of what the collection was worth. Under international law principles, sales of property by Jews in Nazi Germany are also presumed to have been done under pressure and therefore invalid, said the heirs’ attorney, Nicholas O’Donnell.

Leiber’s grandfather, Saemy Rosenberg, and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms he joined with to purchase the Guelph Treasure did sell other pieces of the collection outside of Germany. But their timing was unfortunate. The Great Depression hit soon after they purchased the collection. Some of the pieces were sold to The Cleveland Museum of Art or private collectors. The Nazi-controlled state of Prussia bought the remaining pieces in 1935. The two sides disagree on whether the collection was ultimately presented to Hitler as a gift.

Leiber says his grandfather never said anything to him about the collection, though the two played chess together on Sundays from the time he was 5 to when he was 11.

“He never spoked of the war. He never spoke of what he lost. He never spoke of the horrors that he and the family experienced. … I think it was very important to him to keep moving on, to move forward,” Leiber said.

Rosenberg reestablished his art business in New York. When he died in 1971, The New York Times called him a “leading international art dealer,” noting that his clients had included oil tycoon Paul Getty, CBS Chairman William S. Paley and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the nearly 50 years since his grandfather’s death, Leiber has had his own star-studded career. In 1992, he founded NightBird Recording Studios at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, where his clients have included Madonna, U2, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. He’s particularly proud of his work with guitarist Jeff Beck and the late Aretha Franklin. But his grandfather was a singular influence on him.

“He’s a super-human figure in my life,” Leiber said. “And I decided that I had to do whatever it took to have returned what was taken from him.”

Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press







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High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court – The Tri-City News

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WASHINGTON — Jed Leiber was an adult before he learned that his family was once part-owner of a collection of centuries-old religious artworks now said to be worth at least $250 million.

Over a steak dinner at a New York City restaurant in the 1990s he had asked his mother about his grandfather, a prominent art dealer who fled Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power. “What was grandpa most proud of in his business?” he asked.

“He was very, very proud to have acquired the Guelph Treasure, and then was forced to sell it to the Nazis,” she told him.

That conversation set Leiber, of West Hollywood, California, on a decadeslong mission to reclaim some 40 pieces of the Guelph Treasure on display in a Berlin museum. It’s a pursuit that has now landed him at the Supreme Court, in a case to be argued Monday.

For centuries, the collection, called the Welfenschatz in German, was owned by German royalty. It includes elaborate containers used to store Christian relics; small, intricate altars and ornate crosses. Many are silver or gold and decorated with gems.

In 2015, Leiber’s quest for the collection led to a lawsuit against Germany and the the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The state-run foundation owns the collection and runs Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts, where the collection is housed. Germany and the foundation asked the trial-level court to dismiss the suit, but the court declined. An appeals court also kept the suit alive.

Now, the Supreme Court, which has been hearing arguments by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic, will weigh in. A separate case involving Hungarian Holocaust victims is being heard the same day.

At this point, the Guelph Treasure case is not about whether Leiber’s grandfather and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms that joined to purchase the collection in 1929 were forced to sell it, a claim Germany and the foundation dispute. It’s just about whether Leiber and two other heirs of those dealers, New Mexico resident Alan Philipp and London resident Gerald Stiebel, can continue seeking the objects’ return in U.S. courts.

In a statement, Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, argued that the suit should be dismissed. The foundation and Germany have the Trump administration’s support.

“Our view is that Germany is the proper jurisdiction for a case which involves a sale of a collection of medieval German art by German art dealers to a German state,” Parzinger said.

The suit’s claim that the Guelph Treasure was sold under Nazi pressure was also diligently investigated in Germany, he said. The foundation found that the sale was made voluntarily and for fair market value. A German commission dedicated to investigating claims of property stolen by the Nazis agreed.

Parzinger said records “clearly show that there were long and tough negotiations on the price and that the two sides met exactly in the middle of their initial starting prices.”

The art dealers’ heirs, however, say the purchase price, 4.25 million Reichsmark, was about one-third of what the collection was worth. Under international law principles, sales of property by Jews in Nazi Germany are also presumed to have been done under pressure and therefore invalid, said the heirs’ attorney, Nicholas O’Donnell.

Leiber’s grandfather, Saemy Rosenberg, and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms he joined with to purchase the Guelph Treasure did sell other pieces of the collection outside of Germany. But their timing was unfortunate. The Great Depression hit soon after they purchased the collection. Some of the pieces were sold to The Cleveland Museum of Art or private collectors. The Nazi-controlled state of Prussia bought the remaining pieces in 1935. The two sides disagree on whether the collection was ultimately presented to Hitler as a gift.

Leiber says his grandfather never said anything to him about the collection, though the two played chess together on Sundays from the time he was 5 to when he was 11.

“He never spoked of the war. He never spoke of what he lost. He never spoke of the horrors that he and the family experienced. … I think it was very important to him to keep moving on, to move forward,” Leiber said.

Rosenberg reestablished his art business in New York. When he died in 1971, The New York Times called him a “leading international art dealer,” noting that his clients had included oil tycoon Paul Getty, CBS Chairman William S. Paley and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the nearly 50 years since his grandfather’s death, Leiber has had his own star-studded career. In 1992, he founded NightBird Recording Studios at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, where his clients have included Madonna, U2, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. He’s particularly proud of his work with guitarist Jeff Beck and the late Aretha Franklin. But his grandfather was a singular influence on him.

“He’s a super-human figure in my life,” Leiber said. “And I decided that I had to do whatever it took to have returned what was taken from him.”

Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press





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Toronto is getting a breathtaking new art gallery with work from Andy Warhol – blogTO

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York University is getting a new art gallery that could eventually house the school’s current collection, including works from legendary artists like Andy Warhol and Norval Morrisseau. 

The university’s Keele Campus has announced that it’s expanding its 3,000-square-foot Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) with a new building called the Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery.

The design proposal from Hariri Pontarini Architects, which was chosen from several submitted to the online design competition, will be located at the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design. 

The AGYU will be expanding with a new art gallery designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects. Photo by Hariri Pontarini via York University. 

The building — which will be named after the Goldfarbs, who gifted $5 million to the gallery in October 2019 — will be home to the university’s collection of contemporary and historic art.

Included in the AGYU’s current collection of 76 pieces of artwork, donated by the Goldfarbs in the 2000s, are donations of works by Andy Warhol, Norval Morrisseau, and prominent Inuit artists like Kananginak Pootoogook. 

Though AGYU hasn’t had any permanently collection works on display up until now, the new building could have space dedicated to the permanent collection. 

Artwork will be viewable to the public over three floors and five separate wings.

The ground level will include an event space with four separate gallery areas and a xeriscape garden, which reduces water waste. 

The original AGYU, which opened in 1988, has been operating at its current location since 2006. Its collection currently includes 1,700 works ranging from prints, paintings, sculptures, films, and more. 

Lead photo by

Hariri Pontarini via York University 

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