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Stratford artists create mini art works to support Gallery Stratford through COVID-19 shutdown – The Beacon Herald

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Gallery Stratford has launched its Little ART Things online art auction to raise money during the gallery’s COVID-19 shutdown.

To raise much-needed funds following the cancellation of the gallery’s annual fundraisers and educational programming — a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — Gallery Stratford is auctioning off 3X3 paintings and art works created by artists in the community as part of its online fundraiser, Little Art Things. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

Roughly two dozen amateur and professional artists from Stratford and beyond have been busy recently creating more than 360 miniature works of art to support Gallery Stratford through its Little ART Things online art-auction fundraiser.

Following the cancellation of Gallery Stratford’s annual gala fundraiser and its educational programming — which together account for about 50 per cent of the organization’s annual revenue — when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region, gallery director and curator Angela Brayham and the gallery’s board of trustees began looking for ways to recoup at least some of that lost funding.

“Cancelling those two things is not an easy decision to make. It’s a really tough thing because it impacts everything we do,” Brayham said. “… In planning for our gala, what we were going to do is we’d had a group of women, who are our painting drop-ins, making these little three-by-three canvases that we were going to use as part of a raffle thing at the gala.

“I had a about 100 of them and them and I was thinking, ‘They’re really lovely. What should I do with them?’”

So Brayham began photographing the little works of art she had on hand and posted them online in hopes she could raise some money by auctioning them off.


Gallery Stratford director and curator Angela Brayham organizes the 3X3 paintings that have been sold through the gallery’s Little ART Things online art auction for delivery. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

“I had no idea what to call it, so I just thought, ‘Little ART Things,’” Brayham laughed.

The Little ART Things auction quickly gained traction, both among art lovers and artists in the community and beyond.

“Other people started volunteering to do them,” Brayham said. “We now have 364 of them and we have probably close to two-dozen artists who have contributed so far.”

The artists who have contributed to the online auction fundraiser range from kids who created their pieces as part of art classes at the gallery prior to the pandemic all the way to well-established artists like the Toronto-based artist, Ron Shuebrook, who exhibited at the gallery in Stratford a couple years ago.

“Artists in our community at the hobbyist level to people that are selling professionally and have taught for us have all contributed,” Brayham said. “… Because the artists are in their home and there’s only so much bread you can bake and you can only watch so much Netflix, a number of the artists have told me that it’s given them something to feel productive about.”

Each of the pieces up for auction at event.auctria.com are listed with a starting bid of $10, as well as an option to “buy it now” for $25. As a twist, the artists who created each piece won’t be revealed until after their work has been sold.

“We did that so people aren’t just buying them by the name,” Brayham said. “We want people to buy work that they like so everything is kind of equal. You don’t know if you’re buying work by an eight-year-old or if you’re buying work from somebody who sells their work for thousands of dollars. I mean you can kind of tell, but not always.”

With the gallery closed, Brayham is delivering the pieces purchased by locals herself, and charging $2.50 for delivery outside of Stratford. The gallery will contact successful bidders directly to arrange payment. Successful bidders can also call the gallery at 519-271-5271x 222 or email abrayham@gallerystratford.on.ca.

gsimmons@postmedia.com

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New West students recreate famous works of art using their toys, household items – CTV News

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VANCOUVER —
A New Westminster elementary school teacher is asking her students to tap into their inner Renoirs and Emily Carrs—but instead of paint and brushes, their materials include stuffed animals, Lego and dolls.

Sara Fox, a Grade 3 and 4 Montesorri teacher at Connaught Heights Elementary School, has assigned her students to recreate famous works of art using their toys.

Fox was forced to take her instruction online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but her students’ regular art teacher was not able to continue their lessons as they’d been asked to instruct the children of essential workers. So Fox tapped into her own creativity to keep the instruction going, assigning her students to use their imaginations to put their own spins on classic works of art.

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper was reimagined by Fox’s student Audrey, who replaced the glasses of wine, plates and apostles in the original with plastic cupcakes, bananas and chubby stuffed animals, including a rotund raccoon and giraffe. She titled her creation, The Squishmallow Supper.

Student Angelica recreated the iconic 1930 Grant Wood painting American Gothic using purple and grey stuffed animals. In her version, which she named Stuffie Gothic, a fork replaced the ubiquitous pitchfork from the original.

Stuffie Gothic

In Kai’s version of Dogs Playing Poker, the poker chips from the original painting were replaced with potato chips, and the dogs playing cards around the table are plush. Bottles of mini-yogurts stand in place of beer and whiskey, and a clock on the wall hangs in the same place as the grandfather clock from the original.

Dogs Playing Poker

To see more of the students’ artwork, click through the images below this story.

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Where activism and art intersect – Art Critique

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Activism takes on many forms. Currently, the world is watching as thousands band together to call for justice and reform after a white police officer in Minneapolis murdered George Floyd, a black man accused of using a counterfeit bank note, as three other officers stood by idly. In cities across the US and elsewhere, people have taken to the streets, others have donated to organizations, people have lent an ear or been a shoulder to lean on, and still, many have responded with art.

Art has a long history with activist movements of every kind and, in many cases, the art created to spread information and awareness are what linger when the day is done and protestors head home. According to Tate Galleries, the activist art is created to offer a “form of political or social currency, actively addressing cultural power structures rather than representing them or simply describing them.” Ai Weiwei, Favianna Rodriguez, The Guerrilla Girls, Shepard Fairey, Paul Nicklen, Nan Goldin, Dadaists, Keith Haring, Diego Rivera, Kara Walker, Edgar Heap of Birds, and many more artists and artists groups have created such currencies through their art, visual and otherwise.

Museums and galleries have highlighted the posters, photographs, poems, and novels that have been the outcome of unrest. Just last year, the Victoria and Albert Museum began collecting artworks and items used by climate change activists to document living history. Earlier this year, protestors at the British Museum made a wooden Trojan Horse used during their demonstration against the museum’s ongoing relationship with BP. Their symbolism and words become a touchstone for those searching for inspiration, resolve, and comfort during uprisings. Old works, like Zoe Leonard’s 1992 poem I Want a President, are revived when society needs a reminder of the steps we’ve made and how much further we have to go. Themes of unity, despair, anguish, love, frustration, and exhaustion become prevalent in works from most any movement and are prevalent in today’s protests.

In light of recent and ongoing events, we’re highlighting works by some of the most influential artists, past and present, whose works are meant to serve an activist purpose. This is in no way an exhaustive list of those that might speak to you and the issues you hold near, but they are a tool in the fight to find common ground, unify, grow, and develop as members of our own communities.

Print by Gary Taxali whose works feature themes of frustration among others.

A silhouette by Kara Walker, whose works reflect issues of race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity.

‘The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven’, Kara Walker, 1995. Courtesy Flickr Commons.

In his oeuvre, Edgar Heap of Birds often addressed lived experience of Native American peoples. 

Edgar Heap of Birds, “Relocate Destroy, In Memory of Native Americans, In Memory of Jews,” 1987. Photograph: © Whitney Museum of American Art

Nan Goldin began photographing her life in the 1980s and her subsequent portraiture highlighted life within the LGBTQ community, documented the AIDS epidemic, as well as the opioid crisis.

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Nan and Brian in Bed, New York City. 1983. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006, 15 1/2 × 23
3/16″ (39.4 × 58.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Jon L. Stryker. © 2016 Nan Goldin

A poster presented by Amplifier Art, an arts organization seeking to boost Grassroots movements

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist in exile, creates works that centre on social issues and are often critical of the Chinese government.

Ai Weiwei,
“Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,” 1995.

Formed in 1985, The Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of female, feminist artists who worked to highlight sexism and racism within the art world.

Guerrilla Girls, “Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum?” 1989. Courtesy Tate Galleries.

Portuguese artist Paula Rego created artworks that portrayed life in Portugal but her series The Abortion Pastels created a particularly poignant image

Paula Rego, “Untitled,” 1998.

Keith Haring created works that turned into activist works supporting safe sex during the AIDS crisis.

Keith Haring, “Ignorance = Death,” 1989. Courtesy Flickr Commons.

Nature photographer Paul Nicklen uses his works to raise awareness of climate change and its affects on the globe and the animals that call it home.

View this post on Instagram

One of our final expeditions at the end of last year was to Antarctica. It is a continent of contradictions. A place that has both challenged and inspired me. An environment with species dependent on massive icebergs and tiny underwater organisms. A continent that is seemingly distant yet so intimately interconnected to all of us. Today, on this 50th anniversary of #EarthDay, I find myself thinking about Antarctica and what the continent will look like 50 years from now. That future depends on the actions we take together, today, to safeguard vital ecosystems and address global climate change. We have to do more as a community to promote and protect the beauty of our shared planet. That’s why I’m excited to announce that this summer, @mitty and I are joining a group of ocean explorers, conservationists, and advocates to launch a new endeavor called @onlyone. Building on the work of @sealegacy and #TheTide, this effort will amplify powerful stories and advance promising solutions to protect our ocean and habitats around the world, including in the Southern Ocean. Learn more by following @onlyone and join the journey launching this summer at www.only.one. #EarthDay2020

A post shared by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) on Apr 22, 2020 at 9:33am PDT

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Art Gallery of Alberta offers pre-booked visits as it reopens during COVID-19 pandemic – Globalnews.ca

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Another Alberta attraction is opening its doors with extra precautions to protect guests from the spread of COVID-19.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Royal Alberta Museum to reopen Saturday — with some changes

The Art Gallery of Alberta announced it would start welcoming members back on June 4 and all visitors the following week.

The gallery will be open Thursday to Saturday by “pre-booked tickets.” The hours of 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. will be exclusively for vulnerable and at-risk people and all visitors will be welcome 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

June 4 to 6 will be open only to AGA members for a preview and the wider opening will happen June 11.


READ MORE:
Art Gallery of Alberta announces free admission for kids and students

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Several increased health and safety measures have been put in place, including:

  • Reduced capacity in all spaces to ensure physical distancing
  • Guiding physical distancing with decals on the floor, directional markers and signage
  • Staff in public spaces will be wearing masks and/or face shields
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed at key guest service areas
  • Handwashing or hand sanitizer stations will be put on every floor and at the main entrance
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the AGA
  • Closing high-touch and interactive areas
  • Removing all furniture
  • Not providing wheelchairs at this time
  • Zinc Restaurant remains closed at this time
  • Art rental and sales are available by appointment only and with curb-side pickup

“Safety is our top priority and we are closely monitoring the situation each day and if warranted, may decide to take additional measures or close to the public,” the AGA said in a statement on its website.

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Guests are asked to book their visit online in advance. Priority will be given to pre-booked visits with a small number of walk-ups allowed each hour.






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Art Gallery of Alberta makes admission free for kids and students


Art Gallery of Alberta makes admission free for kids and students

Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms — even minor — like fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, aches, feeling unwell — must not visit.

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Anyone who has been in contact with someone who had COVID-19 or had COVID-19 symptoms must not visit.

Anyone who has travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days or has been in contact with someone who has must not visit.

When visiting, guests are asked to wear a mask if they have one, stay two metres apart from other visitors, be patient while waiting their turn to see art and exhibits.

Guests are also asked to follow proper handwashing or hand sanitizing recommendations, avoid touching surfaces and following the direction indicators.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Alberta phased relaunch strategy will see some restrictions eased Friday

The AGA has also said it will be offering Pay what you May admission for the month of June to all essential service workers and those in the arts and culture sector.

People who aren’t ready to visit in person can access #yourAGAfromhome online programming, with #AGAlive webinar events and hands-on art activities.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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