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Summerland novelist's book inspired by art show – Kelowna Capital News



A Summerland novelist’s sixth story had its start at a 2019 art exhibit at the Summerland Art Gallery.

Glen Witter, who writes espionage/action/thriller novels under the pen name of C. Edgar North, participated in the Mixed and Merged exhibit at the art gallery.

This exhibit pairs artists and writers, who then create new works which are inspired by the writing or artwork they are shown.

READ ALSO: Summerland author’s books examine international espionage and smuggling

READ ALSO: Summerland author’s books will be featured at show in Penticton

Witter was matched with painter Evelyn Briscall, who painted the Old Okanagan Homestead, which was later used as the cover of the novel.

The Art Flogger is the story of Linda DuPont, a fine art auctioneer, who moves to Bellingham, Wash. after the death of her husband.

She is then approached by a Texas billionaire to help sell some of his art collection, unaware he is a kingpin in a Colombian drug cartel.

READ ALSO: Summerland exhibit features works by 35 artists

The story features art sales linked to cocaine dealers.

Copies of the book are available at the Summerland Art Gallery as well as through Amazon and iTunes.

An audio version of the book will be released in May.

Witter is the author of five previous books under the C. Edgar North pen name. His books are available in more than 170 countries.

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There's an art behind these moves – Truck News



MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Musket Transport proved its capability in handling delicate shipments when it partnered with Blackwood Gallery to stage the 2018 art show, The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea.

The show was designed to raise awareness about climate change.

This year, the company is once again collaborating with the University of Toronto Mississauga’s (UTM) contemporary art centre to host another festival using the same installations, said Sophia Sniegowski, corporate communications officer at Musket.

The artworks require meticulous handling. (Photo: Musket)

She said the company will transport the artworks to the UTM campus, where the gallery plans to set up a temporary public art program that will run until fall 2023.

But moving the stuff from the artists’ workshops or storage to the site is not an easy task.

“There’s a lot of preparation in advance of moving these goods, particularly due to the type of art installations. They are large,” Sniegowski said.

Each installation requires meticulous handling, she said.

“They are transported in pieces and then reassembled on site. So, that’s how that would work.”

Blackwood has yet to announce an opening date for the exhibit.

Musket art move
Last fall, Musket transported Futurity Island to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. (Photo: Musket)

Last fall, Musket transported Futurity Island, a structure conceptualized as a space for acoustic experimentation, from its container terminal to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass.

“It was different because we actually utilized a trailer as opposed to a container due to the size and material,” Sniegowski said.

The installation was later brought back from MIT, and had been in storage until three weeks ago when Musket moved it to the UTM campus, she said. The cargo has yet to be unloaded because of delays caused by Covid-19.

Sniegowski said Musket is happy to support the Blackwood project.

“As a company, we prioritize community projects as well as the environment. This particular partnership crossed over into both areas,” she said.

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An Almost-Lake House in Texas, Renovated for Work and Art – The New York Times



In 2015, when Dacia and Lanham Napier were touring Austin, Texas, with a real estate agent, they weren’t looking for a home — they were searching for office space in the tech-centric city for Mr. Napier, the chief executive of the investment firm BuildGroup and the former chief executive of Rackspace Technology.

The couple lived in San Antonio, about 80 miles south, but “I happened to mention to the real estate agent that Lanham’s dream has always been to have someplace on a lake,” said Ms. Napier, 49, a radiologist. “Well, she called me the next day.”

The agent wanted to show them a house in the Tarrytown neighborhood, about three miles from downtown Austin. It wasn’t exactly on a lake, but it was close, with a backyard that descended to Taylor Slough, an inlet of Lake Austin, which is part of the Colorado River.

Dacia and Lanham Napier bought a traditional-looking brick house in Austin and transformed it into a modernist home with room for lots of contemporary art.
Credit…Stacy Sodolak for The New York Times

Ms. Napier was skeptical, but they went to see it anyway. And it struck a chord. They liked that the low-slung brick house appeared to be a bungalow from the street, but descended to a second level buried in the hill. They also loved that it had water access and was a short drive from the airport and offices where Mr. Napier planned to work.

“For all the stuff that we do, it’s pretty darn convenient,” said Mr. Napier, 50. “And I’ll tell you what, it’s an awesome neighborhood to take a walk in.”

It didn’t bother them that the 3,600-square-foot, 1960s house had been renovated in a style that was more traditional than the modern design they preferred. They had done a major renovation of their house in San Antonio and knew they could recruit the same team — Tobin Smith Architect, Mark Ashby Design and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects — to transform their second home.

The Napiers bought the property for $3.3 million in June 2015. But rather than immediately tear out the leaded- and stained-glass windows, crown molding and fluted-column fireplace mantel, they decided to move in and get a feel for the space while working on renovation plans.

“It was probably a pretty good midcentury house when it was built,” said Tobin Smith, their architect. “But someone had Frenchified it, probably in the ’90s. We had our work cut out for us.”

Credit…Douglas Friedman

By the time the Napiers moved out to make way for the demolition crew two years later, they had decided to paint the brick exterior, add a pool and overhaul the interior, changing the four-bedroom, three-bathroom house into one with four reconfigured bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and a study for Mr. Napier. The idea was to create plenty of space for visiting friends and family, including the couple’s 20-year-old son, Cade, who attends Yale University, and 17-year-old daughter, Avery, who goes to Phillips Exeter Academy.

Mr. Napier also planned to use the house for brainstorming with colleagues, so he wanted it to be multifunctional. “I think every entrepreneur deserves to have a conference room in their living room,” he said.

His one requirement was an enormous whiteboard in the dining room, which would double as his meeting space. His design team delivered one by creating a sliding panel on oversized stainless-steel wheels that is hidden in the wall and can be rolled out for work. “It’s invisible, until you yank on the handle,” Mr. Smith said. “And then out comes this mammoth Lanham-world dream.”

Ms. Napier took the lead on the rest. “I told them we need a funky, fabulous midcentury bungalow with a contemporary art feel,” she said.

Credit…Douglas Friedman

Christina Simon, the lead interior designer on the project at Mark Ashby Design, aimed to create that feeling with vintage furniture, dramatic materials like pyrite wall tile in the home bar and a custom silk rug in the primary bedroom, and by making smart use of Ms. Napier’s many collections, which include insect specimens, pepper mills and serious art.

“Dacia is very much a collector,” Ms. Simon said. “We knew that vintage would be part of the deal and had fun finding these unusual elements.”

A pair of deeply cushy, worn brown leather Roche Bobois chairs were an early purchase that helped set the relaxed tone, she said. They installed the chairs in the downstairs den, where they also built a Charlotte Perriand-inspired wall unit to hold many of Ms. Napier’s treasures.

“We call that shelving the natural history wall,” Ms. Simon said, “because she loves to collect elements like these tiny silver articulating bugs on stands.”

Credit…Douglas Friedman

With the help of Alexis Armstrong of Armstrong Art Consulting, Ms. Napier filled the house with works by artists like Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha, Ellsworth Kelly, Shirazeh Houshiary and Sol LeWitt. A monumental sculpture by Tony Cragg in the living room is so heavy that Mr. Smith had to reinforce the floor.

After vacating the home for nearly two years’ of construction, and spending roughly $2 million, the Napiers moved back in July 2019. This year, Mr. Napier is even more thankful to have a home that doubles as a legitimate office.

“It turns out that it’s even better in a pandemic,” he said, because he has multiple inspiring spaces for work, room to pace while on the phone and a whiteboard like no other. “I think for all of us, as humans, physical surroundings matter.”

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

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In the Return of Art Fairs, Smaller Is Better – The New York Times



Wearing a yellow face mask designed in Ethiopia, the gallerist Rakeb Sile greeted a trickle of visitors to her booth one recent morning at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London. Addis Fine Art — the gallery of which she is a founder in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa — had on display a colorful cityscape, a portrait painted on fragments of used canvas and a gem-studded black cape worn in a recent performance-art piece outside Buckingham Palace.

“With the right precautions, we just have to keep things moving,” said Ms. Sile, who is of Ethiopian descent, referring to the pandemic. She said the gallery owed it to its staff and artists, and to the 1-54 fair, which was founded in London in 2013 and is now also held in New York and Marrakesh, Morocco.

“The narrative on Africa is always so flat, and very, very shallow,” she said. “Somewhere like this, you can come in and really discover things that you just never thought you would discover.”

Credit…Addis Fine Art

The pandemic has led most of the world’s fairs to cancel en masse and instead have online editions. These include Art Basel, in Hong Kong, Basel, Switzerland, and Miami Beach; FIAC, which was to have taken place in Paris this week; and the Frieze Art Fair in London, which usually coincides with 1-54.

Yet 1-54 and at least two other stalwarts, Art Paris and Viennacontemporary, decided to go ahead this fall.

The context could hardly have been tougher. The virus has caused severe restrictions on travel and crowds, two defining features of any international fair. According to a midyear art-market survey on the virus’s impact that was published by Art Basel and UBS Global, fair cancellations in the first half of 2020 have led to galleries’ generating only 16 percent of their sales at art fairs, down from 46 percent during the same period last year. Nine of 10 galleries predicted no second-half recovery in this sector of the business, and only a third forecast a sales increase at fairs next year.

Once Frieze went virtual, 1-54, which ran from Oct. 8 to 10, could have canceled. It was helped by its smallness and its location at Somerset House, a stately 18th-century building in central London with a warren of interconnected rooms that allowed one-way traffic flow and strict crowd control.

Though the fair, at capacity, drew only 3,000 visitors this year (down from 18,000 in 2019) and featured 30 galleries (down from 45), several booths sold out, including Ed Cross Fine Art, which featured ruglike textile works by the Welsh-Ghanaian artist Anya Paintsil. The fair itself broke even.

“In a world where people are more and more worried about large gatherings, about safety and about the prospect of getting sick, we have to think about more intimate formats, and ours happens to be one such format,” Touria El-Glaoui, the fair’s founding director, said after its end. “We’re already small, and already flexible, unlike a fair in a convention center that hosts more than 100 galleries.”

Credit…Addis Fine Art

Ms. El-Glaoui said she hoped to go ahead with the New York edition of 1-54 next May — and to hold it in the photographer Annie Leibovitz’s former studio, the Caldwell Factory, as had been planned for this year before its cancellation.

Discounting also helped make the fairs happen. Viennacontemporary, which offered half-price booths, ended up hosting 65 galleries in total, down from 110 last year. Art Paris gave a 15 percent discount to established galleries and 14 newer ones, and gave the latter the proceeds of its ticket sales, a total of 110,000 euros (about $129,000). A total of 112 galleries participated in the Paris fair this year, down from 150 in 2019.

Art Paris was the first fair to take the post-lockdown plunge and proceed as normal, occupying the domed turn-of-the-century Grand Palais from Sept. 10 to 13. This year’s edition drew about 57,000 visitors, down 10 percent from last year. It also had first-time exhibitors that included the high-profile gallery Perrotin and multiple six-digit sales, among them those of a drawing by Giacometti and two sculptures by César.

Art Paris was long perceived as a largely local art-world outlier. But “what was previously singled out as a weakness in my case — that the fair wasn’t international enough — turned out to be an advantage,” said Guillaume Piens, its director since 2012.

Credit…Mohammed Badra/EPA, via Shutterstock

“Purchases were mainly by French collectors, challenging the commonly held belief that France has few collectors and that we’d be nothing without American buyers,” he added. “Things have changed a lot.”

Mr. Piens said he was right to have resisted turning Art Paris into a clone of other large, global fairs, where visitors see “practically the same things,” regardless of where they go, and “it’s like driving down the same highways, with the same names and the same galleries all over.”

Johanna Chromik, artistic director of Viennacontemporary, also noted that local — meaning Austrian — collectors made that fair a success this year, accounting for half of sales, up from the usual one-third. The Vienna event, which ran from Sept. 24 to 27, also caters to Austria’s neighbors, especially the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary.

Credit…Kristina Kulakova

Putting on the fair was difficult, Ms. Chromik said — “you can imagine how many sleepless nights I had” — but she added that collectors were “highly motivated” and “really buying; we had solid to really good sales this year.” Many visitors had not been to a fair since the Armory Show in New York in March, so they were pleased “to see art for real, in three dimensions,” she said.

Collectors’ enthusiasm was confirmed by the UBS/Art Basel report. Despite the virus, 82 percent said they planned to attend exhibitions, art fairs and other events in the ensuing 12 months. More than half hoped to attend events both at home and abroad. And 59 percent of the high-net-worth respondents said that the virus had increased their thirst for collecting.


So fairs seem here to stay, the events’ directors said; there will just be fewer of them.

“I don’t believe in returning to how we lived before 2019,” Ms. Chromik said. “We learned from this year.”

She said some of the practices introduced at Viennacontemporary this year — like shared booths, of which there were about half a dozen — could well continue.

What the Covid-19 pandemic has made clear, said Mr. Piens of Art Paris, is that the last several years featured “too much foie gras and too much Champagne, resulting in a giant indigestion.”

Mr. Piens added, “We’re all on a diet now.”

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