For local art obsessives, Art Toronto is the undisputed event of the year—a buzzy nexus of artists, gallerists and buyers, where collectors and museums drop big money to snap up pieces by established and emerging names. This year, the festival has moved to a digital model that runs until November 8, with a a few socially distanced in-person events held at some of the 100-plus participating galleries. For wannabe collectors bit by the Covid nesting bug, there are tons of striking pieces available, including affordable paintings from up-and-comers and blue-chip sculptures that cost as much as a down payment. Here are 13 works that could be gracing your living room this winter.
A wayward commuter
“Walking Woman in the Subway.” Photograph by Michael Snow, $9,200, Michael Gibson Gallery
The 91-year-old Toronto artist Michael Snow is known for his Walking Woman, a mirrored silhouette that he used to produce and place in conspicuous spots all over the city back in the ’60s. This photograph appeared in Snow’s book Biographie of the Walking Woman, which recorded many public interactions with the silhouette. The image is up for sale for the first time.
A tornado of limbs
“Best of Us.” Painting by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, $4,800, Gallery Jones
The Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an award-winning contemporary painter whose large-scale works are fixtures at the Vancouver airport and UBC. He’s known as the father of “Haida-manga,” creating work influenced by the tradition of Haida iconography and Asian visual culture. This abstract watercolour hypnotizes viewers with its looping swirls and faces.
A moody arabesque
“As One IV.” Photograph by Brendan Fernandes, $6,000, Monique Meloche Gallery
In this piece, the Nairobi-born Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes examines how museums serve as cultural gatekeepers: for example, when African masks were first exhibited in French museums, they were stripped of their context in traditional ceremonies, depicted instead as primitive and uncivilized. Here, a graceful ballet dancer interacts with an African mask from a French museum, playing off the power struggle between different cultures.
An artistic un-masking
“Christ Pantocrator No13.” Painting by Moridja Kitenge Banza, $3,000, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
In this series, Canadian-Congolese artist Moridja Kitenge Banza reproduces Christian iconography—except he replaces Christ’s face with African masks. It links the spread of Catholicism in the Democratic Republic of Congo with masks displayed in Western art museums devoid of context. The mask shown here is used among the Dan and neighbouring cultures to connect the wearer with the spirit world. Normally, it’s kept hidden, only brought out during special rituals.
A day in the life of a Whitehorsian
“Tenuous Balance of Hope and Meaning.” Painting by Joseph Tisiga, $4,800, Bradley Ertaskiran
This painting by Joseph Tisiga is both fantastical and banal at the same time, showing a surrealistic mix of mundane nature juxtaposed with mystic elements. Tisiga’s work explores the complex psychological, social, economic and cultural challenges facing Indigenous people today, all underscored by a “sublime nothingness” he experienced in Whitehorse, where he lived while working at a community youth organization.
A token of forgiveness
“Apology Flower #1.” Collage and painting by Christian Butterfield, $1,800, Corkin Gallery
Toronto mixed-media artist Christian Butterfield originally began making his pieces as apology gifts to friends, lovers and acquaintances. In this collage, he paints an abstract flower over a seemingly random assortment of clippings and images cut out from issues of Time magazine—his preferred source material.
A pensive moment
“Untitled.” Photograph by Will Munro, $6,000, Paul Petro Contemporary Art
This photograph comes from the estate of Will Munro, a queer icon in Toronto who worked as a visual artist, restaurateur and social activist until he died from cancer in 2010. As an artist, he was known for fashioning pieces made from men’s underwear, and this image, produced in 2004 shows a model sporting a delicately stitched and beaded pair.
A constellation of beads
“Boundaries.” Photograph by Nadia Myre, $12,500, Art Mûr
Nadia Myre is a multidisciplinary artist of Algonquin heritage living in Montreal. In her previous work “Indian Act,” she recreated all 56 pages of that legislation with beadwork, using white beads to represent the words and red ones to represent white space. In this large-scale photograph, she returns to the material and zooms in on the texture and intricate patterns of the beads—which were used as decorative jewellery in Europe and as currency in the Atlantic slave trade—to help the viewer examine their cultural history.
A beautiful refraction
“Holding you as steady as I can.” Installation by Karilee Fuglem, $1,250, Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain
For this piece, multidisciplinary Montreal artist Karilee Fuglem created a device that reflects rays of light wherever it’s installed. She thinks of her work as drawings made with space, air and light. The materials—in this case polyester, steel and thread—are meant to disappear into the space so as to represent the non-visible world. Says Fuglem: “They testify to the wonder that can be glimpsed anywhere—how a random bit of anything can light up and come alive.”
The politics of geometry
“Positions.” Painting by Nicolas Grenier, $12,500, Bradley Ertaskiran
Montreal-based painter Nicolas Grenier places recognizable diagrammatic shapes in colourful gradients to mimic political affiliation graphs and charts. While viewing the artwork, visitors are provided with an Approval Matrix sheet—via PDF for online visits—to map their positions on the current state of the world and where it’s headed.
Visit the city's tiniest art gallery: Five things to do in Saskatoon this weekend – Saskatoon StarPhoenix
In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E.
Whether you’re interested in art, a virtual party, some outdoor activities or cleaning up around the house, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this weekend in Saskatoon.
1. Visit the Free Little Art Gallery
In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E. Designed in the style of community libraries and kitchen boxes, visitors to the gallery can take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or do both. You can check out some of the artwork on Instagram @Freelittleartgalleryyxe.
2. Hit up The Bassment’s virtual party
Featuring the music and talents of eight Saskatoon bands, The Bassment presents InTune 2021 — a free online party playing from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shows will be streamed live through the Bassment’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
3. Check out local performers
Watch as some of Saskatoon’s performing artists share their work in Episode 1 of Persephone Theatre’s Open Stage, which was published earlier this month. The episode is available to watch whenever you want at persephonetheatre.org and features Peace Akintade, Kathie Cram, Amanda Trapp, Sketchy Bandits, Carla Orosz and Ellen Froese.
4. Have some family fun
The Fuddruckers Family Fun Centre (2910 8th St. E) is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Families can practice their skills on the 18-hole Putt N’ Bounce miniature golf course, reach new heights on The Rock climbing wall or take a swing at the Grand Slam batting cages. More information is available at fudds.ca or by calling 306-477-0808.
5. Drop off your hazardous waste
The City of Saskatoon is holding its first Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off of the year on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Operations Centre (57 Valley Rd.). The drop off is open to Saskatoon residents from residential properties only. Products eligible for drop off include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, light bulbs, yard chemicals and more. Learn more at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.
The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.
YK ARCC celebrates 10 years by pushing for NWT art gallery – Cabin Radio
Its trailer doubles as one of the NWT’s only art galleries. Now, the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre is turning 10 years old.
The group, YK ARCC for short, formed in 2011 in a downtown Yellowknife church scheduled for demolition. “There was always something going on,” recalled Métis artist Rosalind Mercredi, owner of the city’s Down to Earth Gallery, who was YK ARCC’s first president.
“I think it was so good to be able to have a space where people wanted to work on stuff and, if they had bigger projects they wanted to do, there was a space to do it. It was pretty vibrant times, I would say, for art.”
Though the organization stayed in the church for less than a year, it has brought art and shows to Yellowknife since. Temporary homes have included an apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant and empty spaces in the Centre Square Mall.
Casey Koyczan, a Tłı̨chǫ artist from Yellowknife pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, held some of his first shows with YK ARCC’s help.
“It really helped to be able to show work within an environment that was conducive to more of a fine arts aesthetic as opposed to … a coffee shop, or a pub, or something like that,” said Koyczan, who was on YK ARCC’s board.
“YK ARCC felt like it was getting to more of a formal-exhibit kind of feel.”
‘We need a territorial gallery’
The group made headlines shortly after opening a mobile art gallery in a trailer. At the beginning of the pandemic, the team took art to residents by accepting reservations through Facebook then driving the gallery to make house calls in different neighbourhoods.
“Because it’s so small, we might be the only gallery in Canada that didn’t have to close,” said longtime board member Sarah Swan. “It has a limited capacity. We knew we could still operate it safely.”
Yet the trailer’s success simultaneously illuminated what YK ARCC’s members believe is a glaring deficiency in the NWT: the absence of a territorial gallery.
The cost of rent makes it difficult for the non-profit to hold on to one space for any length of time. Many of the spaces that are available in Yellowknife don’t work well for art shows.
“We need a territorial gallery,” former board member Dan Korver said.
That doesn’t mean a commercial gallery geared toward profit, he clarified. Instead, Korver wants a space where artists can show their work and engage with an audience “for art’s sake.”
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the only large-scale, non-commercial, gallery fitting that bill in the NWT. It hosts two fine art exhibits a year.
“It’s just simply not enough,” said Swan. “There are so many more artists and so much more work out there to show, so many more ideas.”
“We created the mobile gallery in the first place to feel that exhibition gap, but also, we created it to be a piece of agitation in itself. That’s why we called it the Art Gallery of the Northwest Territories.
“It’s really pathetic that our territorial gallery is a trailer. We all joke that if there ever is a real gallery of the Northwest Territories that’s not in a trailer, we’ll happily give the name back.”
Koyczan described obstacles in establishing his career that stemmed directly from the lack of a territorial art gallery.
“Back when I was showing at YK ARCC, it wasn’t recognized by the Canada Arts Council,” he said. “Therefore, when you go to apply for grants and funding … and you provide your CV saying that you showed work at YK ARCC, they check their records and say the show basically didn’t exist because they don’t recognize it as a legitimate gallery.
“I’ve had to work really hard on exporting myself and making artwork that is impactful so that, regardless of where I was located, it would be recognized by people in the south, or around North America, or internationally.
“The NWT needs a contemporary gallery. It’s just holding us back, not having that space.”
‘No GNWT mandate’ for a gallery
In a written statement to Cabin Radio, the territorial Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said it has no plan to create a territorial gallery.
The department said it “does not have a mandate to create physical infrastructure for the arts.”
“However,” the response continued, “the GNWT would be happy to work with regional organizations to see how the GNWT can support their plans.”
Korver believes government involvement in creating an artist-run centre or non-commercial gallery should be limited to provision of funding, so any gallery can remain community-driven and independent.
“We need that physical space, but how do you run it?” he wondered. “Is it better to just provide a grassroots organization – or organizations, maybe there shouldn’t just be one – with stable funding so they can provide those spaces and run those spaces?”
More spaces that can host art are on the way.
Makerspace YK moved into the old After 8 pub this January and is planning workshops and exhibits. The City of Yellowknife expects to open a visitor centre in the Centre Square Mall that would include art displays.
Meanwhile, the territorial government is set to release its updated NWT Arts Strategy this June. The previous territorial arts strategy, released in 2004, had identified a need for more arts spaces.
As a gallery owner, Mercredi said she is curious to see how the strategy is implemented.
“You can make a strategy but if the plan doesn’t have an implementation idea behind it, then really just sits,” she said. “How do you implement it when most of the arts organizations don’t have enough infrastructure or people to put those things together?”
Swan said YK ARCC will continue to run its mobile gallery while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Members have applied for funding to run a series of “emerging curator workshops.”
“Art is our passion,” Swan said. “I think there’s just this drive to share.
“Because we know how good art can be, or how amazing and fully developed it can be, we want to fight for that. We want to try to grow the art community in Yellowknife.”
Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat
Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.
“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.
Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.
“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”
The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.
Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.
“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.
“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”
Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.
April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.
Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.
Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune
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