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The Art Angle Podcast: Ai Weiwei on the Coronavirus, China, and Art’s New Role – artnet News



Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join host Andrew Goldstein every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more with input from our own writers and editors as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.

Ai Weiwei is not shy about tackling the big issues. Despite winning international acclaim for his interdisciplinary, boundary-pushing art, the Chinese-born artist is better known in some circles for his activism—though in his estimation, the two are inextricably linked. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak varying degrees of havoc around the globe, Ai has increasingly turned his attention toward how the illness is exposing the failures of governments and aggravating the geopolitical fault lines between world powers.

Although China, where the outbreak began in December 2019, seems to have contained the virus sufficiently to begin easing its way back to some kind of normalcy, serious questions remain about how transparent Xi Jinping’s regime has been about the disease. After being detained, beaten, and surveilled by party officials in 2011 in response to his investigative work, Ai knows better than most how the tentacles of China’s authoritarian government can accost citizens willing to criticize the state. He believes that here, too, the bureaucracy’s unwillingness to admit its own errors has created disastrous consequences for others—this time, the world over. But he also believes that leading Western nations, especially the United States, bear some of the blame for being too accommodating of China for too long, all in pursuit of profit.

This week on the podcast, Ai Weiwei calls in from Cambridge, UK, where he is safely ensconced with his son and girlfriend, to discuss the pandemic, its effects on global politics, and how artists can contribute to a world in turmoil.

Listen above and subscribe to the Art Angle on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. (Or catch up on past episodes here on Artnet News.)

Listen to Other Episodes:

The Art Angle Podcast: How Photography Is Being Revolutionized in the Coronavirus Era

The Art Angle Podcast: Why Germany’s COVID-19 Relief Plan Is the Envy of the Art World 

The Art Angle Podcast: The Unbelievable True Story of the Mystical Painter Agnes Pelton

The Art Angle Podcast: Three Ways Coronavirus Will Transform the Art World

The Art Angle Podcast: Why Art and Fashion Need Each Other Now

The Art Angle Podcast: What Does an Art Scene Look Like Under the Coronavirus?

The Art Angle Podcast: How an Art-Dealing Prodigy Became the market’s Most Wanted Outlaw

The Art Angle Podcast: Is the Museum of Ice Cream the Future of Art, or Just a Sugar Rush?

The Art Angle Podcast: What Is Saudi Arabia Trying to Do With Contemporary Art?

The Art Angle Podcast: How Hollywood Finally Fell for the Art Market

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Art market leaders host charity auction in support of Canadian food banks – Canada NewsWire



The charity auction will take place on Heffel’s Online Auction Partnerships (HO2) platform from June 9 – 23, 2020, and will include 28 works donated by Nicholas Metivier Gallery and a group of well-known artists including Edward Burtynsky, Bobbie Burgers, John Hartman and others. According to presale estimates for the works, the auction is expected to raise between $170,000 and $230,000 to benefit the charities.

“Like many Canadians, we are proud to step up to help those in need during this critical time,” said David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “We’re so thankful for the generosity of the Nicholas Metivier Gallery, the RBC Foundation and the artists who have donated their energy and creativity for this important cause, and are eager to get these much-needed funds to food banks in our communities.”

“Canadian food banks are in desperate need of assistance to help those most vulnerable as a result of COVID-19, and demand has grown exponentially in recent months,” said Nicholas Metivier, Founder and Owner of Nicholas Metivier Gallery. “When we suggested the idea of an auction to support food banks, our artists responded with tremendous generosity and enthusiasm. We are also pleased to partner with Heffel and utilize their online auction platform to execute this important initiative.”

To give interested buyers an opportunity to view the available works, the auction catalogue and virtual auction previews will be available on Heffel’s website. Works will also be available for preview by appointment at Nicholas Metivier Gallery (190 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON).

For additional auction details, and to access the online catalogue, please visit The catalogue will be available on June 9, 2020.

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with sales totaling more than half a billion dollars since 1978. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary, Heffel has the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada and provides superior client service to both sellers and buyers internationally.

About Nicholas Metivier Gallery

The Nicholas Metivier Gallery, founded in 2004, is one of the largest contemporary galleries in Canada. The gallery represents and promotes Canadian and international artists that demonstrate exceptional quality and originality in all media, with a focus on contemporary painting and photography. 

SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House

For further information: For additional information, to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact: Rebecca Rykiss, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, [email protected], 416-961-6505 ext. 323

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Vancouver museums and art galleries start reopening next week – Vancouver Sun



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The Museum of Vancouver reopens June 11. Jason Payne/PNG

The VAG will have security guards and volunteers to monitor visitors.

“If there’s a bit of a jam happening, that’s where our volunteers and guards will maybe ask people to move along, and maybe go to another floor,” said Augatis.

Staff at both institutions will be wearing masks in public areas, and it is “highly recommended” that visitors wear masks as well. But is not mandatory.

The Maritime Museum will reopen with a new show, On The Shore, featuring 44 paintings of the B.C. coast from the Bill and Mary Everett Collection, including two by works by Emily Carr and one by E.J. Hughes.

The VAG has a new exhibition culled from works in its collection, The Tin Man Was a Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics and Performances of Power. It was supposed to open in March but was delayed, as was another a new video and photographic installation, Matilda Aslizadeh’s Moly and Kassandra.

The VAG’s big summer show, Modern in the Making: Post-War Craft and Design in British Columbia, is being installed and will be opening July 18.

The Maritime Museum will be opening Thursday through Sunday, while the VAG will be open seven days a week.

“We would love to see the numbers come back to the museum, but we also anticipate that for the first few days or even weeks it might be a bit difficult,” said Schokkenbroek.

“People will be apprehensive, people will be anxious, maybe reluctant, and wait and see how things are being done.”

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Vancouver marathoner inspires community through Strava art – CityNews Vancouver



VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver-based runner and coach Tony Tomsich has found a way to keep running interesting during the coronavirus pandemic—Strava art.

After fulfilling a lifelong dream of running in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this spring, the Alaska native has been mapping his Sunday routes into complex works of art. Tomsich runs the routes turn-by-turn with his GPS watch and posts them to the Strava—a social media platform for athletes.

“It’s always kind of been on my radar,” Tomsich says of the idea. After years of training to qualify for the marathon trials, he didn’t have a big plan going forward.

“As the pandemic hit, it became clear that running was going to look a bit different,” adds Tomsich. “We were going to have to do this by ourselves and so forth. I definitely looked at different ways to enjoy the sport.”

Tomsich attempted an Easter bunny on Sunday, April 12th, and said his Strava feed exploded with comments after the run.

“I was just floored by the response that I got,” he says. “People absolutely loved it.”

Tomsich knew he had to keep going.

He has since drawn a boat sailing by a lighthouse, a thunderbird at UBC (the university’s mascot), and an orca. Tomsich wished people a happy Mother’s Day with a 25-kilometre-long vase of flowers.

However, the most difficult drawing was a finish line, complete with two triumphant stick-runners, which he says was meant to inspire people even as official spring races were cancelled.

“It is a way to engage and to get people excited and share what is possible when we can’t have races right now or can’t have big group gatherings.”

Tomsich uses Strava’s “Route Builder” function to map out the run. His wife, Kate, has been following him on her bike and posting Instagram video updates to build suspense around what the picture will be. Tomsich’s drawings vary from 24km to 35km, a typical Sunday run for an avid marathon.

“I asked my wife Kate to join,” he says. “It’s our time to spend together to disconnect and just be out.”

Tomsich coaches with Mile2Marathon, a running group founded by Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced runners improve their race times while engaging in the social aspects of the running.

Mile2Marathon’s motto is #bettertogether and while many of its athletes are disappointed that they can’t run in groups, Tomsich hopes to inspire runners to keep going.

“I think the bigger message that I want to be able to portray to people with all this is that if you can identify what it is that you’re passionate about or what you love, there’s always ways to share that with other people.”

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