The barge at English Bay shows no end of inspiring Vancouverites.
The barge at English Bay shows no end of inspiring Vancouverites.
One of the memes circulating online is calling the barge — which became grounded at English Bay during a severe storm last month — a public art installation.
On Twitter, Greg @goldenmulletman said Monday after a failed attempt to remove the barge, “Hey @CityofVancouver you should admit defeat and declare this barge an urban art installation.”
Someone who knows about public art is Barrie Mowatt, founder and president of the Vancouver Biennale , the region’s outdoor public art exhibition.
He said the barge isn’t public art, but could be.
“It is in the public and in its current position artful, but it’s not public art in the sense of how we define public art,” he said. “It does certainly draw people’s attention and get them connected with the space. It’s cool in that sense.”
Mowatt said the barge could become public art if it was incorporated into a narrative about the former industrial heritage of False Creek, for example, and how the city has changed since. As well, he suggested it could be painted and turned into a mural, but in a way that didn’t look like graffiti.
“Yes, it could become an interesting piece of public art,” he said from Palm Springs. “As it is now, with good signage, it could create dialogue and engagement about what is public art.”
Not everyone agrees with the idea the barge is or could be public art.
On Wednesday morning, Jo-Ann Heinz cycled from Yaletown to English Bay and Sunset Beach to see the barge because a friend contacted her to say something was happening. Nothing did, even though a high tide and whitecaps on the water all suggested movement.
“I’m just kind of curious to see how they get this monstrosity off the seawall,” she said.
Heinz said while the barge could be turned into a restaurant, she questioned the idea that it was already an example of public art just by its position on the rocks.
Heinz is a sailor who has been around the world and seen similar examples of wrecked vessels abandoned on the shore. She called them eyesores.
“This is an eyesore,” she said. “We’re in Vancouver. We should be able to figure out how to get this off the shore.”
It looks like the barge will be at home on English Bay for a few more days.
The City of Vancouver said Wednesday that Transport Canada has received a plan to move the barge from its owner.
“In the coming days, the barge will be assessed and repaired as needed in preparation for its removal,” the city said by email.
The homophonic link between “Barge on the Beach” and “Bard on the Beach” has inspired a parody of a famous speech from the play Henry V by William Shakespeare.
Christopher Gaze, founder and artistic director of Bard on the Beach , Vancouver’s summer Shakespeare festival, said he thought of the play’s famous St. Crispin’s Day speech given by the king on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt. The speech was meant to inspire the outnumbered English forces to overcome the French.
In Gaze’s version, the speech is about the failure to float the barge away on the king tide that would have lifted the barge like “Noah’s flood.”
“This day is called the Barge on the Beach day/We that shall live this day and come safe home/Will stand a tiptoe when this day is named/And rouse us at the sight of the Barge on the rocks./West End residents that shall live this day and see old age will/yearly feast their neighbours/And say, tomorrow is the bedevilled Barge Day …”
Gaze said the timing focuses attention on Bard on the Beach, which returns to Vanier Park/Senakw next summer after being cancelled for two years because of the pandemic.
The restoration of Michelangelo’s famed Pieta dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence has revealed that the single block of marble from which the masterpiece was sculpted was flawed, offering a likely reason for why it was abandoned before it was completed.
The statue, better known as the Bandini Pieta, represents the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene holding the body of Christ as he is taken down from the cross by a man, Nicodemus, whose face is the self-portrait of the Italian Renaissance artist.
“It’s a Pieta that has suffered and is very intimate… it is a really personal statue,” Beatrice Agostini, director of the restoration project, told Reuters.
The works of restoration confirmed that the 2,700 kg piece of marble had veins and numerous minute cracks, particularly on the base, which may have been the reason for Michelangelo’s decision to stop working on the sculpture before finishing it, a statement said.
The artist had initially planned to place the sculpture next to his tomb but only years after beginning to sculpt it, in the mid 1500s, a then 75-year old Michelangelo decided to abandon the masterpiece, giving it as a gift to a servant, who then sold it to a banker, Francesco Bandini.
Restorers did not find any sign of hammer blows, making it unlikely the widespread hypothesis that an unhappy Michelangelo tried to destroy the sculpture in a moment of frustration, the statement added.
The non-invasive restoration started in 2019 but was interrupted several times due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Deposits were removed from the sculpture’s surface, which was then cleaned, bringing it back to its original hue.
The project was commissioned and directed by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and was financed by U.S. non-profit organization Friends of Florence.
“The operation has restored to the world the beauty of one of Michelangelo’s most intense and troubled masterpieces,” a joint statement said.
Visitors have been able to witness all stages of the process as the statue was always on display, in an open laboratory, on a platform, behind a glass screen.
(Reporting by Matteo Berlenga in Florence, writing by Giulia Segreti in Rome, editing by Angus MacSwan)
Until Feb. 6, the Sunshine Coast Arts Council is exhibiting works by its members in a variety of mediums.
The annual “Friends of the Gallery” show is hosted in the Doris Crowston Gallery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, at 5714 Medusa Street, in Sechelt.
Now in its 20th year, the “Friends” event began as a way to encourage emerging artists. Today, individual artists from the community are invited to submit one piece of work they completed in the previous year to be shown in the group exhibition.
Artworks are also available for purchase.
The Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society describes itself as “a magnet for creative souls on the Coast.” To mark this year’s golden jubilee of The Beachcombers, the iconic CBC Television program, the society is seeking to attract young creative souls through an art and writing contest.
Various types of submissions are welcome, including short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, scripts, cover artwork and colouring for the planned anthology and exhibit.
Written entries must contain at least one reference to The Beachcombers, the Coast or the beach. Allusions to jet boat manoeuvres and amicable ribbing at the lunch counter of Molly’s Reach are likely assets as well.
Details are online on the Society’s website at scwes.ca. Submissions must be received by midnight on June 1.
The Province of British Columbia has proclaimed Jan. 24 to 31 as Family Literacy Week, marking the fifth successive year that Family Literacy Day (Jan. 27) has overflowed with a sevenfold increase in bookish intensity.
“Children’s literacy skills expand and grow much faster when families read, play and learn together,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Education. “Family Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on dynamic ways to support our youngest learners so they can develop the skills they need to succeed in their school years and beyond.”
Decoda Literacy Solutions, a province-wide literacy organization, is hosting a photo contest. Participants may take a photo using a “Let’s Be Active” theme and submit it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on social media using these hashtags: #LetsBeActive and #FLW2022. There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.
To mark the occasion, the Gibsons and District Public Library has encouraged families to host “reading walks” in which families and individuals stroll through local parks, reading along to stories.
The Coast Reporter encourages all such literary ramblers to glance up from time to time, in order to avoid mid-chapter collisions incurred while covering one’s tracks.
By Wendy Rayson-Kerr
Although the Parrott Gallery is closed until at least January 26 due to public health restrictions, we are still working to bring you art. We hope that our awesome gallery supporters will sign onto our website to view new virtual exhibitions, participate in online art workshops and register for free Armchair Traveller presentations on Zoom. We’ll also be increasing our social media posts, so please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to view artwork from our current exhibitions as well as from our permanent collection, because everyone could use a little more art in their life right now!
Coming next: The Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild is presenting an exhibition called, “Outside the Block” which will be available to view online through our website starting on Saturday, January 22. The traditional Log Cabin Quilt design, generally speaking, starts with a center shape which is surrounded by strips of coloured pieces that follow a specific sequence of light and dark patterning. Colours have meanings in these quilts, whose shapes can be seen to symbolize log cabins with both dark and sunny corners, and much has been written about their connection to North American pioneers. In our upcoming exhibition, this traditional pattern has been given a modern interpretation. The twenty quilters represented in this group show have all used the Log Cabin Quilt pattern as their inspiration, resulting with an assortment of unique designs. Each artwork is as original as the artists themselves, and we certainly hope you will log in to view them on our website (for now) as well as get the chance to view them in our gallery in the near future.
Another exhibition that will soon be available to view online is called “Corona and Friends” by George Kratz. This prolific Stirling artist has assembled a large collection of paintings that he has been working on over the past two decades. He describes his Corona series as, “an abstract journey” which he completed during the pandemic. The earlier work in his Friends series is equally intense, full of symbolism both borrowed and unique to the artist. George Kratz is a story-teller and this exhibition tells the story of vivid colour, strong lines and imagery you will not soon forget.
Both of these online shows will be available to view in person when we are allowed to re-open our doors once again.
We continue to offer Online Acrylic Pouring Workshops at the Parrott Gallery. These monthly projects are meant for beginners and skilled artists alike, and are the perfect way to learn knew creative skills. Prepared and presented by Warkworth artist Sheila Wright, these workshops are fun and easy to complete. Each kit costs thirty dollars and contains all you will need to create a unique artwork, including materials and video instructions. The January project is a painting called “Rainbow Swipe” and the deadline to register is Saturday, January 22. Please email us at email@example.com or call us as 613-968-6731 x 2040 if you are interested or would like more information.
On February 19, Photographer Lydia Dotto will be sharing her online Armchair Traveller presentation on the Antarctic. From the comfort of your own home you can take a journey across the globe, for free! “The Antarctic: Abundance of Life” is your chance to view a place that most of us will never have the chance to visit. You can register for this live Zoom presentation through our website. When we re-open our doors, our Corridor Gallery will feature the photography of Susan and Clint Guy, in a show they have called “India: The Golden Triangle”. Plans for an in-person presentation are also under way, so stay tuned for this next part of our Armchair Traveller Series.
We know 2022 is going to be an exciting year of exhibitions and programs here at the Parrott Gallery, so we won’t let the current closures discourage us. We hope that we will be open for in-person viewing again soon.
Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator of the John M. Parrott Art Gallery
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