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The case for 2020 being a good year for art – Art Critique

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As much as we want to swiftly move on from 2020 and never look back, art historians will undoubtedly be studying it for years to come. And when they do, they will likely have to debate which art moment was more significant: the day all museum’s and galleries went dark ahead of the first lockdown, or the afternoon in June when protesters toppled, defaced and pushed slave trader Edward Colston’s statue into Bristol’s harbour.

The pandemic has left most, if not all, institutions in a state of emergency. The impact was immediately registered at the world’s largest museums, with 80 percent footfall declining almost overnight. Even with partial reopening in the coming months, costs will outweigh revenues and with most museums lacking a financial safety net, many will simply never recover.

The consequences have been quick to emerge: the loss of thousands of jobs, cancellation of major shows and swift deaccessioning of historic works. International blockbuster exhibitions, like Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery in London, which are prohibitively costly, were either delayed, cancelled, or underwhelming in the audience they managed to attract. While we may mourn the likely reduction in museum activity next year, let’s take a moment to remember the best art moments of 2020, particularly the ones that will leave a lasting impact moving forward.

Activism

The public toppling of the statue to the slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, UK, amid the Black Lives Matter protests, was high among the year’s most potent images. This inspired people around the world to take further action and protest everything from public statues to colonial artefacts in Western museums as well as galleries’ abuses of power to unethical sponsorships. Despite the pandemic, activists organised, protested and began to effect change.

Solidarity

With 2020 being a year when most artists’ uncertain careers became starkly evident, institutions and makers were quick to reach out in support. Most emblematically, #artistsupportpledge used social media to create a culture of community support and ended up netting its founder, the artist Matthew Burrows, an MBE.

Permanent collections

As museums are likely to move away from expensive blockbuster loan exhibitions, most are doubling down on their permanent holdings. During the pandemic, endless resources were invested into telling their stories online, while the drama around deaccessioning works of major museum collections sparked passionate debate and underlined the deep connections between works and their publics.

Germany’s cultural policy

Despite the criticism that the German government faced when they decided to close museums in the second lockdown, the country’s federal and state governments responded far better than other European countries to the arts’ potential devastation. German culture minister Monika Grütters provided generous, dignified and swift support funds.

Digital platforms

From new digital commissions through to virtual museums, extended reality apps and online viewing rooms, the art world has vastly accelerated its digital adoption. And while much of the outcomes remain to be seen, huge investments mean it is unlikely to lose momentum. New digital art centres—teamLab, Culturespaces, PaceX—are also leading the trend.

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Winter wonderland: A look at snow art across Ottawa – CTV News Ottawa

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OTTAWA —
This past weekend saw the biggest snowfall of the winter in the capital, and it wasn’t just any kind of snow. It was the sticky type, perfect for sculpting everything from snowmen, to dragons to igloos.

And people’s imaginations were running wild.

“We woke up Saturday morning and saw all the snow. The kids ate breakfast and raced outside,” says Ottawa resident Michelle McCombs. “It was the perfect snow for making a snowman.”

But just one or two snowmen weren’t good enough for the McCombs family. More than a dozen snowmen sit on their front lawn, greeting people as they pass.

“People have been stopping by all weekend. It kind of lifts your spirits up,” says McCombs.

Jayson Ambrose wanted to build a giant snowman, but instead built a little Buddha on top of a giant snowball. A perfect accident, he called it.

Jayson Ambrose snow Buddha

“I just kept playing with it and it ended up kinda looking like a little snowy laughing Buddha sitting on top of are giant snowball here,” he said.

Lindsay Hunter and her family needed a place to play checkers outside, so they built themselves what they call their Irish igloo, complete with tables and chairs.

Lindsay and Rosalie Hunter in snow fort

“We’re very tired of being inside all day,” says Hunter, “and when the beautiful snow came, which was the stickiest, best textured snow to make stuff, and on top of that it was warm out, we couldn’t help but spend all day outside.”

Many people around the city took to their yards, spending hours making snowy masterpieces and the talent was off the charts. 

But Daniel Benoit’s castle in Embrun is next level.

“We were doing it during lunch break, and then after dinner with the kids.” says Benoit. “After the kids go to bed, both of us go out and spend some time away from the TV screen or computer screen.”

Daniel Benoit snow castle in Embrun.

The Benoit family had been working on it for two weeks, and with all the snow that fell this past weekend, they were able to finally complete it. But they might not be done just yet.

“My wife was already taking about another tower or something so we’ll see,” says Benoit. 

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Winter wonderland: A look at snow art across Ottawa – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
This past weekend saw the biggest snowfall of the winter in the capital, and it wasn’t just any kind of snow. It was the sticky type, perfect for sculpting everything from snowmen, to dragons to igloos.

And people’s imaginations were running wild.

“We woke up Saturday morning and saw all the snow. The kids ate breakfast and raced outside,” says Ottawa resident Michelle McCombs. “It was the perfect snow for making a snowman.”

But just one or two snowmen weren’t good enough for the McCombs family. More than a dozen snowmen sit on their front lawn, greeting people as they pass.

McComb's snowmen

“People have been stopping by all weekend. It kind of lifts your spirits up,” says McCombs.

Jayson Ambrose wanted to build a giant snowman, but instead built a little Buddha on top of a giant snowball. A perfect accident, he called it.

Jayson Ambrose snow Buddha

“I just kept playing with it and it ended up kinda looking like a little snowy laughing Buddha sitting on top of are giant snowball here,” he said.

Lindsay Hunter and her family needed a place to play checkers outside, so they built themselves what they call their Irish igloo, complete with tables and chairs.

Lindsay and Rosalie Hunter in snow fort

“We’re very tired of being inside all day,” says Hunter, “and when the beautiful snow came, which was the stickiest, best textured snow to make stuff, and on top of that it was warm out, we couldn’t help but spend all day outside.”

Many people around the city took to their yards, spending hours making snowy masterpieces and the talent was off the charts. 

But Daniel Benoit’s castle in Embrun is next level.

“We were doing it during lunch break, and then after dinner with the kids.” says Benoit. “After the kids go to bed, both of us go out and spend some time away from the TV screen or computer screen.”

Daniel Benoit snow castle in Embrun.

The Benoit family had been working on it for two weeks, and with all the snow that fell this past weekend, they were able to finally complete it. But they might not be done just yet.

“My wife was already taking about another tower or something so we’ll see,” says Benoit. 

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Online art course with Adrian Baker – Millstone News

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NEW! Appleton Studio – online ‘ART MENTORING’ course

Instructor: Adrian Baker, BFA, MFA

Want to keep making art this winter, but could use a little guidance? I’m offering personal feedback sessions by email, one-on-one online meetings, and online group feedback sessions. Work on your own projects in your choice of medium, under the guidance of a professional artist. Receive valuable feedback from your peers. Flexible scheduling to suit your routine.

‘Art Mentoring’ runs from the week of January 18th to March 26 (choose your own times/days).

Cost is $180

What you get:

– Weekly personal assessment of your current art project via email, with constructive critiques and professional guidance. (eight sessions)

– One-on-one online meetings to discuss the progress of your work (six sessions)

– Online group feedback sessions with fellow participants (two sessions)

– Regular links to online painting tutorials relevant to your work.

What you do:

– Choose a project to work on in your choice of medium. Your first email session can be a discussion of what to paint, how to get started, colour & compositional decisions, etc.

– Photograph your artwork regularly as it progresses over the ten weeks and send the pictures by email for feedback from the instructor, for a total of eight email instructional sessions.

– Schedule six one-on-one meetings with instructor over the 10-week period (schedule of available days/times will be provided)

– Participate in two online group critiques (coffee, tea or wine are optional!)

– Have fun! Be creative! Keep on making art!

I am accepting a limited number of participants, so let me know asap if you are interested.

To register, or for more information:
613-257-4233
appletonstudio@gmail.com
www.adrianbakerart.com

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