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The Language of Art: a presentation by the Assiniboia Arts Council – Assiniboia Times



Art is nuanced with subjective language. People often struggle to define the terms of art. Is art a banana duct-taped to a wall? Or, does art represent the ultra-realism of Robert Bateman – the Salt Spring-based artist famed for rendering natural scenes decorating hotel lobbies, restaurants and T-shirts across the world?

Assiniboia Arts Council President, Alison Lewis and Visual Arts Coordinator, Crystal Thorburn gave a presentation on the language used in art at the Shurniak Gallery on October 1. The hour and half meeting began at 10:15 a.m. with the attendance limited to eight people. Mask wearing was encouraged in the gallery, along with social distancing measures.

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Another Language of Art seminar was planned later in the afternoon from 1:30-3 p.m.

“What is the definition of art?” Lewis asked the audience. “It is expression,” she answered.

“What is art supposed to look like?” Thorburn asked. “What is art supposed to be?”

Through an ensuing discussion, everyone agreed about art having many functions. Yet, art is especially known for giving viewers pleasurable and interactive encounters through its various mediums, including visual, performance and literary arts.

“Art can tell a story. It could be a description of something,” Lewis inserted.

Certainly, since art is subjective, the beauty of artistic expression exists in the eye of the beholder. Art is also defined by the age when the piece was created, because of guiding trends and cultural mores. Is art décor? Is art expression? Or, does art represent both of these factors?   

“Art brings the community together to enjoy that experience as a whole,” Thorburn maintained. “Art is a stable factor we can rely on,” she added then described art as having a therapeutic factor for both the creators and the patrons visiting galleries.

“Some people will buy art to decorate their home,” an audience member said.

“But art can also give social commentary,” Lewis pointed out then elaborated on Salvador Dali’s painting Soft Construction with Boiled Beans – his response to the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

Banksy’s street was also discussed by the group, specifically when his painting Girl With Balloon was destroyed inside a self-shredding frame moments after the art piece was auctioned for £1,042,000 at Sotheby’s Auction House in London in 2018.

“This was shock and awe in the art world,” Thorburn commented.

“We need to learn the language of art. Not all art is created to be loved,” Lewis recounted. “Go around the room,” she instructed the audience. “See if you can find different mediums to look at.”

When everyone returned after studying different paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures in the gallery, they reported on what they’d seen.

The conversation on art continued – this time the discussion centred on techniques, such as diaganol lines which create energy and movement. The use of textures to relay physical sensations was also conversed over. The names of artworks themselves was brought up in the discourse, since titles are important for establishing narratives.

The employment of distinctive colours and compositions in certain pieces might indicate when the piece of art was created – numerous schools of the art from realism to expressionism have been fashionable in different historical periods and employ dissimilar methods of creation.

“Why do people buy art?” Lewis asked.

“Because of the value,” an audience member said. “It’s something you want to live with.”

“It boils down to personal taste,” Thorburn said, adding “When people are buying art, they are also buying the experience of creating the art as well.”

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Resilient Art YQL program offering a different experience at Lethbridge Soup Kitchen



The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen helps provide hot meals and a place in out of the cold for many of those in need in the community.

Thanks to an idea from a volunteer at the kitchen, and a Lethbridge College student, an art program called Resilient Art YQL has now been created for those who frequent the kitchen.

“I saw this huge need in this population for leisure and meaningful activity because I feel like we’re fulfilling these basic needs of food, water and shelter,” Resilient Art YQL founder Tannis Chartier said. “But we weren’t getting higher up on the chain to provide activity and meaning to their lives which is such a catalyst for bigger change.”

The artists who participate create pieces once a week which are then sold on the program’s Facebook page.

It’s only been in operation since August, but those who’ve attended a session say there are many benefits associated.

“It helps with dexterity in my hands and it keeps my mind from wandering about to other things like drugs and alcohol,” Chad Calfrobe, a participant at this week’s session, said.

The program not only provides entertainment and activity for those who partake, but it also has a tangible benefit.

The proceeds from the sales of the pieces go directly back to the creator to help them out.

“They don’t have a place to store their artwork so we sell it on the Resilient YQL page and the funds go back to their needs. So, I’ve helped people pay for medication, clothing, the odd Tim Horton’s card, lots of stuff like that since getting started,” Chartier said.

Organizers are trying to raise awareness about both the Facebook page for the broader community, as well as for those who come through the doors to try and grow the program to help more people.

Soup Kitchen executive director Bill Ginther says they’re always looking for different ways to get their clients involved in meaningful activity, and this new art program is a good step in that direction.

“It gets them off the street into a building where its warm, especially with this weather. I just think it’s great when we can collaborate in a way that can enhance the lives of our guests and that’s really what it’s all about.”

Source: – CTV Toronto

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Art at the Gate festival moving online in effort to give art lovers a show – SaltWire Network



When people can’t go and see artists there is only one recourse to making things right.

You bring art to the people instead.

Enter the 2020 version of the Art at the Gate Festival taking place virtually from the scenic coastline of Twillingate and New World Island.

After a successful first run of the Art at the Gate Festival in 2019, organizers wanted to keep things going in 2020.

That was before a global pandemic and the subsequent restrictions snuffed out any semblance of a normal festival season.

Still, organizers were keen.

“We wanted to keep the name alive,” said festival chairperson Kathy Murphy-Peddle. “We wondered if we could come up with something creative.”

This year’s Art at the Gate festival is vastly different than its first edition.

With the inability to gather in person and appreciate the work being done by artists in the province, the festival turned online.

Work started in August to put something together for this fall.

As such, the Art at the Gate Festival is giving supporters the chance to paint along — or just watch — two of the province’s finest Plein air (outdoor) painters do what they do best.

Open air painter Jean Claude Roy takes a break from his work as a part of the Art at the Gate Festival in Twillingate in September. Contributed photo


In September, well-known landscape artists Jean Claude Roy and Clifford George visited Twillingate and completed an outdoor session in the region.

That session was recorded for the Art at the Gate Festival. Both of those sessions will be launched in the next week as the festival kicks into gear.

Each will be free for anyone who registers at the festival’s website. After you register, you will be emailed a YouTube link to each session that you can access on and after the launch day.

Roy’s session will air virtually on Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. Newfoundland time, while the session featuring George is scheduled to go online on Nov. 1 at the same time.

At time of writing, the Art at the Gate festival had more than 300 people registered, some of them will be viewing the sessions internationally.

“The interest is amazing,” said Murphy-Peddle.

George’s session landed him in Jenkin’s Cove portion of the region. He said there was strong wind as he got about to painting and shooting.

“If there is a plus (to the pandemic) is that it forced us to think outside the box. We’ve probably reached a bigger audience.”

“It was excellent,” he said of the session. “It was a wonderful place for scenery.”

When George was asked to be a part of the event, he was quick to say yes and lend his style.

The idea is for the viewer to be completely immersed in the painting as it unfolds in front of them.

Murphy-Peddle said how people choose to enjoy the experience is completely up to them.

They are encouraging people to settle into their studios or their homes and paint along. There will be reference photos posted on the festival’s website to help with that process.

Those who do paint along are being encouraged to send in photos of their completed works.

For those who might not be artistically inclined, they’re being encouraged to sit back and enjoy watching the paintings slowly come into focus.

“If there is a plus (to the pandemic) is that it forced us to think outside the box,” said Murphy-Peddle. “We’ve probably reached a bigger audience.”

Nicholas Mercer is a local journalism initiative reporter for central Newfoundland for SaltWire Network.


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New Downtown Public Art to Support #MississaugaMade – City of Mississauga – City of Mississauga



Those travelling through Mississauga will notice new public art in the form of light pole banners stretched throughout the City’s downtown core.  This temporary installation by Mississauga-born artist and illustrator, Pranavi Suthagar, celebrates Mississauga’s diversity and cultural identity.

Much of 2020 has been spent reacting and adapting to a new reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new street banner public art also helps to promote local businesses, products, artists and activities through the City of Mississauga’s #MississaugaMade online initiative developed by Tourism Mississauga.

“Being born and raised in Mississauga, I am grateful to be a part of this campaign,” said artist Pranavi Suthagar, who was commissioned by the City’s Public Art Program to create new artwork for the Mississauga Made campaign. “I remember seeing all colourful banners decorating the city growing up and I always wondered who created them. To be selected for this campaign, and given the opportunity to share my perspective on how I view the city is a full circle experience.”

“Tourism Mississauga is very proud to be a part of this year’s street banner campaign, in collaboration with the City’s Public Art Program. Not only are the banners a great way to show our support within the community, but they also offer us an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the work of a local artist”, said Tej Kainth, Manager of Tourism Mississauga. “Mississauga Made is a campaign that supports all our local businesses and the arts, and we encourage residents and visitors alike to join the movement and support our local talents, and all Mississauga has to offer.”

The street art was installed on Friday, Oct. 16 and will remain on the following streets until mid-January 2021:

  • Living Arts Drive
  • Duke of York Boulevard
  • Prince of Wales Drive
  • Princess Royal Drive

“Mississauga Made is a great local initiative that supports our small business community. During these difficult times, more than ever, we need to stand together and support our entrepreneurs and our local businesses”, said Bonnie Brown, Director of Economic Development Office.  “During the month of October, the City has been celebrating Small Business Month, and the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre continues to offer free webinars and events to celebrate entrepreneurship and help people start and grow their business.”

The next time you visit Mississauga’s downtown, take a closer look at this important artwork and reflect on your own connection to Mississauga.

Media Contact:

Bryan Sparks
Advisor, Communications
T 905-615-3200 ext.3253

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