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The survival of art | Comment – www.ekathimerini.com

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State broadcaster ERT’s Modern Music Orchestra performed for staff and patients at the Greek capital’s Attikon Hospital last week.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ended a recent speech in Parliament by acknowledging the need brought up by opposition leaders for medium- and long-term measures to support people who work in the arts. He suggested that funds could be found from the European Union-backed development framework for a “targeted program” to help jobless people in the area of culture.

The existential angst being faced by Greece’s artists right now is not driven by unionist concerns or sectoral expediencies, as is often the case. The coming months will be an extremely tough test of survival for the country’s actors, musicians, visual artists and myriad others engaged in the cultural sphere. These are people whose living – occasionally satisfactorily but usually precariously – relies on something that they gave so freely during the lockdown: culture.

Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, we are looking at months ahead during which we will have little to look forward to in terms of culture. There will be no festivals, concerts or play, and though open-air cinemas are expected to operate, they will do so under certain restrictions. Artists will have to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. “We are working on a plan for the Athens Concert Hall that will enable us to make digital appearances, which is something that will become a part of our lives, sooner or later,” the conductor of the Camerata Friends of Music Orchestra, George Petrou, said in comments to Kathimerini recently.

No matter how ingenious and seasoned in the art of survival the people of the arts may be, though, they are facing the challenge of trying to eke a living out of nothing. And even those who can try to make ends meet by taking up jobs as waiters and bartenders, for example, face an uncertain future, as it is unlikely that restaurants and bars will be taking on any new staff anytime soon.

It was not surprising that it took so long for anyone to raise the issue of state support for the arts. The stereotype of the penniless artist remains entrenched in society and in the political system. Who gives a thought to the fact that they may spend half their lives learning to play a musical instrument or need to produce work tirelessly in order to contend in an intensely competitive and small market like the Greek one?

We tend to take art for granted – just as we did our right to meet and congregate. But that show is over and if we want the curtain to rise ever again, we need someone to care, to draw up a plan and to implement it. Art is vital, not virtual.

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Kootenay Gallery of Art virtual store project well underway – Castlegar News

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The Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar is in the process of creating a new virtual gift store.

Art curator Maggie Shirley said the virtual store is slated to go online in July and will feature up to 300 pottery, jewellery and woodworking items created by West Kootenay artists.

The gallery started the project to help make up for lost revenue since it has been shut down since mid-March due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The new website will have an accessible layout for everyone, according to Shirley.

“We’ve been categorizing each art piece as we put it onto the virtual store,” said Shirley.

“One category will let customers search for different objects on the site while another category will let people search for individual artists.”

The art gallery is setting up a completely new website for the virtual store and will have debit and credit card payment options. Links will also be put on the art gallery’s existing website and social media pages to direct people to the virtual store.

Shirley said the project has been time consuming, especially since it takes staff up to 30 minutes to photograph, weigh, measure and put each object online.

Customers will either be able to pick up their items at the art gallery or have them delivered or shipped to their door.

While the items will be able to be shipped across Canada and the United States, Shirley said the high shipping costs could deter some customers away.

Despite the difficulties, Shirley said now has never been a better time to launch the store.

“This is a really important transition time for us and a lot of local businesses. We really want to survive these difficult times and grow,” said Shirley.

“This is a big risk were taking, especially since we don’t know if we’re going to get enough traffic to the virtual store to make it worthwhile. However, this is the future of how people will buy things and its a perfect time to get on the bandwagon.”

Shirley hopes that the art gallery will be able to open its physical store again in September.

READ MORE: Kootenay Gallery of Art offers hand-made gifts

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@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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Levi Nelson art on display in downtown Pemberton – Pique Newsmagazine

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Hydro boxes in Pemberton just got a lot more exciting.

Pieces by Levi Nelson, a Lil’wat Nation artist in his last year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, are now installed on hydro boxes along Portage Road and on the utility box at the Downtown Community Barn.

“We are incredibly grateful and honoured that Levi shared his artwork with us,” the Village of Pemberton said on a Facebook post on Friday, June 5.

Nelson’s work has been exhibited at the Talking Stick Festival, the Museum of Anthropology, North Vancouver City Art Scape, and the Emily Carr University of Art & Design Aboriginal Student Art Show. He also recently became the first Lil’wat Nation artist to have a piece in the Audain Art Museum’s permanent collection.

The recent hydro box wraps were made possible thanks to a contribution from BC Hydro’s beautification fund.

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Applications being accepted for public art funding – paNOW

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Macleod Campbell explained they are also happy to support public art projects as they help to improve the overall quality of life for people in the city.

“It’s nice to have public art for viewing at this time as well as of course supporting the artist,” she said.

Eligible groups can include a range of organizations from local art groups to private businesses. In order to be eligible, the group has to be working with a professional artist and the piece must be displayed publicly.

There is not a hard deadline for people to apply for funding. Macleod Campbell said applications are subject to approval from the art working committee and city council.

Macleod Campbell explained the city is also working to make people aware of the art which is on display in public spaces around the city, as they have created a public art tour brochure. The document is currently available on the city website and they are looking to get physical copies out into the public.

“That’ll be something as well,” said Macleod Campbell.

MichaelJoel.Hansen@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @mjhskcdn

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