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The year ahead in Canadian visual arts, from coast to coast – The Globe and Mail

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Pablo Picasso, La Soupe, 1902. The Art Gallery of Ontario is collaborating with the Phillips Collection in Washington to mount a major show devoted to Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period.

Pablo Picasso, La Soupe, 1902 © Picasso Estate / SOCAN (2019)/AGO

Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

The most anticipated Canadian art opening of 2020 is now scheduled for late November when the Winnipeg Art Gallery will unveil its Inuit Art Centre.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) began collecting Inuit art back in the 1950s and it holds the largest public collection in the world – thanks in part to a 2016 deal with the government of Nunavut. The territory has sent more than 7,000 pieces south on a long-term loan, a collection that now accounts for about half of the WAG’s holdings. The art includes contemporary prints, drawings and sculptures, and rare historic pieces, most of which will be on public display for the first time. The centre will feature a glass vault, a system of open storage letting visitors see a larger number of works.

Meanwhile, the WAG is working with Inuit curators and artists to ensure the North has access to the collection, which will also be available online.

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Centenary of the Group of Seven

One hundred years ago, seven Toronto painters with a modernist approach to the Canadian landscape declared themselves a movement; today, international art lovers are increasingly intrigued by the Group of Seven. This centenary year, Frankfurt, Germany’s Schirn Kunsthalle is organizing a major Canadian show with help from the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario, which are both contributing loans of work never seen in Germany. Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting, 1910-1940 opens Sept. 25 and will discuss the creation of national myths while including Indigenous perspectives.

At home, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ont. offers ‘A Like Vision’: The Group of Seven at 100, a year-long exhibition opening Jan. 25. It will be accompanied by a small show of canvases by Tom Thomson, the painter who inspired the Group, but died three years before it was formed.

Then in June, the McMichael will balance the all-male picture with Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment. As well as Emily Carr, that show includes works by Yvonne McKague Housser and Florence Wyle, artists who may yet become Canadian household names.

Contemporary Calgary

Similar to a rocket, Calgary’s newest art institution is launching in phases: The first installment of the Centennial Planetarium renovation has transformed the area that previously housed the children’s museum into contemporary art galleries. It will be unveiled Jan. 23 as Contemporary Calgary now moves to six-day-a-week opening hours.

The inaugural programming takes a cosmological theme. It will feature Museum of the Moon, a seven-metre reproduction of the moon created by British artist Luke Jerram using imagery from NASA, and a show in which 36 Calgary artists respond to the old planetarium site.

Riopelle at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts takes a fresh look at Quebec abstractionist Jean-Paul Riopelle with Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, arguing the modernist painter was greatly influenced by travels to the Canadian North. The exhibition, which opens Sept. 19, will also include Inuit and Northwest Coast masks that inspired the artist.

Picasso at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Pablo Picasso, La MisŽreuse accroupie, 1902. Opening June 27, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will unveil recent scientific analysis of the artist’s subjects and techniques.

Pablo Picasso, La MisŽreuse accroupie, 1902 © Picasso Estate / SOCAN (2019)/AGO

The Art Gallery of Ontario is collaborating with the Phillips Collection in Washington to mount a major show devoted to Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period, which marked the Spanish artist’s first trips to Paris and introduction to Post-Impressionism. Opening June 27, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will unveil recent scientific analysis of the artist’s subjects and techniques.

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Street art festival boosts LGBT visibility in Vancouver's Chinatown – CBC.ca

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Pride in Chinatown is celebrating its third anniversary and, unlike the Vancouver Pride Parade and other major events across the Lower Mainland, the event is not going online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The idea of Pride in Chinatown [is] to have a presence,” said Paul Wong, the artistic director and curator of the month-long street art festival.

The festival features eight artists’ projects scattered throughout the neighbourhood, meant to promote the inclusion of LGBT people in the community. 

“Chinatown has been segregated through discrimination and racism and fear. Chinatown has evolved from being very conservative and being very repressed … and homophobic,” Wong said to Stephen Quinn, host of CBC’s The Early Edition.

Most of the festival’s artworks are displayed at a single location. But artist Kendall Yan’s creation Quarantine is a bit different — with several locations across Chinatown. 

The drag performer — whose stage name is Maiden China and who has family ties to Chinatown — turned one of his Instagram self-portraits into a poster and put it up at multiple locations across the neighbourhood.

“It’s very pleasing for my ego,” Yan said about seeing his face all over Chinatown.

The project began after he uploaded 41 portraits to the photo-sharing platform while stuck at home during the height of the pandemic, one photo per day. 

But what came after was an unpleasant experience.

Yan initially wanted to display all 41 of his self-portraits on a storefront. He approached three businesses near his studio, but said the responses were disappointing.

“People are very hesitant to give space that’s very visible, in the fear that someone is going to vandalize their business,” he said.

“That is a very homophobic thing in and of itself.”

Wong faced similar resistance when he dispatched volunteers asking business associations and community service organizations to put “Pride in Chinatown” stickers on their doorways and windows. 

“It’s been an interesting way to see that kind of embracing or resistance to being queer out loud and proud in Chinatown,” said Wong.

On Saturday, community organization Youth Collaborative for Chinatown had an anonymous artist present a floral installation at the Millennium Gate as a tribute to people of different races and sexualities. 

All the exhibits for Pride in Chinatown — except the artwork made of real flowers — will be displayed until Sept. 7. 

Comrade(ry) by David Ng at 525 Carrall Street. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Never As It Seems by Diyan Achjadi at Carrall and Keefer. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Fortune Diptych by Jay Cabalu at Fortune Sound club, 147 East Pender Street. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Love is Love by Candie Tanaka at Propaganda Coffee, 209 East Pender Street. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A Quotation by Susan Sontag by Ho Tam at Access Gallery, 222 East Georgia Street. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Click the following link to listen to Paul Wong and Kendall Yan’s interview on The Early Edition:

Artistic Director and Curator for Pride in Chinatown Paul Wong and Kendall Yan, AKA Maiden China, speak with Stephen Quinn about the events around Pride in Chinatown. 9:43

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Solo exhibition “Pastel Stories” debuts at Quesnel Art Gallery – Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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By Melanie Law

Special to the Observer

For Marcela Bodorikova, her first art gallery show is a celebration of texture and colour.

“Pastel Stories”, which opened August 6, 2020 at the Quesnel Art Gallery, is the culmination of a year of work. Bodorikova has brought together 50 artworks, all rendered in pastels.

“About a year ago I discovered pastels, and I completely fell in love with the texture and the colours and how vibrant they are,” said Bodorikova.

Her solo show is testament to that love. The images range in subject matter, from small landscapes to larger, close-up images of flowers or fruit; from colourful barnyard beasts to Bodorikova’s latest works, a series of self-portraits. But a common theme is Bodorikova’s exploration of the medium. “Because I just started [using pastels] a year ago, it’s all a learning process,” explained the artist.

Bodorikova, who moved to Canada from Slovakia in 2002, only began creating art in a serious way about five years ago. It was the gift of a colouring book that sparked her creativity.

RELATED: Sharing a love of nature at Quesnel Art Gallery

“Somebody got me a colouring book, and I thought, ‘This is cool, but also kind of boring to colour things. I’d rather create these pages,’” said Bodorikova. She began experimenting with an art form called Zentangle, in which the artist combines dots, lines, orbs, and other small shapes in an unplanned way on small pieces of paper. Bodorikova began to Zentangle on porcelain mugs, and she sold her creations in local shops, including Cariboo Keepsakes and Tiny Treats.

“At some point, the Zentangle started to be a little bit too repetitive for me,” admitted Bodorikova, who then challenged herself with acryllics on canvas. Next came charcoals. “I thought, ‘These are so cool to use, but I need more colour.’” So Bodorikova ordered a set of pastels, and stumbled onto her preferred medium.

Bodorikova favours a technique that showcases the mark-making process. “I prefer a non-smudging style, so you actually see the strokes of pastels.” A piece titled Set Free, for example, depicts a horse rearing against a blue background made up of hundreds of pastel markings in different shades, densities and thicknesses.

Bodorikova said she is still learning about working with pastels, but hopes to continue evolving her style as she experiments. She takes online art classes, and every month there is a different topic to explore. These explorations have resulted in some of the works hung in the Art Gallery until August 28: an image series of different kinds of fruit, for example, showcases experimentation with blending the foreground and background. “The exercise with the pear and the apple, it’s called ‘lost and found edges’ … the edges of the apple are lost at some point in the background; it’s about making a joined impression with the background,” said Bodorikova.

Above all, Bodorikova said she enjoys the tactile nature of working in pastels. “I like the feel of it. I like the messiness of it,” she said. “It’s part of the pleasure of painting with pastels.”

“Pastel Stories” runs Aug. 6-28 at the Quesnel Art Gallery. For more information about this and other local art shows, visit quesenlartgallery.com.


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Local artists urge patio patrons to check out Arts District (4 photos) – OrilliaMatters

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Local artists want to remind residents there’s more than restaurants to explore on the weekend.

Every other Friday, the Peter Street Arts District hosts an Art Walk, during which Peter Street is closed to traffic from Colborne to Mississaga streets.

“The arts district gets dismissed sometimes. We are here,” said Molly Farquharson, owner of Hibernation Arts, who helps organize the Art Walk.

The event sees artists bring their work onto the street. While the turnout has been increasing since the Art Walk began, artists would like to see more people stop by before or after enjoying dinner or drinks on a nearby patio.

“If people could buy art, we could afford to eat on the patios,” Farquharson said with a laugh.

The final Art Walk of the season will take place Aug. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. Organizers expect there will be more artists on the street and there could be interactive opportunities for kids.

Farquharson wants people to spread the word to help ensure the Art Walk series goes out with a bang.

“We’re trying to toot our own horns, but we need others to help us toot them,” she said.

Lucia McGarvey, who owns The Shadow Box, said she understands art might not be at the top of someone’s shopping list right now, but she noted there are many affordable pieces for sale, and any purchase helps artists who have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s really important that (restaurants) have this opportunity, but other small businesses need the community’s support,” she said. “If people are enjoying time on a patio, they can consider meandering into the arts district.”

McGarvey encourages people to check out the Aug. 21 Art Walk, even if they don’t purchase anything.

“Even positive comments to the artists go a long way,” she said.

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