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Tiny art gallery enchants Sackville –



Sackville, N.B.’s newest art gallery has a prime spot on Main street, at the entrance to the town’s beloved waterfowl park.

Inside, spectators take in the art that features paintings, collages and sculptures. Off in the corner, a lone man in a business suit appears to be caught in the all too common faux pas of only showing up for the refreshments.

But artist Kamaya Lindquist doesn’t mind, because the spectators inside Sackville’s Little Free Art Gallery aren’t real.  But the art is.

The gallery is a miniature diorama, set on a post, where it’s been open to the public for a month.

The art is taken and added by whoever feels the urge. Co-creator Lindquist said no one is obliged to make a work of art if they don’t want to. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

“If you’ve heard of little free libraries, it’s about the same,” she said.

“You can leave books, you can take books, it’s a free exchange. This is much the same thing except for it’s miniature art.”

Lindquist came across the idea in an article which featured an artist who had done the same thing in Vancouver.

“I thought, ‘That sounds amazing’.”

Lindquist is Sackville’s Waterfowl Artist in Residence this year, and wrote up a proposal to the town, which was quickly approved.

She and collaborators Denise Garzon and Nicola Hamilton set to work constructing the miniature diorama, complete with a tiny plate of cheese and wine. A small ledge lines the walls, where the works of art are displayed. 

The gold bug, by Peter Lelievre is one of Lindquist’s favourite pieces to go through the gallery. She said she doesn’t know who makes most of the art, and finds it interesting to see which pieces stay for while and which ones come and go quickly. (Kamaya Lindquist/artist)

Lindquist said the response has been very positive.

“I think people are kind of surprised, but also really tickled by the idea, especially the kids,” she said.

“I know the first week I went to check on it and it was just full of kid’s art, which was really sweet to see.”

Lindquist isn’t sure how many mini art works have been exchanged, as she only checks on the gallery every few days, but she said there is a fresh batch of art at least every week.

Collaborator Denise Garzon, said, “I love the idea of free collaboration and community building through give and take, and art is always good.”

Lindquist checks on the gallery every few days, and said she’s continually delighted by the new works of art that appear. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Her favourite piece is still available.

“I really like the one that’s in there now, the red one with the monster eyes, it’s just like so bright and so in your face, it’s just very playful,” said Garzon.

Lindquist said a gold origami bug made by Peter Lelievre, and a miniature Pac Man arcade game stand out in her mind.  She doesn’t know who made the arcade game, but she was impressed with the details, including a little map for the tiny Pac Man to follow.

“It’s just delightful to, like, put it out in the world and then I get to be surprised all the time.”

With works of art on the walls and tiny spectators, Sackville’s Little Free Art gallery is hard to miss. 2:38

Lindquist said she would have done the tiny art gallery regardless of COVID, but she did draw some parallels. 

“It’s the same room every day and it’s the same people every day, in the same positions every day and there’s this sense of, like, screaming monotony,” she said.

“And yet we didn’t live in a vacuum, you know, the outside still came in and the inside when it needed to leave, it left, and I love this sort of reminder of, you know, we’re still connected even when we’re forced apart, we’re still connected.”

Lindquist said the gallery will be in place until the fall.

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Greenpoint This Week: Art Fair, Staycations and More –



Happy Weekend Greenpoint!

This weekend, The Other Art Fair is back in town, with affordable artworks ready for your post-quarantine redecorating plans.

If you’re eager to get out, plan a staycation in the neighborhood, for a change of scenery, without a sink full of dirty dishes. If you prefer your own pillows, consider just spending a day at one of our local outdoor pools. The newly opened Le Doggie Cool also has open cafe hours this Saturday, for pups to play in their backyard pool.

This week, we reported that Brooklyn Bowl is reopening in early September! Get your tickets now for upcoming parties and shows. If you’re looking for a free event, Friday night brings a screening of Frozen to Transmitter Park.

We also reported that a new community fridge has opened on Greenpoint Ave. near Transmitter Park. And shared some unfortunate news about a Greenpoint resident arrested for recording his female roommates without their consent.

Make sure to fit in your last visit to the Leonard Library before it closes for renovations on Monday, August 2. Worry not – Greenpoint Library is still up and running, with computer service and open seating also now available.

Don’t forget to check out our summer 2021 fashion sundae roundup for this season’s best local looks.

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The art of the deal: empty storefronts become gallery space to lure shoppers back downtown – CTV News Montreal



With many Montreal storefront real estate lying empty, some landlords have turned to the arts in a bid to bring people back downtown.

Where some would see a crisis in the decimating effect that online shopping and the COVID-19 pandemic has had on brick-and-mortar stores, Frederic Loury, who runs the Art Sousterrain festival, saw an opportunity.

“During the pandemic, I noticed it was a necessity to build a bridge between real estate and emerging artists,” he said.

Loury convinced several downtown landlords to lend available spaces to artists.

One of those artists, Dana Edmonds, now has storefront space in Alexis Nihon Plaza.

“I thought it was a really cool idea because I got to expose art, which doesn’t get exposed a lot,” she said. “It’s hard to get into galleries in the first place, so at least we can show our work.”

Edmonds is sharing her space with fellow artist Florence Gagnon, who said the initiative is giving people who don’t normally go to art galleries a chance to see what local talent has to offer.

“I think it’s a beautiful way to integrate art into places that don’t usually have it,” she said.

For the landlords, it’s a smart marketing opportunity and a way to get people shopping again.

“They were kind of afraid of coming back to Montreal, so basically this will make them want to come back and shop and visit some emerging artists that we have with Art Sousterrain,” said Alexis Nihon general manager Danny Thery.

Edmonds says that while her work might be in a store, she isn’t giving a hard sell to curious window shoppers.

“My work is kind of political, It’s commentary about over-consumption, mental health, climate change. I like the dialogue,” she said. “If I sell something, that’s great. If people just look at garbage a little differently, then I’m happy.”

Thus far, there are 30 stores being lent to artists downtown. Loury said he believes mixing art and retail will become a trend.

“Others have to rethink the model if they want to survive.” 

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Art Gallery of Ontario reopens with blockbuster Andy Warhol exhibition – Toronto Star



The Art Gallery of Ontario is betting on a blockbuster Andy Warhol retrospective to entice audiences back following a nine-month pandemic induced closure.

The aptly titled “Andy Warhol” exhibition, which opened to AGO members Wednesday, aims to bring biographic and cultural context to one of the most recognizable and divisive iconoclasts of the 20th century. Through 250 art works and ephemera, including a trio of Warhol’s infamous wigs and the manifest from his mother’s arrival at Ellis Island, “Andy Warhol” makes the argument that its subject is, as Kenneth Brummel, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Modern Art puts it, “due for a reassessment.”

Pointedly, “Andy Warhol” casts its subject as a product of circumstance. The first half of the exhibition is devoted to establishing Warhol’s working-class bona-fides: his humble upbringing as a child of Eastern European immigrants in Pittsburgh, moving to New York to work on commercial and advertising art before establishing himself as a figurehead of the counterculture. In contrast, the latter half moves beyond the biographical into Warhol’s obsession with mortality and religion, a perspective made all the more visceral when he was shot in 1968 by the feminist author Valerie Solanas (Solanas also shot art critic Mario Amaya, who happened to be at Warhol’s studio at the time and would, the following year, become the chief curator at the AGO).

A detail from a Marilyn Monroe image at the AGO's blockbuster Andy Warhol exhibition.

Presented across a massive section of the Gallery (twice the typical floor space to allow for physical distancing), the exhibition reframes the Pop Art Svengali by spotlighting some of Warhol’s lesser-known works while postulating that, as the homosexual son of poor Catholic immigrants, he was uniquely positioned to become the eminent art world translator of American culture.

To achieve this vantage point, the exhibition fleshes out the artist’s work as pointedly flawed and acerbic rather than the sleek, machine-like superficial mirror that has become the artist’s modern caricature. As such, seminal pieces including 1962’s “Marilyn Diptych” and 1964’s “Jackie Triptych” are presented couched in Warhol’s macabre obsessions and Catholic guilt, while the lesser seen “Ladies and Gentlemen” series, in which Warhol was commissioned to create portraits of New York’s Latin and African-American drag queens and trans women, is given pride of place, bluntly asking the viewer to confront the necropolitics of the work, both of its time and of modern day.

“We want to take Warhol as we understand him and make him strange again,” Brummel, who curated the AGO presentation following its debut last year at the Tate Modern in London, explains. “Our goal is to enrich understanding of Warhol as this bifurcated figure; more than a myth with a past.”

Andy Warhol's Karen Kain portraits are featured at the Art Gallery of Ontario's new retrospective.

In parallel, the AGO presentation subtly points out Warhol’s ties to both the gallery and the city. This connection is brought to bear via a selection of works exclusive to the Toronto stop, including multiple commissioned portraits of the ballet superstar Karen Kain and, fetchingly, a neon Wayne Gretzky, whose placement in juxtaposition to “Oxidation Painting” (which Warhol created by coating a canvas with wet copper paint and getting his friends to urinate on it) serves as a commentary on the artist’s own fraught relationship with celebrity, commerce and the art world.

Moreover, by purposely positioning the retrospective in divergence with the polished colourful imagery and pithy quotables that have come to define Warhol as a pop culture figure, Brummel says he hopes it will help salvage the artist’s reputation as a precursor for the disposable nature and lavish absurdisms of modern art.

“The reality is every good painter has to reckon with the cult of admiration,” he says, pointing to the late-era series, “Stitched Photographs,” in which the artist toyed with his own authenticity by stitching a series of reprinted photographs together to form a repeated pattern. “And Warhol was a formidable precursor.”

In the works since 2017, “Andy Warhol” had been intended to debut at the AGO in March of 2021 and joined exhibitions across the sector and around the world which had been delayed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

Stephan Jost, CEO of the AGO, stands near a massive Andy Warhol self portrait.

According to CEO Stephan Jost, while it undoubtedly caused a number of logistical and financial headaches, the pandemic also allowed for something all too rare in the field: a moment to reflect.

Speaking during a brief interview under a posthumous self-portrait of Warhol, Jost explains that over the past year he “learned to stop talking and listen.”

“[The pandemic] allowed us to ask ourselves what are we actually doing and why are we actually doing this? That’s framed as an existential question, but it actually reminded people why they do what they do,” he says. “What I discovered was, on a basic level, we’re doing fine and that’s because everybody, from the night guards to our board, pulled their weight. That gives you a lot of confidence”

In addition, Jost says the break gave the heads of many of the city’s cultural organizations a chance to retrench and consider how best to reinvigorate what has been one of the hardest hit sectors.

“We used to meet maybe quarterly and now it’s every two weeks,” he says of the group, which includes representatives from the National Ballet, Harbourfront Centre, Canadian Opera Company and Soulpepper Theatre. “We’re all trying to figure it out and it’s actually been great to find a common learning.”

As for the near future, Jost says he’s excited for the gallery to come “roaring back,” beginning with the Warhol exhibition, which runs until Oct. 24, to be joined by, beginning Oct. 9, a blockbuster exhibition focusing on Picasso’s Blue Period.

“It’s the best exhibition schedule the AGO has ever had,” Jost exclaims. “We want to be all in on culture.”

Jonathan Dekel is a freelance contributor based in Toronto.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

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