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UBCO urban-art project adds colour and vibrancy to city spaces – UBC Faculty of Medicine

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The mural represents a CTQ Consultants engineering project that helped protect fish habitat at Harrison Hot Springs.

Murals animate public spaces and add a sense of pride to communities

A UBC Okanagan visual arts instructor used a large concrete wall as a canvas, piles of scaffolding and gallons of paint to turn a summer art course into an urban beautification project.

David Doody, a UBCO Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) alumnus, has been active in the public art realm since completing his degree in 2006. As a visual arts instructor and a member of the Uptown Mural Project, he decided to take a summer art course to a whole new level.

The Kelowna Uptown Mural Project is supported by the Uptown Rutland Business Association. As its artistic director, Doody works to plan each of the urban art murals, connecting artists with the project and working on the project management.

“The uptown mural project grew out of a desire to bring more art to public spaces,” Doody says. “By creating exciting and energetic works of public art, we are transforming our communities into dynamic open-air galleries.”

Doody has been part of UBCO’s department of creative studies for the past two years, where he teaches painting, drawing and sculpture. This summer he taught a fourth-year painting class, leading the students through the many steps necessary to plan, pitch and deliver a public mural.

“UBC’s department of creative studies partnered with CTQ Consultants to create this exciting new art education experience for BFA students,” says Doody. “This course gave students an experience common to painting murals including the use of projectors, mechanical lifts, and a variety of paint applications and techniques.”

For this summer project the students worked to create a full-scale permanent public mural in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District. Over the course of the five-week class in July and August, the students met and worked collaboratively to paint a colourful two-storey mural adjacent to the CTQ Consultants building on St. Paul Street.

CTQ Consultants were enthusiastic about supporting the first UBCO mural course, says founding partner Matt Cameron, adding that they have had positive previous experiences building portions of the campus as well as creating the first-ever engineering scholarship which is now a bursary into perpetuity.

“Although we submitted many of our projects to help David create the CTQ mural, showcasing our 2020 theme of community, we asked that he select an appropriate reflection of what CTQ means to our community and what the community means to CTQ. What David chose was one of our highlights and challenges which turned into an amazing project at Harrison Hot Springs.”

Cameron explains a project where an old pump was inefficient in moving floodwaters, creating a fish mortality rate of 100 per cent. Cameron came up with an old concept—an Archimedes Screw pump which originally was created in 250 BC—and added power to it. The pump was painted a fish-friendly canary yellow and, once operational, reached the goals of both reduction of fish mortality to under 2 per cent and safe handling of any potential floodwaters.

“This collaboration with UBCO and CTQ, combined with the hard work of many individuals, has given the students an opportunity to create their masterpiece in our parking lot on the north-facing wall at CTQ’s Kelowna office. This is a great addition and our entire team is proud to have been a part of cheering up the downtown core,” adds Cameron.

Street art initiatives and murals have revitalized urban centres across the country, adds Doody. These open-air public galleries add a splash of colour onto aging architecture and breathe new life into their surrounding communities.

“These vibrant and bold contributions to the neighbourhood, are celebrated by locals and tourists all year round,” he says. “They are recognized as important sites for contemporary Canadian culture.”

Learn more about the uptown mural project at: www.uptownmurals.com

About UBC’s Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

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3 designs pitched for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia – CBC.ca

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Three teams pitched their designs on Thursday night for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) as part of a planned arts district on the Halifax waterfront.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia hosted a live stream on YouTube with each team’s presentations.

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and “so much loss and struggle,” Jennifer Angel, president and CEO of Develop Nova Scotia, said she knows some people are asking whether now is the right time for a new gallery.

But she said social infrastructure matters as a way to bring people from different backgrounds together and build understanding and community.

“It may never have mattered more,” Angel said.

She added they hope to do for art galleries what the Halifax Central Library has done for libraries, building a “thriving destination” for people of all backgrounds.

Who are the design finalists?

The design teams noted their suggestions and renderings may look final but aren’t, since whoever wins the bid will then go into more extensive public consultations about the gallery and new arts district.

The finalists in the six-month international design competition are:

  • Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones.
  • DIALOG, Acre Architects, Brackish Design Studio and Shannon Webb-Campbell.
  • KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar.

The first team up was Architecture49, whose design had the gallery lifted above the streetscape on tree-like columns, enabling pedestrians to see the harbour all the way from the street in an “urban living room.” People can also stop into the café, lobby, shop and various places to sit and relax.

They are suggesting a “village” of smaller, flexible spaces on top of this platform, while some of the design, like the lecture theatre, extends down to the ground. There would also be a new grove of local trees dubbed the Salter Grove, a floating barge for art, and large lawn space.

A rendering of the Architecture49 design. (Architecture49 )

The team said they wanted to keep the ground floor as accessible as possible and allow people to approach the gallery from all angles, while putting the galleries above sea level protects them from coastal erosion and flooding.

There would be a boardwalk on the harbour side with public art, a permanent outdoor stage and a garden courtyard. The roof of the gallery would be public as well and would overlook the water and Georges Island.

The DIALOG team presented second, and focused on the theme of a “people’s gallery” with a shape inspired by a whale and fog settling on the land.

An image of the DIALOG design concept. (DIALOG)

By touching down in two spots, the building would create a covered arch for outdoor shows and events, and nearby they would open up the pavement to showcase an underground freshwater stream flowing down from Salter Street.

There would be a driftwood park and colourful, hanging buoys for kids to play on, as well as an elevator where people could digitally paint images, and a salon focused on Black Nova Scotian beauty skills.

While all three designs included Indigenous voices, elders and team members, the third from KPMB Architects built Mi’kmaw imagery and culture into the facade itself.

It is shaped like an eel, culturally important to the Mi’kmaq, while the Lower Water Street main entrance is peaked to represent the hats of Mi’kmaw matriarchs.

A harbour view of the proposed design from KPMB Architects. (KPMB Architects)

The waterfront would be divided between an inner lagoon and outer harbour waterfront that could have lots of floating elements for research, art and food, including a harbour pool.

All three teams incorporated some kind of living shoreline to work with the changing climate, such as including salt marshes or sea walls that will weather storms or allow beach access on calm days.

While the public still has a chance to weigh in online or at the current AGNS where there are physical models of the designs, the province said an expert panel of architects, a landscape architect, artists and museum professionals will make the final decision late next month.

When the project was announced last year, the price tag was pegged at $130 million.

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Beach artist Gail Williams part of Art Walk in the Square – Beach Metro News

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Beach resident Gail Williams will be taking part in the upcoming online Art Walk in the Square event. Williams is shown here with her painting A Gathering of Friends. Photo: Submitted.

By ALAN SHACKLETON

Local artist Gail Williams will be taking part in the upcoming Art Walk in the Square online event.

A longtime Beach resident, Williams will be among a group of approximately 100 artists who will have their works featured in the show which takes place from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9.

Normally Art Walk in the Square takes place at the Shops at Don Mills, but like numerous other public events this year it has had to go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Art Walk in the Square is presented by Riverdale Art Walk and the Leslie Grove Gallery on Queen Street East.

Williams told Beach Metro News that the pandemic is having an enormously negative impact on artists and their ability to both showcase and create their work.

“When the lockdown was announced, I was among many artists who were devastated by the cancellation of art events,” said in an email interview.

“Deplorably, artists’ income is 44 per cent less than the average yearly Canadian earning, so not having the spring season to show and sell art was a huge financial blow. Also, I share studio space, as do many other artists, and at the beginning of the crisis I was not able to use my regular workplace. Shifting to an at-home studio set-up was a physical and mental challenge that impacted my creativity.”

Like many other people who have had to shift the way they do things today as opposed to before the pandemic, Williams said she is adapting to the current reality of virtual and online art shows and creation.

“Instagram and Facebook have provided a wonderful opportunity to be artistically active, not only in selling my art but in creating online courses,” she said.

“Through social media, I’m connecting with more people who are spending more time at home and noticing they could fill a wall with art. I’m using more video and creating more ‘process’ content through social media.”

Williams said she’s also using social media and other websites to share how her art is created with those who are interested in learning more about how her abstract art is made.

“People love to see behind the scenes and how my abstract art is made because I create unconventional paintings in unconventional ways. Most significantly, my acrylic and collage painting has shifted dramatically to a commentary on the pandemic, social injustices, and an enhanced global consciousness. The characters and scenes appearing in my recent works reflects the unease of our current social and political climate.”

Along with dealing with the pandemic, many artists are also taking active roles in calling for increased social justice and standing up against racism.

“In addition to supporting charities focused on anti-Black racism and social justice, local artists are spearheading neighbourhood projects to raise awareness of the issues, such as the mural at the Michael Garron Hospital,” said Williams.

“In terms of representation, which is a vital issue throughout the arts, I’ve noticed Black artists being featured much more as we respond to the injustice of anti-Black racism.”

Art Walk in the Square is a juried online event and will feature more than 2,000 original art works on display. The art can be viewed and purchased online through the event site at https://www.artwalksquare.ca/

Proceeds from sales go directly to the artists.

Williams said she is happy that Art Walk in the Square has adapted and is taking place online.

“I’m excited that the show will go on and that support for local artists can continue to grow in new and creative ways,” she said.
Williams will have 25 works on display at Art Walk in the Square, including A Gathering of Friends.

There will be some limited opportunities, following COVID-19 safety protocols, for some of the art works to be viewed in person at some of the artists’ studios.

For more on the in-person viewing opportunities, please visit https://www.artwalksquare.ca/ or follow @artwalksquare on Instagram for details.

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Out of the gallery and onto the streets: Moving Pictures brings art to Sask. communities through app – Regina Leader-Post

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The posters are located in core parts of Regina such as downtown, on 13th Avenue and in Wascana Park, but also in some places you may not expect, like in the parking lots of big box stores.

“We really want people who might not be seeking them out to just kind of by chance encounter the posters,” said Moore.

The videos that the posters unlock tell Saskatchewan stories. Moore said the aim is to try not to represent just one stereotypical vision of the province, but reflect a variety of personal experiences.

One of the new videos that will be coming out on Sept. 26 for Culture Days is by David Garneau and is called Hoop Dancers. It depicts four men in powwow regalia playing a game of basketball.

Another piece by Graeme Patterson called Lafleche vs. Woodrow 1972 is a stop-motion video that shows a historical hockey game being played between two small towns.

An image from David Garneau’s piece featured in Movie Pictures. The piece is called Hoop Dancers, and features men in powwow regalia playing basketball. Photo by Courtesy Art Gallery of Regina

Ian Campbell, who worked on a collage using 35-millimetre film with fellow artist Heidi Phillips, called the project a great way to engage with the community as well as showcase pieces by filmmakers.

“I make mostly film and sometimes it’s harder to get your film into the gallery, so this is a nice way for filmmakers to sort of take up space in the community in a different way,” said Campbell.

While some of the project’s conceit was finding an innovative way to showcase art during the pandemic, Moore also thought it was an opportunity to make art more accessible.

“Maybe just being an art gallery that’s free and open to the public is not enough to be inviting to people. Maybe we need to get out on the streets and engage people in ways that they feel comfortable with,” said Moore.

Residents can visit www.artgalleryofregina.ca for a list of locations of the posters. Moore said residents are also encouraged to request posters in their community, or suggest locations for posters.

The Moving Pictures project runs until Oct. 14. The Artivive app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The video projects can also be viewed online at vucavu.com.

REGINA, SASK : September 24, 2020  -- A poster for the Moving Pictures art project, which is posted on the corner of Angus Street and 13th Avenue in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 24, 2020.  BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
A poster for the Moving Pictures art project, which is posted on the corner of Angus Street and 13th Avenue in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 24, 2020. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

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