Like many business and non-profit organizations in the valley, Covid19 and the accompanying health regulations have forced the Smithers Art Gallery to take a hard look at how to stay relevant and provide support to visual artists and the wider community.
While the gallery was closed to the public from mid-March to June staff continued to develop new opportunities for the community. During this time, the gallery created a new website with online exhibitions, an online shop supporting artists and artisans in the region, and created online art workshops for kids using YouTube and Facebook.
“We took time during our closure to re-evaluate how to run exhibitions if we were able to re-open in some manner,” gallery manager Nicole Chernish said. “This included working with the Skeena Salmon Festival, the Terrace Art Gallery and the Misty Rivers Art Centre (Hazelton) to develop something new that reflected our current situation.”
The gallery re-opened June 1 with social distancing regulations in place. June and July each had a POP UP gallery featuring multiple local artists who were unable to have a “regular” show due to limitations on gatherings. While visits were lower than a typical show, locals and visitors were pleased to be able to see artwork in person again.
This month the Gallery is presenting an all new Skeena Salmon Art Show in collaboration with the Skeena Salmon Festival, the Terrace Art Gallery and the Misty Rivers Art Centre. Pre-Covid19, the plan was to tour the show between the three communities.
After realizing the “typical” art show wouldn’t work this year, the idea came together to distribute wooden hearts to be returned to the galleries as finished art pieces. Each of the shows in Terrace, Smithers and Hazelton would run simultaneously as an auction, both online and in the galleries if COVID regulations allowed.
The response was inspiring, Chernish said. More 200 hearts were sent out to artists and community members, and at least 95 per cent were returned with incredible art speaking to themes of salmon, salmon ecosystems, connection to place, and the care and compassion happening in our communities during this challenging time.
The art ranged in skill level from professional to kids doing art with their parents and Smithers Art Camps and came from artists of many cultures and backgrounds. But they shared the same sense of community and connection that is a part of living in this northern Skeena region.
“As the initial impacts of COVID slowly shift from shock to resignation and sadness for the mental health impacts we see on the rise, it becomes more important than ever to stay connected and to bring people together in whatever ways we can,” Chernish said. “Gallery staff hope that this show has offered some beauty and joy for the community to help carry us through to an easier time.”
Next month the gallery is planning a Members Show (Sept. 4 – Nov. 7). Artists who are members of the gallery can each submit up to three pieces.
– Submitted article
Dry summer shrinks N.S. lake, revealing 'works of art' in ancient Mi'kmaw artifacts – CBC.ca
The dry summer shrank a lake in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, revealing ancient Mi’kmaw artifacts and starting a conversation about how to best preserve such finds.
Aaron Taylor, an archeologist, has seen both recent finds — a point likely prepared for a spear and an arrowhead.
“They’re works of art,” he told CBC News in a phone interview. “The person making this, their family ate or didn’t eat, depending on how well their tools are [made].”
Taylor, who teaches at Saint Mary’s University and Acadia University, has excavated sites such as the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage site, Beechville Black Refugee site and the Gaspereau Lake pre-contact site.
Both recent finds were likely made and used about 1,500 years ago, he said, as the material came from a quarry Mi’kmaw people used around that time. The larger point was left half undone.
“Which means that the person using it was trying to make it into a point, but for some reason gave up on it, Taylor said. “It’s a beautiful piece, well-worked, but they didn’t continue on to create what was going to be an arrowhead or a point.”
Location shows Mi’kmaw trade routes
Taylor said it would likely have taken a skilled toolmaker half a day to turn the raw materials into a completed point. He speculates they may have detected a flaw in the stone that would have led it to break, so they abandoned it.
The point was found about 100 kilometres from the quarry, showing the long-distance trade routes Mi’kmaw people used, he said.
“The Mi’kmaq used rivers like we use highways,” he said. “All the rivers are places with high potential to find First Nations materials: points, arrowheads, scrappers, pottery.”
He said the people who made the artifacts likely lived in villages of 30-50 people and would have been well connected to other similarly sized Mi’kmaw villages and traded across Mi’kma’ki and into today’s Ohio Valley.
Taylor is working to create a better way to study the land and predict where Mi’kmaw people would have lived in different periods of their 13,000 years — and counting — in this land. That will make it easier to find artifacts and learn more about their lives, he said.
Currently, most finds are like these two recent ones where people stumble over them while hunting or fishing.
“It’s great to have it, but most of the information comes from what it was associated with. Where it was found, where in the stratum it was found,” he said.
A window into the deep past
Many such finds are eventually preserved at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.
No one from the museum was available for an interview about these finds, but Katie Cottreau-Robins, curator of archeology at the museum, said the artifacts are “significant and speak to Mi’kmaw pre-history in the province.”
She said the changing climate has been exposing artifacts that long lay covered. More people contact the museum these days to share their finds, she said in an email.
She said if someone finds such an artifact, they should leave it in place and contact the museum.
“A new find may represent a new site. New sites contribute very important information to our collective understanding of the Mi’kmaq before and after the colonial presence,” she wrote.
“Some individuals have donated private collections of artifacts to the museum. The artifacts are visited and studied by the Mi’kmaq, students, community members, and the archeology professional community. They are exhibited and loaned to organizations and used in teaching and training.”
Roger Lewis, curator of ethnology at the museum, said publishing the location of such finds can lead to treasure hunting and “looting,” so CBC is not publishing the name of the lake where they were discovered.
Two modern fishers find ancient tools
Leah Stultz found the point while on a fishing trip in the Annapolis Valley.
“We were walking along where normally it would be filled with water, the lake bed, and I found it,” she said. “I noticed the colour first. It was so vibrant and out of place.”
She picked it up and put it in her pocket as a curiosity. She later learned of its significance.
Nicholas Clark found the arrowhead in the same area as he walked over the cracked earth that would usually be flooded.
“I was looking where I was walking so I wouldn’t break an ankle,” he said. “I noticed what looked like an arrowhead sitting in the mud.”
He collected the find and has stored it in his home for now.
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Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show – Abbotsford News
The Abbotsford Arts Council is now accepting applications for its sixth annual Anonymous Art Show fundraiser.
The show runs as a digital exhibition from Nov. 1 to 30 at abbotsfordartscouncil.com, and artists can apply until Oct. 10.
The show enables the community to support emerging artists and gives the buyer an opportunity to take home an artist’s original work at an affordable price.
The Anonymous Art Show features art that is submitted anonymously by members of the community of all ages and skill levels to be featured and sold in a lightly juried exhibition.
Each piece displayed in the show is on a 12” x 12” x 1.5” canvas and is sold for $100. Half the proceeds go to the artist, and the other half stays with the Abbotsford Arts Council.
When a piece is purchased, the work will be marked as sold and the artist’s name revealed. The Abbotsford Arts Council will announce each participating artist on Instagram @abbotsfordartscouncil as their work is sold.
The proceeds help fund programs such as free community events, exhibition space, arts initiatives and more.
Artists may submit their application online at abbotsfordartscouncil.com until Oct. 10, and the completed works must be delivered to the Kariton Art Gallery (2387 Ware St.) on Oct. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. or by pre-arranged appointment.
The House of Fine Art (2485 West Railway St.) will include a $5 coupon (to be used toward a future purchase) with the purchase of the required pre-stretched canvas.
Visit the arts council’s website or email email@example.com for more information.
SC Rewind: The 1971 Art Derby – Standardbred Canada
Published: September 26, 2020 11:35 am ET
In the current edition of Rewind Robert Smith recalls a rather novel promotion from 50 years ago that was spearheaded by Bill Galvin, longtime Publicity official of the Ontario Jockey Club. It was a pretty ingenious endeavor that attracted the attention of a huge number of participants.
Fifty years ago The Ontario Jockey Club was a very well organized and successful entity. Their tracks were state of the art (two of the three fairly recently completed) and the on-track product rivalled any jurisdiction then in existence. The O.J.C. Publicity department was a very active segment of the operation and did a first-class job of promoting current and future events and happenings. They also were always eager to seek out new fans, even the youngsters, many of whom attended the races with their parents.
In 1971 under the guidance of Bill Galvin, future Hall of Fame writer and communicator, the Publicity folks repeated an exciting promotion called Art Derby For Kids. Previous competitions had been based on poetry, this one on art. The subject of the latest Art Derby was a Standardbred mare named Superior Princess and her young daughter Hieland Barbara. Both of these fine-looking animals were owned by Mrs. Edith Hie of Cobourg, Ont. It was through the generosity of Mrs. Hie and her husband Cliff that these two were “loaned” to Bill Galvin for this interesting event.
In order to be eligible for the 1971 Art Derby the child had to be 12 years or younger by October 15, which was the closing date for the competition. The task at hand was for the child to submit a creative drawing of Superior Princess and her daughter. It was to be drawn on any size piece of paper up to 20 x 24 inches using any type of pen or pencil. Included in the permissible tools were watercolours, magic markers, poster colors and acrylics. Oils were not acceptable. An entrant who met the age qualifications could submit as many drawings as they wished.
Children who wished to get a close-up view of Superior Princess and her cute little foal were advised to tune in to the Uncle Bobby Show, a long-running children’s program of that time. This popular educational show was then in its eighth year and aired daily except Sunday on Toronto’s CFTO which was Channel 9. For those not in the Toronto viewing area there were six other locations with varying dates throughout August and early September to choose from. So wide was the viewing area that it included the cities of Windsor, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax, Regina and even St. John’s, Nfld.
Owner Cliff Hie holds broodmare Superior Princess while her foal is attended to by a visitor on the Uncle Bobby Show. A TV cameraman catches all of the action. That’s “Uncle Bobby” with the striped trousers. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Two judges were selected to oversee the Canada-wide competition. Mrs. Kay Boa, Head of the Art Dept. at Ridley College in St. Catherines, and Barry MacKay, a bird artist and naturalist were chosen. Mr. MacKay was a regular guest on the Uncle Bobby Show.
The grand prize for winning the 1971 Art Derby was a fully paid trip to the fabulous new Disney World in Orlando, Florida via Eastern Air Lines. The first prize also included the teacher of the winner who would accompany the child. This was a major prize as Disney World had just opened at this time and very few people had visited there.
AND THE WINNER IS…
In October of 1971 the winner of the contest was announced. That lucky person was 11-year-old Kim Thoms, daughter of Wm. and Ann Thoms, and a student at Beverly Acres School in Richmond Hill, Ont. A horse lover, Kim created her prize-winning art during her spare time at school. The judges commented that Kim’s art was an excellent piece which went beyond the horse and it was obvious that she put a great deal of effort into her work.
Taking second prize of $50 was Teri Lynn Maxwell of Scarborough, Ont. with third going to Melanie LeMarchant of Cobourg, Ont. who received $25. Jackie Cameron of Amherst, N.S. and Heather Fisher of Morinville, Alta. both received honourable mention.
Three Derbies were held in the years 1969, 1970 and 1971 all with similar formats. They reached huge audiences through newspapers, magazines including extensive front-page coverage in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. The total media coverage for the three Derbies was 9,236,400. It was estimated that this year’s event attracted 300,000 viewers on the TV programs when the mare and foal were guests.
Bill put on a lot of “neat” promotions and special events back in the day. He staged donkey races, arranged for Santa Claus to land in the centrefield, put on sleigh rides for kids, held Christmas dinners for the horsemen and that’s just a small sampling of his many endeavors.
Quote For The Week: “A smile can start a conversation without saying a word.”
Who Is It?
Around the same time as the contest described in today’s Rewind (within a year or two) another version of the Art Derby was held. Can you name the three people in the above photo as they appear in the TV studio with that year’s “celebrities”. Second from left is the TV show host Uncle Bobby. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Where Was It?
Can you identify where this famous photo was taken? Now how about naming the winning horse and driver and what event was taking place. That’s a lot but I’ll bet our experts will come up with it. (Hoof Beats Photo)
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