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Vadodara-based gallery launches e-exhibition for art grads – CanIndia News



New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANSlife) In the spirit of promoting the works of recent art graduates and at the same time, connecting young first-time collectors with affordable artworks, Vadodara-based Gallery Ark has launched their first virtual exhibition titled ‘Embark III’ for the promising talent of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

This annual exhibition spotlights a selection of young artists, a year after they complete the Masters programme at the institution. This year, the show has taken on a whole new form, reflecting the reality of the times and the necessity to follow a more pared-down approach.

Being home-bound in the past few months for extended periods of time has sparked self-reflection and introspection. The word ‘normal’ finds new meaning as we slowly settle into new methods and schedules. In adjusting with this new lifestyle, several topics have surfaced, drawing attention, and encouraging dialogue.

The body and its occupations; the engagement of the individual with their own bodies and the increased distances (social and physical) between bodies, have cropped up in discussions. From initial instructions by health officials and government agencies about hand hygiene and avoiding touching the face to suggestions on even how to hug during a pandemic, the body and its health are at the centre of the new habits we now develop.

According to the gallery, the works presented in this edition of Embark come from the artists’ preoccupations and areas of inquiry over the past two or three years, now viewed through the prism of our current reality. While each artist brings their individual inquiries to the table, the change in status quo encourages us to view all these works through a common lens. The denominator here being, spaces; bodies; and their relation.

Gallery Director Nupur Dalmia said, “Every year, a new crop of young artists graduate; the year after graduation is often a difficult and tumultuous time for them. As a part of the contemporary art ecosystem, we felt it was important to create a platform to support promising talent at this critical point in their careers, which is what led us to create “Embark” as an annual exhibition. This year, the logistics of selection and display were much trickier, but we are delighted to finally have been able to pull off the exhibition in its digital iteration. We hope the curation will excite our audience and be a valuable source of support for this wonderful group of artists.”

The works of art have been priced affordably, with most under Rs 10,000. The gallery said all proceeds from the sale of artworks will go directly to the artists.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at



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Calgary community ups its art game with powerful youth murals –



What does 2020 mean to you? 

That was the seed planted in three young Calgary artists and it grew into huge, colourful, thought-provoking murals now on display in the northwest community of Sunnyside.

“This is the first mural I have ever done,” Daniel Volante told CBC News.

“I have never used spray paint before and I have never done anything this big before, so it’s been quite the process. I am learning a lot.”

Daniel Volante, 17, is calling his mural Dreamer. It’s about wanting to do a lot but having COVID-19 restrictions put everything on hold. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The 17-year-old’s mural, Dreamer, is bookended by the art of two other teens on shipping containers at a Sunnyside park just southeast of the Kensington Safeway.

Volante says he’s spent several hours a day for three weeks putting together his contribution to containR, a pop up arts and culture hub organized by Springboard Performance.

“I wanted it to look dream like. A lot of the colours are vibrant. I used a blue to outline everything,” he explained.

This is Jaxson Naugler’s mural. He wanted to show a connection between humans and nature. (Mary Annan)

“I found this piece in myself. It’s a pretty personal piece. I was inspired by how I felt during the last four months. I’ve been dreaming and thinking a lot. I want to do everything but in the last four months stuck at home, it’s just not coming out. That’s what this piece means to me.”

And that’s exactly what Springboard was looking for, the artistic director says.

“What does 2020 mean to you? That was the starting point,” Nicole Mion said.

“The best art comes with what is most meaningful to you. That’s a great place to always start.”

The murals will be at the Sunnyside location, just southeast of the Kensington Safeway, for a few more weeks. (Mary Annan)

The containR program started in 2009, perhaps ironically, as a way to combat vandalism.

“While it started as a way of deterring tagging, it became a way of sharing incredible art,” Mion said.

Springboard had a call out for artists. A jury narrowed the applications to three.

Daniel Volante calls his piece Dreamer. This is near the start of his mural. (Rich-Belle Banasen)

Their canvas is a shipping container about nine feet by 40 feet (roughly three by 12 metres).

“The point of containR is to connect communities with art,” Mion said.

“You can see performances, you can play music, you can see family theatre, you can see a whole series of murals. Like any park, you go to play, you go to connect in the way you feel comfortable.”

Kate MacLean wanted to make a statement about equality and beauty in her mural, called Eclipse. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Another artist, 15-year-old Kate MacLean, was uncomfortable with some of what she sees as media representation of people of colour.

“The Black woman on the left depicts the sun. The Asian woman on the right depicts the moon,” MacLean explained.

In an eclipse, they are together. So that’s what MacLean has named her piece.

“I wanted the opportunity to paint people of different ethnicities. Different kinds of people are equally beautiful.”

Kate MacLean works on her mural, called Eclipse, which shows two woman of different ethnicities side-by-side. Her message is everyone is beautiful. (Rich-Belle Banasen)

Jaxson Naugler wanted to make a point about interconnectivity in his art.

“A human and a tree. The person’s face turns into a tree. That’s the most important connection,” the 17-year-old said.

“I also added some trippy, colourful stuff on the other side to show that, yes, these two things are connected, but also everything in the universe is connected.”

Jaxson Naugler, 17, is a Calgary-based visual artist. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Naugler says it’s reaction to his work that he most enjoys.

“My favourite part is just hearing what people think it means,” he said.

“Everybody thinks it means something else. It could mean a thousand different things. People’s interpretation is my favourite part.”

The murals will be on display for a few more weeks.

Teen artist Jaxson Naugler works on his mural, which depicts the connection between people and nature. (Rich-Belle Banasen)

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Art meets recreation – Smithers Interior News



The Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre has been splashed with some colour.

The outside wall facing the highway is now home to a new mural done by Raven-Tacuara Professional Arts Collective. It is now halfway complete.

Raven-Tucuara is a First Nations art group based in northwest B.C. They say their name is humble nod to the Eagle-Condor prophecy of a united First Nations peoples across the Americas.

Facility Manager Tamara Gillis said this mural project has been in the works for a number of years now and they have been seeking grant funding to make it happen.

“This year we supported an application of the BV Community Arts Council to Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation grant program for this project,” she said. “We are very pleased that the grant funding was awarded.”

The art piece does have First Nations influence and Gillis said the artists ensured that protocols for image design were followed.

“Public art has many benefits and is an excellent way to bring joy and pride to the community,” Gillis added. “We are pleased that our building will be showcased with this large scale mural and enhance the highway corridor through the Town of Smithers. This mural will benefit both locals and those travelling though. This is especially true during this strange time of COVID-19.”

One of the five artists working on the mural is Facundo Gastiazoro. He’s an Argentinian born with a Wichi/Lebanese background. Wichi are First Nations peoples of South America. He currently lives in Smithers.

He said the inspiration for the piece came from children playing.

“Water and the joy when you dive in,” he said. “That moment of being in the air and being super happy, that is the inspiration. I remember being a kid and knowing that I’m going to splash everyone and it is fun and lovely and everything is OK and beautiful.”

Stephanie Anderson is also part of the collective working on the mural and is from the Laksilyu (small frog) Clan. Her family is from Witset and she currently lives in Terrace. Her artwork has won regional and national awards and has been shown across B.C. including at the Vancouver (YVR) airport.

She said there is something special about working close to home.

“I find Smithers to be an awesome, colourful, friendly community,” she added. “I like having my artwork closer to home and also I like putting up some work in Wet’suwet’en territory. I find the community work to be a big draw.”

The one wall is done and the team is waiting for the stucco on the wall facing the arena to be fixed before adding more artwork there.

“It is really awesome, I like how our design has come to life. It is vibrant and really fun,” Anderson said. “We tried a new technique and overlaid the design over the base colours and are happy with the results.”

The other two artists in the collective working on the mural are Amanda Dionne Hugon and Travis Hebert. The collective also hired a student, Robyn Lough, to join them on this project.

There is currently no completion date at this time as the collective is waiting for the repairs to be done on the wall and their canvas first.

Raven-Tacuara are also commissioned to do a mural honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on the sides of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre building later this summer (See article Page A12).

Bulkley-Nechako Regional DistrictSmithers

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Raven-Tacuara Professional Arts Collective working on the mural. (BV Regional Pool and Recreation Centre Facebook photo)

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Group giving out food, essentials, art supplies to Sudbury's homeless community –



Once a week, on Tuesdays, Memorial Park in downtown Sudbury is briefly transformed. 

A table set up by Myths and Mirrors Community Arts staff welcomes the city’s homeless community, offering a hot meal, and an assortment of items — from first aid kits and water bottles, to hand decorated journals, candles and art supplies. 

“People deserve nice things, and that’s what we really believe in,” said Abbey Jackson, one of the organizers.

The weekly redistribution, as the group calls it, is a reinvention of a Myths and Mirrors program Jackson co-founded in 2019, called Sudbury Street Arts. It offered a drop-in space for people living in poverty, to warm up, use Wi-Fi, and have a hot meal — and make art together. 

People who are living outside … [were] denied a dignified experience of the pandemic.— Abbey Jackson, Sudbury Street Arts co-founder

Like many programs, it was put on hold because of the pandemic. 

“We were kind of battling with that because we felt like we had already made the commitment to this community,” said Cora-Rae Silk, the artistic director with Myths and Mirrors. 

So last month, Silk and Jackson decided to continue the program, in a new setting, hoping to meet people’s immediate needs, as well offer small comforts and opportunity for creativity.  

Pandemic amplified challenges 

The need for programs like Sudbury Street Arts is greater than ever, Jackson says. She herself was previously homeless in Toronto, and knows first hand how difficult it is to get by day-to-day. She says those challenges have been amplified as many services were scaled back, or simply not available, during the pandemic.  

Abbey Jackson is the co-founder of Sudbury Street Arts. She wants to give people living in poverty in Sudbury the dignity they deserve as they navigate the pandemic. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

“People who are living outside and living in extreme poverty were in a lot of ways denied a dignified experience of the pandemic,” Jackson said. 

“People are put in this position where they have to grovel, they have to beg. It’s humiliating just to use a bathroom, find a place to stay and eat a meal.”

With Sudbury Street Arts, Jackson says there are “no expectations, no conditions.” 

Adam McMillan has been homeless for eight months. He agrees the pandemic has presented extra challenges.

“When the rich people feel the pinch and the normal people are really struggling, the homeless people really take the brunt of it,” McMillan said. 

Adam McMillan stopped by Memorial Park for a hot meal, and also took some other supplies. He’s been without a place to live for the past eight months, and says the pandemic has hit homeless populations hardest. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

‘Beautiful things can happen’

On Tuesday afternoon, McMillan grabbed lunch — a bowl of chili and a muffin — along with some other items to put in his backpack, including pencils and a small green notebook. He says he plans to draw, and write songs. 

Organizers hope many, like McMillan, will find moments for creativity.

“We want people to not only be safe and be as comfortable as they can out here, we also want them to be able to do things that they enjoy,” Jackson said. 

Along with food and hygiene products, people can help themselves to items like books and art supplies. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Jackson says she knows many talented artists within Sudbury’s homeless community, but she says the opportunity to put those talents to use if often out of reach, as people focus on the “full time job” of survival. 

“We know that if we can provide the support and the means, even the materials to make art to people who can’t afford them, then some beautiful things can happen.” 

A group in Sudbury has started giving out food, hygiene products and other items, once a week, in a downtown park. It’s a re-imagination of an arts program that was put on hold because of the pandemic. 8:27

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