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Vancouver Art Gallery closes over coronavirus concerns – CityNews Vancouver

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Art Gallery is closing to the public on Monday due to concerns over COVID-19.

“In light of recent developments and our responsibility to help slow the spread and impact of COVID-19 across our communities, we have decided to close the gallery to the public effective today,” says a release from Irene Lo, communications specialist with the art gallery.

The closure includes all exhibitions, programs, events, rentals, 1931 Gallery Bistro, the Gallery Store, and art rental and sales.

The Art Auction Gala, scheduled for May 30, has been postponed.

The closure of the art gallery, located on Hornby Street, follows a decision by the City of Vancouver earlier Monday to close all non-essential municipal facilities, including libraries and community centres.

The art galley closure is for the immediate future, and it’s not clear when it will reopen.

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Forgery, drugs and sex abuse in the Canadian art world exposed in new documentary – Art Newspaper

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Kevin Hearn with the fake Norval Morrisseau painting he bought
© David Leyes

When Kevin Hearn, a keyboard player and guitarist in the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, bought a painting ostensibly by the pioneering Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, he never imagined he was about to become enmeshed in a sinister web of art forgery, drug dealing, and sexual assault stretching from Toronto to the snowy wilds of northern Ontario.

“I just wanted to buy a painting, really,” Hearn says in a new documentary directed by Jamie Kastner, There Are No Fakes, released via iTunes in the US last month (and due to appear later in the UK on SkyArts). “I found myself in this complex, dark story that went beyond art fraud.”

Hearn paid C$20,000 ($15,000) for a canvas called Spirit Energy of Mother Earth. But when he lent it to an exhibition a few years later, a curator sounded an alarm; it was not an authentic work by Morrisseau, a charismatic figure often described as the “Picasso of the North” who died in 2007.

There Are No Fakes recounts Hearn’s battle to get compensation for the fraudulent work, bought from the Toronto-based Maslak McLeod Gallery. The film’s host of colourful characters includes ivory-tower art historians, drug-addled forgers, thuggish art dealers and a predatory villain at the centre of the web: Gary Lamont, appearing in one photo wearing a row of giant gold rings like knuckle-dusters.

Hearn’s civil suit finally succeeded. After appealing an initial court decision against him, he was awarded C$60,000 ($41,700)in damages last year. Following a criminal investigation, Lamont was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 for sexual assault; police are still investigating the forgery ring. One art dealer in the film, Don Robinson, estimates that Lamont’s ring may have produced as many as 3,000 fake paintings.

“[It’s] the greatest art scam in Canadian history,” says Robinson, who suffered a stroke because of the stress he endured in his campaign against a market awash with forgeries. “The more you dive into a pool of garbage, the more you get to know the garbage within it,” says Ritchie Sinclair, Morrisseau’s former assistant and another key figure in exposing the scandal.

Kastner’s deep dive into this sordid, wintry world blasts sizeable holes in stereotypes about clean-living, law-abiding Canadians. It includes interviews with several eye-witnesses to the forgery operation, including one artist, Tim Tait, who says he painted works for Lamont, to which Morrisseau’s forged signature was later added.

“I did it to get my fix,” Tait says with endearing honesty. “Crack, coke, Oxycontin.”

Dallas Thompson, an accomplice of Lamont’s, recalls around 26 trips to Calgary to sell forged paintings over a three-month period in 2006 and 2007. But Thompson was also among the victims—he says Lamont raped him hundreds of times.

It is voices like Thompson’s that take this documentary beyond the true-crime genre: it is also an uplifting tale of broken people who muster the courage to take the enormous step of telling the truth. Thompson was the first to speak up in 2012: after that, other victims came forward.

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Public art work lights up for health care workers every night – Vancouver Sun

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Frank, working in collaboration with Smartlight and Reliance Properties, said the eight-metre long horizontal LED lights on the south-facing exterior will switch to a tribute light display in three stages: the first displays an all-over flickering twinkle pattern meant to visualize people in the building reaching out to connect, Frank said in a statement. The second stage follows a synchronous clapping movement; the final stage ends with a heartbeat.

“This program will light up every day (at 7 p.m.) for as long as we are fighting this pandemic,” Frank said.

Frank’s public light artwork on the south-side of West Pender Place at 1499 West Pender is in the process of being restored. After the work was originally installed in 2011, the horizontal LED light strips started to leak and short out, ruining the installation.

Last year, the LEDs in the east tower were replaced with better quality light strips; the ones on the 130-metre, 36-storey west tower are scheduled to be replaced this year.

kevingriffin@postmedia.com

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Public art work lights up for health care workers every night – The Province

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Low angle detail view of Dutch artist Tamar Frank’s LED displays she created for the tower at 1499 West Pender in Vancouver.

Ian Lindsay / Vancouver Sun

The public art light work at 1499 West Pender has been reprogrammed to change into a special pattern every evening at 7 p.m. for three minutes to honour B.C.’s healthcare workers

Pixels in public art are twinkling for health care workers in Coal Harbour.

On the 10-storey east tower of West Pender Place, the public art light work has been reprogrammed to change into a special pattern every evening at 7 p.m. for three minutes when British Columbians make noise on their balconies, from their windows, and outside in their yards to support front-line workers.

Artist Tamar Frank, based in Amsterdam, said she made the change in response to the nightly noisemaking which she called an “incredible display of community”. She wanted to do her bit to honour “those who are working incredibly hard to save lives.

“The current events have overwhelmed us all and now is a more urgent time than ever to use art to connect,” she said in an email.

“Since I was told that Vancouver citizens go out on their balconies to clap and make noise in support of the healthcare workers, I decided to use my artwork to reach out.”

Frank, working in collaboration with Smartlight and Reliance Properties, said the eight-metre long horizontal LED lights on the south-facing exterior will switch to a tribute light display in three stages: the first displays an all-over flickering twinkle pattern meant to visualize people in the building reaching out to connect, Frank said in a statement. The second stage follows a synchronous clapping movement; the final stage ends with a heartbeat.

“This program will light up every day (at 7 p.m.) for as long as we are fighting this pandemic,” Frank said.

Frank’s public light artwork on the south-side of West Pender Place at 1499 West Pender is in the process of being restored. After the work was originally installed in 2011, the horizontal LED light strips started to leak and short out, ruining the installation.

Last year, the LEDs in the east tower were replaced with better quality light strips; the ones on the 130-metre, 36-storey west tower are scheduled to be replaced this year.

kevingriffin@postmedia.com

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