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Vancouver-raised Kenneth Lum among winners of $25K Governor General's art awards – The Battlefords News-Optimist

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OTTAWA — Vancouver-bred contemporary artist Kenneth Lum, whose works have challenged notions of identity in galleries and public spaces across the globe, is among this year’s winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

The Canada Council for the Arts revealed the eight honourees Wednesday who will each receive a $25,000 prize for their contributions to Canadian creativity.

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Lum, who currently serves as the chair of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in Philadelphia, won the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award for his body of work spanning photography, performance art and public installations over three decades.

Fellow lifetime laureates include Toronto’s Deanna Bowen, Dana Claxton of Vancouver, Ruth Cuthand of Saskatoon, Jorge Lozano Lorza also of Toronto and Michael Fernandes of East Dover, N.S.

Fibre artist Anna Torma of Baie Verte, N.B., received the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in fine crafts, while Mississauga, Ont.-based cultural administrator Zainub Verjee won the Outstanding Contribution Award for her artistic practice and policy work.

An awards ceremony will be held in Edmonton on July 3, and the winners’ works will be displayed at the Art Gallery of Alberta through the summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2020.

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The Art Show at the Armory: Blue-Chip Brands Show Their Best – The New York Times

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Trust me, even if you’ve been looking at art for a long, long time (or even longer than that), you will see work at the Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory you have not seen before, by artists you may never have heard of. This is not because the Art Show, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America to benefit Henry Street Settlement,” is dedicated to showing the young and hip. Quite the opposite, ADAA represents blue-chip galleries that show high-quality work. But it has a terrific roundup of art by lesser-known artists, many dead or left out of art history for all the ordinary reasons (gender, geographical location or the idiosyncrasies of their work at a given moment). And despite the density, the fair is very manageable compared with other mega-fairs in New York.

Other strains running through the 72 exhibitors at ADAA this year, the fair’s 32nd edition, are a focus on geometric abstraction and craft and a high percentage of female artists — 19 exhibitions are dedicated to them. With an enormous backlog of women, artists of color and people working in unusual media, fairs like this one are yet another place to play catch-up. Below are some highlights, divided into categories with lots of slippage and overlap.

Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times
Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

Just inside the fair’s entrance, three booths are showing geometrically abstract work — a good indication of its current popularity. The Houston gallery Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino (A1) has canvases by Mercedes Pardo (1921-2005), a Venezuelan painter whose dark, moody colors — she mixed her own pigments — and off-kilter geometric compositions set her apart from painters working with more reductive shapes and forms. Sean Kelly Gallery (D2) has deep, chalky blue paintings by the London artist Idris Khan. The paintings look completely abstract but they are built up in places with layers of text. Across the aisle at Petzel Gallery (B1) Walead Beshty’s colorful photograms are reflected in mirrored panels on the floor, which will be sold after they are sufficiently cracked and weathered. The panels echo an earlier project by Mr. Beshty in which he “created” shattered sculptures by shipping glass rectangles in FedEx boxes. Deeper into the fair, Philadelphia’s Locks Gallery (A10) is spotlighting Edna Andrade (1917-2008), a painter who worked in the Op Art vein (although most painters eschewed that term). A few of her electric-hued, radiating compositions are mounted on wallpaper that she designed, alongside a ceramic chess set she made, showing her range beyond painting into craft and design.

Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times
Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

The interest in handmade craft and global folk traditions continues in a variety of forms here. Jordan Nassar takes a conceptual approach at James Cohan (C5), where he has an antique Palestinian dress from the Beersheba area, from around 1900, with traditional embroidery in a display case. Mr. Nassar then paints these (or similar) patterns onto canvases, creating spare but rich geometric pictures. At San Francisco’s Anglim Gilbert Gallery (D28), craft assumes the form of miniature houses made with tiny glass bottles and wooden armatures by Mildred Howard, and Jacob Hashimoto’s wall works and hanging installations made with rice paper, bamboo and resin, inspired by Japanese kite-making techniques. Nina Chanel Abney is best known as a painter, but she takes a craftlike approach in her collages at Pace Prints (D11), which are created with colored paper glued onto panels. Some of the best contemporary works in the fair, the compositions here address African-American histories, and include American flags that appear ironic rather than celebratory in intent. Nearby at P.P.O.W (C9), the Los Angeles artist Ramiro Gomez’s cardboard cutouts of human figures doing physical jobs highlight what he thinks of as “invisible labor.” They bring to light who is cleaning the bathrooms and serving food at the fair, rather than buying and selling (or making) the art.

Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times
Credit…Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

I’ve already mentioned a number of exceptional women at the fair, but here are a few more. Venus Over Manhattan (D10) has dedicated its booth to the art dealer Phyllis Kind, who opened her first gallery in Chicago in 1967 and was a trailblazer and mentor for many other art dealers. A painting by William N. Copley paradoxically, perhaps, has a female nude with graffiti playfully applied to her flesh, and there is a cartoon-inspired felt-trip drawing here by Ray Yoshida, who inspired many Chicago Imagist painters. In a more feminist vein, Susan Inglett Gallery (D18) is showing the work of Beverly Semmes, which includes pornographic images printed on canvas and painted over, in sections, transforming the original images into something more abstract and mysterious. Michael Werner (C3) is exhibiting the wonderfully banal neo-Pop paintings and some raw craft-like assemblages by the Berlin artist Raphaela Simon, and Casey Kaplan (B5) has canvases by Judith Eisler based on film and video images of women including Serena Williams and the actress Anna Karina. Alice Neel is hardly unknown, but Cheim & Read’s (D13) mini-retrospective of her work bears mentioning, since it includes an unrecognizable, Edward Hopperesque cityscape from the 1930s, as well as a handful of her beautifully odd and unsettling portraits.

Credit…Estate of Leonora Carrington/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times
Credit…Remedios Varo, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VEGAP, Madrid; Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

Surrealism started in the 1920s as a notorious boys’ club, but later generations of women working in this dreamy idiom stole the show. This is particularly true of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, best friends living as expatriates in Mexico City in the 1950s whose works are on view at Gallery Wendi Norris (D29). Alongside gorgeously weird paintings of women, birds and cats — as well as mythical and imaginary creatures — is a Varo sculpture made from fish, chicken and turkey bones after a dinner with artists. An accompanying scroll with text proposes a clever alternative evolutionary route for homo sapiens, with an umbrella appearing at an archaeological dig, disrupting Darwin’s narrative. Jonathan Boos (A4) has a slightly tamer show titled “Psychological Realism” which includes paintings from the 1940s and ’50s by the American artists George Tooker and Alton Pickens that would not look out of place in a contemporary hipster-oriented gallery on the Lower East Side. Hirschl & Adler Galleries (B4) has a roundup of radical artists — among them Honoré Sharrer, a wonderfully talented painter who was a communist who had to move to Canada during the Red Scare and who made paintings that look like American Gothic stories come to life. Finally, Galerie Lelong & Co. (A8) has a standout presentation of paintings by Ficre Ghebreyesus (1962-2012), an artist born in Eritrea who was married to the poet Elizabeth Alexander. Mixing sources from jazz to Islamic architecture to Coptic Christian iconography and Eritrean folk art, Mr. Ghebreyesus processed everything he saw as a refugee and a global citizen into a kind of ecstatic surrealism. This is the first solo exhibition of his work in New York and the first time I’d seen it. He died of a heart attack a few days after his 50th birthday, leaving behind 882 paintings, a handful of which are on view here.


The Art Show

Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, Manhattan; artdealers.org.

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21 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend – The New York Times

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Our guide to new art shows and some that will be closing soon.

‘SHAHIDUL ALAM: TRUTH TO POWER’ at the Rubin Museum (through May 4). This Bangladeshi photographer has used his camera for 35 years as a tool to advance social justice. Over time, he has pushed against the natural constraints of a medium that registers what is seen, so that he might illuminate what is suppressed or has vanished. But how does a photographer portray people who have disappeared with hardly a trace? Alam addresses that question creatively in works in this show. Since 2011, he has been pursuing the case of Kalpana Chakma, a young activist who disappeared in 1996. Because few photographs or possessions of Chakma survive, Alam conducted what he calls a “photo-forensic study,” making color pictures of traces, real or imagined. His images are not conventional representations of suffering and resistance. H is trying to break through the clichés that deaden our eyes in a photo-saturated world. (Arthur Lubow)
212-620-5000, rubinmuseum.org

‘ARTE DEL MAR: ARTISTIC EXCHANGE IN THE CARIBBEAN’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Jan. 10, 2021). The Met has never before presented an exhibition of art from the West Indies, and it concentrates here on the ritual objects — thrones, vessels and mysterious bird-shaped stones — of the Taíno people, who inhabited the islands now called Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Turks and Caicos. On these islands, and on the Caribbean-facing coasts of Central America, styles mingled and migrated, and art had both religious and diplomatic functions; one extravagant gold pendant here, in the shape of a bird with splayed wings and zigzagging necklaces, traveled from Panama all the way to the Antilles. As the Met begins renovations of its Rockefeller Wing, the Caribbean offers its curators a priceless model of how to think about world cultures: never “pure” but in constant motion and constant contact, diffracted across time and oceans. (Jason Farago)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘ARTS OF CHINA’ and ‘ARTS OF JAPAN’ at the Brooklyn Museum (ongoing). Redesigning an American museum’s Asian wing is no mean feat. But these exhibitions, reopened after a six-year renovation, successfully integrate stunning pieces by contemporary Chinese and Japanese artists into the institution’s century-old collection of antiquities, drawing 5,000 years of art into a single thrilling conversation. Look out for the 14th-century wine jar decorated with whimsical paintings of a whitefish, a mackerel, a freshwater perch and a carp — four fish whose Chinese names are homophones for a phrase meaning “honest and incorruptible.” (Will Heinrich)
718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.com

‘AUSCHWITZ. NOT LONG AGO. NOT FAR AWAY’ at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (through Aug. 30). Killing as a communal business, made widely lucrative by the Third Reich, permeates this traveling exhibition about the largest German death camp, Auschwitz, whose yawning gatehouse, with its converging rail tracks, has become emblematic of the Holocaust. Well timed, during a worldwide surge of anti-Semitism, the harrowing installation strives, successfully, for fresh relevance. The exhibition illuminates the topography of evil, the deliberate designing of a hell on earth by fanatical racists and compliant architects and provisioners, while also highlighting the strenuous struggle for survival in a place where, as Primo Levi learned, “there is no why.” (Ralph Blumenthal)
646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org

‘CONTEMPORARY MUSLIM FASHIONS’ at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (through Aug. 23). In recent years social media has helped Muslim fashion designers, photographers and amateur tastemakers definitively prove to the rest of the world that religious modesty and creative personal style can coexist. At this exhibition, which was organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, visitors can experience the clothing that’s being worn and created by fashionable Muslims around the globe in person rather than on the screen of a smartphone. Around 80 streetwear, couture, sportswear and high-end ensembles will be on display with photographs and video providing background on the garments’ design and creation. (Peter Libbey)
212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org

‘JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID MEETS KEHINDE WILEY’ at the Brooklyn Museum (through May 10). One of the most famous works of European painting has come to New York for the first time: “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps,” a masterpiece of propaganda by Jacques-Louis David, in which the Corsican consul sits calm and cocksure as his horse bucks his front heels. It’s been lent by the Château de Malmaison, in the suburbs of Paris, and paired with a 2004 riff by Kehinde Wiley that replaces the general with a young man from Harlem, wearing Timberlands instead of riding boots. Wiley’s portrait — adequate, not especially demanding — may seem more immediately relevant to Brooklyn audiences. But David, ruthless Jacobin turned imperial flatterer, can offer young artists especially a more profound view of the fraught relationship of painting and politics. (Farago)
718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org

‘AGNES DENES: ABSOLUTES AND INTERMEDIATES’ at the Shed (through March 22). We’ll be lucky this art season if we get another exhibition as tautly beautiful as this long-overdue Denes retrospective. Now 88, the artist is best known for her 1982 “Wheatfield: A Confrontation,” for which she sowed and harvested two acres of wheat on Hudson River landfill within sight of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. Her later ecology-minded work has included creating a hilltop forest of 11,000 trees planted by 11,000 volunteers in Finland (each tree is deeded to the planter), though many of her projects exist only in the form of the exquisite drawings that make up much of this show. (Holland Cotter)
646-455-3494, theshed.org

‘ENVISIONING 2001: STANLEY KUBRICK’S SPACE ODYSSEY’ at the Museum of the Moving Image (through July 19). This exhibition brings together original correspondence, sketches, storyboards, props, video clips and much more to illustrate how Kubrick, the film’s director, and Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction author who collaborated with him on the screenplay, set about bringing the future to the screen. The museum will show the digital version of “2001” every week and a 70-millimeter print every month for the duration of the exhibition’s run, and several sidebar movie series will complement the showcase. It makes a great achievement in filmmaking look less like a cinematic U.F.O. and more like, well, an achievement — the product of ingenuity, talent and tenacity. It illuminates the artistry of a moviemaker whose genius has often seemed inseparable from the mystique surrounding it. (Ben Kenigsberg)
718-777-6888, movingimage.us

‘THE GREAT HALL COMMISSION: KENT MONKMAN, MISTIKOSIWAK (WOODEN BOAT PEOPLE)’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through April 9). The second in a series of contemporary works sponsored by the Met consists of two monumental new paintings by the Canadian artist Kent Monkman, installed inside the museum’s main entrance. Each measuring almost 11 by 22 feet, the pictures are narratives inspired by a Euro-American tradition of history painting but entirely present-tense and polemical in theme. Monkman, 54, a Canadian artist of mixed Cree and Irish heritage, makes the colonial violence done to North America’s first peoples his central subject but, crucially, flips the cliché of Native American victimhood on its head. In these paintings, Indigenous peoples are immigrant-welcoming rescuers, led by the heroic figure of Monkman’s alter ego, the gender-fluid tribal leader Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, avatar of the global future that will see humankind moving beyond the wars of identity — racial, sexual, political — in which it is now fatefully immersed. (Cotter)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

INAUGURAL EXHIBITIONS at the International Center of Photography (through May 18). The good news first: New York’s center of the camera arts has found a spacious new home in Essex Crossing, off Delancey Street, that will bring ICP’s museum and school under one roof after years apart. The museum’s initial shows here vary from informative (historical photos of the Lower East Side, by the likes of Jacob Riis, Weegee and Lisette Model) to premature (the 24-year-old fashion photographer Tyler Mitchell) to pandering (portraits of hip-hop stars, no more scientific than a Madame Tussauds display). Social media and surveillance have made photography into a pervasive condition, and more important than ever; it’s time for ICP to treat the medium as such. (Farago)
212-857-9700, icp.org

‘IN PURSUIT OF FASHION: THE SANDY SCHREIER COLLECTION’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through May 17). Featuring 80 pieces of clothing and accessories, this exhibition is, more than anything else, the reflection of one woman’s love affair with fashion. Schreier’s collection, and the part of it on view at the Met, contains all the major names, but what defines it more than anything else is her own appreciation for pretty things. Hidden away between the Balenciagas and the Chanels, the Diors and the Adrians, are treasures by little-known or even unknown designers that are a delight to discover. Three origin-unknown flapper dresses from the 1920s, beaded to within an inch of their glittering seams, matched only in their lavish surprise by three elaborately printed velvets of the same era — two capes and a column — by Maria Monaci Gallenga, so plush you can practically stroke the weft with your eyes. It is these less famous names whose impact lingers, in part because they are so unexpected. (Vanessa Friedman)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

‘DOROTHEA LANGE: WORDS & PICTURES’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through May 9). As this revelatory, heartening exhibition shows, Lange was an artist who made remarkable pictures throughout a career that spanned more than four decades. The photos she took in 1942 of interned Japanese-Americans (which the government suppressed until 1964) display state-administered cruelty with stone-cold clarity: One dignified man in a three-piece suit and overcoat is wearing a tag, like a steer, while disembodied white hands on either side examine and prod him. Her prescient photographs of environmental degradation portray the human cost of building a dam that flooded the Berryessa Valley near Napa. Her empathetic portraits of African-American field hands shine a light on a system of peonage that predated and outlasted the 1930s. One happy consequence of our dismal political moment is a rediscovery of Lange. Perhaps now younger photographers will be inspired to pick up her banner. The need is all too apparent. (Lubow)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘JEAN-JACQUES LEQUEU: VISIONARY ARCHITECT’ at the Morgan Library & Museum (through May 10). This bewitching, even steamy exhibition showcases one of the strangest and most compelling figures from the years around the French Revolution: a professionally unsuccessful architect who spent his nights drawing fantastic monuments and pleasure palaces. In the 1790s, Lequeu imagined spherical temples to reason and equality that would celebrate the new republic (the National Convention rejected them all). And that Enlightenment ethos also extended to gripping self-portraits and pictures of lovers, done with quite a bit of anatomical accuracy. In these painstaking sheets, capricious or perverse, steeped in powder blue and misty rose, Lequeu proved that architecture can be an erotic art, in which buildings get confused for bodies and vice versa. (Farago)
212-658-0008, themorgan.org

‘THE ORCHID SHOW: JEFF LEATHAM’S KALEIDOSCOPE’ at the New York Botanical Garden (through April 19). In New York, the transition from winter to spring can frustratingly slow. But at this annual flower showcase in the Bronx, the season is already in full bloom. Leatham, this year’s guest designer and the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, has created mirrored sculptures to multiply the thousands of orchids he’s assembled with the help of the curator Marc Hachadourian. Amplified by the exhibition’s dramatic lighting and other embellishments, the flowers’ diverse shapes and colors are transformed into complex patterns. On select evenings throughout the show’s run, those designs will provide a suitably extravagant backdrop for performances by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O’Neal. (Libbey)
718-817-8700, nybg.org

‘SAHEL: ART AND EMPIRES ON THE SHORES OF THE SAHARA’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through May 10). Sahel derives from the Arabic word for shore or coast. It was the name once given by traders crossing the oceanic Sahara to the welcoming grasslands that marked the desert’s southern rim, terrain that is now Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. To early travelers, art from the region must have looked like a rich but bewildering hybrid. It still does, which may be one reason it stands, in the West, somewhat outside an accepted “African” canon. This fabulous exhibition goes for the richness. One look tells you that variety within variety, difference talking to difference, is the story here. New ideas spring up from local soil and arrive from afar. Ethnicities and ideologies collide and embrace. Cultural influences get swapped, dropped and recouped in a multitrack sequencing that is the very definition of history. (Cotter)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘ZILIA SÁNCHEZ: SOY ISLA (I AM AN ISLAND)’ at El Museo del Barrio (through March 22). Sánchez, who will turn 94 this summer and is still at work, has spent some 50 years making abstract yet sensual sculptural paintings, approximately 40 of which are gathered here to lead the viewer through her career. While modern art has a firmly established tradition of objects that simultaneously hang on the wall and jut into space, Sánchez does something different. “Lunar con Tatuaje” (“Moon With Tattoo”), one of her most elaborate pieces, features two semicircular canvases with raised half-moons in the middle. Frenzied groups of lines arc between various points, accompanied by arrows and an occasional eye or hand. The picture isn’t legible, but it calls forth a kind of cosmic knowledge. Such is the duality and lesson of Sánchez’s art: It’s grounded in the material world but points toward something metaphysical. (Jillian Steinhauer)
212-831-7272, elmuseo.org

‘TAKING SHAPE: ABSTRACTION FROM THE ARAB WORLD, 1950S-1980S’ at Grey Art Gallery (through April 4). The graphic simplicity of the Arabic alphabet means that it can be made to look like almost anything, from a rearing horse to a pixelated television screen. Most of the artists in this exhibition had some European or American training, and alongside unusual sandy palettes and a few unexpected details, you’ll see plenty of approaches that look familiar: lucid colors à la Josef Albers, crimson bursts of impasto similar to early Abstract Expressionism. But unlike European artists, they also have an alphabet with an ancient history in visual art — and this gives their abstraction a very different effect. (Heinrich)
212-998-6780, greyartgallery.nyu.edu

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’ at the American Museum of Natural History (through Aug. 9). Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only in this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which packed a punch that has never been matched by any other creature; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers. (Farago)
212-769-5100, amnh.org

‘WORLDS BEYOND EARTH’ at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium (ongoing). This new space show is a bit like being thrown out of your own orbit. Surrounded by brilliant colors, the viewer glides through space in all directions, unbound by conventional rules of orientation or vantage point. Dizzying spirals delineate the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. At one point, museumgoers are taken along a journey from the perspective of a comet. In illustrating the far reaches of our solar system, the show draws on data from seven sets of space missions from NASA, Europe and Japan, including the Apollo 15 mission in 1971 and still-active ones like Voyager. With a sense of movement and scale that only a visual presentation could convey, “Worlds Beyond Earth” makes an unforced point about the dangers of climate change. Another celestial body might have an “alien sea” that “contains more liquid water than all the oceans on Earth,” as its narrator, Lupita Nyong’o, states. But Earth itself, she adds later, is the only place with the right size, the right location and the right ingredients — an easy balance to upset. (Kenigsberg)
212-769-5100, amnh.org

‘MAKING MARVELS: SCIENCE & SPLENDOR AT THE COURTS OF EUROPE’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through March 1). This exhibition brings together nearly 170 elaborately crafted objects, many never seen in the United States: the mesmerizing 41-carat “Dresden Green,” an ornate silver table decorated with sea nymphs, a clock with Copernicus depicted in gilded brass. Some, like a chariot carrying the wine god Bacchus, are spectacularly inventive — Bacchus can raise a toast, roll his eyes and even stick out his tongue. Some, like a charming rhinoceros, a collage created from tortoiseshell, pearls and shells, are merely lovely. The show could have been simply a display of ornamental wealth for the one percent of long ago, an abundance of gold and silver that was meant to be shown off in any way possible. But “Making Marvels” is about more than that. (James Barron)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

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'Tiny Treasures,' big show: Art club launches annual fundraiser at BACS – Alberta Daily Herald Tribune

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Get your name in the draw box for local artist Joy Kuechle’s “Chirpy Chums” that will go home with one lucky person attending the opening reception on March 1 for the Beaverlodge Art Club’s 28th annual Miniature Art Show at BACS. The show and sale is the yearly fundraiser for the Club that was founded close to 30 years ago by pioneer artist, Euphemia McNaught.

The perennially-popular Beaverlodge Art Club’s miniature art show and sale is once again returning to our crimson-walled Main Gallery at the Beaverlodge Art and Culture Centre March 1.

“Tiny Treasures,” this year’s theme, will feature small, affordable artwork by local artists. Even the most art-filled home has room for a pint-sized piece of original art!

Coralie Rycroft, President of the Art Society, explains, “This show and sale is our primary annual fundraiser for the Art Club and helps us promote art in our community and support our local artists.”

The art pieces on display – no larger than 12 x 12 inches – will include a variety of media: watercolour, oil, acrylic, prints, photographs, jewelry and more, all ready to hang, display, or wear.

This year represents the 28th annual Miniature Show that the Beaverlodge Art and Culture Centre has hosted on behalf of the fundraising activities of the Art Club.

Each year there is a tiny treasure offered by one of the participating artists for the opening day draw – “Chirpy Chums” by local artist Joy Kuechle’s (chickadees are her favourite bird to paint) will be going to a new home with a lucky attendee at the end of opening day, March 1. Get your name in the draw box!

An acrylic painting class got Joy hooked and she’s been painting ever since, with inspiration coming from nature, farm life, and the beautiful skies of the peace country.

The Sky’s The Limit

Josh Bourget is fascinated by clouds.

“We tend to think of geographical features to be permanent, but we wrestle to chart the ever-changing skyscapes above us. The sky is full of landscapes; no two are the same.”

And so was born Josh’s first solo exhibit at BACS. “Skyscapes – Forgotten Lands” is an artistic photographic exploration of landscapes created by the constantly shifting veils of vapours above us.

“Many early mornings and late evenings have been spent chasing the light with my camera.”

Having spent his childhood years in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Josh was introduced to art forms as a young boy in the Matchbox Gallery which he could observe from his bedroom window across the street.

“The owners taught me the basics of watercolour and pottery, and I spent as much time there as possible. The smell of clay and kilns became the fragrance of acceptance and escape.”


Sexsmith photographer Josh Bourget explores the ever-changing clouds above us with his first solo exhibit in the Art and Culture Centre’s Mini Gallery. “Skyscapes – Forgotten Lands” will be on display, free to the public, until March 26.

When he was 11 his family moved to Yellowknife and when in high school his love of the artistic process was reignited.

Again, he was drawn to the smell of clay and kilns. However, it wasn’t until he was married and settled in Sexsmith that Josh picked up the camera in earnest and dove into photography as his chosen art form. Since then he’s developed his art to be purposeful in its composition and expression.

About “Skyscapes – Forgotten Lands,” Josh explains, “In this series of photographs I explore the reinterpretation of the sky as landforms. These are fleeting moments which fade and are forgotten.”

Josh’s photographs won’t be forgotten. All pieces are printed on matte cotton rag archival paper using UV inks, giving longer life to the art, as they are much less likely to fade over time. The pieces are presentable with or without the extra protection of UV glass.

The opening reception for both shows takes place at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 1 (doors open at 1 p.m.) with the galleries open for viewing free of charge until March 26. Finger foods will be served in the centre’s tea room and we’re grateful to have freshly roasted coffee generously supplied and served by locally-operated Rustic Woods Coffee Roasters.

Submitted by Cathrine Gabriel

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