By JACQUELINE CORRIGAN
Wine and the world of art are a perfect fit. While some may say that winemaking is a craft, others, myself included, put it plainly in the category of creatives. Both are symbiotic. They share an affinity.
Wine is often depicted in both secular and religious paintings. From Renoir, Monet and Cezanne to biblical references of Jesus and the wine press.
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Baron Philippe de Rothschild started a tradition of commissioning artists annually, using their labels as canvas, to create illustrations of their own imaginations. This has continued to this day with artists from across genres. From Jean Coctu to Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol to Prince Charles, Lucien Freud and Jeff Koons, to name a few, all have created what are now collectorʼs items. https://www.chateau-mouton-rothschild.com/label-art/discover-the-artwork
Randall Grahm of Bonnie Doon fame in California has done the same with his quirky sense of humour and love of play on words. He has garnered many accolades for his wines over a 35 or more year history. I remember when his Cardinal Zin came out. It was such a wonderful play on words yet captured our imaginings for the cross reference to a biblical term and the incredible artistʼs rendition. Humour. Randall was radical!
He too has artists that he collaborates with each with their own stylings and fun machinations. Even a fellow from Toronto, Gary Taxali. https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/about/label-art/
In Niagara, our own Henry of Pelham Estate have been supporters of the arts.Bobbi and Paul Sr. Speck, parents of the Speck brothers, have a long affiliation with artists. As it says on their website: “During the 1970s, our parents offered free studio space to a number of Canadian painters and sculptors who passed through the Annex area of Toronto, where we lived growing up. We now proudly display their art throughout the winery buildings and offices, including upstairs from the tasting room, and invite our visitors to enjoy their work.” https://henryofpelham.com/visit-us/#art
More recently, November of last year, 13th Street Winery opened their first art gallery on their vineyard site.The Manns, like the Specks, are also supporters of Canadian artists from painters to sculptures, and all have a home in Niagara. https://13thstreetwinery.com/art/
Lakeview Wine Co., in honour of the 50th anniversary of the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery in Kleinberg and to celebrate our Group of Seven Artist, have labels depicting their incredible interpretations of our distinct Canadian landscapes. https://www.lakeviewwineco.com/site/brand-mcmichael-collection-niagara-wine
Then thereʼs Rudy Kurniawan who appeared on the wine auction scene as a young, hip guy with loads of dosh, a wealth of wine knowledge, Burgundy in particular, with apparently good connections. Check out the documentary Sour Grapes.
Another cohort, Hardy Rodenstock of the book The Billionaireʼs Vinegar claim to fame, was selling bottles of wine from great vintages as well as bottles owned by President Thomas Jefferson.
Now, these two “artists” were part of a different kind of art….the art of the scam!
Hereʼs to the spirit of adventure!
Jacqueline Corrigan is a Certified Sommelier (graduate George Brown College Sommelier Program); a Member of the International Sommelier Guild; and a graduate WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust – Britain).
Admiral Art McDonald's Maritime origins | CTV News – CTV News Atlantic
On Thursday, Admiral Art McDonald was appointed Canada’s new chief of the defence staff – taking over from General Jonathan Vance, the longest-serving in the position in modern day. Having been born in New Waterford, Nova Scotia, his Maritime roots are evident; but mystery also surrounds his ties to the region.
Originally from the seaside Cape Breton community of New Waterford – a community of just over 6,000 people – Canada’s new top military man was born in the town in 1967, according to his military biography. However, beyond a birth year and a place of birth, there aren’t many details of McDonald’s life in the region.
On Saturday morning, a few residents of the town spent the morning at a local coffee shop trying to uncover and make sense of McDonald’s Maritime connection.
“This is all second hand, but I know he grew up on Irish Brook Road. I think he moved to P.E.I. eventually,” says former New Waterford councillor Lowell Cormier, who has done some digging into McDonald’s family tree.
“His uncle was Francis MacKinnon, the former town clerk,” says Cormier. “He has another uncle, father Art MacKinnon, who was murdered in the Dominican Republic, and I think Art is named after him.”
Regardless of the details of his past, McDonald is now tasked with leading Canada’s military into the future.
On Thursday, during his virtual swearing-in ceremony, he apologized to victims of racism or discrimination while serving. The Prime Minister has said McDonald’s first major task going forward will be to help lead the country’s fight against COVID-19. His appointment to the position makes McDonald the first naval officer to hold the top military job in 25 years.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Art McDonald; it’s a prestigious position,” says Cormier. “And the whole community, because he’s a native son, is delighted.”
While New Waterford is mostly known for its mining history, the community has a proud military history as well. And even though McDonald hasn’t lived in the area for a long time, many in the region see his tenure at the top post as part of the next chapter.
“We’ll claim him for sure,” says Cormier. “We’ll definitely claim him.”
Canadian students create program that turns your thoughts into abstract art | Venture – Daily Hive
A team of students from the University of Alberta has developed a program that turns its wearer’s thoughts into pieces of abstract art.
Called RemBRAINdt, the program uses a 3D-printed headset and electroencephalography (EEG) to record a user’s brain activity through their skull, explained Eden Redman, the president of NeurAlbertaTech and team lead on the project.
After a baseline reading, the wearer is then shown various words and images that are intended to illicit an emotional response.
A graph is created from that heightened brain activity which RemBRAINdt, using machine learning, is able to translate into abstract art.
Rather than simply reading happiness as yellow or anger as red, though, the device measures emotions and feelings on a gradience, Redman said, ranging between “valance” and “arousal.”
Valance records positive or negative feelings, and arousal measures how calming or exciting something is.
The result is beautifully swirled lines of colour, each piece giving a new look into someone’s mind.
Redman, 24, is currently studying Industrial Design and East Asian Language Studies as an “after-degree,” but has a background in psychology and computational neuroscience.
He first came up with the idea for RemBRAINdt in January 2020 as a way to support a fundraiser at the University of Alberta’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute.
Although the project was temporarily stalled when COVID-19 hit, the NeurAlbertaTech team picked it back up, remotely, in the summer.
Since then, RemBRAINdt has eared them some “pretty decent funding,” Redman said, including $20,000 from NeuroNexus 2020, a neurotechnology design competition in Alberta.
It’s also been incorporated as an official business under the name RemBraindt Neurotechnologies Inc.
Post-pandemic, Redman’s long term goal remains having the device at public and private events. Short-term it’s “nose to the grindstone,” as the team continues to improve RemBraindt.
“People are getting interested,” Redman said. “I’m pretty excited.”
Art and technology combine for new Minecraft residency at Mackenzie Art Gallery – Global News
“So many arts and cultural events have had to find their online forms last year and this year. So I suppose this is an attempt to do that in a way that we haven’t really seen,” said Sarah Friend, artist and co-curator of Ender Gallery (“Ender” is the name of one of Minecraft’s digital realms).
“It’s fun, new and crosses different creative communities.”
Friend, who is also a software engineer and is based in Berlin, approached her friends Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll with an idea to create a virtual art space last year.
Bluemke is the digital operations coordinator at the Mackenzie and Carroll is the digital programs coordinator, .
“In talking with them the idea got fleshed out and turned into its current form in partnership with the Mackenzie,” Friend explained.
The first of four planned two-month residencies is scheduled to begin in March.
Anyone with a Minecraft account will be able to log into Ender Gallery to view the art pieces. Friend said discussions are ongoing about finding a way to display the art somewhere within the Mackenzie itself, and added that the Ender Gallery team is planning to document the exhibitions via video as well.
“Though Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, its not something that everyone has access to,” Friend said. “So we want this to be available to the widest audience possible.”
Applications for the residencies are being accepted until end-of-day on January 31.
Applicants will need to select their preferred residency period, a written proposal and a portfolio, among other things, but don’t need to be experienced artists or have extensive experience with Minecraft to apply.
Each artist will be paid a $1,600 fee.
“Proposals are already coming in. Some of them look like buildings, filled with different creations, that someone on the server can see and walk through. Other proposals are creations that tell a story as you view them,” Friend said.
“We even have proposals that would be something not built on the server, but installed on the server. Minecraft has a modding community where people create new game functionality within Minecraft, or new skins so that it looks like a different game.”
Friend said the residency follows a growing trend of projects highlighting the artistic potential of video games.
“I think we’ve only begun to see the amount of creative content that will come from that intersection.”
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