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Woodstock gallery, Children's Aid launch art kit program – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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The Woodstock Art Gallery and local Children’s Aid Society have teamed up to get home art kits to kids in need.

The Woodstock Art Gallery and Children’s Aid Society of Oxford are distributing new home art kits to kids in need. Pictured, Head of Education Stephanie Porter, CAS Oxford Executive Director Tina Diamond, Education Assistant Deanna Logan and IPC Certified Financial Planner Eric Hedges celebrate the launch of the Community Creation Art Kits program at the Woodstock Art Gallery. (Trish Roberts, Custom Concept Photography/Woodstock Art Gallery)

The Woodstock Art Gallery and the city’s Children’s Aid Society have teamed up to get home art kits to kids in need.

The Community Creation Art Kit – a partnership between the gallery and Children’s Aid Society of Oxford – contains a full set of art supplies, an instruction booklet and more.

Now, more than ever, the (gallery’s) education department acknowledges our responsibility to provide meaningful, accessible and inclusive programming for the community at large,” said Stephanie Porter, the gallery’s head of education.

The kits were sponsored by the Investment Planning Counsel and have already been distributed to the first round of kids in need.

The program partially replaces the gallery’s summer art camp, which was cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, staff said.

Tina Diamond, executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Oxford, said the pandemic has had a significant effect on kids, so the society was excited to partner with the gallery on this initiative for children’s wellness.

“The inclusive design of this initiative will allow more children and youth in our community to develop their imaginations, explore their creativity, and to communicate their ideas and feelings through art,” Diamond says.

Free PDF versions of some of the activities can be found online at woodstockartgallery.ca, and two new art kits being developed by the gallery will be available this fall and for the holidays.

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Newmarket resident finds therapy in chalk art drawings (7 photos) – NewmarketToday.ca

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Kim Egan had purchased the 12-pack of sidewalk chalk on a whim.

“I was at the Dollar Tree in Newmarket, where I always go for arts and crafts supplies,” said Egan. “They were being sold for only $1.25. It was very much a spur of the moment thing.” 

Chalk in hand, Egan had walked to Newmarket’s Haskett Park and had found a secluded stretch of pavement on which to draw. Her Victorian-inspired artwork, a brightly coloured vase of flowers, was finished 14  hours later. 

The experience, she said, took her completely by surprise.

“I suffer from anxiety and depression, something that’s been especially challenging for me — and a lot of people — during the pandemic,” said Egan. “But art, drawing, was therapy. It helped me relax and forget my problems.”

Egan again returned to chalk art when her grandmother, Rose, tragically suffered a stroke mid-August. Already stressed from the isolation of quarantine and unable to visit her due to strict post-COVID-19 hospital restrictions, Egan’s mental health was struggling. 

To help ease some of her anxiety, Egan took to the pavement outside her Davis Drive apartment and designed a special homage to her grandmother. Throughout the painful few days preceding Rose’s passing, working on the drawing gave Egan a small — but much needed — sense of control. 

“The artwork I drew for her was a big pink heart that said ‘Rose’ in it, with roses on either side and a crown, flames, and cross atop it,” said Egan. “I came to learn afterwards that what I drew is actually a religious symbol, representing Christ’s heart. It was odd, because I didn’t know it at the time.”

Egan’s latest chalk drawing, a floral scene inspired by her love for nature, can currently be seen on the outdoor stage at Riverwalk Commons. As rain and wind can wash her art away in minutes, the stage’s overhead awning afforded Egan rare protection from September’s wet weather.

Yet despite the unique challenges her chalk art can bring, from being at the whim of the elements to scraped and sore knees, Egan is confident she’ll stick with it. A lifelong art lover, she has dabbled in mediums as wide-ranging as embroidery, handmade jewelry, flower pressing, painting and more. With chalk art, the most committing of the bunch, she just may have found her calling.

“When I was a kid, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say an artist,” said Egan. “Art is something I’ve always been so passionate about. And now, late in my life, I have a burning desire to explore my creativity more. It’s something I have to do, before I die.”

Apart from using chalk art as a personal source of happiness, Egan is also hopeful that its positivity will spread. 

“I hope people get some pleasure or happiness from seeing it. I hope it’s a bright spot in their day. It’s been great sharing my creativity with others.”

Egan is happy to report that the reaction to her artwork has, so far, been overwhelmingly positive. With each drawing, she’s gained the courage to venture out more and more into the public eye. 

“Because I’m out there drawing for a few days, I get people out for walks who will stop to talk and take pictures,” said Egan. “They’re very encouraging. It’s been nice.”

 

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Three proposed designs for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia released (3 photos) – HalifaxToday.ca

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NEWS RELEASE
COMMUNITIES/CULTURE/HERITAGE/ART GALLERY OF NOVA SCOTIA/DEVELOP NOVA SCOTIA/TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL
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Nova Scotians can now see and provide feedback on the three final conceptual designs for the planned new art gallery and waterfront arts district in Halifax.

Today, Sept. 21, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia launched the Design Competition Exhibition, which runs until late October and features 3D models, renderings and detailed submissions by three shortlisted design teams. As part of the public engagement process, Nova Scotians will have an opportunity to share their feedback on each of the design approaches and concepts.

“A new gallery and waterfront arts district reflects the importance of art and culture to our communities and our lives,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “This gallery belongs to all Nova Scotians, and I encourage everyone to visit the exhibit in person or online and share their feedback.”

Public feedback gathered during the exhibition will be considered in the development of the project. Following the selection of the winning team, further community engagement will take place across the province.

The public can also view and comment on the submissions online at https://artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/artsdistrict . The submissions will be posted later today. On Sept. 24 at 6 p.m., the three final teams will present their designs through a livestream on the gallery YouTube Channel and on the website.

Quotes:
“The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a history that dates back to 1908, yet Nova Scotia has never had a purpose-built provincial art gallery. Today marks a major milestone for the arts and cultural sector in Nova Scotia. The three design teams have delivered concepts that reinvent the idea of an art gallery and arts district. We hope that all Nova Scotians will engage with us throughout this process to ensure that we have a space that is reflective of all communities in our province.” 
     – Nancy Noble, director and CEO, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

“Community participation in the work to create a new arts district is critical to ensure what we build reflects us all and is a place where everyone can belong. We encourage Nova Scotians to engage in these early concepts over the next few weeks, to share their ideas big and small, and to help shape this inclusive place for art and community. Once the successful design team is selected, we’ll look forward to engaging with the community again.”
     – Jennifer Angel, president and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— the three finalist designs are the result of a six-month, international design competition – the first of its magnitude in Nova Scotia
— the three teams participating in stage two of the design competition are Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones; DIALOG, Acre Architects, Brackish Design Studio and Shannon Webb-Campbell; KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar
— the winning submission will be chosen in October by a qualified jury of professionals, including architects, a landscape architect, artists and museum professionals
— the successful design team will carry out a provincewide public engagement process
— in April 2019, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $30 million in the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia project through the New Building Canada Fund-Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component, National and Regional Projects
— the Province of Nova Scotia has committed $70 million towards this project

Additional Resources:
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia building website: https://artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/artsdistrict

Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan https://novascotia.ca/culture/

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Review: Craig Johnson mystery involving art creates art, too – St. Albert Today

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“Next to Last Stand,” by Craig Johnson (Viking)

In “Next to Last Stand,” the 16th book in Craig Johnson’s popular mystery series, Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire is feeling his age. He’s not sure he even wants to stand for reelection. However, a good mystery can always get the veteran lawman’s heart pumping again.

He finds one when the director of the Wyoming Home for Soldiers and Sailors calls to inform him that his pal Charlie Lee Stillwater has passed away — and that he needs to examine what was found in the old man’s room. Arriving there, Longmire sees stacks of papers and file folders, a huge hoard of books about art, a scrap of canvass that appears to be a copy (or perhaps an actual piece) of a famous painting, and a box containing $1 million in hundred dollar bills.

It appears that Charlie died of natural causes, but where did the long-penniless old soldier get a million dollars in cash? When did he develop an apparent obsession with art? And is that scrap of canvass a clue or a red herring?

Johnson builds his story around a real work of art: “Custer’s Last Fight,” a not particularly good and historically inaccurate painting of the battle of Little Big Horn that was destroyed in a fire in 1946 at the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas. However, because millions of copies were distributed by Anheuser-Bush, it is one of the most well-known art works in American history. The original would be worth millions.

Could it have somehow survived the fire? The plot thickens when Longmire discovers that his old pal had been stationed at the Texas army post at the time of the fire.

Fans of the Longmire series will be pleased that many familiar characters, including stoic Henry Standing Bear and crude-talking Deputy Sheriff Victoria Moretti, play a prominent role in the tale that also involves a crooked art dealer, a skilful art forger, some Russian art collectors, and an assortment of violent thugs.

Johnson excels at introducing his series characters to new readers without boring longtime fans with details they already know. The plot is not as dark as the last few Longmire tales, but as always, a suspenseful one unfolds at an appealing pace and the prose is first rate.

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Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels including “The Dread Line.”

Bruce Desilva, The Associated Press

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