LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. —
City council has taken the first of several proposed money saving measures, by shelving a scheduled $2.7 million renovation to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in downtown Lethbridge.
“We are ready to move forward with the CIP request when the city is,” said SAAG executive director Kristy Trinier.
Council had originally approved the renovations in 2017, as part of the current Capital Improvement Program budget cycle. But councillors voted Monday to discontinue capital funding for the project as the result of austerity measures by the Alberta government.
Trinier says the SAAG board was anticipating government belt tightening and had already taken steps to scale back the project.
“Tough decisions are made, and eventually in Alberta the important things do get done because Albertans value culture. We see that, and so long as it happens, even if it enters another budget cycle, we accept that.”
Council will also be deciding on the future of several other major projects in the coming weeks and months.
Councillors have delayed a vote and discussion on funding for a new multi-purpose building at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden until its March 9th meeting.
Garden executive director Michelle Day says the board is looking ahead optimistically to work with the city on the project. She says the facility is needed to support programming and grow events like the popular Winter Lights Festival.
“We’ve maximized our space, and we are very reliant on weather conditions for being a revenue generating operation.”
Day says there were nights during the festival when 300 to 400 people were visiting the gardens each hour. She says the current visitor centre and small gift shop isn’t meeting the need.
“So this new building would give us the opportunity and community support for Henderson Lake users, our tourists, our visitors and guests, to have an indoor space they can go to.”
Council also delayed debate until March 9th, on capital funding for pathway connections and extensions in Lethbridge.
A decision on the fate of capital funding for a new performing arts centre has been deferred until June, giving city administration time to meet with project consultants, to see what impact a delay would have.
The funding was to pay for a business case study, site review and selection, and project design.
Mayor Chris Spearman says funding from the provincial government is getting tighter and council has to make some difficult choices between tax increases and delaying projects.
“It’s difficult to fully fund one project at the expense of others. We need to have a full and fair debate where all projects are given an equal opportunity.”
Suzanne Lint, executive director of the Allied Arts Council says the groups know council is facing challenging and difficult financial times.
“It’s certainly a huge disappointment for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, who had an approved project and budget.”
At the same time, Lint says she can understand why councillors want to pause to hear what’s coming down in the provincial budget, and what the implications might be for the city.
“These are also important projects for our community, to community members who’ve put a lot of heart and soul and passion into them. So I think the decision has been taken to delay, to give the community a bit more time to consider, and talk to councillors, and then some hard decisions will have to be made.”
Arts groups say they hope the projects will go ahead in time, adding they’re prepared to continue advocating for the funding to be included during the next Capital Improvement Plan budget cycle, which begins in 2022.
Water themes will be on display at art event in Lund – Powell River Peak
Self-described amphibiographer Terry L. Brown will be sharing his passion for the water through an aquatic video and photo presentation, and through a workshop, where interested parties can learn about photography and videography around the water.
As part of Ebb and Flow, a water-themed art show at Tidal Art Centre on Finn Bay Road in Lund, Brown will be showing photographs and videos he has taken around and under the water, with the showing on Thursday, August 18, at 7 pm.
“You don’t even have to get wet to enjoy viewing some of my wondrous videos and photos,” said Brown.
For the adventurous who want to learn some aquatic photography techniques, Brown is offering an in-water workshop on August 20, with a venue to be determined, depending on wind and wave conditions on the ocean.
“I’ve had some fascinating experiences in this amazing aquatic world and I love to share it with people,” said Brown.
Regarding the Ebb and Flow art show, Brown said he has four aquatic-themed photos as part of the display. He said his presentation at the art centre will showcase what he calls amphibiography.
“The images are at the interface of water, air and land,” said Brown. “There are still photos that are half above water and half under. There are video images that transition from underwater to above water. I will be showing videos and photos that evening and explaining how I get the images, for people who are interested in photography and underwater photography.
“Then, on Saturday, August 20, I’m offering a workshop for those people who want to participate in and practice some aquatic videos. It will be shallow water, either in the shallow ocean water if it’s not too windy and wavy, or, it will be in a lake if ocean conditions aren’t good.”
Breathe deep and dive shallow
This will be a snorkel event, not a scuba diving event.
Brown said most of his photography and videography is actually at or near the water’s surface.
“Most people think you have to go deep to get good stuff,” said Brown. “I do scuba dive but most of my work is close to the surface. It’s basically about as deep as the local pool. My motto is: breathe deep and dive shallow.
“Most of my work is with available light. I seldom use video lights or electronic flash. It’s very different when you see the critters underwater in available light in the way the light plays over them.”
Brown said the water itself is a prime photographic subject for him because it is constantly changing. He said one of the photos he has in the Ebb and Flow show is called River Vortex, which depicts whitewater rapids, but underwater.
“The water is swirling around and is creating a vortex,” said Brown. “It’s what it looks like from a fish’s eye view underwater.
“I do videos of rapids, also, where the water is pouring over rocks and curving around. It’s just the motion of the water and the shapes that water takes that is just spectacular.”
Brown said he had read in a book about the dancing curvaceousness of nature, and to him, that’s water.
“It’s constantly curving and moving and dancing and flowing,” said Brown. “I can shoot 10 minutes in one place and every second is different.”
He said his work is his prime passion in life.
“My motto is immersing you in wonder, and my passion is immersing people in this amazing world, so they fall in love with it,” he added. “Then, then can act out of that love to protect.”
Riches in ditches
Brown said he and his partner have chosen to live in the qathet region because of the opportunities afforded in both the incredible freshwater and saltwater here. He said people can even photograph in ditches and get great images.
“There’s riches in them ditches,” said Brown.
With photography or videography, there is always an expense involved, but Brown said it can be reasonable. He said if people have action cameras, like GoPros, videographers can get some “amazing stuff” with them. However, even smartphones can take great images if they are in waterproof housings.
“I’ll show people how they can get some fabulous stuff just dunking it,” said Brown. “You don’t even have to get really wet. You can just wade along the shore somewhere and dunk that underwater. I’ll show them how to make images that make people go ‘wow, what is that?’ It’s right at your feet.”
Brown said the in-water event will be a hands-on session. He said he will have an underwater video camera that people can do some video with but it’s great if they have their own equipment so they can use it and get the most out of it.
People don’t need to make reservations for the show at the Tidal Art Centre. They can just show up to the free presentation.
If people are interested in the workshop, they can contact Brown directly to let him know they will be in attendance. They can ask about equipment, or Brown can answer any questions that they have. There is no specific charge for the workshop, but after it is over, people can voluntarily leave an honorarium for him if they so choose.
“I don’t want to keep people away who might not be able to afford coming,” said Brown. “The theme is: get out and get wet. Explore your local liquid.
“I like helping people to be aware. So much of life we go through and we’re not aware of who or what is around us and what is right in front of us. Part of my mission is to help people become aware, and then to make that connection.”
For workshop participants, a mask and snorkel is essential and having a wetsuit or drysuit will allow more comfort and longer immersion time. Children with adult supervision are welcome.
People can contact Brown at 604.414.7883, or by email at email@example.com. For examples of Brown’s video work, go to amphibiographer.tv, and for still photos, they can go to terrylbrown.com.
“Water is a magical mystery place,” said Brown.
Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades – CityNews Toronto
Fake psychics helped woman steal $180M in art from elderly mom, police say – Global News
A Brazilian woman was arrested Wednesday after police found that she orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud her elderly mother out of precious works of art.
Sabine Coll Boghici, 48, is accused of using a ring of fraudulent psychics to swindle her mother, Genevieve Boghici, 82, out of around 724 million reais, or $180 million, in art, jewelry and money, according to a statement by police in Rio de Janeiro.
Police say the racket began in January 2020, when Genevieve, the widow of renowned Brazilian art collector Jean Boghici, was contacted by someone claiming to be a psychic who had seen a vision of her daughter Sabine’s death.
The phoney psychic then introduced her to other seers, who used personal information provided by Sabine to convince the elderly woman that their claims were real. The ring of psychics used their leverage to get money out of Genevieve for “spiritual treatment,” in order to save her daughter from her prophesied death, according to NBC News and the BBC.
The suspects were later alleged to have physically threatened the elderly woman and Sabine eventually kept her mother confined to the house after she became suspicious of the scheme.
Sabine and a psychic then began to take artwork from Genevieve’s house and told her that the paintings were cursed with negative energy that needed to be “prayed over,” said police officer Gilberto Ribeiro, according to Reuters.
Eventually, Genevieve sought help from the police, who uncovered the scheme.
At least 16 paintings were stolen from the elderly woman, police said, including works from celebrated Brazilian artists Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Alberto Guignard.
Three of the stolen paintings were works by famed modernist Tarsila do Amaral. Those three paintings alone were worth a reported 700 million reais, or just under $175 million.
Police say they have recovered 14 of the stolen paintings, having found 11 during a raid of the home of one of the accused psychics and three that were sold to an art gallery in Sao Paulo. At least two paintings have yet to be recovered, though, including pieces that were sold to a museum in Buenos Aires.
A video posted on Twitter by a local media outlet shows the moment one of Amaral’s paintings, Sol Poente (which means setting sun), was found inside a bed frame hidden under a mattress.
At least seven people were involved in the years-long plot, Reuters reported. Police said four were arrested, including Sabine, on Wednesday but the others remain at large.
The accused are facing charges of embezzlement, robbery, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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