Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has condemned comments Thursday toward Pink Flamingo, a group behind a series of proposed Black Lives Matter murals.
The group announced on Wednesday that the murals would be delayed until next summer following a public racist backlash over a decision to replace the popular Giving Wings to the Dream piece by Calgary artist Doug Driediger in 1995 on the side of a building on 7 Avenue and 1 Street S.E., which was once occupied by the Calgary Urban Project Society.
That backlash has forced Pink Flamingo, which cited security concerns, to close the comments on its Facebook page.
The group told Global News that they would not be commenting further due to concerns over their safety.
“You’re a bunch of hateful bigots hiding behind a rainbow flag,” one person wrote to the group, which was later shared on their Instagram page.
“You people are evil and will be destroyed,” another comment read.
“What is happening to the people at Pink Flamingo is disgusting and it has no place in this city,” Nenshi said on Thursday. “I couldn’t care less what you think about that mural, you have no right whatsoever in this city to engage in that kind of threatening behaviour, and if that’s how you feel, find another place to live.”
Nenshi said that he, like many others in the city, did not think it was a good idea to replace the existing art on the proposed site of the first mural, but said he had no issue with having the conversation.
However, he said the conversation around the murals has taken a racist tone.
“What I don’t appreciate is the people who have used this as an excuse to fight the issue of anti-racism,” Nenshi said. “I don’t appreciate the racists who have used this as an excuse to push their own views.”
Peter Oliver, with the Beltline Urban Murals Project (BUMP), said the group is also deeply disappointed by the comments being directed toward Pink Flamingo.
BUMP had partnered with Pink Flamingo to provide logistical support for the murals.
“We think its a bad look for Calgary,” Oliver said.
“I think its an important question for the city: what kind of place do we want to be? Do we want to be a welcoming and inviting and tolerant city, or do we want to be known as a place that’s intolerant?”
Calgary Arts Development, which had also partnered with Pink Flamingo to assist in facilitating the mural project, released a statement on Thursday also sharing its disappointment.
“It is greatly disappointing and alarming that there are some who have also taken this opportunity to voice their views in a way that has resulted in great harm and threats of violence being directed to Pink Flamingo leadership,” the statement read.
“This is not the Calgary we know and we implore all citizens to not let us become known for being a city of hate and divisiveness.”
City council approved $120,000 from the city’s public art reserve for the mural project following a notice of motion to combat systematic racism in Calgary.
Council took part in three days of public testimony from Calgarians who shared their experiences with racism within public institutions and in their daily lives in the city.
However, Ward 3 city councillor Jyoti Gondek said council didn’t go about the process in the right way; as the proposal narrowly passed eight votes to seven.
“In this case, I have to be honest, I think we did a terrible job of public engagement, and we got what we got,” Gondek said on 770 CHQR Global News Radio on Wednesday.
“Council tried to be nimble and responsive to an issue, and we tried to do something that could have been meaningful, but sometimes you need to rely on tried and true practices, that being public engagement.”
Nenshi disagreed with that assessment on Thursday, and said he supported the work that Pink Flamingo put into the project.
“When we engage the public on this stuff, we only engage a segment of the public, and if we’ve learned anything in those anti-racism hearings, it’s that we’re not always getting through to different communities,” Nenshi said.
“We specifically asked Pink Flamingo to go do that in a different way; so for members of council or others to step back and say we should’ve done it our old way, which we always criticize, is, I think, a bit disingenuous.”
The mural project is the latest public art installation in the city to undergo backlash over the years in the city, but for Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, the outrage surrounding this specific project is rather unfortunate.
“As long as there is taxpayer-funded art, there will be controversies over that,” Williams said. “The terribly unfortunate thing about this is the fact that those who oppose this for racist reasons probably feel like they’ve won the day.”
Nenshi said he is in favour of taking a step back and delaying the mural project until next year, so the city can scout new locations for the murals.
“You don’t have to like every piece of public art. I don’t like every piece of art,” Nenshi said. “But what we have to do is appreciate peoples’ work and their craft and their desire to make this city better.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Novelist Ali Smith Finds Art for All Seasons – The Wall Street Journal
Visual art has long played an important role in the novels of Ali Smith, 58, one of Britain’s leading writers and a four-time Booker Prize finalist. Her 2014 novel “How to Be Both” is jointly narrated by the 15th-century Italian artist Francesco Del Cossa and a British teenager in the 21st century, who becomes obsessed with one of his paintings in London’s National Gallery. She has collaborated on projects with her longtime partner Sarah Wood, an artist, curator and filmmaker.
But when Ms. Smith began her tetralogy of novels named after the seasons—whose final installment, “Summer,” was published in the U.S. last month—she didn’t know how important art and artists would become. In the four years covered by the books, a large cast of characters—among them a centenarian songwriter, a young art lecturer, a nature blogger, a brilliant near-juvenile-delinquent and a movie director—fall in and out of love, form de facto families and debate the political issues of the day, particularly immigration and Brexit. In each volume, fictional characters mingle with real-life artists, who play significant roles in the plot.
In 2015, when she was planning the first volume, “Autumn,” Ms. Smith happened to see a magazine reproduction of “Colour Her Gone,” a 1962 picture by the British Pop artist Pauline Boty. The painting is divided into three vertical sections: In the middle Boty depicts Marilyn Monroe at her most seductive, surrounded by flowers, while the flanking panels feature austere, abstract designs. The disconcerting effect is heightened by the way the Monroe panel is placed off center.
Boty, who died in 1966 at the age of just 28, struggled to be taken seriously as a female Pop artist. Her work addressed social and political issues head on, just as Ms. Smith does in “Autumn,” which she was writing at the height of the U.K.’s Brexit debate. Ms. Smith decided to make Boty a character in the novel, giving the artist a monologue-like chapter to herself. “A great many men don’t understand a woman full of joy, even more don’t understand paintings full of joy by a woman,” the character says. “Boty’s spirit—it’s the spine of that book,” Ms. Smith says now. “I’m thankful for it.”
Each volume in the series features a different 20th-century British artist, though in different ways. The second book, “Winter,” discusses the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, whose pierced stone abstract sculptures recall the work of Henry Moore. Ms. Smith says that Hepworth “knows how the physical universe and the human world come together and come apart.” In “Spring,” has-been director Richard Lease is inspired by the contemporary artist Tacita Dean, especially her 2017 work “The Montafon Letter,” an enormous picture of a mountain and avalanche: “As he stood there, what he was looking at stopped being chalk on slate, stopped being a picture of mountain. It became something terrible, seen,” Ms. Smith writes.
Finally, in “Summer,” Ms. Smith introduces two German artists who fled Nazism and took refuge in the U.K.: Fred Uhlman, known for his vivid landscapes and surrealistic drawings, and Kurt Schwitters, best known for his collages. In 2020, the 104-year-old Daniel, one of Ms. Smith’s fictional characters, recalls being interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man during World War II alongside the two artists.
Daniel recounts that Uhlman spent his time making drawings in which a little girl with a balloon moves unscathed through wartime horrors: piles of skulls, ruined buildings, hangings. In real life, children were on Uhlman’s mind at the time: The internment had prevented him from finding out any information about his pregnant wife. After the war, Uhlman published 24 of these drawings under the title “Captivity” (1946).
The antic Schwitters, by contrast, barks like a dog, sleeps in a basket and, for lack of better material, makes sculptures out of porridge that then molder and turn green. “These sculptures are alive…there is no higher accolade,” Daniel diplomatically assures Schwitters. In real life, Schwitters left the camp in 1941 for London, where he met with little success, though his work was later recognized as a forerunner of Pop art.
For Ms. Smith, the purpose of making art and artists so central to these novels is that the arts “ask response. They ask for our thinking, feeling presence. The visual arts do it with an immediacy we think we’re used to…but we’re never used to art, which will always shake us out of ourselves and into new, renewed selves.”
Art enthusiasts are invited downtown for a distanced Art After Dark experience – Kingstonist
Art galleries and art loving businesses will once again open their doors for Art After Dark tonight, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.
This biannual event has been running for over 10 years and is always met with great reception by art enthusiasts who are starting or adding to their personal art collections, according to a release from Downtown Kingston! dated Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight, Kingstonians can tour downtown’s galleries, and enjoy great conversation and compelling art, while maintaining physical distancing based on KFL&A Public Health guidelines. According to the release, if visitors are not able to tour the galleries while maintaining physical distancing, businesses will encourage returning at another time to enjoy the art.
“At Martello Alley and Martello on Brock we are looking forward to celebrating with the local community,” said David Dossett, owner of the Martello locations. “It gives us an opportunity to thank Kingston for their continued support during these challenging times.”
“And, we are excited to show Kingston our new store, Martello on Brock as well as the newly-renovated Martello Alley,” Dossett continued. “Come and enjoy the sounds of Euro Café Duo as they perform live at Martello Alley while you wait to shop. Their Parisian music will take you to another place and time.”
Art After Dark patrons will be able to enter to win a $500 voucher towards the purchase of original art at every participating location they visit. This is a great opportunity for fans of Art After Dark to consider what they would buy if they won.
|Amanda’s House of Elegance||70 Princess St|
|The Amber Room Kingston||34 Princess St|
|Cloth||131 Princess St|
|End of the Thread Antique Emporium||201 Princess St|
|Gallery Raymond||334 Princess St|
|Gallery Raymond- The Warehouse Gallery||273 Brock St|
(entrance off Clergy St)
|General Brock’s Commissary||55 Brock St|
|Happy Thoughts||95 Clarence St|
|Downtown Kingston Art Studio||181 Sydenham St|
|Martello Alley||203 B Wellington St|
|Martello on Brock||66 Brock St|
|Montreal Street Collective||39 Montreal St|
|Salti Yoga Kingston||80 Princess St|
|UNDR for Men||68 Princess St|
“We are excited for this safe and fun event to celebrate local Kingston artists who have been hit hard during this pandemic,” said Marilyn Doherty, Project Manager – Marketing for Downtown Kingston!
Art After Dark is a biannual event celebrated in concert with the Downtown Kingston! BIA – an association of 700+ businesses located in downtown Kingston.
More information and artist profiles can be found here: https://www.downtownkingston.ca/events/2020/fall-art-after-dark-2020
A map of participating locations can be seen in the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/343873140130990/?active_tab=discussion
Fine Art Startup Maireann Makes Art Collections More Accessible – Featuring Limited Edition Prints and Signed Art – PRNewswire
NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Maireann is a New York based Fine Art marketplace that sells top-quality signed and limited edition prints. They launched on August 15, 2020. The fine art prints they sell are targeted at consumers desiring to purchase high-value art but cannot afford outrageously-expensive collections. Maireann wants to ultimately make quality art that will appreciate in value more readily available.
“Maireann helps photographers survive and make a living, especially during these trying times,” exclaimed Creative Director Freddie Leiba who’s worked with some of the top names in art and fashion like Andy Warhol, Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Joseph Chen, Helmut Newton, Horst P. Horst, and Francesco Scavullo to name a few. “I’ve seen many Photographers struggle to find a good marketplace to sell to art collectors,” added Leiba, ” Maireann helps solve this problem.”
Says New York Fashion Photographer Joseph Chen, “The series Forme Féminine et Sensualité is an ongoing study I have been working on and off for the last 10 years, it revolves around the intricate relationship between sensuality and the female form. Maireann is a great platform to share my work to the world, it also gives me the opportunity to do what I feel, which is sometimes hard to do on commissioned advertising jobs.” Supermodel Megan Irminger, who worked with Chen over the years, adds, “I think it’s a beautiful piece illustrating the light that women bring to this world.” The series Forme Féminine et Sensualité by Chen is sold exclusively with Maireann.
Maireann accomplishes their mission by lowering the cost of the art to the consumer while offering a majority of the sales price to the artist. Maireann keeps a very low percentage of each print sold in comparison to other marketplaces. Maireann even offers free shipping on all orders $200 and above.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Maireann to sell my photography,” added photographer Mario De La Isla. “Previously, I’ve struggled to find buyers who would appreciate my limited-edition prints. But with the help of Maireann, I’m able to focus more on creating art than worrying about selling my work.” De La Isla is a veteran photographer for National Geographic.
Lastly, Maireann is currently on the lookout for artists that they, themselves, bring a unique point of view, to help showcase fresh exceptional talent to the art world.
Apolline Côté – PR
SOURCE Maireann: Limited Edition Fine Art Prints
Novelist Ali Smith Finds Art for All Seasons – The Wall Street Journal
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