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'You don't have to like every piece of art': Nenshi condemns outrage towards proposed BLM murals – Global News



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.

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“You people are evil and will be destroyed,” another comment read.

Read more:
Calgary Black Lives Matter mural postponed, new wall to be found following ‘violent vitriol, racism’

“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.

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“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.

Read more:
Anti-racism hearing at Calgary City Hall to go into third day

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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.

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“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.

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Art heist at Kelowna gallery takes four minutes – Vancouver Sun



The stolen sculptures included bronze, stone, and glass pieces. Altogether, the pieces weighed more than 300 pounds.

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KELOWNA — Art thieves were in and out of a Kelowna gallery in four minutes early Saturday morning, stealing 11 sculptures worth almost $70,000.

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Two masked men broke into Gallery 421 in the South Pandosy business district, triggering an alarm at 1:58 a.m. They fled at 2:02 a.m., according to a surveillance camera.

“It was most definitely targeted. They knew exactly what pieces they wanted to steal,” gallery co-owner Kelly Hanna said Monday. “They were fast, but their movements were deliberate. It wasn’t helter-skelter.”

The stolen sculptures included bronze, stone, and glass pieces. Altogether, the pieces weighed more than 135 kilograms.

“We’re going to put the word out to other galleries, pawnshops, and art houses about what was stolen,” Hanna said. It’s most likely the thieves will try to sell the pieces outside of Kelowna, either in Vancouver or the U.S., she said.

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One thief was 5-foot-10, medium build, and wore a grey hoodie. The other was 5-foot-6, also of medium build, and was wearing blue pants with white runners.

The stolen pieces included works by artists Vilem Zach, Michael Hermesh, Vance Theoreet, and Jeff Holmwood.

Hanna and co-owner Ken Moen are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information with police that leads to an arrest.

Hanna and Moen bought the gallery, which opened in 2001, two years ago. Hanna said there have been smash-and-grabs of items such as computer equipment before, but never thefts of works of art.

More news, fewer ads, faster load time: Get unlimited, ad-lite access to The Vancouver Sun, the Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Subscribe now through The Vancouver Sun or The Province.

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Can New Technology Bring Authentic And Transparent Trust To The Art World? Like VIN Numbers For Art-Works. – Forbes



In 1987, I was lucky enough to attend the auction of Vincent Van Gogh’s Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers at Christie’s in London. At the time, the sale price of $39.7 million was staggering.  Inflation- adjusted, that’s $127 million today. Two years later, in 1989, the Dallas Cowboys were sold for $140 million. In November 2017, Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Salvator Mundi, was sold for over $450 million. The prestige associated with rare assets (Forbes estimates that the Dallas Cowboys are now valued at over $5.7 billion) has a lot to do with the market value of uncommonly traded assets. Still, authenticating the origin and history of a sports team is easy.  But to do the same thing for expensive artworks has always been incredibly difficult.

The art market has seen extraordinary growth in its size and the value of its assets over the past 25 years and longer.  Living artists are now able to sell their artworks at significant values at market entry – what are called primary market sales – during their lifetime and to see significant rises in the value of their art including in the secondary market. This is a relatively new experience for the market.  History’s old masters and more modern artists never got to experience these trends during their lifetimes. Art market auction sales tipped $50 billion in 2021, and the unofficial private sector of the market is probably another $50 billion. Think about a $100 billion annual sales industry, that is based on trillions of dollars of assets, that all need to be authenticated, secured and monitored for many different purposes ranging from insurance to sales values and other market opportunities.

Our guest for today’s podcast is Lawrence Shindell, he is the Chairman, President and CEO of LMI Group International, Inc., headquartered in New York. LMI Group is a strategic investment bank-like firm that represents artwork owners and investors in the authentication underwriting and market release of major orphaned artworks – artworks that the data strongly indicate are by blue-chip artists and have expected market values between $15,000,000 and $200,000,000.   A trial lawyer by background, Mr. Shindell holds licenses in a number of U.S. jurisdictions including admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Before founding LMI Group in early 2018, Mr. Shindell served as the Chief Executive Officer of a regulated U.S. title insurance company catering to the international art industry. 

His insights about the art market and its needs and trends over the next decade – ranging from technologies to solve the challenges of art object identification and authenticity to NFTs – provide a glimpse into a very complex industry sector. It is often said that the world’s art serves as the tree rings of society. Advances in technologies can bring efficiency to this market sector just as technology has brought efficiency to other markets, and can give us a sense of comfort about the integrity of these high value assets as we visit art museums, collect art, invest in art, or engage in and around art in many other ways. 

 Artwork, both old and new, and both digital and physical, make up a huge market that offers cultural engagement as well as incredible economic upsides for investors who invest in art. Improvements in four areas can change the level of comfort for investors.

  • Anti-money laundering – legislation that is increasingly offering transparency but also putting pressure on market actors to verify source of funds, and seller and purchaser legal status and identity, whether for purchasing or selling art or using art as collateral for loans, for example. 
  • The advent of the blockchain and more recently NFTs are revolutionizing the ways in which we link irrefutable identifying references to physical and digital art, as these assets journey through the market via purchases, gifts, sales, exhibitions and events of condition-conservation among other events, and in the case of NFTs, especially as a medium in which to create art in the first instance, as a means to create verifiable fractional and complete ownership interests.
  • Different technologies will separately allow us to imprint identifications on existing, secondary market physical works that can distinguish these objects from copies and also enable a conclusive linking of the information around the object captured via the blockchain to the exact physical object. 
  • Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning science and technologies that can aide traditional measures to appraise and verify art in complement with these other technologies. 

The idea of reliable object identification is nothing new.  We use VIN numbers for automobiles and CUSIP numbers for the securities industry. And we use DNA markers to authenticate the origin and history of, for example, cloning material. 

Hollywood has been using tales of the historical art world for decades, the most known example is perhaps the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in the lead roles. While interests and tastes in the art world have evolved from old masters to modernists to an expansive contemporary art market today, the art market as a whole shows no signs of slowing down. 

We can expect to see continued rapid growth including with the introduction of NFTs and factional ownership options. Each of the issues just highlighted are central to LMI Group and its specialization in authenticating to conclusive factual standards culturally and historically important works of art that have been lost to history but can reliably be reintroduced to the cultural sector, and in applying its expertise to cultural heritage initiatives that involve complex authentication of historical objects and information.  

             LMI Group is at the forefront of advances that are designed to enable objective, data-based analyses and decision-making in the art and cultural heritage sector.

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Artists Invited To Enter Artwork In Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show – Osprey Observer



Artists young and old, professional and amateur, are encouraged to enter original artwork into the 2022 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. Your artwork is eligible to win a ribbon and cash prize.

A call to artists has been issued by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) for the 2022 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show, which runs from Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 13 at the Festival Grounds in Plant City. The show will be held in the Milton E. Hull Building.

Adults are divided into professional groups (entry fee is $15) and amateur groups (entry fee is $12). Adults can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphic/mixed media and sculptures. The entry fee for miniature art (2D media) and sculptures (3D art) is $12.

The youth divisions are by ages. Youth can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphic/mixed media and sculptures. The entry fee is $5.

Adults can enter up to four entries, but no more than two in the same division. Youth can enter up to two entries.

Entries are eligible for substantial monetary awards. This includes $100 for the Strawberry Theme Award (an entry must include strawberries or reflect the current festival theme of ‘#1 for FUN!’). There is also $300 for Best of Show.

There are prizes for first ($150) and second ($100) place in all adult and youth divisions. Adult amateurs, miniature and sculpture entries receive $100 for first place and $75 for second. Adults who receive third and fourth place receive rosette ribbons.

For youth, first place receives $25 and second place receives $15. Entries who win third and fourth place receive a rosette ribbon. All youth participants receive participation ribbons.

Artists who do not win one of the above prizes are eligible for a Business Leaders Choice Award. Area residents can also become sponsors for the In Honor Award and select a winning artist who will receive a ribbon and $50.

Space is limited and entries are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Early entries are accepted until Friday, February 11. Artists can mail their entry form and fee to East Hillsborough Art Guild, P.O. Box 3055, Plant City, FL 33564. Artwork must be brought to the Festival Grounds on Saturday, February 19 from 12 Noon-6 p.m.

Chairperson Karen Crumley said, “Our entry day was moved to Saturday to allow easier access to more working people or parents with school age children.”

Entry forms and rules can be found at If you have questions, please email Crumley at or call 924-3829.

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