I met Ashleigh Bartlett at the Esker Foundation. I was participating in a workshop that was a visual response/reaction to the Jack Bush and Colleen Heslin exhibit, one of the most powerful visual experiences I had had for a very long time. Ashleigh really impacted me with her approach to the workshop and I saw the evolution of non-objective forms more clearly than I had in the past. I also became very engaged in process, materials and colour.
Ashleigh Bartlett curated the current/soon departing exhibit For You/And Me at the Paul Kuhn Gallery. I couldn’t let it leave town without seeing it. After all, yesterday was a snowy and grey day. One other person was wandering the gallery, but soon, I was alone in the space. And…my readers know how I feel about that glorious feeling of being alone with work. I’ve snapped some photographs of my favourite works. I’d describe this group show as elegant and restful. While colour on the larger fabric collages is intense, there is a dominant sense of balance and that leads the viewer into an experience of meditation.
In regards to my experience, I was curious about the technical aspects of the work. There were some very engaging approaches to use of media. Jim Verburg’s approach in his two layer paintings was lovely…so subtle, that photographs would not do them justice. Paint on mylar in front of paint on mat. Nice. Jessica Groome’s Glimmer, Gazer and Pearl, documented below…my favourites!
This little piece was probably the one I wondered about the most. Mark Clintberg’s Two Coins was simple, but complex at the same time. I like the projection of the shadow onto the back mat. I like the texture of the embossed gold leaf. I wonder about the connections with Felix Gonzales Torres’ Drawings and Sculptures. This captures the sensibility of the exhibit in full…elegance. Congratulations to Ashleigh, the participating artists and Paul Kuhn.
I’d love to have Erica Mendritzski’s Girls hanging in my home. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I strongly recommend your attendance at the Nickle Galleries for Generations; 50 Years of Art at the University and Beyond. Today, I decided to attend Nickle at Noon, a wander through the exhibit in the company of Mary-Beth Laviolette. I made my way to the campus early enough to consume the most wonderful Reuben sandwich made by the peeps of the Red Wagon Diner food truck. There was still a bite to the air, but now the sun is out and it is a magical autumn day.
Curated by Mary-Beth Laviolette, the exhibit began with a variety of work from the Founders of the University Art Department, spanning every decade up to the present day. An extensive body of work gives a very positive sense of the production and the mentoring within this powerhouse visual arts community of ours. It all made me feel so proud.
Mary-Beth was funny and smart and shared with a few more than 20 attendees, the interesting narratives behind most of the work that included sculpture, paintings, drawings, fabric arts, mixed media and print making. I’ve documented a few of the things that really amused or intrigued me. The tour was beautifully paced, educational and thorough.
Our city is loaded with the most wonderful opportunities. I hope my readers will get out to take advantage of this one. DaveandJen’s A Natural History of Islands opens tonight, from 5 until 8, in the upstairs gallery. I will be holding off on this one until the Artists’ tour on November 24. There are a ton of events going on in the city right now and through Saturday. Don’t spread yourself too thin, but it is definitely not a Netflix weekend. (oh…do what you want!)
Work by Nicholas Roukes, writer of Design and Art Synectics…two books that greatly influenced my teaching.
Peter Deacon and Marcia Perkins
Amy Gogarty…this one just captivated me!
Mary Scott and Jed Irwin
Beautiful portrait of John Will in Ballpoint Pen and Sharpie Marker by Aurora Landin
Rita McKeough Mitten Series
Dang…something is on my lens!
Artist, Bev Tosh, speaks a little about her War Bride series.
This is a beautiful day! I got up early and Max and I headed over to the pond. I made a decision to attend a later Mass again because light will be fading soon and our pond walks will be later in the day…it is time to soak up the beautiful morning light while it’s still possible. It is another golden-blue day as tree branches become more exposed and the leaves move into a warmer shade of yellow.
Mass was inspiring. With my church family, I was able to reconnect with a friend I hadn’t visited with for quite a long time and I felt as though I was able to be really present to her and to the blessed peace of the Mass. I thought a lot about discipleship…and took pause to consider what direction these thoughts might take me in my community.
Once home, I ate a nice lunch and then visited with Dad on Skype. Now, I am sitting in my pyjamas, ready to have an afternoon nap. The sunshine is creating beautiful patterns on the floor near by. This relaxed feeling that pours over me is quite a contrast to the whirlwind of activity that has been filling up my life since Enriquito’s departure and connecting with Dylan last week. A few images as an archive…
Dragon Pearl Dumplings and Hot and Sour Soup…a family favourite and great for an art night.
Esker Foundation autumn opening. The snacks, as per usual, were amazing! And it was such a nice thing to visit with Jim and Sue Hill again. I bumped into people I knew, but it was especially good to share the experience with my daughter, Cayley. I have to say that this exhibit is a challenge for me. I’m looking forward to programs that will supplement the visual exhibit over the coming months. I’m guessing I will learn more about art as communication and installation. The programs began on Saturday, with an artist talk, but one needs to pace ones self. Charlotte Moth: living images and Celia Perrin Sidarous: Interiors, Other Chambers will be on exhibit until December 20.
From this gallery setting, we headed over to Pith Gallery, meeting John Will in the center of 9th Ave, where funny enough, he stopped to talk. Comic Con’t by Ryan Statz, had me in stitches. Honestly, the work made me laugh out loud. A great find! Autobiographical in nature, this work was technically astute and in very good humour.
Lifted from the Pith Comic Con’t public share, I hope that Ryan will not mind me sharing this…sort of gives you the back story.
Ryan Statz – Biography
A native of Montréal Québec, Statz completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2000, and received his Masters of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in 2008. Currently based in Calgary Alberta, Statz’s work has been exhibited across Canada, The United States, and Europe.
Ryan Statz – Artist Statement
I am an idiot.
Anyone who knows me would likely admit that this is neither a stretch of the truth or the imagination – in fact, if I were a gambling man I’d say it’d be a pretty safe bet. Based on a personal, and experiential reality, my work owns up to this; however, because I also do not lead a life that is altogether interesting or exciting, the subject matter of the work references the mundane.
In the production of my work, I employ strategies from performance, executed with a deadpan fervour that includes elements of humour, wit, and humility – with just a hint of self-deprecation. Any self-flagellation, however, should not be taken as an admission of a lowered self-image; it is used primarily as a comedic device that addresses the notion of hegemonic masculinity.
Art History ubiquitously portrays the male artist as an iconic figure, a genius, and a hero. As I often approach things with a great deal of humility, I present the male artist (myself) as an individual who is not the sharpest tool in the shed, whose social status amongst his peers isn’t the highest, and whose success within the local, Canadian and international art context is virtually non-existent. So for my own purposes, and in the context of the male artist-as-bumbling-idiot, failure is always a viable option.
From Pith Gallery, Cayley and I walked down to the Ironwood Stage and Grill where Steve Coffey and Sheri-D were performing a collaborative piece titled, Tales From the Moonshine Room. Over a glass of wine, a snack of calamari and conversation shared with a writer out of LA, Cayley and I really enjoyed this performance piece. On a few occasions, the spoken poetry brought me to tears.
Nice to see you again, Paul Forestell!
Saturday morning began with an early morning pond walk. Even when life is hectic, having a beautiful border collie (Max-Man) in my circle, causes a connection with nature and required exercise.
From there, I headed up north for an Open Door YYC activity. I had registered to see the warehouse where the City of Calgary stores and cares for the Public Art Collection. It was fabulous! Barb and Quinn did an superb job sharing such a ‘magical’ place with us. Articulate and genuinely passionate, their collaborative presentation was excellent. A staff of two, they manage a beautiful space and collection. I was really glad to have seen this. (No pictures inside…and if you’ve ever attended to such an event, you would understand the logic.)
Had I prior knowledge about the density of population that would attend a Pop Up Etsy event, I would not have committed to the 50 minute line up to get to the 97 vendors inside the Golden Acres venue on Saturday. While I did pick up three Christmas gifts, I find that Market Collective provides a more ‘chill’ experience and as many artisans and creatives. I missed food trucks and live music. The crowds were oppressive. Hmmm…let me see…I’m sure I took a photo of the line up that wove in and out of shelving. Yes, here it is…
Yes, Dad, I DID do this! The best part of the line up was that I met up with one of my fans…just love this girl! Hannah is in one of her dance poses for this photo. :0)
I decided to opt out of the bus tour of the Shepard Land Fill site and headed home to chill out before sharing the evening with my girls, attending Alberta Ballet’s Balletlujah.
From Avenue Magazine: Photo captured of a moment in Jean Grand-Maitre’s choreography for Balletlujah!
Now…it might be that my readers will think that Saturday was over…but, no. What did we do? We stopped at the Blackfoot Diner OF COURSE. We thought we would share a piece of pie. But instead….this.
I have much to be grateful for…I’m offered up so much in the way of opportunity…good food and drink…friendship and family. It was quite a weekend! Late this afternoon, I will drive out to spend time with my dear Ya Yas. But…for now…a snooze!
The day was a chilly and wet one, but filled to the brim with connecting, whether that was with people or art.
I got Max out in the early morning. He was in his typically joyful place, leaping through the air in order to retrieve his Chuckit! Paraflight Fetch Toy Frisbee Disc. He loves it! It’s durable and I concur with all of the points made in the following review. I try to alternate his types of work outs each day, taking him out onto trails on his own or doing work outs such as this toy provides. I call this toy a whizzo…and I pick them up, two at a time, when they are on sale and keep them in stock in my front hall closet. Max seems to go through about two a year.
While you play this sort of game with your energetic dog, you need to remember to temper the height of your throw in order that your dog does not experience long term wear on his hips and joints. Border collies are so active, agile and obsessed that they have no limits on what they choose to endure, so you, as an owner, must set the limits. It is a difficult thing to watch your very active dog succumb to arthritis at some point because you chose to be an ‘over achiever’ with him. A side note here is that I have developed very beefy arms in my years of training and owning this breed. Certain dogs require hard work every day. My boy would be one of those. This work needs to be varied so to remain interesting and so sometimes making your dog sit and stay for 45 minutes is another alternative, particularly on bad weather days.
I dropped Max home and headed to meet with my retired teacher-friends for a coffee. I treasure these friends so much and felt absolutely blessed as I left yesterday morning. Our conversation was varied and enthusiastic. We had opportunity to share both joy and pain and were there for one another to celebrate and support, both. I continue to be surprised with the human resistance to retirement. There is so much that happens in the world beyond ‘the job’. Thanks to my friends for sharing your interesting lives with me. I am truly blessed by your smarts and your wit.
From there, I jumped on the C Train and got off at the City Hall stop. After a warm chicken salad sandwich, enjoyed in our central public library, I headed over to the John Clark exhibit at C2. I found Jeffrey Spalding in an intense conversation with a couple of people and so enjoyed my encounter with the images on my own. I love the synchronicity of the entire event….CTrain City Hall Chicken Salad, Clark, C2…it was a C sort of a morning.
The exhibit is a beautiful collection of works by John Clark. The collection, available until August 31, is another amazing tribute to a person with a unique statement about his surroundings and experience. I was most emotional in front of a huge canvas painted in 1989, the piece that appears at the complete right of the following photograph.
Arnaud Maggs, John Clark in his studio, 1988. From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 1989.
I continue to long for a greater connection with the University of Lethbridge since attending during the years 1973 to 1977, and so I really enjoyed this piece, I believe to be titled Bird and Bridge.
An excellent tribute to John Clark’s life and exploration…beautifully displayed and worth our admiration. Gratitude to C2 and also the various contributors of the pieces featured in this exhibit.
From C2, I headed over to the Glenbow Museum to enjoy the Bee Kingdom’s:The Iconoclasts in Glass. AWESOME! Get out to see this one. I have written several times about the Bees over these last several years, but, please DO enjoy this elegant display of a very comprehensive collection of works. Such a clear vision was evidenced in this body. A pleasure! Congratulations and shout out to Phillip, Tim and Ryan!
Phillip Murray Bandura
I hung out in the museum for a little while…thinking especially about Marion Nicholl’s work for some reason. I thought she was such a phenomenal visionary. I don’t wish to get into the generational and gender ‘thing’ here…but…come on!
It just wouldn’t be right to be so close to create! at the Golden Age Club, to not walk over and see what was cooking. I enjoyed a coffee and rice crispy square with visionary and facilitator, Wendy Lees; artists Margaret, Lorna, Jo-Anne and Les and got filled in about all of the recent goings-on including the creation of a Little Library and another zine.
I met up with my daughter after jumping on the train and rockin’ my way to the ‘burbs’ from the core. After yet another Max-event, Cayley and I met up with a beautiful friend of ours at the Blue’s Can and I spun some circles in the dance floor to the all-so-familiar tunes of Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow. The day could not have been more full, rich and beautiful.
After all of this, I remembered to take the garbage out for a Friday morning pick-up. And, after reading a few fantastic pages of Carol Shield’s Small Ceremonies (Karen, get this book!), I was off to sleep.
Poster produced and published for the purpose of advertising the launch of Made in Calgary: the 1990s and Worn to be Wild
It was a bitterly cold night, but I decided that I really wanted to take in the events at the Glenbow, after leaving Contemporary Calgary (formerly AGC). The walk was nice and there was a definite hum as I was going over the delights of the evening in my head.
I didn’t take photographs in the Glenbow, but am pleased to notice that there is good coverage about the present exhibits on line and in the news.. The air was charged with conversation and excellent music when I arrived. I guess you could say that ‘the place was rockin’. Extensions of one another, the art happening at the Glenbow complemented the Contemporary Calgary experience.
First, the Graceland Arcade offering by Bart Habermiller and purchase of two post cards. The background for Grace’s land Calgary and the arcade piece is articulated in the following note of appreciation left on the event’s Facebook write up. It is evident that there were wondrous experiences shared out on ‘the land’. “Grace’s Land, formally Calgary Demolition was 7 acres of land, out buildings, scrap materials, energy & fire on the edge of Calgary, Canada from 1986 -1997.” I selected two cards from the vending machine, the one at bottom Music Student 1 by Carmina Trsic 2014.
“Thank you to the many friends who came out to celebrate the 90’s show that Bart Habermiller was curated into as a result of his impressive 11 year collaboration with the Calgary Art Scene called Graceland. Way back then, Grace Coulter provided bart with an opportunity to make art on her land and in true Bart fashion he did not hoard the opportunity but shared it with anyone who wanted to make something interesting happen. Art rodeos, performance art, and massive sculpture and installations were a regular occurrence, devoid of funding agents, institution protocol or collect-ability. It wasn’t about how to make money with art it was about how to make friends, art and good ideas. It was raw and it was real. Graceland was an important part of the shaping of what Calgary’s art scene is today and I am tremendously proud of all that Bart has done to try and make things happen for artists. Oh and the proceeds of his art piece, the vending machines (for which once again he shared his opportunity with other artists) that are in the lobby of the Glenbow will be donated to the elephant Artist Relief fund, a not for profit that helps artists financially during the serious stages of illness.” (sic)
CKUA featured a bit of description of Bart’s search for a community of artists who built an important ‘happening’ on Grace Coulter’s land, on January 26 on ArtBeat. Go to 5:11.
“Featuring over 100 works by 55 artists – Rita McKeough, Chris Cran, John Will, Faye Heavyshield, and Allan Dunning, among many others – Made in Calgary: The 1990s reflects this exciting time which saw local artists continuing to redefine both their own art and the city’s place in the global art scene.
Made in Calgary is a multi-season exhibition series explores the character of Calgary’s artistic community from 1960 to 2010. Each exhibition reflects the contributions of individual artists in the context of the social and cultural factors that influenced their worked”(sic)
I enjoyed artist, David Garneau’s piece How the West, created in 1998...a piece that nicely transitioned this exhibit into the fun experience of Worn to be Wild! Nancy Tousley describes the piece as a rewritten history of the west. “He was making it look like an advertisement or look like an illustration from a child’s historical account.” This, found in The Calgary Herald, February 6, 2014…an article written by Jon Roe of Swerve. From Glenbow’s own collection, the piece is visually demanding and magically engaging. The image, here, is a detail of the work from Glenbow’s own site.
Worn to be Wild clearly demonstrates the history of the black leather jacket. It is beautifully displayed and is potent in its content and its colour. I want to get out and buy myself a black leather jacket after viewing this one…and certainly, given the crowds of opening night, I am going to return and take this exhibit in again. A list of the artifacts on display can be viewed here.
As I stepped out of the Glenbow and into the cold night air, I met up with two bikers, both wearing their black leather. I asked them if they had been upstairs to the show and told them that they were dressed perfectly for the exhibit. The female laughed and said, “We are the REAL DEAL, sweetie! We haven’t had these jackets off for 30 years.” We stood and visited for a while…a very fun exchange!
Taking the train south that night, I felt that I had reached the saturation point on my art experience for a while…time to take up some of the labor and get out to the studio. My apologies that this review is coming out five days later, but it’s taken some time to do the research. There is much to take in in Calgary…get out there, Calgarians! Our city is rocking the art!
Above all, Gerrit Rysdyk has high regard for his business…the fact is, he has ‘cleaned up’ the laundromat so that as you enter, you feel a peacefulness, a huge respect and a sense of care. He described the laundromat as providing the following services.
“Lux Laundromat is a full service coin laundry located in the downtown Calgary. There are 14 single load washers,6 double load washers 5 of which are super high effciency and one triple load for king size comforters and quilts. The hours are 8 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week. Last load is 9 PM. Attendant on hand at all times.”
Yesterday’s Love Art in Calgary tour began with coffee cake and coffee at the laundromat, where a recent art opening was enjoyed, featuring Super dark & spooky: So bright and magical!, a mixed media collection by artists SPIVAK and Melinda Topilko of Girl Gang Dance Party.
While SPIVAK’s electronic footprint is sparse, I am including here, a bit of a biography found on the Phantom Wing website for Melinda Topilko.
“My transdisciplinary practice includes drawings, mixed media work, photographs and curatorial collages – using techniques typically defined as “crafty.” Of particular interest to me is the examination of feminism, and the relationship between gender roles and interpretations of the “masculine” and “feminine” in visual culture. Much of my raw material is collected meticulously from thrift stores, specifically domestic objects and images from the 1940s to the 1970s, particularly those associated with women. The juxtaposition of images, objects and texts play with perception and expectation that is intended as humorous, but also has a deeper theoretical basis. A key element of my practice is a social one – interactions not only between the viewers and the work, but also the resulting dialogues.
Melinda graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2012, and is currently working on a second iteration of the exhibition F*** Yeah, I’m a Feminist, and developing Hop on the Magic Art Bus, a travelling (sic) art space.”
Also, from the back office area, Gerrit shared with us a photograph taken of the laundromat in its early days…something found tucked behind machinery and discovered through the clean-up and renovation process. Beau Lark, who studied at ACAD is presently a Berlin photographer. Quite a unique glimpse into the history of the laundromat!
The space provides for a ‘zen-like’ experience…warm light baths the work space and art invigorates the walls.
Thank you for your hospitality, Gerrit, and we wish you much good fortune with this venture. I hope that my readers, when possible, will enjoy the services of the Lux Laundromat and take a wander in at your leisure to enjoy the art. Celebrating this tour, along with me and our fearless leader, Wendy Lees; Yves, Lauraine, Sally, Cindy, Steve, Geoff and Larry.
Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed a turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwich at Central Blends and viewed a beautiful exhibit of paintings done by artist, Debbie Desmarais. These were very powerful paintings, with a very loaded subject matter. I hope that those of you living in Calgary will have a chance to view them as they will move you to the core. Then, go home and pull out your history books. It’s quite some story! It was good to have time with you, Desere and Debbie.
Debbie Desmarais, giving me her calm, cool and collected look.
“The significance of the Battle of Little Bighorn lies more in the stand made by two fearless American Indian leaders than in the defeat of General George Armstrong Custer. Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull found their peak as revolutionaries on the Little Bighorn River in Montana in the summer of 1876, in a battle that would both add to their legends and seal their fate. The contribution made by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull to the defense of the American Indian lies not just in this epic battle, but in a fearless commitment to lead their people against an oppressive United States government. Tashunke Witko (1849–77) or Crazy Horse emerged as a military leader of the Ogeala Sioux tribe while still a young man in his mid-twenties. He was courageous and daring, having mastered the techniques of Indian warfare. Crazy Horse was relentless in his hatred for the white man, clearly opposed to abandoning hunting lands sacred to his people in exchange for a quiet reservation existence. Tatanka Iyotake (1831–90), known all over the world as Sitting Bull, would become the most revered chief of the Teton or Western Sioux, often referred to as the Sioux of Sioux. As the leader of history’s largest assembly of Plains Warriors, Sitting Bull was a visionary band chief and practicing shaman whose strength lay in a natural ability to plan and organize. He lived his life, in service to his people.”