Art and Connection

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.

??????????The following image was acquired via the University of Lethbridge Lasting Images linkArtist-Photographer, Arnaud Maggs, passed in 2012.   May 2013 edition of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.

Arnaud Maggs, John Clark in his studio, 1988. From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 1989.

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.

DSC_0256An 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.

DSC_0254 ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????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


Timothy Belliveau

Timothy Belliveau

Ryan Fairweather

Ryan Fairweather

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!

DSC_0266It 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.

Art Museums

I can hardly keep up with the art exhibits!  Dad and I have been busy this summer.  I have some catching up to do.  The Beaverbrook exhibit at the Glenbow escaped me…slipped right through my finger tips.  I was fortunate that, back in the day, as a recipient of a Teacher Plus award from the Calgary Catholic School District, I traveled Canada, visiting each and every provincial art gallery and the National Art Gallery in Ottawa as well…a single summer immersed in art museums!  During that summer, I spent a great deal of time in The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, enjoying the collection and other works.  It was fun to hear my daughter’s reaction to the experience of standing before the Santiago El Grande (1957) by Salvador Dali, given that I had stood in awe of the piece as a young woman in Fredericton, New Brunswick in the 1990s.  Cayley and I discussed the piece and I pulled out my brochures from the visit…we both wondered about how many people had stood before the piece during its life.  She spoke of a woman who sat beside her and chatted quietly with her about this piece.  Art is so wonderful for its mysteries.  It’s important that we visit art museums.

I drove through Vancouver and missed the Douglas Coupland exhibit.  This is one that I longed to see.  A person could spend their lifetime viewing art, but one has to try to make a balance, especially when life offers so many wonderful things.

Regardless, I’ve got an exhibit on my hit list for today.  It leaves C2 On August 31, so my readers may wish to also stop by to see John Clark’s work.  There’s been some confusion as Calgary has had two galleries merge, with the hope that they will evolve into Contemporary Calgary.  What’s required of the citizens of Calgary is support for a vision that is evolving and likely suffering the pains of transition in many ways.  It can’t be easy.

"The Wheel" (detail), 1986, oil on line, courtesy of the Clark Estate Photo retrieved from FFWD Calgary.

“The Wheel” (detail), 1986, oil on line, courtesy of the Clark Estate Photo retrieved from FFWD Calgary.

John Clark: A Tribute opened about the same time as Dad arrived.  Recently, The Herald published an excellent article about John Clark and his work, an uncommon thing, I find, in Calgary news.  I really wish that the visual arts took up more space in our local papers.  So much is happening.  I guess I have to say that I’m really grateful for FFWD for such as this.  An excellent bit of writing appeared there as well.

Of John Clark, Jeffrey Spalding eloquently states, and this taken directly from the FFWD article linked above…

“John Clark was a seeker: he was somebody who sought enlightenment, sought meaning and sought deeper purpose in things,” says Spalding. “I’m not entirely sure that he found it, and I’m not entirely sure that we’ll find it through his work, but… you’ll find… his desire to try to locate himself in the world and to understand the interaction of himself, nature and culture.”

I think, interesting stuff…enough for me to grab the C train down for a light lunch and a browse.  I hope that my Calgary based readers will take me up on my invitation to stand before these energetic works.  Personally, given my connection with the Lethbridge landscape, I look forward to enjoying Clark’s response to the same.  Tonight I will dish out my thoughts on this special tribute exhibit.

Love Art in Calgary: MOCA

Quick…before I go tuck in, I wish to complete the series around my recent Love Art in Calgary tour arranged by Wendy Lees.  The Artistic Director, Jeffrey Spalding, welcomed us to MOCA, as is his style, with warmth and enthusiasm.  The hospitality received was exceptional, given that on that very evening, MOCA was to celebrate their Grand re-opening.  Due to June floods and some related infrastructure concerns around connected buildings, MOCA was forced to close for a period of time, affording them the opportunity to make some changes and ‘really’ move in to the existing venue.  It was fun to receive insights into these changes up close and also to enjoy the sorts of activities buzzing around the evening opening.  It’s not often that one witnesses beautiful white sofas being washed down and arranged out on a city patio by a glassy pool.  Fantastic!

Close by, Dave Dyment’s Mirror Ball installation was coming to life and all sorts of interesting things were appearing both outdoors and inside the gallery.  If you have not had the chance to enjoy similar openings and events in the open plaza downtown, hop the C Train and take advantage.  Great location…typically, good food and wonderful people!

My readers are invited to view the Made in Calgary: 1980s exhibit, as well as see Danish artist Jesper Just’sA Vicious Undertow” in the upstairs gallery.  There will be more festivities in the plaza and outdoor spaces, given that MOCA is a part of the launch Party for Calgary Culture days.

I’m certain that, as you mingle with friends, you may find yourselves in delightful proximity to Evan Penny’s sculpture, ‘Janet’ or capture her looking with tremendous intensity in the same direction that you are.

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Wendy Lees, Jeffrey Spalding and Participants

Wendy Lees, Jeffrey Spalding and Participants

Jeffrey Spalding, Thank you.

Jeffrey Spalding, Thank you.

News I received via the MOCA mailing list is included here for your perusal.

MOCA Calgary is pleased to be a part of the launch Party for Calgary Culture days, taking place this Friday 7:00pm-11:00pm.  Lots to do from a series of concerts, hosted by the city, across the way in Olympic Plaza, to food trucks, outdoor installations, animation screenings, fashion show featuring creations made of light and cash bar lounge at MOCA Calgary.  If you missed our Grand re opening last Saturday not to worry because Dave Dyment’s Mirror Ball installation along with Max Streicher’s horse are back for one more night.  Quickdraw Animation Society is also joining in the fun by screening “The best of the Giraffe Festival” projected onto the side of the MOCA building.  Our gallery will remain open late so check out our Made in Calgary: 1980s exhibition along with the screening of Jesper Just’s “ A Vicious Undertow” in the upper gallery, on loan from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Come down, enjoy the fun and help us support the City of Calgary Culture Days!

Jeffrey shared with us the background on the Made In Calgary: 1980s exhibit and it never fails to disappoint as far as his knowledge of art history.  I am proud that he is with us here in Calgary because he makes us so much more rich for his knowledge.  If given a chance, please participate in a Love Art in Calgary tour when you see MOCA on the menu!  There is an awesome write up on the Made In Calgary: 1980s show HERE!

Love Art in Calgary: Jarvis Hall Fine Art

Wowsah!  Next on our tour, Jarvis Hall Fine Art!  I love this space!  I like Jarvis Hall and his vision, philosophy and dedication to both fine art and to the craft of exquisite fine art framing.  Jarvis and Shannon Williamson were both so generous with their time and really welcomed us on a pretty busy day, given that there was an opening that afternoon for Marianne Gerlinger.  It was very exciting to be able to preview Marianne’s work and to enter into some art talk about the images, techniques and to wander about at a leisurely pace.


Background Image by Billy McCarroll. Wendy Lees Introduction of Jarvis Hall


A new sort of gallery ‘speak’…at least I thought so!


Shannon Williamson…artist and art preparator.


This image has been collected directly from the Jarvis Hall website and so credit is given to them for the photograph.  One of my favourites.

Marianne Gerlinger "Smoked", 2013, 42 x 48 in., acrylic, black gesso & oil stick on canvas

Marianne Gerlinger “Smoked”, 2013, 42 x 48 in., acrylic, black gesso & oil stick on canvas

I was really intrigued by the description of techniques used in some fine arts frames and to learn that there are some historical methods that continue to be practiced, but by very few crafts people in the contemporary world.  This is something I’d like to explore more.  New insights into things are so exciting.  While I DID take notes on this process, I think that this site seems to describe it more clearly…with the addition of carving as one of the steps to the completed profile.  I also would like to apologize for the quality of this photograph, but want to include it here as a part of what I will always remember as being so absolutely beautiful.


Steve and Steve standing in front of an amazing Jeffrey Spalding piece.

Steve and Steve standing in front of an amazing Jeffrey Spalding piece.