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News in Brief: Van Gogh Dispute Continues, Canadian Artists Issue Copyright Complaints, MacKenzie Gallery to Renovate

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

The debate over whether or not a recently found sketchbook is by Vincent Van Gogh continues. Shortly after Canadian art historian Bogomila Welsh-Ocharov announced that she had discovered the sketchbook, which forms the basis of her new book, the Van Gogh Museum quickly released a statement that “they were of the opinion that these could not be attributed to Vincent van Gogh.” Now, Les Éditions du Seuil, the French publisher of Welsh-Ocharov’s book, are threatening to sue the Van Gogh Museum “to obtain compensation for the damage they have suffered as a result of an insidious and unfounded campaign.”

In the past month, two Canadian artists have run into copyright issues in separate cases, one involving stock image websites Getty and Alamy, the other with a reproduction of her work on shirts sold at Winners. Vernon muralist Michelle Loughery was upset when images of her work appeared for sale on websites such as Getty and Alamy; “I don’t know who they are letting use that image and I’m not comfortable with that,” explained Loughery. Meanwhile, painter Jody Edwards believes that a shirt she found in a Winners, which was also being sold in Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls and TJX, took her watercolour painting of feathers, and altered the image slightly before using it in merchandise.

The MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina has received $250,000 in funding from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which will go towards renovations at the gallery. Design and planning will begin in 2017, and the gallery aims to create more community-arts spaces, room for “significant works of art on long-term display” and an espresso and wine bar. In addition to the $250,000 in funding, the MacKenzie has secured matching private funds to complete the project. In addition to other investments, the gallery announced that an “investment of almost $1,000,000 [will go] towards the MacKenzie’s ongoing transformation in 2017.”

Ceramic artist Laurent Craste has been awarded the Jean-Marie-Gauvreau Prize, which is given by the Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec to a professional craftsperson who was been working in the field for more than 10 years. The award includes a $10,000 prize. Craste, who is based in Montreal, studied at the Université du Québec à Montréal, has shown at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

The Canada Council for the Arts has officially opened their new portal for applications. It can take up to 15 days to fully register, and applicants for grants under the new funding model need to create a profile in the portal 30 days before applying for grants, so it’s best to get registered in the system with a profile sooner rather than later.

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