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News / July 5, 2018

News in Brief: A Car Turned Carbon-Age Obelisk in Alberta, and More

The week has brought new public art, new funding for the arts disbursed in Nova Scotia and new curators at the Art Gallery of Alberta
<em>Carbon Copy</em> by Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett is installed at the Edmonton Brewery District. Photo: First Capital Realty. Carbon Copy by Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett is installed at the Edmonton Brewery District. Photo: First Capital Realty.

Public Art as Vehicle, and Vice Versa

The new public art installation Carbon Copy is now up at the Edmonton Brewery District. The sculpture, created by Alberta-based artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, transforms a 1988 Plymouth K-Car into a glitchy, illuminated obelisk. “People often think of cars as ‘non-places,’ mechanisms to move us from Point A to Point B. But cars are also micro worlds, spaces for conversation, contemplation, cross-country adventures and mundane day-to-day commutes. In places like Alberta, it’s difficult to generalize the impact of Car Culture on our cityscapes, and our lifestyles. Quite simply, the popularity of the automobile has changed everything,” said Brown and Garrett in a press release. (press release)

There’s also a new public art project centering mental health issues, and it’s installed on Calgary buses. Calgary artist Dick Averns coordinated the project, titled Recognition… Validation… Reassurance…. As the CBC reports, it “hit the road this week with artwork added to buses, trains and billboards. More than 130 average Calgarians aged 16 to late 70s created 189 pieces of art.” Averns tells the CBC, “There are collages, drawings, text-based art, visualizations, depictions. There are articulations of frames of mind towards improving individual and collective mental health.” The artist adds, “Buses are used by all ages across all demographics for work and recreation, so you have a ready-made audience.” (CBC)

Arts Funding Updates

Thirty-one projects have found funding in under Nova Scotia’s new $1.5 million Culture Innovation Fund. Creation of the fund was a priority action item in the province’s Culture Action Plan, launched in 2017. Among the recipients is NSCAD University which is receiving $80,000, in partnership with Phoenix Youth Programs, for its Art Factory program that supports youth mental health. Other recipients include the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, which maintains exhibits about early Black life in Nova Scotia and received $50,000 for its annual Back to Birchtown event; the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning, which provides youth arts programs and received $200,000; and the Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, which received $10,000 for relaxed performances. (press release)

The BC Arts Council has released a new strategic plan that will guide future funding for the next five years. The four key objectives are: “improving sustainability and creative development; enhancing engagement with Indigenous arts and culture; increasing equity, diversity and access; and expanding regional arts and community arts.” In the 2018 provincial budget, the council received an additional $15 million over three years. (Canadian Art)

Awards & Honours

The latest Order of Canada appointees include some figures in the arts. The appointments include artist and writer Eli Bornstein, critic Gary Michael Dault, philanthropists David Fountain and Nahum Gelber, museum leader Sherry Porter, designer Scott Thornley, and festival leader Mohamed Lamine Touré. (press release)

Five works have been shortlisted for the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards. The award, which gives $22,000 to the winner and $3,000 to each of four finalists, recognizes the excellence of a particular work of art or design from any media. The shortlisted works are: And I Alone Escaped to Tell You by Sylvia D. Hamilton, a book of poems describing the settlement of African peoples in Nova Scotia; Black Cop by Cory Bowles, a film which implicates audiences in the phenomenon of anti-Black racism; Crazy Girl Crazy by Barbara Hannigan, a recording for solo voice in which Hannigan is both conductor and soprano;  In The Wide Awe and Wisdom by Paul Halley, a series of choral works; and Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story by Christian Barry, Ben Caplan and Hannah Moscovitch, a play about migration staged in shipping container. The winner will be announced this fall. (press release)

Two emerging artists have earned the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. Émilie Serri and Frédérique Laliberté will each receive $60,500 over the course of two years “to research and produce new work and expand their international networks as they transition from student to professional,” says a release. Serri recently graduated from UQAM and Laliberté from Concordia University. (press release)

Comings & Goings

There are three new adjunct curators at the Art Gallery of Alberta. They are Franchesca Hebert-Spence, adjunct curator, Indigenous Art; Jessie Ray Short, adjunct curator, Indigenous Art; and Amery Calvelli, adjunct curator, Poole Centre of Design. Hebert-Spence is currently programme coordinator at Manitoba Craft Council and an MFA candidate at the University of Winnipeg. According to Alberta Native News, “Ray Short is an artist, filmmaker and independent curator whose cross-disciplinary practice involves memory, visual culture and Métis history.” She recently co-curated the Métis art survey Li Salay at the Art Gallery of Alberta and currently works as program coordinator for TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary. She holds an MA from Brock University. Calvelli is co-founder and executive director Design Talks Institute in Calgary and is co-editor of the online design publication FOLD. (Alberta Native News)

Fresh Art Spaces

Halifax’s waterfront is the site of a proposed new cultural arts hub. The Star reports that “Halifax is a big step closer to getting a key addition to its burgeoning waterfront—a “cultural hub” that would include the province’s art gallery and art college. The provincial government announced Tuesday that Halifax’s Architecture49 had been given a $250,000 contract to prepare a facility plan that “will be used in the next steps and final decisions” for the hub.” (The Star)

The Royal Canadian Geographic Society has launched a new gallery on Sussex Drive in Ottawa. According to Canadian Geographic, Summer exhibitions include “‘Explore,’ a series of works by painter Chris Cran depicting some of Canada’s greatest explorers and geographers, and ‘Lessons from the Arctic,’ an artifact display honouring Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first person to successfully transit the Northwest Passage.” A temporary art installation titled Compass: Peace in All Directions by artists Hilde Lambrechts, Kirstin Davidson and Kim Lulashnyk is also on view. (Canadian Geographic)

At Art Fairs Abroad

Paris Photo will feature a solo booth of late Canadian photographer Lynne Cohen’s work. Her art at the fair will be represented by Paris gallery In Situ. Toronto dealer Stephen Bulger is also going to be showing at the main sector of the fair. (Paris Photo)

And In Case You Missed It

SLAV was, at last, cancelled by the Montreal Jazz Festival. But its biases live on. An open letter from the SLAV Resistance details what has to happen next. (Canadian Art)

National Gallery officials knew selling the Chagall would be highly controversial—but did it anyway. “The board of the National Gallery of Canada knew that auctioning off the Marc Chagall painting The Eiffel Tower could trigger a public backlash—but decided unanimously to approve the sale anyway,” the CBC reports.“‘Discussions focused on whether The Eiffel Tower meets all the criteria for disposition as set forth in the Gallery’s Disposition Policy, and whether the institution is prepared to deal with the potential negative reaction of the public to this disposition,’ read the minutes of a Dec. 4, 2017 committee meeting where the sale was first discussed. Members of the acquisition committee unanimously approved the move and the full board of trustees unanimously endorsed it the following day.” (CBC)