Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring is trying to Spring!

Spring is coming to BC but with some rain.  But in all fairness that is what makes us green and lush!  It has been a great year so far:  

THE HOOD:  the neighbourhood I live in is going through some growing pains.  The major street that borders us has always been a bit blah with no grocery store, restaurants or galleries.  It is now going through a huge change with apartments being built supplying both market and social housing, industry and retail.  We will get more trees and wider sidewalks for pedestrians.  As always with gentrification there are ups and downs.  There will be more cars wanting parking, more people using our small parks but we now have a grocery, restaurants and galleries. 
The Astoria looking good in the morning light! photo by Arnt

apparently we needed to know this

this apartment building is getting a facelift and will still be rentals but probably cost more

We now have our four artists moved in: Lori Sokoluk: painter, mixed media, Ray Ophoff: painter, Joan Tayler: jewellery and sculpture and Arwen Hunter: documentary filmmaker
Here is a link Arwen did about Lori

I invited them to take over the two front windows to announce their arrival in the hood!

At their opening party Arnt and I finally bought these two wonderful oil paintings from Ray Ophoff.  We have been wanting them for a couple years now. is really growing with new artists in North Vancouver, New Westminster and Vancouver. In case you don't know it is an open studio event where you can visit artists working in their studios.  We received a very generous sponsorship from with ads and articles both online and in print. HUGE THANKS to Laura and staff!!!  Six artists in our building are part of it.
                                    These are some of the collages I am currently showing.

we had a great meeting to plan the upcoming year

 I had the pleasure of visiting two artists in their studios over the last while.  First up is Michelle Sirois-Silver a textile artist. She is now finished the 4' by 5' commission I talked about in my last post.

 These photos were taken on my second visit where she now has layers of 
silk and hand stitching over the transfers and deconstructed printing process.


These photos by Michelle.... details of the finished piece.  All that gorgeous hand stitching.
 hand stitching over silk

Next I met Tracy Mcmenemy.  I first saw her work at the Maritime Museum.  It is a project about the Mackenzie Shipyards, North Vancouver that is now closed down.  She created mixed media pieces using some of their original plans, ledger books and her photos.  Her processes include transfers, found pieces such as sailcloth, ink and paint.  

one of the pieces from the Mackenzie Shipyard series
this is a piece still in progress. It is painted and has transfers on used sailcloth
two of the shipyards ledgers
her studio is very organized with all her reference material and storage
 The building that Tracy is in was the second building that Arnt and I were in as artists.  We were actually the first two artists in this building.  It was in the late 80's and is so great that it is still filled with artists.  A group called 221A is now renovating it and running it.  The Franc Gallery  is also there and see further down in the post for the first show they had with Glenn Lewis who is also in the building. Our first building now known as White Monkey is also still filled with artists.  Our third building is one we own and is home to 11 artists and musicians and one Director of Art programming.

this is a picture of our old studio with Bombast in it who took it over 20 years ago and now he is retiring
this is a piece by my friend Pauline Kendall outside her house in East Vancouver...."love"
 A couple of my gallery visits in the last few months include:

Rennie Museum - Chinatown

This show presents quite of few of Bob Rennie's collection.  Our docent for the day Erin was wonderful and she picked about 15 of the over 40 artists to talk about with us.  It is a very political show with some violence depicted but she did a wonderful job of explaining it all to us.  
 Sorry I did not get all the artists names but you can check this link.

"The eye of a needle" is scripture quoting Jesus recorded in the synoptic gospels: I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
This is the artists interpretation of this saying...note the needle on the right.  


"I Belong Here"  neon piece with the text exploded by Tavares Strachan

massive mural with pages from the book Animal Farm 
as background and then drawings on top

This pieces was fantastic.  You cannot see the photo 
until you take a photo with your flash on!

Ai Weiwei took these ancient vessels and dipped them in paint.  Our group had a lively discussion about whose art is this....original makers, his studio assistants or him????

Brian Jungen Raven Mask

This puzzle made of mirror is Israel and the missing pieces represent land under dispute.

this artist enscribed messages in gold on the desk tops.
...bad things have happened in schools

Erin did not talk about this piece but I love it visually.  
The artists message might be sad though.

This artist does not talk about his interpret your own message.
The double cross is paired with the prints on the wall of individual letters.  

I know! Every time I go to Rennie Museum I take a photo of these birch lovely.

This is probably Arnt's first selfie!

love these ceramic bowls

Franc Gallery - East Side

The Franc Gallery was the Initial Gallery on South Granville and they moved over to the eastside off Commercial on Franklin.   Their first show "Form Being Foreseen: Pots of Place" by Glenn Lewis, who when in Japan in the 1970's took photos which he then used to influence his residency in Bizen and Shigaraki, Japan in 2015.  Each pot references the accompanying photo whether with colour, design or shape....sometimes blatant and sometimes very subtle.  The pedestals are traditional cedar boxes made to package ceramics.

this one is quite obvious with colour being the influence

this was my favourite


My friend Warren Murfitt of  has been hosting music nights at his studio.  
This is Sam Masterton and Jacob Verburg...absolutely fab evening.

My friend Jerry Silver is part of this event and we have been a couple of times and going again. An great evening in a lovely old theatre in New Westminster with food, drinks and amazing musicians. for tickets

Well that is it for the spring blog.  Sat out on our lovely deck last night with the fire on for the first time this year.  Looking forward this year to more art, music, bike riding, sailing and getting together with friends. Thanks for stopping by and having a look.

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