Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 20, 2013

Vancouver

Eyes Shut, Now I See. “Is there a growing movement among artists to downgrade vision, to knock it off its pedestal at the top of the hierarchy of senses? Not to mention the hierarchy of art? A lot of people are thinking about these things now, says Carmen Papalia, the Vancouver-based contemporary artist who developed the non-visual art tour /pilot project I am on at the VAG as a way for sighted people to stop relying on their eyes to see.” The Tyee, March 15, 2013

Duane Linklater: The Julian Assange of Native Art? “Duane Linklater’s exhibition at the Or Gallery was a minimal effort, in the nicest sense: with only a few elements (a video, a vitrine, a framed photograph), the artist emerged as a pest, a collagist, the Julian Assange of Native art.” Canadian Art, March 19, 2013

The long-struggling Vancouver Maritime Museum charts a new course. “The museum, because of its ambitions to move, has been telling the world for years and years and years that we’re a failing institution, in order to build the case that they need to move,” said executive director Simon Robinson. “Well, guess what? Perception is reality. And if you tell everybody you’re failing, it starts to happen.” Globe & Mail, March 15, 2013

Jane Cox is creating culture, by design. “When Jane Cox was studying interior design in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of architecture, she experienced an epiphany. She didn’t just want to design rooms, she wanted to design everything. Today, the 39-year-old Vancouver resident oversees all aspects of a client’s daily business, from developing a business strategy to picking the right paint colour for the office walls, as head of her own consultancy business, Cause and Affect Design Ltd. “I’d feel comfortable calling myself a culture builder more than a brand consultant,” says Cox, who, with her husband, initiated the popular Vancouver arts and culture series, Movers and Shapers, and founded the Vancouver edition of PechaKucha, billed as an evening of ideas, images and inspired conversation.” Globe & Mail, March 19, 2013

Victoria

Victoria’s Royal B.C. Museum seeks a makeover ‘that takes your breath away’. The “dysfunctional” entrance to the Royal B.C. Museum is one of many things being targeted for change in a new master plan that will aim to map out ways to make the museum more engaging, less cluttered and easier to navigate. Over the next six months, the master plan will be developed in concert with cost consultants. The team of architects is led by John McAslan and Partners, of London, working with Victoria firm Merrick Architecture. Times Colonist, March 19, 2013

Tate Britain Planner John McAslan to Re-Envision Royal BC Museum. “The creator of master site plans for London’s Tate Britain and Edinburgh’s National Gallery of Modern Art has been appointed to develop a new direction forward for the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. John McAslan + Partners, a UK firm, has been appointed to develop the museum’s new master site plan with local support from Merrick Architecture.” Canadian Art, March 20, 2013

Arts grant funding remains stable for Victoria groups. Funding remained relatively stable for local arts organizations that received financial assistance in the latest round of provincial arts grants, announced Tuesday. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria received the largest amount in the city — a $262,500 grant in operating assistance, an increase of $12,500 since last year. Times Colonist, March 19, 2013

Edmonton

Preview: Story of Canadian art told in new AGA exhibit. “Though the Hart House collection is now monumental with vintage Canadian art, everything within it was once deliberately fresh and contemporary. Decades before Group of Seven paintings adorned mouse pads, postage stamps and desk calendars — penetrating our culture wholly — these seven determined “Algonquin school” artists reacted against prescribed European artistic doctrine. They were the punk rockers of their time, intentionally forging a new character for themselves, and us.” Edmonton Journal, March 19, 2013

Toronto

“1st Thursdays” attracting younger audience to AGO. “Finding a price point and the content that would attract young adults was a critical challenge for us,” says Heather Conway, the AGO’s chief business officer. So was finding the right person to run such a program. And a huge part of the credit goes to an assuming 28-year-old playwright, former waiter and former part-time publicist named Sean O’Neill, whose connections and programming ideas have turned this into one of the city’s most enjoyable and affordable after-dark attractions.” Toronto Star, March 20, 2013

New postage stamps bear Canadian photographers works. A new postage stamp series honouring Canadian photographers works is set for release in the lead up to the country’s 150th birthday. Artists include: Thomas Coffin Doane, Geraldine Moodie, Margaret Watkins, Jim Breukelman, Arnaud Maggs, Rodney Graham, and Gabor Szilasi.Toronto Star, March 20, 2013

Alexander Josephson votes for bold architecture. “It was a political mission as much as anything else, inspiring Alexander Josephson to name his Toronto-based architecture and design practice Partisans. “It’s a young upstart design company that is breaking all the rules,” he says of the firm he co-founded with Pooya Baktash, a former Waterloo classmate and Tehran native.” Globe & Mail, March 19, 2013

ROM unveils new logo. Royal Ontario Museum is celebrating is 99th birthday with a rich new corporate logo.  On Tuesday, the Bloor-Queen’s park institution unveiled a strong purple word mark to replace the multihued, architectural design that saw it through the recent expansion. Toronto Star, March 19, 2013

Refreshing history: The Royal Ontario Museum’s rebranding. “The Royal Ontario Museum, home to more than six million artifacts, is intent on not becoming a relic itself”. National Post, March 19, 2013

Fulford: The Royal Ontario Museum is a castle of time “The Royal Ontario Museum, which today celebrates its 99th birthday by releasing news about the coming triumph of its 100th, has been a site of great distinction longer than anyone living can remember.” National Post, March 19, 2013

San Francisco

Painting the Sun and Sculpting Fog San Francisco’s beloved Exploratorium moves to a new facility filled with site-specific artworks that help viewers analyze and understand the world. Artnews, March 20, 2013

Los Angeles

Alphabet Independence: MoCA Says It Will Stay Independent, Rejecting Bids By LACMA, National Museum “The board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal.” Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2013

Boston

Why The Gardner Museum Art Thieves Probably Won’t Be Going To Jail The term “S.O.L.” is applicable in more than one sense. Slate, March 19, 2013

New York

Guggenheim Gets Grant to Commission Chinese Art The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation has provided a $10 million grant to commission works from artists born in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau. New York Times, March 20, 2013

Guggenheim leaps into commissioning Chinese art – with the help of this B.C. philanthropist. “The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York announced Tuesday the establishment of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection, a multimillion-dollar initiative that will see a collection of works commissioned from contemporary Chinese artists, to increase visibility and discourse in the West, and bolster the Guggenheim’s own collection. Founded by West Vancouver resident Robert H.N. Ho, the foundation is contributing around $10-million (U.S.) to the new Guggenheim initiative – its largest donation to date.” Globe & Mail, March 19, 2013

London

Victoria And Albert Museum’s Biggest-Selling Show Ever The upcoming David Bowie exhibition at London’s V&A has become the fastest-selling in the museum’s history. “Sales are more than double the number of advance tickets of the museum’s previous exhibitions.” BBC March 18, 2013

Mecca

Saudi Developers Destroy Portions Of Mecca’s Grand Mosque “Photographs obtained by The Independent reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. … One column which is believed to have been ripped down is supposed to mark the spot where Muslims believe Muhammad began his heavenly journey on a winged horse.” The Independent (UK) March 15, 2013

Why Are Saudi Arabia’s Theocrats Allowing Mecca’s Historic Sites To Be Destroyed? In fact, they’re not just allowing it; they’re encouraging it. And it’s basically for the same reason that extremists destroyed historic shrines in Timbuktu. The Atlantic March 19, 2013

China

Chinese photographer travels countryside with mobile portrait studio Artist spends a year on the road, finding out who his friends are. The Art Newspaper, March 20, 2013

International

So Maybe The “Creative Class” Won’t Fix Cities The rewards of the “creative class” strategy, he notes, “flow disproportionately to more highly-skilled knowledge, professional and creative workers,” since the wage increases that blue-collar and lower-skilled workers see “disappear when their higher housing costs are taken into account.” His reasonable and fairly brave, if belated, takeaway: “On close inspection, talent clustering provides little in the way of trickle-down benefits.” The Daily Beast, March 20, 2013

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