Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 10, 2013


High River museum staff shocked at scope of destruction. Irene Kerr had an inkling of what to expect when she walked through the front door of the Museum of the Highwood in High River late last week. After all, she and her staff had been through a disaster before when a fire ripped through the museum in 2010. Three years ago, staff and town volunteers managed to salvage roughly 95 per cent of the invaluable collections of photos, textiles, books, maps and archives chronicling the town’s history. But the recent flood that ravaged the town, and the museum and its contents, wasn’t as kind. “The damage from the fire was minuscule compared to this,” said Kerr, the museum`s director. Calgary Herald, July 10, 2013

Art Central Out, Gallery In, Say Calgary Skyscraper Plans. A new 5,500-square-foot public gallery featuring work by local artists is being touted as part of proposed skyscraper development in downtown Calgary. The skyscraper proposal, dubbed Telus Sky, would involve the demolishing of Art Central—a three-storey 1929 building that was restored in 2004 to house galleries, artist studios and other creative businesses. Canadian Art, July 8, 2013

Artists unite on unique project to aid flood relief. Alberta’s recent floods have spurred a group of artists to break new ground by collaborating on a fundraising project for flood victims. A solitary canvas, 101 by 152 centimetres, has been divided into 35 small squares, and artists working in their studios in the Western Showcase clamoured to get one, said Rita Kiss, whose father Andrew is the first artist to work on the project. Calgary Herald, July 9, 2013

Western traditions showcased in art. Cowboys roping cattle, First Nations camping by a river and vast expanses of windblown rangeland under a cloudy big sky. Western art has its roots in ranching, and generations of artists have honoured the cowboy way of life on canvas and in bronze. Those traditions continue today at the annual Western Showcase art show at the Stampede. Calgary Herald, July 9, 2013

London, Ont.

Myfanwy MacLeod Revisits 1970s London in Bittersweet Survey. For those of a certain age, there’s something timeless about muscle cars, pin-up models and Led Zeppelin. Growing up in the 1970s, these were the touchstones of cool culture, where revving engines, feathered hair and grinding riffs fuelled many adolescent fantasies on both sides of the gender divide. That discordant sense of nostalgia as both fond memory and fraught reality runs through “Myfanwy MacLeod, or There and Back Again,” a survey of works by the Vancouver-based artist that closes this weekend at Museum London. Canadian Art, July 5, 2013


The Royal Ontario Museum opens its door to game developers. Video games and museums might not seem like perfect mates, but the Royal Ontario Museum is about to change that. In August, the ROM will be piloting a new project that will bring the best of Toronto’s independent game development scene into its hallowed halls to make games. National Post, July 9, 2013


Arts Court won’t get federal money. The federal government will not fund the redevelopment of Arts Court, it told the city in a letter Tuesday.  The project was due to break ground this month, according to a schedule city council approved in 2011, but the city has been slow to finish plans for the $36-million renovation and the federal government was slow to respond when the city asked for $9 million from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2013


Tower and Cell, Signifying Much More Than a Prison. To some people, the name of Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, brings to mind the country’s oldest prison rodeo, which draws thousands of tourists while raising money for charity. Others think of it as a repository for fearsome criminals — murderers, rapists and kidnappers — who have earned their average sentence of 93 years. Many remember it as having once been one of the most brutal and corrupt institutions in the post-Civil War South, the nearest kin to slavery that could legally exist. All of these associations and more will compete when an old guard tower and a cell from the prison are installed in the forthcoming National African American Museum for History and Culture in Washington. New York Times, July 8, 2013


Jerszy Seymour Crosses Art & Design Lines in Berlin. `Featuring a dreamscape of rocks sprayed with fluorescent paint, hallucinogenic cacti, a bed, animal skulls and other oddities, Jerszy Seymour’s installation at Crone essentially invited gallery-goers to explore the inside of his brain. In contrast to the hierarchical Freudian sense of the brain, Seymour’s installation is a non-hierarchical mess of systems, inputs and outward projections, the faulty lines between memories, daydreams, desire and reality hopelessly blurred.`Canadian Art, July 9, 2013


Zaha Hadid buys The Design Museum. The Design Museum has been located in a former banana ripening factory at London’s Shad Thames, near London Bridge, since it opened in 1989. On Tuesday, the museum announced it was selling the building to Zaha Hadid Architects. Telegraph, July 9, 2013

Alan Fletcher: The Man Who Taught People How to Look. Anyone who was lucky enough to spot an advertisement for Pirelli slippers on the side of London’s double-decker buses in the early 1960s may well have wondered exactly what they were seeing. Positioned beneath the heads and shoulders of six passengers traveling on the top deck were images of the lower bodies of people sitting on the tops of letters that spelled “Pirelli slippers.” Each of them was wearing said slippers. Striking, witty and memorable, it was an ingenious idea deftly executed by a young graphic designer named Alan Fletcher who went on to become one of the most dynamic forces in British design until his death in 2006. As well as creating equally adroit graphics for such bastions of the establishment as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Institute of Directors, Fletcher published a series of best-selling books in which he encouraged other people to share his relish for the visual elements of life. New York Times, July 7, 2013

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