Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 27, 2016

Prince: An Artist and Fan Pays Tribute. “I saw Prince live on two different occasions. The first was December 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Though it would likely not be apparent to others, or even true, there were many Native people in the audience. The observation, based on reality or not, stuck with me. As a kid growing up in Chilliwack with older siblings, Prince was, to me, a familiar figure”. – Raymond Boisjoly.   Canadian Art, April 26, 2016

British Columbia
Ontario, Quebec, Ontario, Quebec, Ontario . . . Will the Sobey Art Award 2016 be different?  It’s been a long time since an artist from the West Coast & The Yukon has won the Sobey Art Award. The last time artist from B.C. was selected was in 2008 when Tim Lee got the nod.  The previous artist from BC was Brian Jungen who received the first Sobey award in 2002.  This year, the five nominees from B.C. are Raymond Boisjoly, Allison Hrabluik, Mark Soo, Jeremy Shaw and Krista Belle Stewart…  Following parochial regionalism a little further, B.C. really doesn’t have the biggest complaint about being overlooked. Since the award’s inception, no artist from Atlantic Canada has ever been chosen for a Sobey.  Vancouver Sun, April 20, 2016

Paper Hearts: In the Studio with Lizz Aston.  Canadian artist Lizz Aston makes remarkable, often sculptural, works out of delicate materials—namely, papers and dyes.  “In my work I try to bridge the gaps between traditional textile practice and contemporary art and design,” Aston says.  Canadian Art, April 26, 2016

How Toronto museums are helping people with Alzheimer’s experience art, even if they can’t remember it.  Special tours for people with dementia and their caregivers are offered once a month at both the AGO and the Royal Ontario Museum in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.  The tours are based on a similar program at New York city’s Museum of Modern Art. Francesca Rosenberg, MOMA’s director of community, access and school programs, said since the tours were started in 2006, more than 100 museums and cultural institutions around the world have adopted similar guided visits, from Paris’s Louvre to Barcelona’s Museu Picasso. Toronto Star, April 25, 2016.

Brainstorming Toronto with cranial creations.  Artists and celebrities produce “customized brain sculptures” to be installed across the city this summer as part of The Brain Project, in support of dementia research.  Toronto Star, April 25, 2016

Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival looks back by moving forward.  Twenty years is an awfully long time in the art world, particularly so for a festival that started as a grassroots, shoestring affair held together with equal parts happy thoughts and general goodwill. So this week, with the big 2-0 fast approaching on the calendar, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival could be forgiven a little bit of rosy retrospection. Talk to Darcy Killeen, the festival’s executive director, though, and you’ll find a different kind of take.  Toronto Star, April 25, 2016

AGO to host Guillermo del Toro retrospective.  The work of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, whose films include the Hellboy franchise as well as the darkly fantastical Pan’s Labyrinth, will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto Star, April 26, 2016

Kitchener Waterloo
85 descendants attending Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery’s founders dinner.  The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery will be feeding over 90 special guests Saturday evening in honour of the gallery’s 60th anniversary.  Almost all of the guests are descendants of the men and women who founded the gallery back in 1956.  CBC News, April 23, 2016

8 Ways the Canada Council’s New Plan Affects Artists.  The Canada Council for the Arts released its new strategic plan today.  While such plans are most often internal documents, this one is of strong public interest—the priorities it outlines will likely guide the new hundreds of millions of dollars that the government has promised the council over the next five years. Canadian Art, April 26, 2016

PICA Finds A Permanent Home, After Years Of Roaming. The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art announced Thursday that a patron has bought a 16,000-square-foot compound at 15 NE Hancock St. and offered it to PICA rent-free for 10 years, with an option to extend the lease 10 more. Oregon Public Broadcasting, April 21, 2016

New York
A ‘Super PAC’ Where Art Meets Politics.  An unusual new “super PAC,” founded by Hank Willis Thomas, a photographer and conceptual artist, and Eric Gottesman, a video artist and activist, has cropped up on the political landscape — and it’s one that says it won’t support (or oppose) candidates or parties. Contributing artists and photographers include Carrie Mae Weems, Rashid Johnson, Xaviera Simmons, Alec Soth, Bayeté Ross Smith, Fred Tomaselli and Marilyn Minter.   New York Times, April 24, 2016

Art World Descends on Brussels Despite Attacks—Just Don’t Call It an Art Capital.  Despite others’ insistence, “Brussels is not the new Berlin,” said Katerina Gregos, the outgoing artistic director of Art Brussels—the crown jewel of Brussels Art Week that started it all 34 years  ago. “It all,” being the naissance of Brussels as not just a city with a rich artistic past, but one with a relevant and distinct contemporary art scene.  The Observer, April 24, 2016

Bengaluru, India
Indian Artists Are Protesting a Private Takeover of a Public Art Gallery.  For weeks, hundreds of artists in the Indian city of Bengaluru have been protesting their local state government. The reason? Officials have decided to turn over control of a public art gallery to a private collector. Now, Bangaluru’s artistic community fear that the Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) will become less open to the public it was built for.  The Smithsonian, April 26, 2016

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