Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 6, 2016


Unsettled Sites: Haunting Canadian Colonialism.  How can we talk about haunting when we can’t even see it?  Moving beyond the typical ideas of ghosts found in popular culture and literature, curator Tarah Hogue suggests that haunting can be a way to rethink the colonial structures that persist in present-day Canada. Through haunting, Hogue argues that we can imagine “alternative futures” with “creative acts of sovereignty and cohabitation.” In “Unsettled Sites,” the latest group exhibition at SFU Gallery, Burnaby, guest curator Hogue brings together photography, video, sculpture and installation by artists Marian Penner Bancroft, Wanda Nanibush and Tania Willard.   Canadian Art, July 4, 2016


Robert Amos: Evolution of a changing generation.  From the new show at the Legacy, I expected nothing out of the ordinary — a survey of screen prints by eight First Nations artists from southern Vancouver Island. Yet I came away with a realization: We are watching the evolution of a new generation of artists, and a culture reborn in new and still developing media. Out of the Frame presents the work of Charles Elliott, Doug LaFortune, Angela Marston, Andy Everson, Maynard Johnny Jr., lessLIE, Chris Paul and Dylan Thomas. Each is represented by a screen print made for the marketplace, and also a look at the context and materials that led to that print. Times Colonist, July 3, 2016

Thunder Bay

Red Rock First Nation artist recognized with award.  An artist from Red Rock First Nation says she’s still feeling “overwhelmed” at being named the recipient of an award that recognizes emerging, female Indigenous artists.  Janelle Wawia, who resides in Thunder Bay, is the 2016 recipient of the Barbara Laronde Award, which is handed out by Native Women in the Arts (NWIA).  CBC News, July 4, 2016

15 Artists are Finalists in RBC Canadian Painting Competition.  A canvas crocheted out of dried paint. A white-cube gallery that morphs into a Twister game. An old-fashioned, oil-painted portrait of a fashionable millennial.  These are just some of the paintings by finalists in this year’s RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Canadian Art, July 5, 2016.  See also:  RBC Canadian Painting Competition names finalists for $25,000 prize. Globe & Mail, July 5, 2016


The Art of Diplomacy: What Obama Saw at our National Gallery.  On June 29, the National Gallery of Canada played host to a big international political event: the North American Leaders’ Summit, where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with American President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss economic and political strategies.  Though most eyes were on the leaders themselves, it is also worth considering what art was in the background (and sometimes, the foreground) of their discussions.  Canadian Art, July 5, 2016.  

Arts Reps Decry Exclusion from Cultural Advisory Group.  Who gets the Heritage Minister’s ear when it comes to what is being called “a sweeping review of Canada’s cultural policies”?  Not, some are saying, representatives of Canada’s visual arts, dramatic arts and literary publishing communities. On Tuesday, the Globe and Mail broke the news that “the federal government is appointing a dozen outside experts as a ‘sounding board’ to help steer a sweeping review of Canada’s cultural policies.” Canadian Art, June 30, 2016.  See also: Canadian experts unite for cultural policy advisory group.  Globe & Mail, June 28, 2016

Los Angeles

Behind the plummeting rankings and defections of faculty and MFA students at USC’s Roski art school.  A single student’s decision to leave an MFA program wouldn’t normally cause a ripple in the art world. But HaeAnn Kwon was the lone MFA candidate enrolled in USC’s Roski School of Art and Design.  Her exit, a year after an entire class of seven studio art MFA students withdrew from  Roskio to protest curriculum changes and staff defections, is prompting new questions about USC’s commitment to the fine arts.  Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2016

New Main Museum in downtown Los Angeles reveals ‘Beta’ plans — and focus on art in L.A. The Main Museum will be a non-collecting institution housed in a series of historic early 20th century structures in the Old Bank District. Helmed by Allison Agsten, who previously served as the curator of public engagement at the Hammer Museum, the curatorial focus will be resolutely local.  Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2016

New York

It’s an Art Gallery. No, a Living Room. O.K., Both.  Since the 2008 economic downturn, temporary do-it-yourself art galleries have proliferated in apartments, storefronts and other spaces all over the country. Call it a response to an art world in which dealer representation is increasingly hard to come by; exhibitions are costly; and formerly affordable areas like Bushwick have priced out artists, forcing them to seek out scrappier locations in which to show their work.  New York Times, July 3, 2016


A Brooklyn Artist Finds Inspiration Close to Home.  Derrick Adams’s artwork has been displayed in galleries from Chicago to Paris and London. But when the 46-year-old artist seeks inspiration, he turns to the immediate surroundings of home.  Mr. Adams moved to New York City from his native Baltimore in the early 1990s. For more than a decade he has lived and worked in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2016

Palm Beach

Which Palm Beach County museum is now free to get in? After a month of preparation for its two-and-a-half year renovation, the Norton Museum of Art re-opens July 5 with free admission. Which means an opportunity to beat the heat this summer with a variety of free activities.  The museum was closed while staff prepares for a $100 million renovation which will enlarge the building and transform its facade along South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.  Palm Beach Post, June 27, 2016


Minima moralia, a modular pop-up studio space for artists and makers.  Designed by London architects Jonas Prišmontas and Tomaso Boano, ‘minima moralia’ offers tiny, cellular pop-up spaces to be inhabited by designers, sculptors, painters, musicians and other creatives alike. It is a programmatic vision for London’s backyards and interstitial spaces.  Design Boom, July 5, 2016

Sulzano, Italy

Shooting Down the Purely Aesthetic Aspirations of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Piers.  I decided to make the journey from my home in Rome to Sulzano in northern Italy to judge the merits and pitfalls of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Floating Piers” — an almost two-mile long floating walkway situated on Lake Iseo — for myself. I aimed to test Christo’s assertion that his work is purely aesthetic.  Hyperallergic, June 30, 2016


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