Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 15, 2016

How to rise up the Canadian arts ranks? Move abroad  A lot of potential Canadian arts leaders are deeply frustrated as they watch boards recruiting international candidates for positions they feel are simply closed to locals… Are boards hiring foreigners because there is a shortage of strong local candidates? Or are they are hiring foreigners because they are discriminating in favour of them? The answer, it seems, is a bit of both. The Globe and Mail, August 12, 2016

Wall to wall: Mural festival hopes to spark dialogue about public art in Vancouver  Forty artists, including 35 Vancouverites, were gathered by [Festival founder David] Vertesi and art director, artist and curator Drew Young for the mural festival’s inaugural event. The 40 murals going up are meant to be permanent, and are guaranteed to stay in place for at least two years… the festival was organized with support from the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Association and the Burrard Arts Foundation, and with sponsorships from companies like Dulux Paints, Wolfgang Commercial Painters, Red Truck …and Hootsuite… The city is matching private investment with a $200,000 grant. Vancouver Sun, August 12, 2016

Everything is going to be alright, probably: art in Vancouver The shortage of established exhibition venues means that many young [Vancouver] artists scrape together resources to open project spaces in order to show their work. While some become mere party spots, selling liquor with the vague suggestion of an art event … there are several exemplary artist-run spaces that show intellectual and interesting work on a shoestring budget. [includes review of summer exhibitions] Ocula, July 15, 2016

Etsy and and Calgary’s Glenbow Museum join forces for local makers Local Etsy business owners will soon be offered the chance to move their virtual shelf space into the real world – specifically, into the Glenbow Museum. The virtual market place has struck a deal with Calgary’s Glenbow to allow Etsy members to create new and unique products for the museum. Metronews, August 11, 2016

McMichael Canadian Art Collection bets big on past for 50th anniversary  …the McMichael is choosing to mark its 50th with an all-Canadian showcase weighted heavily toward the familiar flat rectangle (a.k.a. the painting) that’s been the collection’s signature medium. Blessedly, it’s not a tired-but-true “greatest hits” compilation but rather three distinct yet complementary presentations existing in what McMichael chief curator/exhibition overseer Sarah Stanners calls “purposeful contrast.” The Globe and Mail, August 12, 2016

Los Angeles
Peter Zumthor releases updated visuals of serpentine LACMA overhaul  Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has revealed renderings showing his design for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is based on nearby tar pits. Zumthor has designed a 37,000-square-metre building for the art museum, also known as LACMA. Images show the structure’s dark-coloured curving form raised on chunky supports, allowing it to snake over the busy Wilshire Boulevard. Dezeen, August 12, 2016

In Houston, an Outsider Art Trove Finds a Museum Home  In this long, hot summer of violence, election-campaign anxiety, and widespread malaise, seekers of relief might find solace in music, movies or visits to museums — that is, in art in general, not so much for escapism, but for art’s reassuring messages about the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity…. [The Menil Collection] is now presenting As Essential as Dreams: Self-taught Art from the Collection of Stephanie and John Smither (on view through October 16). Showcasing more than eighty paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures and mixed-media creations by more than thirty artists (some from earlier in the 20th century and others who are working today), this exhibition offers a fine overview of art brut, outsider and so-called self-taught art forms in a focused survey that vividly captures the spirit of their urgent-feeling authenticity. Hyperallergic, August 13, 2016

New Orleans
Seasoned sculptor makes waves with art in motion  New Orleans sculptor Lin Emery’s career began on a whim as featherlight as the movement of the dancing metal sculptures that can be seen across the world. At 23, she wandered into a famous sculptor’s Paris studio and asked about lessons. He took her on as a demonstration to show his more advanced students how to teach total neophytes. Emery, 90, loved sculpture from the first touch of clay. Toronto Star, August 12, 2016

We Gave Medals to the Best Art at the Rio Olympics  They’re all about sports, but that doesn’t mean the 2016 Rio Olympics have no room for art. In addition to the 13 official posters designed by 12 Brazilian artists, visual art — from sculpture to murals to even a graphic novel — has been popping up in Rio de Janeiro in the spirit of the games. And like the athletic competitions, some artists are more deserving of a gold medal for their efforts than others. So it’s time we have an awards ceremony! Here is a rundown of the art projects that have emerged so far, from the best to the humdrum. Hyperallergic, August 11, 2016

Campaign launched to save artistic community in London’s Hackney Wick, home to Chapman Brothers and Gavin Turk  One of the largest artistic communities in London—and possibly Europe—is under threat from plans to demolish a warehouse that is home to more than 100 artists and small businesses. The residents of Vittoria Wharf, formerly a tyre factory and series of car storage units, have launched a petition to save the arts hub in Hackney Wick, northeast London, which is due to be bulldozed to make way for a pedestrian bridge across a canal. Artists are facing eviction on 5 September. The Art Newspaper, August 15, 2016

Mellow yellow: Kenya’s mosques and churches painted ‘in the name of love’  The Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda is painting the city of Nairobi yellow – or at least its houses of worship. As part of his public art project Colour in Faith, religious buildings from mosques to churches are being washed in lemon yellow as a symbol of peace among all religions. “The goal was to take houses of worship in Kenya and paint them yellow in the name of love,” says Arboleda from his studio in New York City. “The idea from the beginning was to turn buildings into sculptures that speak to our shared humanity.” The Guardian, August 15, 2016


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