Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 13, 2017

Women get far less recognition on Wikipedia than men, and a group of artists is tired of it A Vancouver art gallery is making sure women get their due on the world’s largest online encyclopaedia. The Belkin Art Gallery is hosting a Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’. The goal is to create more pages celebrating the accomplishments of women, particularly female artists — a demographic that the gallery’s coordinator Alexandra Bischoff says is widely underrepresented. “Less than 10 per cent of Wikipedia editors identify as female,” Bischoff told stand-in host Gloria Macarenko on CBC’s On the Coast, citing the figures from activist group Art + Feminism., March 10, 2017

Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver shining light upon the beauty and struggle of immigration This year marks the 20th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. To celebrate this historical milestone and its relevance to our city, the Vancouver Art Gallery will run an exhibit entitled Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver from March 4 to May 28. The exhibit contains the work of four artists: Paul Chui, Josh Hon, Carrie Koo, and David Lam, each showcasing their unique and diverse practices. Using different forms of media and archival accompaniments, the collaborative event will offer visual and historical insights into the complexity of artistic immigration. BeatRoute, March 9, 2017

‘I’m applying for disability’: Not-so-Average artist’s life takes a new turn Artist Joe Average has been living with HIV for 33 years. But he’s managed to make a living off his art, in spite of some challenging health issues. Unfortunately, the commissions have slowed down. So this week the 59-year-old announced on his Facebook page that he’s finally going to apply for disability benefits from the province. Vancouver Sun, March 12, 2017

Audain Art Museum in Whistler on target for 55,000 visitors in first year At the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, the first year has been a bit of an experiment. One of the challenges was figuring out how an art museum and its focus on an inner experience would fit into a resort dedicated to attracting international visitors interested in recreation and the outdoors… Museum director Suzanne Greening said one of the things that is happening as expected is that the museum has become an attraction in its own right. Vancouver Sun, March 12, 2017

Mounting passionate paintings of Alex Janvier its own fine art People have been flocking to the National Gallery of Canada to see Alex Janvier’s paintings, with their bright colours and bold lines. The retrospective is one of the gallery’s most visited winter exhibits. But what goes into prepping a show? Before many of Janvier’s paintings were mounted they passed through the hands of Spencer Montcalm, a painting conservation technician at the gallery’s restoration and conservation laboratory., March 10, 2017

Nova Scotia
MuseFund established to assist museums in Nova Scotia The MuseFund was launched Feb. 23 at a zero starting point but has a goal of reaching an initial $2.5 million over the next five years. The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia will manage the funds raised. Accredited museums in the province will be eligible to apply for some of the funding. Once the fund has reached $1 million, the interest earned will be used to support four funding streams: engagement, stewardship, investment and growth. The launch of the fund is timely with Canada 150. Many of the museums were established to mark Canada’s centenary celebrations in 1967. The Coast Guard, March 9, 2017

Yayoi Kusama: Visions of polka dot infinity Have you ever wondered what infinity might look like? The 87-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has captured something close at an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. It’s become one of the art events of the year with long lines to glimpse inside her “infinity rooms”. But while the exhibit has been a Instagram-ready hit, the curator is telling visitors to put their phones away to fully experience the rooms – at least for a little while.  BBC News, March 10, 2017

Herzog & de Meuron to Transform Brooklyn’s “Batcave” into an Arts Center Architects Herzog & de Meuron have been tapped to overhaul Brooklyn’s “Batcave,” a former Brooklyn Rapid Transit power station built in 1904 that became the home of a squatter community decades later, by converting it into an arts center… The Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit, plans to renovate the building and transform it into a hub for producing art. Dubbed the Powerhouse Workshop, the venue will become a community studio, of sorts, for metalworking, woodworking, printmaking, and ceramics. It will also serve as an exhibition space. Artforum, March 13, 2017

Jamaica Report: A Biennial, Bragging Rights — and the World’s Largest Drum? The 2017 Jamaica Biennial, which is organized and presented by the National Gallery of Jamaica, recently kicked off here in Jamaica’s capital, on the island’s south coast, where it will remain on view through May 28. It arrived a bit tardy, a little more than two years after the opening of its last iteration, in late 2014. If the timing of this much-anticipated event on this small island country’s cultural calendar suggests that it’s actually heading into triennial territory, never mind. “Jamaica, no problem!” a local adage advises, serving as a reminder that, here, life unfolds, and big events like biennial art exhibitions materialize according to their own rhythms and in their own good time. Hyperallergic, March 10, 2017

Howard Hodgkin, Quicksilver Colorist Who Channeled ‘Emotional States,’ Dies at 84 Howard Hodgkin, the widely lauded British artist whose exuberantly colored paintings often stretch beyond their wood panels and onto their frames, and conjure what he termed “emotional states” with just a few broad, decisive strokes or dabs of paint, died today at a hospital in London, according to Tate. He was 84. Brilliant, rich colors nearly glow in Hodgkin’s best works, which he regularly painted on frames he scavenged from junk and antique shops. They can appear joyously extroverted, even wildly spontaneous, but he often worked on pieces over long stretches, setting aside a painting for years before returning to it to provide a finishing touch. Artnews, March 9, 2017

Turkish Artist Receives Two-Year Prison Sentence for Painting Destruction of Kurdish City Zehra Doğan, a Turkish painter and journalist who was detained after the failed military coup last July, was sentenced to two years, nine months, and twenty-two days in jail for painting the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Nusaybin district of Mardin—a city in the Kurdish region of Turkey, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reports. Doğan was on assignment for the feminist Kurdish news agency JINHA when she was in Mardin and painted the work. The online news site has since been shut down. Artforum, March 9, 2017

IM Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art captured in new photographs by Yueqi Jazzy Li New York-based Jazzy Li captures both the exterior and interior of the museum, which Pritzker Prize-winning architect IM Pei, 99, designed for artificial island on the Arabian Gulf just off the Doha Corniche – a waterfront promenade along the bay that borders Qatar’s capital city of Doha. Dezeen, March 12, 2017

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