Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 23, 2017

The making of Canada’s first Indigenous Fashion Week Next month, Canada’s first Indigenous Fashion Week will be held in Vancouver, featuring 32 Canadian designers, almost all of them Indigenous—as well as Indigenous artists and performers. Anne Kingston spoke with its founder Joleen Mitton, a former model of Plains Cree, French and Scottish heritage who currently works with disenfranchised youth in Vancouver. Macleans, May 19, 2017

Vancouver’s ‘Cantosphere’ and the fate of Hong Kong There is a space occupied by the Hong Kong diaspora and their children in Vancouver, that is neither entirely here nor there. Within that piecemeal identity is a sense of longing – and an increasing sense of responsibility towards the fate of Hong Kong and the broader “Cantosphere”… There are other efforts in Vancouver to focus attention on the Hong Kong diaspora ahead of the handover anniversary. These include the Pacific Crossings show at the Vancouver Art Gallery until May 28, featuring work by Hong Kong emigrant artists in Vancouver. South China Morning Post (International Edition), May 20, 2017

Vancouver company re-creates great works of art for students to touch On May 16, inside the library of Lord Selkirk elementary school, Grade 1 students gathered around paintings of such renowned artists as Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Carel Fabritius and Tom Thomson.  In addition to looking at the works of art, the children were also invited to touch them. Yes, touch them. As part of a program launched in early May to make art more accessible to kids, Vancouver-based Verus Art brings 3D replicas of paintings normally found in the National Gallery of Canada and the Mauritshuis art museum in the Netherlands to local Vancouver schools. Vancouver Courier, May 17, 2017

Art exhibition explores the spiritual life Centuries-old art forms find contemporary interpretations in an exhibition opening next week at Christ Church Cathedral. (in)finite: spiritual conversations in cloth, an exhibition hosted by the Anglican Foundation of Canada, is on at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver from May 25 to June 4. The free exhibition, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Anglican Foundation, features 30 textile artists from across the country, all exploring the realm of the sacred. Among them is Robb Schinnour, a Burnaby textile artist whose tapestry Tobias and the Archangel Raphael is part of the exhibition. Burnaby Now, May 23, 2017

Robert Amos: A Greater Victoria fine-arts roundup News from several Victoria galleries, including Winchester Galleries, Madrona Gallery and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. The Times Colonist, May 21, 2017

Ex-museum director says Remai Modern should consider alternatives to admission fees The former director of a U.S. art museum that scrapped its admission fees says the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon ought to consider soliciting donations instead of charging admission — as a way of attracting a broad cross-section of visitors. While details about admission at the still-to-open gallery have not been confirmed, a report penned by the gallery in 2015 contemplated a general admission fee of $12 and a fee of $16 for special exhibitions. CBC News, May 18, 2017

London, Ontario
Art of looking and listening Three major exhibitions will officially open Sunday at Museum London featuring several interactive installations created by artists from across the country and many from London. Two of the exhibitions, Sparrow night: Artists Working with Light, on until Aug. 27, and Sounds Assembling: Communication and the Art of Noise, on until Sept. 10, provide the public with unique experiences, many interactive where the audience controls movement or sound. “The title, Sparrow Night, is based on the folklore term of a nighttime storm with lots of lightning,” said curator Cassandra Getty. London Free Press, May 23, 2017

Botticelli’s Venuses and Our Enduring Need for Beauty The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has brought one version of Botticelli’s Venus to the United States. The exhibition, Botticelli and the Search for the Divine, presents the largest number of the artist’s paintings shown together in America to date — 15 by Botticelli — along with several by Fra Fillipo Lippi, with whom he studied. Hyperallergic, May 20, 2017

North Adams, Massachusetts
Massachusetts museum’s expansion enables artists to dream big “What would you do if you had the opportunity to have not just a one-night stand, but a deep commitment that would go on for ten, 15, 25 years?” asks Joseph Thompson, the director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) in North Adams. This is the guiding philosophy behind the museum’s ambitious $65m expansion, due to open on 28 May. Since it launched in 1999, the institution—a converted textile factory—has slowly been working to refurbish the 28 buildings on its sprawling campus. The latest one, Building 6, is a three-storey, 130,000 sq. ft structure now outfitted with long-term shows and installations by five artists. The Art Newspaper, May 19, 2017

New York
Basquiat painting breaks records at $110.5m in New York A painting by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold at auction in New York for $110.5m (£85.4m). That is nearly double the price of his previous most expensive work, bought by the same person a year ago. It has broken several other records including becoming the most expensive work by any US artist. It is also the highest price fetched for any art by a black artist and the first piece created since 1980 to break the $100m mark. The untitled work was done in oil stick, acrylic and spray paint, and depicts a face in the shape of a skull. It was sold to Yusaku Maezawa, a 41-year-old Japanese fashion entrepreneur who plans to set up a museum in his home town of Chiba. BBC News, May 19, 2017

Friend and Company harnesses “robotic craft” to build new shop for V&A museum Robots were used to manufacture the components of these two pavilions, which form the new shop for the V&A museum in London. Designed by London studio Friend and Company, the shop is intended to pay tribute to the V&A’s first retail space, which functioned as a showcase for contemporary crafts from 1863 onward. This new space was constructed using a variety of digital fabrication techniques, including 3D-printed ceramics, laser cutting, CNC routing and water-jet cutting. The design team refer to these processes as “robotic craft”. Dezeen, May 19, 2017

Birzeit, West Bank
Heneghan Peng sets limestone-clad Palestinian Museum among angular landscaped terraces Irish studio Heneghan Peng has completed a museum dedicated to Palestinian culture in the city of Birzeit, featuring a faceted stone exterior and terraced landscaping that references the region’s rural landscape. The Palestinian Museum is located on a hilltop site that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The site was offered to the museum on a long-term lease by the adjacent Birzeit University. The design project was awarded to Dublin-based Heneghan Peng following an international competition in 2011. Dezeen, May 19, 2017

Millions of Objects at 14 Art Institutions to Be Digitized for Online Database A new database launched by an international consortium of art institutions is working to grant internet users unprecedented access to dozens of art historical photo archives, which capture multiple images of a single artwork over time. Collectively known as PHAROS, the group is gradually digitizing millions of images, many of which are previously unpublished and accessible only through physical visits to individual research repositories. The 14 institutions involved include the Frick Collection (which is leading the project), Rome’s Bibliotheca Hertziana, the Courtauld Institute, Getty Research Institute, Paris’s Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Washington D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, and the Yale Center for British Art. Hyperallergic, May 18, 2017

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