Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 1, 2017


CBC Vancouver’s Andrew Chang hosts Vancouver Art Gallery’s Magical Monet’s Secret Garden Summer Gala.  Descend the grand staircase of the Vancouver Art Gallery and enter Monet’s Secret Garden of Giverny for an unforgettable evening.  Proudly sponsored by CBC Vancouver and hosted by Andrew Chang, Monet’s Secret Garden Summer Gala will include cocktails, an exclusive preview of Claude Monet’s Secret Garden, as well as fine dining, special performances and fundraising auction.  CBC News, May 31, 2017


A Conversation on Indigenous Youth and the Power of Art  Last year, we had the privilege, as core members of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, to work with artist Faye HeavyShield and the youth from the Edmonton-based Moving the Mountain educational program, which is geared towards so-called “high risk” youth and offers them a self-directed curriculum, rather than the conventional educational system (which these youth do not fit into).  Canadian Art, May 31, 2017


Canadian among finalists for prestigious Moriyama RAIC International Prize  The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada announced the short list for the Moriyama RAIC International Prize, a Canadian-run but global award with a mission to celebrate how design can better the life of a community.   The list consists of the “Shobac Campus” in Upper Kingsburg, N.S., by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (Halifax); 8 House in Copenhagen by Bjarke Ingels Group; Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo by Tezuka Architects; and the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne by John Wardle Architects and NADAAA. The four short-listed projects demonstrate how architecture is generous and gives back to the community.   Globe & Mail, May 31, 2017


Imagining Exoplanets There is a box under the work table in Adam Makarenko’s Toronto studio. Like the rubbish bin of some unhinged god, it contains hundreds of planets, each about the size of a fist.  This is Makarenko’s sculptural library of imagined exoplanets. His works are modelled on real worlds that orbit stars light years away.   Walrus, May 26, 2017


This free exhibition of mind-bending art is taking over a Montreal warehouse all week.  Come for the DJs, stay for the paintings — and the VR and the mind-bending video installations. Montreal’s Chromatic Festival is back for its eighth year, and while the programming includes everything from an off-site print sale (The Grande Print Art Fair), a fashion conference (FashionTech Festival) and an industry symposium for artists and business (Chromatic Pro), the centrepiece is Chromatic Expo, a sprawling free art show which runs May 27 to June 1.  CBC Arts, May 26, 2017


The Arts in a Digital World.  Based on a survey completed by 907 arts organizations and 2,680 artists in Canada, this report examines “the impact of digital technologies on the creation, dissemination and business practices of individual artists and arts organizations in Canada”.  On average, arts organizations estimated that they spend 37% of their operating budgets on digital technologies. The survey found that “the cost of digital tools (both initial and on-going) is the most pressing concern” among both organizations and artists.  Arts Research Monitor, May 31, 2017

United States

2015 Arts Industry Digital Marketing Benchmark Study.  Based on a survey of digital marketing in 130 American arts organizations, this report indicates that “organizations invested more in digital [in 2015], but challenges around funding and expertise limited digital effectiveness”.  On average, digital media budgets accounted for 29% of respondents’ total media budgets in 2015. All respondents had purchased Facebook advertising during the year, but only 12% had purchased Twitter ads. A large proportion of the organizations surveyed had received a Google Grant for free AdWords advertising (70%). The vast majority (84%) “used an analytics platform, such as Google Analytics, to track their paid digital media efforts”.  Arts Research Monitor, May 31, 2017

San Francisco

SFMOMA appoints new curator of contemporary art.  In a surprise move, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has announced the establishment of a new position, curator of contemporary art. Eungie Joo, a peripatetic curator with an international profile, will assume the role June 1.  Given its engagement with living artists and its strong reputation for collecting and exhibiting post-World War II art, one might have assumed that contemporary specialists abound among SFMOMA’s 20 full-time curators. However, says Ruth Berson, SFMOMA’s deputy director of curatorial affairs, contemporary art — which the museum considers to be “the art of the 21st century” — “isn’t their sole and primary focus, which is what we are doing with the appointment of Eungie.”  SF Gate, May 31, 2017


‘Scaffold’ sculpture to be dismantled, then burned in a Dakota-led ceremony  Dakota tribal elders will oversee the dismantling of the controversial sculpture “Scaffold” beginning Friday, then hold a ceremonial burning of the wooden timbers of what once was envisioned as a cornerstone of the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center.   Star Tribune, June 1, 2017

New York

Full-on Art Fight Is Brewing on Wall Street After Artist Installs Peeing Dog Statue Next to Fearless Girl.  As Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” And for artist Alex Gardega, a huge enthusiast of Wall Street’s Charging Bull sculpture, we guess that means launching a full-out war against Fearless Girl, the statue erected opposite the bull for International Women’s Day. In an act of protest, Gardega has created a small sculpture of a urinating dog to sit beside the popular feminist sculpture, which was meant to be a response to the Charging Bull sculpture.  Vulture, May 31, 2017

Silent witness: the outsider art of Susan Te Kahurangi King. Susan Te Kahurangi King is 66 and she has been drawing since she was a young child. For decades the marks that streamed out of her pen have been her prime means of expression, because at around the age of four, King stopped speaking… King never plans, never uses an eraser. Interestingly, given her silence, there are a lot of open mouths. And a lot of phallic imagery…  For all the cartoonish smiles, there is something concerning and dark about these works. Among the noise of high-volume colour, there’s a space for gentler pencil strokes, and occasionally a quiet, still figure emerges from the chaos.  The Guardian, May 31, 2017


Why Eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts Would Hurt Rural Americans the Most President Trump’s proposed federal budget for 2018, released last week, made official what arts advocates had long feared: he is calling for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Hyperallergic, May 31, 2017


Judy Chicago on the Beatles: ‘They represent things we have lost – hope and freedom’  When American artist Judy Chicago accepted an invitation earlier this year from the Tate to paint a large-scale public mural as part of Liverpool’s Sgt Pepper at 50 celebration of the Beatles’ most popular album, she was amused to hear of an exchange between two of the curators involved in the project. One of them said, “What is Judy going to do? Paint a giant vagina?” The other replied, “I hope so.”  The Guardian, May 25, 2017


A Parasitic ‘joie de vivre’ in “Viva Arte Viva”  When a curator chooses a title as desperately bubbly as Viva Arte Viva, something is clearly amiss. “Live art live!” – the 57th Venice Biennale’s tagline reads like rhetorical CPR for a decadent culture in the throes of death.  Momus, May 30, 2017

Ürümqi, China

Rounded walls and textured surfaces lend Chinese museum appearance of a “stone rolled down from the mountain”  DongZhuang-Building Museum of Western Regions is located in the Tuoli Township, around 30 kilometres from the capital of the Xinjiang region in northwest China. The building’s form and materiality are influenced by the surrounding landscape, and by the need to offer protection from the region’s extreme temperatures, sand storms and snowfall.  Dezeen, May 31, 2017


Google rolls out enhanced art search results, including digital museum guides on Street View. Searching for art and artists on Google has just been improved. Today, Google announced it’s integrating the work done by the Google Arts & Culture team into its Google search results and Maps, allowing web users to better experience the art they seek. This includes, in some cases, being able to view high-resolution imagery of the artwork in question, see it hanging on the wall in a museum, as well as being able to browse through a full collection of the artist’s works. Or, in Google Maps, it means being able to take virtual tours of museums and reading annotations about the art in question.  Techcrunch, May 30, 2017



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s