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Today's notices

  • Online Exhibition: Per Astera by Malaika Z Charbonneau

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Malaika Z Charbonneau exhibits her latest markings, using paint and canvas to explore..
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  • “10th Anniversary” Online Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for a..
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  • 15th Solo Art Series – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 15th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • 2020 Social Distancing Exhibition

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    $1,000 in Artist Prizes. We know, you’re stuck at home. While many are stocking..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call for Art - 5th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Animal Kingdom online art competition. For..
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  • Call for Art - Still Life Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for its 14th Quarterly Art Competition – Still Life. For..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    $4500 in Awards - The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites..
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  • Beacon Original Art Spring Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Annual spring 2-day art show and sale with different artists in attendance each..
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  • Nooks & Crannies Outdoor Art Festival: Call to Artists

    Location: Okotoks, AB

    Okotoks Culture seeks proposals from artists to create temporary public art installations in..
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  • BORDERS - ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS BORDERS | Venice July-Nov 2020 ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival Deadline:..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    April 4/5 2020. Learn how to quickly develop rich colour and surface in..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , NY

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: CANVAS International Art Fair

    Location: London, UK,

    CANVAS International Art Fair THE LINE Gallery, London | May 07 – October 30,..
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  • 27th Lemonville Group of Artists Show and Sale

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    Please join The Lemonville Group of Artists for their 27th Annual Art Show..
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  • “Sensuality” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline April 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: A glance, touch, dance, flower, scent or piece of chocolate can..
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  • Artwork Shipping Scam

    Location: , AB

    This week an artist on our site was corresponding via email with an..
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  • Geoff Farnsworth: Colour Worker

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Join the Niagara Pumphouse for the opening reception for the exhibition entitled, “Geoff..
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  • Call for Entries: Art at the Pumphouse

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is now accepting applications for participation in Art..
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  • Exaltation : Niagara Pumphouse Instructors' Exhibition

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Niagara Pumphouse is proud to host the Instructors’ Exhibition as its first show..
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  • Art, Wine, Interior Design Show

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Art, Wine, Interior Design Show! Exhibitor opportunities for Visual artists, Interior Designers and Wineries. Finding..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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A Little Bit of Funk

By Robert Amos May 5, 2003

} A Little Bit of Funk It's easy to appreciate Mary Pratt's photo realist painting of Trifle in a Dark Room, or Gathie Falk's canvas entitled Chair With Plastic Christmas Tree. Both of these are in an exhibit of recent acquisitions at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, a show called A Little Bit of Funk (until May 25, 384-4171). Mary Pratt, Trifle in a Dark Room, oilFrom the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria But other elements of the collection speak a less familiar language. And you might wonder how a perennially underfunded gallery can continue to build a dramatic and coherent collection of contemporary art. Recently I enjoyed a leisurely visit in the company of Curator of Contemporary Art Lisa Baldiserra. She helped me gain a better understanding of things too often misunderstood. Joan Balzar's 'Moon Beam' was donated by a private collector in Toronto. It is a painting of softly glowing horizontal stripes, bisected by a neon tube. Balzar was part of the Intermedia group which broke things wide open in Vancouver in the late 1960's. Moonbeam was part of a series made in 1967. 'This is very solidly in our area of inquiry,' Baldiserra said. She notes a theme the gallery's collection is being built around: 'the connection of industrial materials in the artist's studio - and how common materials can be used in high art.' At the time Balzar made it, Moon Beam seemed shockingly modern. Even today, for many visitors to the gallery it is still transgressional. Yet Moon Beam is already part of our history. Baldiserra reminds me that, in the definition of the Canada Council, contemporary art is a product of the last 25 years, and this piece is now 30 years old. Joan Balzar, Moon Beam, 1967From the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Moon Beam had been in a private collection in Toronto for all those years. The neon has scarcely ever been plugged in. 'So we brought it out to offer it to the acquisitions committee,' Baldiserra informed me. When it got here conservator Philip Mix, as a volunteer, restored it. It was then presented to the committee and accepted as a gift. Across from Moon Beam are three elements from Robert Youd¹s series entitled 'Soft Works for Complicated Needs'. These are foam sofa cushions covered with velveteen, individually bundled up, tied with nylon rope and hung on the wall as if they were paintings. Fluourescent paint highlights many points of compression. Here, 'other' materials are used in a painterly way, and the paintings function as sculptural objects. Youds 'is very much a modernist,' the curator insists, 'concerned with the formal issues of painting. There is a lot of humour in the pieces.' Robert Youds, from the series Soft Works for Complicated NeedsFrom the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria To purchase the Youds piece, Baldiserra applied for a York Wilson Award, by which annually one piece is purchased for a Canadian museum which 'fills a gap in the collection.' The application was unsuccessful, but Youds recognized the gallery's interest in his work and offered these three as a donation. 'The generosity that is there - in the community and from the artists - inspires me every time,' Baldiserra effused. Marlene Creates was commissioned by the Gallery to create a photo-documentary work comparing issues of tourism in Victoria and her home, St. Johns Newfoundland. A grant of $22,000 was provided by the Millenium Fund of the Canada Council. This allowed the artist to make two trips to Victoria - one to concieve of the work, another to install it. On her second visit she worked with a class of high school students on a project. A brochure was published to accompany her show, and the gallery received the work - all in all, a good return for the money. The Canada Council gets a lot of credit from Baldiserra. 'They absolutely guarantee the production of contemporary art in this country by their support of galleries and individuals,' she insists. In America the funding agencies tend to deal with dealers and institutions, but in Canada the artists themselves often have to undertake the negotiations. Thus, she says, 'they have a sense of agency with their own work, putting it forward and not waiting to be chosen.' Robert Youds, from the series Soft Works for Complicated NeedsFrom the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Because the Canada Council provides the money, galleries are able to be courageous. 'How does a general audience evaluate this kind of creative production in a market economy?' Baldiserra wondered. 'The audience can't be the leaders. We can't necessarily depend on public taste. The galleries have to take a leadership role.' In fact, a taste for this type of progressive art - or any art - depends on repeated exposure. Baldiserra pointed out the groups of school kids, sprawling on the gallery floor with crayons in hand, comfortably and also physically becoming familiar with the creations of some of the best minds of our generation. 'Even if it's confounding to them intellectually, they are learning the rules of encounter.' By bringing the students here, Baldiserra explains, 'at the very least they form a synaptic memory of the pathway to the gallery. With repeated visits, a dialogue forms. They are building a template for pleasure.' This is the pleasure that comes from a familiarity with challenging and creative art. Between the viewer and the art, she says,'it's a conversation which is going on over time.' ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2003 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com