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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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  • Urgent issue of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: URGENT ISSUE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL..
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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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  • 2 ARTIST/ 2 PERSPECTIVES

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The workshop offers an opportunity to have access to two outstanding painters who..
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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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  • Land and Sky - 2 Artist/2 Perspectives

    Location: Windsor, ON

    PAINTING WORKSHOP AT SHO ART STUDIOS APRIL 3rd 4th and 5th 2020..
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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 Art - 4th Annual Black & White Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Black & White online art..
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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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Lynne Heller: Nine Sisters and 115 Unused Quilts

By Gil McElroy August 4, 2003

} Lynne Heller: Nine Sisters and 115 Unused Quilts Gil McElroy Nov 30, 2002 - Jan 14, 2003 Art Gallery of Cobourg Cobourg, Ontario In an exhibition of mixed media wall hangings that has been touring Canada for the last year, Toronto artist Lynne Heller elegantly argues a fecund relationship between the traditional craft of the pieced quilt, and the pictorial strain of fine art painting. Nine Sisters and 115 Unused Quilts takes it origin in the story of the nine Merkley sisters, distant maternal relatives of Heller's whose lives, spent unmarried (save for one) and in the Canadian countryside, spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After the death of the youngest in 1975, 115 unused quilts-all sewn by the sisters in preparation for the marriages that were expected of them but which eight turned their backs upon to pursue independent life paths- were found stored away in the family attic, unused. Drusilla / Red Rose, 2001 84 x 63in silk, cotton, wool, polyblends, linen, silk/metal organza, lace, heat transfers, embroidery floss, heritage quilt pieces hand appliquéd, hand quilted, heat transferred imagery, embroidery quilted by: Jolene Antle       photography: Janusz Wrobel The lives of the sisters-Anne, Drusilla, Edith, Ella May, Estelle, Maud, Josephine, Louise, and Sarah- provided Heller with corresponding points of artistic departure. In each of their names, she created large 84" high by 63" wide wall hangings that have, at their literal and metaphoric center, antique pieced quilts. In Drusilla/Red Rose (all works are 2001), for instance, that center is established with by an antique Art Deco fan quilt pattern, set atop layers of cloth -silk, cotton, linen- that, though comprising a supportive textile backing, have other more significant aesthetically contextual functions. The only rigidly rectangular element in this work (and all the others) is a final sheet of cloth backing with which the hanging is Drusilla ( Detail ) quilted by: Jolene Antle       photography: Janusz Wrobel attached to a wall. Within its field (and encompassing the core antique quilt), the multiple layers of textile are shaped and arranged so as to representationally establish a resonant thematic echo which reverberates through the Nine Sisters sequence. On either side of (and partially beneath) the antique center, two vertical strips of material form kinds of curving arcs that roughly mirror one another. Two squares of material (each made up of two triangles of different textiles) are set on either side of the antique quilt, attached about a third of the way down. The consequence of it all are a sequence of hangings within which lurks references to perspective and dimensionality, and which exhibit a decidedly figurative bent. Anne / Arm & Hammer, 2001 84 x 63in silk, cotton, wool, polyblends, linen, silk/metal organza, lace, heat transfers, heritage quilt pieces hand appliquéd, hand quilted, heat transferred imagery quilted by: Jolene Antle       photography: Janusz Wrobel This figuration is generic and anonymous, visually specifying nothing and no one in particular. But Heller individualizes it with the addition of some visual (and, indeed, titular) reference to staple items from the realm of the domestic of which the Merkley sisters were presumably a part. In Drusilla/Red Rose, for instance, it is packets of Red Rose tea. Heller has made heat transfer images of the packaging of said dry good onto small pieces of cloth, and inserted rows of them into each work, in the form of a framing device, used as trim or edging along a side. In Anne/Arm & Hammer, it is, of course, images of boxes of baking soda arranged in like manner. And in Louise/Sweet & Lo and Josephine/Twin, even artificial sweeteners find a place. Anne ( Detail ) quilted by: Jolene Antle       photography: Janusz Wrobel Artifice is, in fact, critical to Heller's work. In Anne/Arm & Hammer, she has incorporated two heat transfer enlargements of buttons, attached at points where the antique quilt engages its textile backing, and so metaphorically anchors the old to the new. Though dimensionality is pointed at in each of the works of Nine Sisters, in the end Heller takes a pass on the reality of the thing, as if the inclusion of an actual button would push things too far away from fine art and too close to the craft end of the artistic spectrum. Instead, she cleaves closely to a path which avoids outright aesthetic commitments either way. It's an openness that pays off. This review originally appeared in Art Papers Magazine, March/April 2003. See more of Lynne Heller's work online at: www.lynneheller.com. ___________________________________________ Gil McElroy is a critic, independent curator, artist, and poet currently living in Colborne, Ontario. His latest books are Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art (Gaspereau Press), and a book of poetry, Dream Pool Essays (Talonbooks). View Gil's curriculum vitae.