ALREADY SIGNED UP?
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE

 

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • WOOD ARTIST

    Location: Duncan, BC

    My carved coffee tables and wood carvings are in the window at IMAGINE..
    View notice

  • Seeking Instructors - EdVentures Online

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Call for Instructors Proposals Due March 5th 2021 The NB College of Craft & Design..
    View notice

  • Large Works

    Location: Truro, NS

    Our annual winter show of large works is now on display at the..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: RE-EMERGENCE

    Location: Calgary, AB

    WE’RE BACK!! After a long and lonely year, 2020, Carbon Point Gallery and it's..
    View notice

  • see “a village dreams” virtually

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Visit Gallery Arcturus – vicariously: https://arcturus.ca/genesis/ “a village dreams” has installations by deborah harris -- Up..
    View notice

  • The Chelsea International Photography Competition

    Location: New York, AB

    The Chelsea International Photography Competition (CIPC) honors our gifted talents all over the..
    View notice

  • CALL FOR ART

    Location: , ON

    We are currently looking for 40-50 artists to feature in our next issue...
    View notice

  • 12th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 12th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
    View notice

  • 5th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Colors art competition for an..
    View notice

  • 3rd Into the Wild Quarterly Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 3rd Into the Wild Online Art Competition. 2D..
    View notice

  • Call for Proposals: AGO X RBC Artist-in-Residence Program 2021

    Location: Toronto , ON

    Three paid digital residencies available in 2021. Deadline for submissions: March 10, 2021 at..
    View notice

  • Call for Artists

    Location: New Westminster, BC

    Are you a New Westminster-based artist with a body of 2D work, who..
    View notice

  • Book illustration wanted

    Location: Boularderie Centre, NS

    I am looking for someone to illustrate a poetry book. ..
    View notice

  • Call For Visual Artists-Boynes Emerging Artist Award 4th Edition

    Location: Melbourne,

    The Boynes Emerging Artist Award is an independent artist-run International 2D art competition..
    View notice

  • Call for Art - 12th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • A Mysterious Attraction: A new spin on gravitational art

    Location: Port Moody, BC

    Meet the artists at a Virtual Opening Reception and tour of the exhibition. Edzy..
    View notice

  • Call for Artists - WHEN SHE RISES, WE ALL RISE

    Location: , NY

    Applications are now open for our juried online exhibition WHEN SHE RISES, WE..
    View notice

  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , FL

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Winter 2021 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
    View notice

  • “Winter” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2021

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Winter is the coldest season of the year. Containing the shortest..
    View notice

  • Call for Artists 2021 Mini Print-by-Mail Publication Program

    Location: , BC

    Deadline: February 26, 2021 Tuckamore Press is seeking applications for our Mini Print-by-Mail Publication..
    View notice

  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 Venice | April 01/02 – May 07,..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art: Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    We invite emerging, mid-career and professional artists to apply to participate in our..
    View notice

  • The Salt Spring National Art Prize $41,000 in Awards Call to Artists Open January 1 - May 31, 2021

    Location: , BC

    Announcing The Salt Spring National Art Prize's 2021/22 prize awards of $41,000! CALL FOR..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

VIEW ADVERTISING

Public Art: The Controversy in Victoria

By Robert Amos August 12, 2003

} Public Art: The Controversy in Victoria Victoria is facing up to a new sculpture, of high visibility and considerable cost. It's far too soon to make any judgement on what our representatives have chosen for the new Memorial Place Arena and Multiplex Centre, but we can consider the various successes of other civic monuments. Sculpture was simpler when we all could agree on our values. We honoured our leaders: Queen Victoria on the Legislature lawn, the gilded Captain Vancouver on the pinnacle of its dome, Captain Cook in front of the Empress (in bronzed fibreglass), and Sir John A. Macdonald slightly tipsy on the City Hall steps. The eternal values we fought for are memorialized in military cliche (the veteran's memorial at Belleville and Government), or made haunting and aesthetic (the woman leaning against the wall of memory at Cattle Point). Since the end of the Second World War, we have had trouble agreeing on heroes, and figurative sculpture is rare. The awesomely banal nuclear family group (outside the taxation office at Pandora and Vancouver Street) is like the village of the damned, trapped atop a tall base. unnamed statue at Pandora and Cook Street Only Jay Unwin has managed figurative work for the modern age. His working class heroes prop up a marble column inscribed 'peace and harmony' outside the new Victoria Police Station. More successful artistically is his monument for the 50th anniversary at Royal Roads Officer Training College. Since we can't agree on heroes and values any longer, abstract sculpture came to save the day. In the NDP years, art abounded. Around the Royal B. C. Museum forgettable pieces honour B. C.'s 1971 centennial. Elza Mayhew's obelisk at UVIC - carved styrofoam cast in bronze - bears silent witness to... nothing in particular. Beacon Hill Park has tried to avoid donations of sculpture but somehow a black granite monolith crept in (now behind a little wrought iron fence at Finlayson Point on Dallas Road). It¹s there to commemorate the twinning of Victoria and Morioka, but as a sculpture it is a failure. In perfect counterpoint to this is Maarten Schaddellee's white B. C. marble piece, propped up like slab of white chocolate at Clover Point. The white stone is carved with many explicit meanings - even the history of the the tiny shellfish of which marble is composed. monument to commemorate twinning of Victoria and Morioka, Japan (on the Dallas Road waterfront near Ogden Point) Perhaps the most dynamic abstract sculpture in the city is a 'found object' - the crumpled keel of a steamship which ran on a rock, displayed as sculpture at the entrance to Beacon Hill Park off Douglas Street. Any sculptor making urban art in Victoria faces two competitors with enormous advantages. The totem art of the first people of the Pacific Northwest is rightly called 'one of the great plastic art traditions of the world' and it is ubiquitous. Rooted in craft and tradition, created with pride and respect, the poles of Thunderbird Park are a hard act to follow. The ill-fated 'world's tallest' pole at Ocean Pointe made it clear that this form of monumental art does always succeed. But when it has the creative power and cultural significance of Mungo Martin's 'world's tallest' pole in Beacon Hill Park, nothing can beat it. (The 'world¹s tallest' is actually in Alert Bay). The tradition and patronage of the church is legendary. Chris Wallace's windows for the Chapel of the New Jerusalem are a brilliant and impressive artwork. Ross Bay Cemetery is the finest collection of Victorian monumental stone carving in the west, all in a park setting. So you can see what a modern sculptor is up against. He or she must express our rootless, democratic, politically correct, budget-conscious age, simultaneously pleasing the man on the street and challenging the best minds of our time. Good luck. Though you might not know his name, Illarion Gallant has insinuated an enormous quantity of good artistic sense and urban planning in our town. While it is always his top notes that get the attention (the aluminium arbutus at Fort and Foul Bay, the recycled manhole covers on Douglas) in fact his sidewalk and curb designs (Yates near London Drugs) and outdoor seating (Yates and Douglas) make a genuine contribution to our town. Linda Stanbridge's intellectual and sensual ceramic wall pieces have won competitions here (the fire hall near South Park School) but aren't as visible as free-standing sculpture. I wish we knew her better. Most recently Bob Wise won the competition for the Victoria Airport. The artists are hungry for this sort of work. Regrettably, the winning entry is out of the way, slow moving and looks a bit like a beach ball. Welcome to Victoria. Which brings us to Mowry Baden's winning entry for the Memorial Place, which was announced last week. He is certainly positioned to be the winner. At the end of a long career as a professor of Fine Art at the University of Victoria, his list of exhibitions and government grants is extensive. He's made a career of public art installations, most notably under a bridge overpass in Seattle. For the Memorial Place he has designed an assemblage of rock, steel and aluminium. Baden warms us up to this odd conjunction of shapes with a folksy 'story line' about memory and hockey games. Why is there such a negative reaction to his offering? Perhaps because his last public art project met with little public approval. I refer to 'Day is for resting...', or as it is familary known, the pink mattresses. In its design stage that sculptural ensemble at Blanshard and Douglas Streets had everything to make it a winner. It's public seating. It's an ironic joke (beds!) about the hotel which it fronts. It's unbreakable. It's challenging, like modern art is supposed to be. Unfortunately, in reality it's nasty. The sad bubble-gum colour of the upended mattresses hasn't improved with age. Anyone settling in for a comfy seat is in for a surprise - what looks soft is made of concrete. The large and mysterious signage seems a mocking billboard, a finger in the public's face, located as it is at the entrance to Beacon Hill Park. The sign by-laws can't touch it and the 'Artist's Intellectual Rights' ensure that it will stay that way for ever. Onward with art in the age of the committee. ___________________________________________ 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