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Today's notices

  • Gallery Ring “Landscape / Still Life” Online Juried Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring is seeking artworks for a juried exhibition with a double theme..
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  • Collaborative Art Project Call For Submissions

    Location: Waterloo, ON

    Co-Ex Art is a collaborative art initiative that has just released it's first..
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • $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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  • 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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  • 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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Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran

By Robert Amos September 16, 2004

} Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran By Robert Amos There has been a tendency among western collectors to resist the evolution of Sepik art this century, to label works by living artists as less valuable than those placed in museums at the turn of the cntury. On the contary the carvings that are produced by the finest Sepik artists of today have a vitality that reflects the traditions of their still-living culture, passed on to them as always, through word of mouth and sculptural form. These are not slavish copies of museum pieces. Elaine Monds Dan Lepsoe has just returned from the Sepik River Basin of Papua New Guinea where he travelled for Victoria’s Alcheringa Gallery (665 Fort Street, 383-8224, www.alcheringa-gallery.com). He accompanied the gallery’s director, Elaine Monds, on a mission to gather some of the carved wooden figures for which the area is justly famous. It was his first trip and I wanted to get his reactions. “They call it The Land of the Unexpected,” Lepsoe began. “Believe me, I didn’t expect even half of what went on.” Travelling in big canoes, they went to visit the villages of this tropical flood plain and to renew aquaintance with the carvers. The Lover Who Turned Into A Crocodile Joseph Kandimbu, 2004, Tambanum Village, Middle Sepik, PNG wood, cowrie shells, human hair, natural pigments, 28" X 9" X 6.5" Monds was making her 9th trip into the low-lying basin of the Sepik River and she knew what to expect. On previous trips she has bought many carvings and sold the work, through her Victoria gallery, to museums and collectors worldwide. Naturally encouraged by this, a number of master Sepik carvers have been working for the past three or four years to make things for her current show. The Sepik River flows hither and yon, in horseshoes and labyrinths, across at 200 kilometre wide flood plain. It’s a very flat landscape. “The sky above and the water below,” Lepsoe recalled. Through the ever-changing waterways of reeds and invasive water-hyacinths, Monds and Lepsoe made their way to villages sealed off from time. Without roads, and in the dry season beyond the reach of rivers, these communities have been able to maintain an enormous diversity of language and cosmology. These are hunter-gatherers. Lepsoe showed me a snapshot of the arrival of their canoe at a village in the Sepik basin. The entire village had come to the water’s edge to see them. Around the houses evidence of a recent flood was abundant. “The people on the shore seemed to me a bit blurred, a bit out of focus,” Lepsoe recalled. What with Elaine’s feverishness, the immense heat and humidity, and a long day’s travel on the river, blurred vision might have been expected. “But when we got closer,” Lepsoe continued, “ I could see they were all swatting and scratching - bugs!”. Monds wore her full mosquito suit while Lepsoe had decided to be a stoic. “Every one was vying for your attention, but in the whole village we only had come to see one or two carvers. We sent letters in advance, but it was very difficult to get a letter through, and many didn’t arrive. In addition to the fever and the bugs, we were trying to deal with esthetic issues, and I was doing photography and video. This was the first time we were able to record the artists speaking about their own pieces.” I saw edenic photographs of Sepik villages, which centre on a giant wooden haus Tambaran, a sort of spirit house. Elaine Monds first came to the Sepik when ethnographic artifacts were the goal. Later, her British Columbia experience working with the finest northwest carvers showed her that traditions do evolve into contemporary expressions. She became a pioneer in the encouragement of art in the middle Sepik basin. For her previous show, in 1996, Monds published a gorgeous full colour catalogue with biographies and photos of the artists, their homes and their haus Tambaran. Copies of that book are treasured in the region, and have helped foster an awareness that these carvers are being taken seriously around the world. Rather than the totemic figures and gods of iconography, the current show presents images from daily life in Papua New Guinea. A life-sized man is carved standing with his dog. A grey kitten with white stripes, or a wallaby - these are new subjects for these carvers. Working from a base at Korogo Village deep in the interior, Monds and Leptoe spent 9 days gathering their purchases. Their 50 foot canoe turned out to be perfect for transporting art and getting to the far-flung settlements. They travelled in the wet season - worst time for mosquitoes, but the easiest time to reach villages in the labyrinth of rivers. In the end they strapped the carvings upright in the back of a brand new Land Cruiser and set out for Wewak on the coast. All the carvings arrived in Canada safely. You can have a look at them at www.alcheringa-galleries.com or in person at 665 Fort Street, Victoria B.C. (until September 30, 2004). ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert 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