Posted by: Leah Sandals

 

Sheila Spence Appointed Director at Plug In ICA

Monday, August 18th, 2014
Photographer and arts manager Sheila Spence has been named director, administration and development at Winnipeg’s Plug In ICA. Spence fills one of two new director positions created since the September 2013 departure of executive/artistic director Anthony Kiendl. Moving forward, Plug In will have one director in programming and one in administration and development. A release from Plug In’s board states that these two positions will work as a team to guide upcoming initiatives. Spence was most recently exhibition design coordinator at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Prior to that, she was executive director of Martha Street Studio where she expanded programming...

Hard Edges Cushioned at Softening the Corners

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
It seems there is such an interest right now in formalism and abstraction that work of a more representational or corporeal ilk comes across as a surprise—and a pleasant surprise at that. “Softening the Corners,” a group show at Birch Contemporary, offers a few such unexpected diversions. Among them is Josh Thorpe’s Third Toga (1:1). At first glance, this pale-pink wall painting may seem abstract—that is, a simple semi-circle—but it is also, as its title suggests and exhibition text elaborates, a to-scale representation of a Roman toga. The fact that it “wraps” around an interior wall underlines the connection between architectural space...

Hannah Guinan Now Artistic Director of Khyber

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Hannah Guinan has been named artistic director of the Khyber Arts Society in Halifax—a longtime artist-run centre currently facing some space challenges. Guinan has experience with the Khyber in the past, having worked on events management for the organization. As board chair Andrew McLaren stated on Facebook, Guinan "has demonstrated a solid commitment to charting our way ahead in the past few months as the society moved to its temporary location on Cornwallis Street." A NSCAD alumnus, Guinan has also been involved with musical endeavours such as the art-rock band Old & Weird and the Rebel Girl Rock Camp in Halifax. Guinan's appointment...

Lynne Cohen’s Influence Felt in Aimia Prize Shortlist

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Four artists—including one Canadian—were shortlisted this morning for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize. Chicago-based Canadian David Hartt, LA-based Israeli Elad Lassry, South African Nandipha Mntambo, and American Lisa Oppenheim are vying for the $50,000 first prize, which is decided by public vote. For Hartt, the prize marks a homecoming—as well as an opportunity to reflect upon the legacy of late Canadian photographer Lynne Cohen, who influenced Hartt during his undergrad at the University of Ottawa in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “One reason I came to the States originally was … Lynne had done a visiting artist year at the School...

Supersizing Prairie Gothic: The Art of Heather Benning

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Most art activity is centred in urban environments. But 34-year-old Regina artist Heather Benning subverts that dynamic, creating large-scale art installations in the midst of rural areas. In 2007, for instance, Benning converted an abandoned Saskatchewan farmhouse into a life-sized dollhouse. In 2008, she installed a four-metre long replica of one of her tiny childhood toys in the prairie landscape. And this week, she debuted her first-ever Ontario installation—an homage to farm labour that has seen some 600 sculptures of hands installed in an old tobacco kiln in Norfolk County. Here, Benning chats via email and phone about her inspirations,...

9 Thoughts on Running a Gallery—Without a Gallery Space

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
How do you run a gallery… without a gallery space? Given the rising rents in cities across Canada, this is a question a number of organizations have been grappling with—including Halifax’s Eyelevel Gallery, one of Canada’s oldest artist-run centres. In late 2013, after lengthy deliberation, the gallery decided to give up its permanent exhibition space. But in an interesting turn, Eyelevel framed the shift as an opportunity rather than a crisis. In April and May, the gallery packed its biennial Reshelving Initiative (a books-and-multiples exhibition) into a car and took it on the road to eight Maritime locations. In June...

When Abstraction Gets Real: Nicole Ondre & Neil Campbell

Friday, August 1st, 2014
There’s a pungent smell hanging in the air at Diaz Contemporary these days. No, it’s not the aroma of the old abattoir situated kitty-corner to the gallery—after nearly 100 years in operation (and perhaps one-tenth of that time spent wrinkling the noses of an increasing number of local condo dwellers and gallery goers), Quality Meat Packers went bankrupt this spring. No, the odour now wafting through Diaz Contemporary is that of art. Or a certain kind of art, at least: the kind of abstract floor and wall pieces that artist Nicole Ondre creates out of materials like linseed oil, asphalt, and...

Halifax City Council Delays Decision on Khyber Sale

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Halifax City Council delayed a decision yesterday regarding the fate of the Khyber building—a heritage edifice that until recently was home to the Khyber Centre for the Arts, one of the city’s key artist-run spaces. The delay gives the Khyber's arts supporters until September to campaign against the possible sale of the building to private interests. In March, the Khyber Arts Society, which managed arts activities in the building since 1995, vacated the building on what was hoped to be a temporary basis due to city staff concerns about a need for asbestos remediation. At that time, Richard MacLellan, acting manager of facility...

Artist Paul Butler Steps Down as WAG Curator

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Paul Butler, curator of contemporary art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, has decided to step down from his post after 16 months on the job. “I realized that I’m an artist who sometimes curates, and not an institutional curator,” Butler tells Canadian Art. He took up the position in April 2013 and his last day there will be August 22, 2014. A significant part of the reason for departing, Butler notes, is to maintain his own art career, which has been distinguished by a variety of projects—including collage parties in which artists and the public collaborate on different works. Even after he departs...

NSCAD University to Remain Independent

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Following years of financial difficulties and speculation about whether NSCAD University would seek to affiliate with another, larger Halifax-area university to solve some of its money problems, things are looking up for the institution. On July 9, philanthropists Margaret and David Fountain gave $3 million to NSCAD University, one of the largest gifts in the school's 127-year history. (Margaret Fountain has been on NSCAD's board of governors for 14 years, while David Fountain is president of Longwood Investments, a privately held investment firm.) Then, a few days later, NSCAD's board of governors affirmed—following consideration of an 18-month study into possible affiliations with...
 

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