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  • 2020 Ducks Unlimited National Portfolio

    Location: Bracebridge, ON

    DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA – NATIONAL ART PORTFOLIO CALL FOR ENTRIES – DEADLINE JULY 31,..
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  • The Second Latin American Contemporary Fine Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY

    The Second Latin American Contemporary Fine Art Competition - May 21st to June..
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  • Lines, Shapes & Objects Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the Lines, Shapes & Objects art competition. For this..
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  • HEDI KYLE: THE ART OF THE FOLD

    Location: Halifax, NS

    The NSCAD School of Extended Studies & Letterpress Gang are hosting a..
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  • Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Call for Artists

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Attend the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Attend the 58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Canada’s..
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  • Surfaces Exploration and Experience Karen Colville Artist

    Location: New West Minster, BC

    In the Plaskett Gallery @ Massey Theatre Surfaces…Exploration & Experience Artist Karen Colville June 25th..
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  • Race, Ethnicity and belonging

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all artists (over 18) residing in Alberta..
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  • Art District Gallery Membership

    Location: Kitchener, ON

    Art District Gallery May Membership Drive - Drop in Open House -Tuesday May..
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  • Art in the Garden 2019

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Taking place at various gardens on Vancouver's North Shore, this will be the..
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  • North Van Arts Deadline Extended! (50th Anniversary Exhibition)

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts has extended our deadline to Sunday May 26 at Midnight..
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  • Manitoba Neuroscience Network Donation Request

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Seeking art pieces for the silent art auction that will take place as..
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  • “White” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline June 30, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: White cats, white milk, white snow. Reflecting most wavelengths of visible..
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  • Call for Art | 4th Annual Cityscapes Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Cityscapes art competition. For this competition,..
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  • Myseum Intersections 2020: Call for Submissions

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Myseum of Toronto is launching a call for submissions for our fifth annual..
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  • Call For Artists - Art Sale Fundraiser

    Location: Toronto, ON

    ART SALE FUNDRAISER BENEFITING CRISTINA’S TORTINA SHOP HOSTED BY PROGRESSIVE TRAINING COLLEGE OF BUSINESS..
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  • H.A.P. Art Contest by ALPHA Education

    Location: Scarborough, ON

    ALPHA Education is hosting its annual History + Art = Peace Art Contest!..
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  • On the Same Page: Transforming Paper

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    On The Same Page: Transforming Paper showcases artists working with paper as an..
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  • ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019 ITSLIQUID International Art Festival ITSLIQUID GROUP,..
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  • 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Past (Tense) by David Scott Exhibition

    Location: Calgary, AB

    HUB @ 302 Crossroads Art Centre The Alberta Society of Artists #302 – 1235-26th Avenue SE Calgary,..
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  • Call for Artist/Writer in Residence

    Location: Harrison Hot Springs, BC

    The Kent Harrison Arts Council Artist in Residence Program Visual Artist / Writer in..
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  • Sue J Amon Art Exhibit

    Location: Yarmouth, NS

    There will be an art exhibit of the works of Sue J Amon..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: Nakusp, BC

    In this 2-day workshop, we will learn from the award-winning acrylic painter Tatjana..
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  • Artists’ Network Gallery Streetcar Art Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Submissions: March 8 – May 31, 2019 Exhibition: June 11 – 27, 2019 We are..
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  • Friends of Bon Echo Art and Sale exhibition

    Location: Cloyne , ON

    Call to Artists With its striking views and varied moods, Mazinaw Lake has drawn..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki In this 2-day workshop, we will learn how to quickly develop rich..
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  • Jun 8 – Intro to Stained Glass Workshop

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this workshop attendees will learn how to make a simple sun catcher..
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  • Jun 6 – 27 – Introduction to Acrylics

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    This course is intended for anyone who would like to try acrylic paints..
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  • May 29 – Jun 19 – Core Drawing Skills

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Master the fundamentals of drawing in this introductory course, which will build your..
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  • May 25 & 26 – Cedar Bark Hat Workshop

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Join master weaver Jessica Silvey and learn the fundamental techniques of the checker..
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  • May 1 – 22 – Drawing Fundamentals & Community

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this introductory level drawing course, students will be introduced to a variety..
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  • Spring Film Series at North Van Arts Announced!

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    The North Van Arts International Film Series is presented by North Van Arts..
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  • International Open Call to all Artists: Painting on the Edge

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    International Open Call to all Artists: Painting on the Edge Painting on the..
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  • The Wilds of Venice: Study Contemporary Art + Creative Entrepreneurship at the European Cultural Academy with the Jealous Curator and The Wild Residen

    Location: Venice,

    Education Opportunity for Artists: the 'Wilds of Venice' Certificate Course in 'Creative Entrepreneurship +..
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  • Summer Solstice Art Festival

    Location: Brainerd, MN

    We are having a Summer Solstice Art Festival June 23rd 10-4. We..
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  • Architectonic

    Location: St. Charles, MO

    The Foundry Art Centre is a Community Art Center with Fine Art galleries..
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  • Mid Main Art Fair

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The 9th annual MID MAIN ART FAIR will be held on Sunday, June..
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  • Game Studio needs Art Illustrators

    Location: Bridgewater, NS

    We are a fully funded video game studio in Nova Scotia that is..
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  • Anima Mundi

    Location: Venice, Italy,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019 ITSLIQUID International Art Festival Deadline: April..
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  • Call to Artists - $40,000 in Awards - The Salt Spring National Art Prize

    Location: Salt Spring Island, BC

    The Salt Spring National Art Prize offering $40,000 in awards, one of Canada’s..
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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