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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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  • 2019 ANIMA MUNDI - CONSCIOUSNESS

    Location: VENICE,

    ITSLIQUID Group, in collaboration with Venice Events and Ca’ Zanardi, is pleased to..
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  • Walker Industries Juried Art Exhibition

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    Daisy Fresh has been selected as one of 26 finalists in this juried..
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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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EARTH - Murrini Glasswork by Mel Munsen

By Robert Amos July 21, 2003

} EARTH - Murrini Glasswork by Mel Munsen Starfish Glassworks, 630 Yates Street, Victoria, B.C. ( 388-7827 ) until August 5, 2003 The other day I was watching clouds float by. In the empyrean blue, mare's tails and vapour trails were slowly stretched by the wind into flowing, three-dimensional patterns. I thought of murrini. Glass was developed in the middle of the third millennia B. C. in Mesopotamia, probably as an accidental offshoot of ceramics. In the beginning this glass was used to imitate precious stones, 'jewels that flowed' for inlay and beads. Because of the size of the furnaces, only tiny pieces of glass were possible. Bits of glass - murrini - were assembled and melted, fused together to form vessels in Egypt as early as the 360 BC. This type of 'glassmaking by assemblage' reached its climax in Rome and Alexandria during the two centuries around the birth of Christ. The introduction of the blowpipe eclipsed the assembled technique - blown glass (on the model of a bubble rather than a mosaic) can be made much faster. Mel Munsen Mosaic glass didn't reappear until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, on the island of Murano, the Italian glass center. This was prompted by archeological discoveries in Pompeii and Herculaneum which revealed some fine examples of early mosaic glass. The Italian glassmakers create canes of glass, dipping a hot core of glass into different colours, adding one thin layer at a time and then stretching the hot core into a cane. In cross section canes may take simple shapes like bull's eyes, and can be bundled to make 'millefiore' flowers. You've seen them inside paperweights. These bits of cane, when introduced into a gather of glass, carry patterns flowing into its three-dimensional form. At West End Gallery (1203 Broad St., 388-0009, www.westendgalleryltd.com) the annual summer glass exhibit has brought together some of the best glass artists in Canada. A perennial favourite is Edmonton's Jeff Holmwood. His 'electric koolaid punchbowls' are massive buckets of glass, through which schools of murrini swim in a psychedelic sway. Jeff Holmwood Electric Kool-Aid at West End Gallery, Victoria Down the street at Starfish Glassworks, Lisa Samphire makes a striking line of glass with murrini inclusions (630 Yates St., 388-7827, www.starfishglass.bc.ca/lisa.htm). My favourite are her sushi plates, in which wobbly murrini almost imitate rolls of seafood and rice. Meg Walker has written that Samphire's vases have an effect 'almost cellular, similar to a magnified cross-section of a plant or a tree....some of the patterns seem frantic like cells trying to stay out of a whirlpool.' Lisa Samphire butterfly series at Starfish Gallery, Victoria Of particular interest is Starfish's solo show by Mel Munsen of Esquimalt (until August 5). Munsen has made an international reputation for his eggshell-thin, fused and slumped murrini vessels. Meticulously, obsessively, Munsen positions murrini side by side and then gently melts them. 'Glass blowing came in because it could be done so much more cheaply than this,' he noted ruefully. Munsen does all his work locally but exhibits in New York, in Pittsburgh, in North Carolina and in at the Rossella Junck Gallery of Venice, which is devoted to the glass of Murano. The William Traver Gallery of Seattle, which recently hosted a second solo show of Munsen's sublime vessels, doesn't stint on the praise: 'Munsen's own murrini work shows that he is virtually without peer in his sense of design and technical perfection. Munsen somehow manages to present incredible detail with a flowing sense of rhythm.' Once the murrini have melted into a little puddle, Munsen lets them cool and then grinds the resultant slab to an unusual thinness on his lapidary wheel. 'This not only delivers a delicacy to the feel of the piece,' his gallery insists, 'but it effects a translucency rarely--if ever--found in fused and slumped glass.' Mel Munsen The thin sheet of mosaic glass is then gently melted into a metal mould to give it form. This firing may go on as many as twenty separate times to slowly form the glass to shape. Munsen's years as an antique 'picker' have trained his eye, and he chooses shapes with a subtle and unerring sense of 'modern' style. Originally inspired by Italian artists of the 1950's, Munsen offers dishes perfect for a banana split, and hemispherical bowls of uncompromising geometry. I was gazing into one of the largest of them, probably 50 cm in diameter, and admiring its delicately dimpled surface, the pulsing organic rythmn of the slightly melted forms, the crisp smooth rim of the bowl. Suddenly I began to sense that my eyes were playing tricks. Some of the tiny dark spaces between the murrini seemed to be glowing with a rich electric blue. As I moved my head, some lit up and others went dark. Colour and form were speaking to me from another world, it seemed. It is wonderful to encounter a work of art that sneaks up on you. Munsen avoids ascribing any 'meaning' to his work. But if intense beauty is a language that communicates to you, give his work your attention. Munsen resume www.vetriglass.com/artists/munsen_main.html Munsen in Venice www.rossellajunck.it Munsen in Seattle www.travergallery.com/artists/mm_main.html ___________________________________________ 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