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  • Niagara Pumphouse - Beginners Video Tips by Sandy

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    If you are looking to begin your artistic journey in acrylic painting, Niagara..
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    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is offering a series of on-line watercolour workshops..
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  • 2nd Annual

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    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 10th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 10th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • 5th Annual Cityscapes Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Cityscapes art competition for an..
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  • “Abstract” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline June 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Abstractions are all around us. Ideas can be abstract; existing as..
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  • Call for Art - 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Puppet Power 2020: Puppets Go Existential and ONLINE!

    Location: Calgary, AB

    In response to the Covid – 19 situation WP Puppet Theatre has moved..
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  • 2nd Annual Lines, Shapes & Objects

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

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  • 2021 ArtTreasury Collector’s Annual Call For Artists – Deadline November 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    ArtTreasury is a magazine – an annual treasure box of artist information and..
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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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  • “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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Canadian Sculptor represents Canada - Part 3 of 3

By Patricia Leguen April 21, 2003

} Travel Journal 2001 - Part 3 Canadian Sculptor represents Canada I came back from Japan on February 18th, had a few days to recover from jet lag, and was off to Montreal on the 22nd to interpret at a conference until the 25th in the morning. My return flight to Saskatoon was at 5 p.m. on the Sunday and I was to take a flight to Beijing at 9 a.m the next morning. There was freezing rain in Montreal and the plane stayed on the runway for an extra hour. I did catch my connecting flight to Saskatoon, arrived at midnight and found out that my luggage had stayed in Toronto. I was so happy I made it back that it did not really bother me. Anyway, I only had winter clothes in it and my camera was in my carry-on. I finished packing an old suitcase at 2 a.m. and took a cab to the airport at 7 a.m. I told the Air Canada agent to store my luggage until my return from China two weeks later and I was off. When I arrived in Vancouver I asked to talk to an Air Canada manager to see if, as a frequent flyer, he could upgrade me to business class to Beijing since I was the only Canadian invited to this first International Colored Sand Sculpture Competition in Luliang, Yunan province, China, February 26 to March 13. I showed him my official invitation letter and he agreed. What a relief! I sat down for a long but comfortable flight. The stewardesses asked me about my trip to China. I told them and showed them small photo albums that I carry with me with pictures of some of my snow, ice and sand sculptures. They were very impressed. I asked if I could go to the cockpit and they suggested I bring my photos. I walked in, introduced myself to the pilot and the co-pilot turned around and said « Patricia! Do you remember me? » It was the same co-pilot when I flew to Beijing in January 1999 on my way to Harbin, in Manchuria, to carve ice and snow. We talked for a while and I asked if I could sit in the cockpit for the landing. They said "No problem". I was thrilled to see the Great Wall from up there and it made my day. Once in Beijing I had to wait for a few hours to catch a connecting flight to Shanghai. I finally arrived in the evening and was greeted by one of the interpreters and his girlfriend. I could not wait to get some fresh air. It was nice and warm out. I asked to sit in the front of the car so I could see the city by night. The driver, who was one of the organizers, told me I would have two live chickens in a box at my feet. Oh well! welcome to Shanghai! After a long ride we arrived at a large downtown hotel. After three weeks in Japan , it felt really strange to hear Mandarin everywhere. I took a shower, ordered some food and then tried to get some sleep. I was up at dawn and met all the other sculptors and the American organizers in the hallway after breakfast. We all went to visit a city museum and had our first Chinese lunch all together. We spent the rest of the day walking in the old city browsing and bargaining for souvenirs. The next morning we all went to the airport early to catch a flight to Kunmin, far on the western edge of China. Then we had to pile all our luggage inside a bus for the ride to Luliang which took another four hours. When we finally arrived at the Luliang hotel around 6 p.m., there was a large welcome banner for us above the entrance. We had supper and I went for a walk with the Mexican sculptor who was very happy to have someone to speak Spanish to. The next day we all went to the Sand Forest, half an hour away, where the competition was held. It is a beautiful park with sandstone formations on each side of a canyon. After lunch at the small hotel inside the park, we all went for a hike and admired the view. We also met with our crew of Chinese helpers and our interpreter and I explained to them what I was planning on carving. We spent the rest of the afternoon horseback riding in the hills. We walked down to a lake where we took a small motor boat back to the park. It was really nice to get some exercise before the start of the competition the next day. We arrived there at 9 a.m. for the shovelling ceremony. It was a little cool, about 8oC and, as we waited for the officials, we started dancing to the pop music on the sound system to keep warm. The local TV reporters were there and they showed the whole event on the news every day! We were the local heroes after that. We started carving our pyramid of compacted sand 26 ft long, 20 ft wide and 14 ft tall. We worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour for lunch. My sculpture was called Peace on Earth. It represented a group of three young people on top of the world with the continents in relief. I had three university students, Nico from France, Syra from Thailand and Ruth from Kenya who modelled for me. I took photos of them wearing typical everyday clothes from their respective countries. The top pile of sand was full of rocks, some the size of my hand, and the sand was not very good. The best sand to carve is fine with silt in it to hold better when mixed with water and pounded. We had a draw the night before for the pyramids and I had to do with what I got. But it did not discourage me. I wanted to do the three figures standing up and larger than life, but given the sand, I decided to carve them only down to the waist. The heads were very large and looked great from a distance. I made European, Asian and African features, using the colored sand for the different skin color and hair. I inlaid colored sand for the patterns on the clothing. I only had a small collapse in the back while carving Nico's left arm. I spent a lot of time explaining to the helpers how to mix the sand properly so that it is neither too runny or too dry, and how to apply a handful at a time with a trowel. I made the continents in relief on the earth using all the different colors for contrast. I had brought a large colored map of the world and also a small globe for that purpose. My interpreter was not used to working with his hands and I had to ask for a replacement because he would just sit there daydreaming. It was the first time I had carved such a large mass of sand. Only one of the helpers, an art student, was a good worker, the others only shovelled or sieved colored sand in different piles. Most of the sculptors said that it was easier to work with one or two helpers rather than nine. Since they had no experience at all, I spent a lot of time explaining to the interpreter what needed to be done by the helpers. But even then, they would manage to do something different. It was a good learning experience for everyone. The scenery was very beautiful and peaceful. At times large pieces would fall off the sandstone cliffs. It reminded of the Grand Canyon and also of the Perito Moreno in Patagonia, one of the few glaciers in the world that is advancing instead of receding. The noise was almost as loud as when big chunks of blue ice would fall off into the lake. At lunch time, we had time to talk to the other sculptors. We became a very close group. The Chinese carvers stayed together and, since they did not speak any English, it was not easy to talk to them unless an interpreter was around. One of them spoke German and I was able to talk to him. All of us had brought photos of our work, except for them. We were also divided into two groups for the competition: six national sculptors and eight international sculptors plus 4 sculptors doing large demonstration pieces. At 5 p.m. we would take the bus back to the Hotel, shower, change and go out for supper. Afterwards Benjamin, the Mexican, and I explored the streets of the city and checked out all the little shops followed by dozens of children. We met some locals who worked at the massage parlor next to the hotel. We spent wonderful moments with them. They had never seen white people before and were eager to know more about us and teach us some Mandarin. We would all sit around a small stove sipping green tea until late at night. They invited us for supper after midnight in one of the local restaurants. There were all kinds of fresh vegetables and fish on display outside that were put in a pot of hot broth over a burner in a hole in the centre of the table. It seemed like people were up at daylight and were kept busy all day and on into the night. The day the competition ended we finished at noon, took pictures and had a chance to look at all the other sculptures. After lunch we all went to the Stone Forest by bus on a guided tour. The next morning we left around 10 a.m. to go to the closing ceremony. We could not believe the crowd when we arrived at the entrance to the park. Over 130,000 people took the bus from the city and walked the last few miles. After lunch we were escorted with all the dignitaries to a live show outdoors that lasted almost three hours. The hills were like a sea of people. After the awards ceremony on stage, we were treated to amazing performances by dancers of all kinds, famous singers and comedians. It took a long time for our van to get back to the highway. What a sight, we could not believe our eyes. The last night in Luliang, we all went for a long walk, realizing it was all over. The next morning we took the bus back to Kunmin and then flew back to Shanghai where we had one more day to ourselves before leaving. We all had supper together at the 5 star hotel and discussed the future of sand-sculpting, then went bowling until 2 in the morning. The organizers invited us to a traditional lunch at the hotel and we said good-bye to everybody hoping we would see each other again soon. __________________________________________________ Copyright © 2001 Patricia Leguen View more of Patricia's work on her website.