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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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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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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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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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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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  • VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism 2020 is an annual international art exhibition, dedicated..
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Eternal Egypt

By Robert Amos August 12, 2004

} Eternal Egypt By Robert Amos At the Royal B. C. Museum (until October 31). For information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca or phone 250-356-7226 until July 31 Block statue of Sennefer, from western Thebes (ca. 1479-1425 B. C.), granodiorite stone, 89.8 cm tall, acquired by the British Museum in 1829 The Eternal Egypt exhibit, a display of Egyptian art on loan from the British Museum is now on show at the Royal B. C. Museum (until October 31), and it is a winner. The British Museum has the finest collection of Egyptian antiquities outside Egypt. Back in London they are in the midst of a building renovation and, rather than put their entire Egyptian collection in storage, they decided to send 144 of the finest items on tour to America and Canada. In Victoria, beautiful temporary galleries have been created to show a carefully chosen series of stone carvings which trace the 3,000 year history of Egyptian art. Neal Spencer, Assistant Keeper at the British Museum told me this is a vast improvement over how they are usually seen. For the dedicated student, extensive labels and free “audio tour” devices offer as much information as anyone is likely to want. But, mercifully, this data never intrudes on one’s delight with the actual objects. Though I’ve seen pictures in books, the actual carvings are a revelation. They are so crisp, so fresh, so cleanly cut. Certainly, many of the statues have suffered damage over the millennia, mostly in their removal and transit. Yet these are mostly funerary objects, grave goods which have never been subject to the wear and tear of daily use or exposure to the elements. A number of limestone panels removed from tomb walls are on show, with stylized figures and hieroglyphs of extraordinary fineness carved into them. Shown to advantage in raking light, they are striking and immediate. Despite their great age, quite a few bear their original paint. One which particularly fascinated me is partially completed - it presents the artist’s original grid layout, sketch and progressive stages of the carving of a standing figure. For some reason a lot of the carved heads have their noses bashed off, though the serene precision of the rest of the sculpture speaks volumes. The Egyptians modelled the sensual and complex curves of upper and lower lips with real feeling, and the seductiveness of the Egyptian eyes is legendary. Egyptian figures are formal and stylized, different from our own spatial concepts. Their people are represented with heads and feet in profile while the shoulders are seen front on. Standing statues are often presented with hands at their sides and one foot extended forward, stepping with a timeless dignity which seem perfectly Egyptian. You can see this pose in the statue of Sesostris III, said to be one of the most famous Egyptian statues in the British Museum. The seated “block statues” are a unique and wonderful in form. Only the face and hands were detailed by the sculptor, concentrating our attention on the serene countenance. This minimum of carving is surprisingly expressive. The illustration for this article shows the block statue of Sennefer, which the catalogue says is “surely one of the finest examples of this type ever produced.” In addition to the monumental granite heads and delicate limestone stele, a selection of other media is presented, chosen with obvious care. Elegant little bronze figures, gold bracelets and finely carved wooden objects enrich our understanding. Of particular note are a number of papyrus pages from Books of the Dead. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with spells to help them answer the questions which would be asked of them in the afterlife. Pharoahs might have these texts carved into the walls of their tombs, while the nobility would have them written on rolls of papyrus. The one made for Ani, an imperial scribe, is considered to be the finest and best preserved which was ever discovered. Three of the most interesting pages of this remarkable book are in this show. Egyptian graphic art is an art of line, and the power of the line is demonstrated on an ancient drawing board. On the right a student has done his best, repeatedly drawing an arm. The teacher’s model on the left side has a brilliant line which fairly crackles with intensity and precision. We marvel that such very old things have survived. But I was not prepared for the immediacy of this ancient art. More than once I seemed to recognize a friend’s face in these figures. The young couple depicted on the papyrus of Nakht seems right up to date. Artists will surely be inspired by this show. The sophisticated and articulate low relief carving of the Egyptians puts me in mind of the bentwood boxes of the Northwest Coast. The “block statue” motif of the seated scribes would be perfect for Inuit carvers. The seated stone figures of Khaemwast and his wife Nebettawy put me in mind of British sculptor Henry Moore. Everybody wants to know about death - sarcophagi, mummies and so on. And there is a separate mummification (and admittedly fascinating) display with real mummified 10 year old boy, on loan from the Vancouver Museum. I recommend a visit to the IMAX theatre on your way in, where the film Mysteries of Egypt provides a thrilling bit of contextualization. The entire exprience is $28.50 well spent. Though comprised mostly of funerary objects, the main part of the show is, somehow, a celebration of life. ___________________________________________ 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