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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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  • Call for Submissions: International Women's Day

    Location: Toronto, ON

    International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year to acknowledge and..
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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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  • Poetic Notions

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Bringing together 30 artists and poets, curators & participants Holly Friesen and Carolyn..
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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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  • Art Rental Show

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Come and visit CityScape Community ArtSpace to view 200 new works of original..
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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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World Tea Party

By Robert Amos August 19, 2004

} World Tea Party By Robert Amos The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss Street), in conjunction with the Community-University Research Alliance of the University of Victoria and the Asia Arts Society, is hosting a summer-long World Tea Party. Central to this is a large display of antique tea wares of England, China and Japan. An extensive lecture series considers variations of the theme and tea parties will be going on all over town. Chinese Yixing ware tea pot, 19th century. At the moment, tea party headquarters seems to be the dining room of the old mansion at the Gallery. Bryan Mulvihill is manning the teapot at the centre of this storm. Mulvihill has hosted World Tea Parties in Venice, London, Ottawa, Vancouver and now Victoria. Last Friday afternoon, I was invited to take a place at the table and was offered some Darjeeling tea in a little Chinese cup. And the conversation began. “Tea is more than something to drink. I’m documenting the whole process,” Mulvihill intoned. “For me these tea salons are the studio - people meeting over different tea events. You can’t do it at home alone. These are human meeting rituals, around the simple act of sharing a cup of tea,” he underlined. “But who would come if we called it the “World Human Meeting Ritual Exhibition”?”. Victoria is surely a tea town. Everyone has some tea utensils, maybe inherited from granny. “I doubt that there is a house in this city that doesn’t have a teapot,” Mulvihill suggested. “When we were preparing this show we put ads in the newspaper and we got a huge response. We went through all the public collections - the RBCM, the Maltwood at UVic, the AGGV and all the heritage houses. And the highest quality artifacts came from private collections.” Hannah Maynard, British Columbia, photograph, 3 for tea Celestial Seasonings, which introduced herbal teas to the American market in the 1960’s, is the very active corporate sponsor of the Global Tea Party. In the beginning, that company was a group of people collecting wild herbs outside Boulder, Colorado. They became an integral part of our “alternative” culture, and now package and sell 70 million pounds of herbs every year. Remember those cosmic homilies printed on their packages - “Life is what happens while you’re busy doing other things”? Tea is the world’s most popular beverage, after water. Meeting for tea has replaced our sense of “meeting at the well”, the water source. The source was where information was shared, a place to meet travellers and strangers. Now that we have water on tap, we don’t need to go to the well. That’s why Starbucks is so popular. It’s somewhere to sit down. All tea - green, oolong or black - is made from the leaves of the tea bush - camellia sinensis. From China, tea spread all over the world. It was shipped from China to England. The English introduced tea-growing to India because they couldn’t get enough from Chinese traders to satisfy their home market’s appetite. The Chinese maintained the mystery and never let the foreigners into the tea gardens. It was an English doctor, stationed in Calcutta, who arranged for some seeds of the Chinese tea plant to be smuggled to him in the bottom of a blue and white vase. The secret was out. The English subsequently planted vast tracts of tea in the Himalayas, in Assam, and later in Sri Langka, Kenya and Rhodesia. It was even grown here in the Fraser Valley in the 19th century. Our climate is fine for tea , but we don’t have the labour force. The Chinese never sent their best tea to the English, which is perhaps why the English like to put milk and sugar in their tea. Even so, in the 18th century, when a skilled labourer might earn one shilling a week, a pound of tea could cost from 16 to 30 shillings. Worcester teapot. Queen Charlotte or Whorl pattern in underglaze blue and overglaze red and gilt. Photograph: Trevor Mills. Mild though it may be, we like tea for its physical effect. It may be the caffeine, or something else, but it “brightens you up”. Mulvihill told me that “it stimulates the pineal gland, the centre of cognition and awareness. That’s why it was taken up by Zen monks as an aid to meditation. Tea was brought to Japan by the monks, in fact” he noted. When the mind becomes focussed and aware, the effect of tea is heightened. Concentrating on the process of preparing tea brings the mind to one place, and one purpose. You become attuned to being here and now. When your mind is focussed, you feel the subtle effect of the tea more directly. “The whole purpose of the tea ceremony is to become highly aware of the participatory aspects of the ritual,” Mulvihill explained. “Then the tea can have its best effect.” While we sat and drank tea and talked, a number of others - visitors from New Orleans, the director of the gallery - joined us for a cup of tea and some of that good old-fashioned World Human Meeting Ritual. No matter what your connection is to tea, as a thirst quencher or a subject of scholarly research, there’s a seat for you at this summer’s World Tea Party. A full list of this summer’s tea events is available from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (www.aggv.bc.ca or 384-4101). Here are some special events taking place at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: July 30, 2-4 pm Tea Salon with Bryan Mulvihill August 1, 3pm First Nations Tea August 3, 1 pm Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration August 5, 1pm Japanese Tea Ceremony etiquette August 17, 1 pm Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration August 22, 1 pm Bengali Tea Salon August 26, 1 pm Sencha Tea with Bryan Mulvihill August 29, 1 pm “Black and White Tea” with Pat Martin Bates ___________________________________________ 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