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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Land and Sky - 2 Artist/2 Perspectives

    Location: Windsor, ON

    PAINTING WORKSHOP AT SHO ART STUDIOS APRIL 3rd 4th and 5th 2020..
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  • Confluent Dreams

    Location: North Battleford, SK

    An afternoon exhibition, cranky theatre and musical performance all taking place at..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • Alee & Ayla: Approaches to Portraiture

    Location: Regina, SK

    H.J. Linnen; Patron of the Regina Art Collective will be exhibiting works from his..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Black & White Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Black & White online art..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Call for Proposals: 2020 The WALL Artist

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Vancouver Heritage Foundation is now accepting proposals from independent artists and curators for..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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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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  • 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 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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  • “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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Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran

By Robert Amos September 16, 2004

} Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran By Robert Amos There has been a tendency among western collectors to resist the evolution of Sepik art this century, to label works by living artists as less valuable than those placed in museums at the turn of the cntury. On the contary the carvings that are produced by the finest Sepik artists of today have a vitality that reflects the traditions of their still-living culture, passed on to them as always, through word of mouth and sculptural form. These are not slavish copies of museum pieces. Elaine Monds Dan Lepsoe has just returned from the Sepik River Basin of Papua New Guinea where he travelled for Victoria’s Alcheringa Gallery (665 Fort Street, 383-8224, www.alcheringa-gallery.com). He accompanied the gallery’s director, Elaine Monds, on a mission to gather some of the carved wooden figures for which the area is justly famous. It was his first trip and I wanted to get his reactions. “They call it The Land of the Unexpected,” Lepsoe began. “Believe me, I didn’t expect even half of what went on.” Travelling in big canoes, they went to visit the villages of this tropical flood plain and to renew aquaintance with the carvers. The Lover Who Turned Into A Crocodile Joseph Kandimbu, 2004, Tambanum Village, Middle Sepik, PNG wood, cowrie shells, human hair, natural pigments, 28" X 9" X 6.5" Monds was making her 9th trip into the low-lying basin of the Sepik River and she knew what to expect. On previous trips she has bought many carvings and sold the work, through her Victoria gallery, to museums and collectors worldwide. Naturally encouraged by this, a number of master Sepik carvers have been working for the past three or four years to make things for her current show. The Sepik River flows hither and yon, in horseshoes and labyrinths, across at 200 kilometre wide flood plain. It’s a very flat landscape. “The sky above and the water below,” Lepsoe recalled. Through the ever-changing waterways of reeds and invasive water-hyacinths, Monds and Lepsoe made their way to villages sealed off from time. Without roads, and in the dry season beyond the reach of rivers, these communities have been able to maintain an enormous diversity of language and cosmology. These are hunter-gatherers. Lepsoe showed me a snapshot of the arrival of their canoe at a village in the Sepik basin. The entire village had come to the water’s edge to see them. Around the houses evidence of a recent flood was abundant. “The people on the shore seemed to me a bit blurred, a bit out of focus,” Lepsoe recalled. What with Elaine’s feverishness, the immense heat and humidity, and a long day’s travel on the river, blurred vision might have been expected. “But when we got closer,” Lepsoe continued, “ I could see they were all swatting and scratching - bugs!”. Monds wore her full mosquito suit while Lepsoe had decided to be a stoic. “Every one was vying for your attention, but in the whole village we only had come to see one or two carvers. We sent letters in advance, but it was very difficult to get a letter through, and many didn’t arrive. In addition to the fever and the bugs, we were trying to deal with esthetic issues, and I was doing photography and video. This was the first time we were able to record the artists speaking about their own pieces.” I saw edenic photographs of Sepik villages, which centre on a giant wooden haus Tambaran, a sort of spirit house. Elaine Monds first came to the Sepik when ethnographic artifacts were the goal. Later, her British Columbia experience working with the finest northwest carvers showed her that traditions do evolve into contemporary expressions. She became a pioneer in the encouragement of art in the middle Sepik basin. For her previous show, in 1996, Monds published a gorgeous full colour catalogue with biographies and photos of the artists, their homes and their haus Tambaran. Copies of that book are treasured in the region, and have helped foster an awareness that these carvers are being taken seriously around the world. Rather than the totemic figures and gods of iconography, the current show presents images from daily life in Papua New Guinea. A life-sized man is carved standing with his dog. A grey kitten with white stripes, or a wallaby - these are new subjects for these carvers. Working from a base at Korogo Village deep in the interior, Monds and Leptoe spent 9 days gathering their purchases. Their 50 foot canoe turned out to be perfect for transporting art and getting to the far-flung settlements. They travelled in the wet season - worst time for mosquitoes, but the easiest time to reach villages in the labyrinth of rivers. In the end they strapped the carvings upright in the back of a brand new Land Cruiser and set out for Wewak on the coast. All the carvings arrived in Canada safely. You can have a look at them at www.alcheringa-galleries.com or in person at 665 Fort Street, Victoria B.C. (until September 30, 2004). ___________________________________________ 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