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  • Drawing Fundamentals & Community with North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Register for North Van Arts' six-week Drawing Fundamentals and Community course with Artist/Instructor..
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  • Intermediate Acrylic Painting with North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Register for North Van Arts' four-week Intermediate Acrylic Painting course with Artist/Instructor Jeff..
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  • Art Rental Show at North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Come and visit CityScape Community Art Space to view the second installment of..
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  • All is True - #NorthVanArts Film Screening

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    The North Van Arts International Film Series is presented by North Van Arts..
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  • Didukh Building Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Learn how to make a didukh, a sheaf of grain traditionally prepared by..
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  • Vertep Building Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    In this workshop, you will create a Vertep (Christmas Manger) as your newest decor..
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  • Intermediate Oil Painting

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Paint a rainy urban scene in oils while you stay comfortably indoors! Learn..
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  • From Around Ukraine in Stitches

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    This new series, a Technique Taster of Stitches, will introduce participants to embroidery..
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  • WANTED: WEBSITE DEVELOPER

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Wanted: Website Developer Artists in Canada is looking for a website / UI developer..
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  • IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU

    Location: Toronto, ON

    AWOL COLLECTIVE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, September 14-September 29, 2019, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm...
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  • Call for Art - 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 5th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Leaves & Petals online art..
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  • Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit: Nikola Wojewoda

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre presents Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human..
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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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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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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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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