Genevieve P.M. Roy and her nail polish art collection

Nail Polish Art: Inspiration in a Small Bottle

There was a gathering at Galerie V-Trimont in Westmount on Friday, October 18th for a unique art collection that might be the first of its kind in Canada or even in the world: paintings done entirely with nail polish.

Festival of Lanterns

Festival of Lanterns

This beautiful art collection was created by Genevieve P.M.Roy, a local Montreal artist of French and Chinese heritage who I  met when I joined a Dragon Boat team a few years ago.  Roy greeted guests who sipped wine and munched on appetizers as they viewed paintings inspired by her passion for music, acting, and singing. The evening was definitely a family affair. Her mother, Quee Ying Wong, helped organize the evening and her father, Michel Roy officially opened the evening with a speech while her aunt, Jennifer Wong, sold raffle tickets at the door.

The paintings began as gifts to friends. It was while she was working on one such painting when she realized her nail polish was just the color she was looking for. She experimented with products from different companies and created works featuring vibrant color and glitter.

The vernissage was also a fund raiser. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the paintings and a souvenir book will be donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children which plans to open a new facility in Montreal in the fall of 2015. 

Roy is also a blogger and cultural reporter for Mountain Lake PBS. Visit her web site at http://genevievepmroy.weebly.com/index.html

 

Creativity, Inspiration and Fun at Montreal Comiccon

When I was a kid, one of my favourite comics was Superman. While other kids fantasized about having x-ray vision and being able to fly, I idolized Lois Lane. I mean, I knew I would never, ever have super powers, but I could, maybe someday, be a writer and have adventures like Lois. After all, she covered Superman’s adventures for the newspaper, so she was right there with him as he fought the bad guys, and even saved his life a few times. Lois Lane was undoubtedly a strong influence when it came to my career choices.

So when the annual Comiccon convention hit Montreal this past weekend, I bought a one day pass and went with my friend and copy editor, Virginia Modugno. A must-see for us was the Q&A with the cast of Battlestar Galactica. The lineup to see Edward James Olmos, James Callis, Tahmoh Penikett and Michael Hogan was really long, but they were worth the wait.

There were so many events for gamers and fans of horror and sci-fi: comedy skits, movie premieres, screenings, a video game room, and the Q&A with celebs. We also saw Felicia Day and Christopher Lloyd as eager fans took turns asking questions.

The exhibition hall had tons of memorabilia, collectibles, costumes and comics. What would Comiccon be without tons of comics? Or without the autograph sessions and photo-ops with the celebrities who created such memorable characters? Besides the ones I mentioned above, Gillian Anderson , George Takei and Lou Ferrigno among others were set up at one end of the hall to meet their fans.

And how did they get there? Well, parked at the other end of the exhibition hall was the Ghostbusters station wagon, Dr. Who’s phone booth, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and the hovercraft that a young Luke Skywalker raced in a prequel. There was literally alot of ground to cover at the Palais des congrès, but undoubtedly, the day belonged to the fans. Just seeing the costumes, the creativity and feeling their enthusiasm was worth the price of admission. I don’t know the names of all these characters, so if anyone recognizes any of them, let me know.

Since it was my first time, it was all a bit overwhelming, and when it ended at 7p.m. I was exhausted. It was loads of fun, and maybe I’ll go back next year. Maybe I’ll even shell out the extra bucks for a photo-op with a celebrity.

I didn’t see anyone there dressed up as Lois Lane, but I suppose it could have been me. I was there with my camera, taking it all in as Lois would have, watching the superheros do their thing.

Chinese Tea Salon in Montreal – video presentations on-line

On August 17th, I posted a blog about a Chinese Tea Salon in which I gave a short talk about the inspriration behind my writing. Well, the on-line video is now available on the Asian Canadian Wiki.  You can watch all of the presenters including myself by clicking on this link http://www.asiancanadianwiki.org/w/Chinese_Tea_Salon_in_Montreal . Each video is about 5 minutes.

Chinese Tea Salon in Montreal

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail invitation to a Chinese Tea Salon. The invitation explained that the event was “to meet, eat, drink and exchange about diverse projects in the arts, community and academic sectors. This gathering is inspired from tea houses in China (茶館, cháguăn or 茶屋, cháwū ) traditionally similar to the America Café, but centred on tea and to chat, eat and socialize.”

It sounded interesting and it was potluck. I bought mini chocolate chip muffins at the grocery store after work and headed over to the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University where the salon was being held.

The tea salon was inspired by Montreal artist Mary Wong who has been organizing tea houses for visual artists. This evening, which was organized by Janet Lumb and moderated by Alice Ming Wai Jim, an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at Concordia University, was an opportunity for Montrealers to talk about their projects.

It was a fascinating evening. Each speaker had an interesting angle on their research and artistic project:

  • Olive Li Hui, a visiting professor, teaches a course about Chinese-Canadian women writers at Sichuan University in China;
  • Tracy Zhang explained how acrobatics is used as an instrument of cultural diplomacy in Taiwan and China;
  • Alan Wong spoke of race and sexuality;
  • Cheryl Sim, a media artist, talked about her project exploring the relationship women have with the cheong sam;
  • Parker Mah presented a trailer for his documentary Être Chinois au Québec (Being Chinese in Quebec). You can see a trailer on Youtube or at Être Chinois au Québec.net 
  • Leslie Cheung, a PhD student, talked about youth of color, the second generation and their search for identity;
  • Joanne Hui asked and answered the question “How does art teach?”
  • Henry Tsang, an associate professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, B.C., gave an impromptu talk on what it is to be Chinese;
  • And yours truly gave a brief talk about the inspiration behind my writing.

I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the speakers by trying to explain their projects, but a five minute video tape of each presenter, including me, will be available soon on the Asian Canadian Wiki site. I’ll post it when its available. To read more about the presenters and the evening itself, click here.

A Festival of Cultures

 

This past Saturday I went to the annual Festin Culturel held by the City of Brossard to celebrate the diverse nationalities and culture of its citizens. There were food stands representing 16 countries and not a hamburger or hot dog in sight! I ate samosas from India, crepes stuffed with meat and cheese, and honey cake from Russia, and a Colombian dish of fried plantain topped with meat. Delicious!

Considering Montreal had been pounded with either rain or hot, humid weather for most of the summer, the weather was perfect for enjoying the variety of outdoor entertainment and displays by local artists. One of the attractions of the evening was Lorraine Klaasen, a South African singer. The 2013 Juno award winner for World Music Album of the Year won the approval of the crowd with her dynamic performance.

Creativity Blooms at the 2013 Mosaicultures Internationales

The Montreal Botanical Gardens is the host of the Mosaicultures Internationales this year. The theme is “Land of Hope” and the living larger-than-life sculptures from around the world are spectacular. Enough from me. A picture is worth a thousand words.

DSC02799

Clown Fish (aka Nemo) (Japan)

DSC02808

Polar Bear sculpture gets watered.

DSC02807

Memoires of a Childhood Dinner (France)

DSC02802

The Bird Tree (Canada)

DSC02767

Comesse’s Butterfly (France)

DSC02757

All In a Row (Madagascar)

DSC02793

Mother Earth (Canada)

DSC02791

Mother Earth (Canada)

DSC02797

Ambassadors of Hope (Canada)

DSC02798

Phoenix (China)

DSC02780

Spirits of the Wood (Canada)

DSC02782

Spirits of the Wood (Canada)

DSC02778

Guardians of the Island (Chile)

DSC02763

The Man Who Planted Trees (Canada)

DSC02764

The Man Who Planted Trees (Canada)

DSC02773

The Crane Girl, a True Story (China)

DSC02800

Park employee waters flowers in a pot.

DSC02784

The Uffington White Horse (England)

DSC02770

Fragile Frogs (United States)

DSC02801 DSC02777