A couple of weeks ago, I felt that my creativity needed a boost. It had been going downhill for quite a while. My plans to get up an hour earlier in the morning to write had disappeared in my dreams, and after working 9-5 chained to my computer at work, I just felt so tired and drained that I didn’t want to face my laptop once I got home. When a friend mentioned that she went to see the Chagall exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, I thought, Aha! that’s what I need, colour and culture. Continue reading
I managed to hop over to St. Laurent Boulevard last week to catch a glimpse of the MURAL festival of street art.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and St. Laurent was crowded. I wandered up and down the street checking out the murals and the sidewalk sale. I didn’t grab a brochure detailing the names of the artists and some of the ones pictured here may not officially be part of the festival, but you can check them out here. Continue reading
If you are an artist or a creator, and intent on making a living with your work, then understanding copyright is very important to your career. Simply put, copyright is where the money is.
The basics are discussed in this video by Mr. Media who interviews Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki, the authors of The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide for Photographers and Artists in the Digital Age. Greenberg is an intellectual property lawyer and Reznicki is a photographer. They explain, in simple to understand terms, how protecting your work can make a difference to your bottom line. Although they are discussing copyright in the United States, I think the logic can apply to other countries as well.
The video is almost an hour long, but totally worth watching.
If you happen to be near Place des Arts between now and May 31st, you may want to take a few minutes to play. The installation 21 Swings is back on De Maisonneuve Street.
The motion of each swings triggers the musical notes of one of four instruments: piano, guitar, harp and vibraphone. When multiple swings are in motion, they create a melody. The notes change the higher you go. At night, the swings are illuminated. Yes, that’s me in the photo above making music and feeling like a kid again.
The installation is removed for the summer festival season, but will be back from August 6th to October 18th.
Here’s a neat idea for a Chinese New Year party from the blog Feels Like Home, paper fortune cookies!
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You won’t believe how easy it is to make these paper fortune cookies. They’re inspired by the Silhouette machine template below, but you can make them almost as easily without a machine.
When I saw these paper fortune cookies in the Silhouette store, I had to make some.
There are a lot of street closures and detours due to all the construction going on in Montreal, but you may want to take a look at a street closure of a different kind. On the corner of Sherbrooke Street and Musée Avenue is a work by Claude Cormier made entirely out of temporary overlay markers (TOM). It is a tribute to the work of jeweller to the Czars, Carl Fabergé, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.
When my friend Karen Tam, told me earlier this year that she was the artist-in-residence at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, I asked her two questions:
1) Do the statues come to life like in the movie A Night at the Museum?
2) What was she doing there?
So maybe my imagination is fueled by movies including Indiana Jones and more recently, Monument Men, and maybe I was disappointed that the answer to my first question was “no,” but I found Karen’s project to be very intriguing.
I met her again on the last day of her residency, this time at the museum, to find out exactly what she was working on. She had spent six weeks exploring their archives and learning about the history of the museum’s collection of Chinese art and artefacts. It was late Friday morning, and we sat on a vinyl bench on the third floor where only a handful of people were perusing the display cases.
Many of the objects she examined came from antique dealers in New York, Boston and London, two of who obtained valuable artefacts because of major historical events. Goods belonging to Japanese-Americans who were interned during the Second World War wound up in the hands of Yamanaka Sadajirô and his company Yamanaka & Co which dealt in government confiscated goods. The other one was C.T. Loo. Treasures that once belonged to the Chinese Imperial Family fell into his hands as they sold what they could in order to flee China before the fall of the Last Emperor and the Japanese invasion. Accused of being a thief and looter of China’s national treasures, Loo defended himself by saying he was actually saving the art by selling them to collectors.
It seems that the museum also played a small part in history. In the 1940s, the museum held three exhibits by Chinese artists of which one was to raise money for China’s Nationalist Party and another for China’s Communist Party. However, all three exhibits were held when Canada’s Chinese Exclusion Act (which banned Chinese immigrants from entering the country from 1923-1947 )was still in force. Canadian society, while appreciating the art and culture of the Far East, did not hold the same appreciation for the people who created it.
The museum’s Chinese collection holds many stories, but as Karen’s residency ends her interest does not. She is holding talks with the museum about the possibility of holding an exhibit based on her discoveries. In the meantime, her next installation will be at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon as part of the exhibition “Convoluted Beauty: In the Company of Emily Carr,” at the end of June. Her subject will be Lee Nam, a Chinese immigrant to British Columbia, who was a painter and a friend of Emily Carr. In collaboration with Montreal-based painter, Lui Luk Chun, a senior artist in his seventies, she will re-imagine what Lee Nam’s studio looked like in the 1930s.
Click on the link to learn about the artist’s residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.