“simultaneously charming and terrifying” the Cordite Review weighs in on KERN
As Calgary’s Poet Laureate I was honoured to read an excerpt from Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue in Council Chambers on March 30, 2015. I also challenged members City Council to find and tweet images, phrases and fragments that they find poetic, using the hashtag #yycpoet.
My visual piece “Every word” alphabetically compiles all the keywords submitted by attendees of the Mayor’s Luncheon. I rubber-stamped, by hand, every word from “Aboriginal” to “Volunteer” gathering the very words that our arts community identified as best representing the arts in Calgary. These are your words, placed into a visual choir of artistic support, a suite of images that turn each letter into an artistic moment. This suite will be on display here at city hall for the week – please take a chance to see what your community has identified as the strengths and calgarian arts.
Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently proclaimed April as National Poetry Month, and Calgary is celebrating and recognizing poets, writers and libraries for their contributions to the identity and quality of life in our communities.
Earlier this year, Mayor Nenshi issued the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge, encouraging mayors across Canada to have a local poet read a poem at the start of a Council meeting in March or April. The aim is to raise awareness and to celebrate poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers to the rich cultural life in our country.
Thanks to the League of Canadian Poets, Dymphny Dronyk, the Poet Laureate sponsors and Calgary Arts Development for a great morning!
Very pleased to have one of my classes at Alberta College of Art + Design featured in the college’s profile in Maclean’s magazine under “cool courses”. My teaching blog is over here…
I’m proud to announce that I will be the first artist-in-residence in the 124-year history of Calgary’s Lougheed House.
Built in 1891 for James and Isabella Lougheed and their growing family, Lougheed House is now a National and Provincial Historic Site and Museum located on its original 2.8 acres in the Beltline of Calgary.
Morgan Lehman Gallery is proud to present “Twenty by Sixteen New York,” a group show featuring the work of 37 artists, each of whom honors the single formal constraint that all work in the show be of the dimensions twenty inches tall by sixteen inches wide. Beyond that, the sky, the sea, the land and the imagination are the limit. Medium, surface, image, story, geometry, vision, abstraction, architecture, wit, nature, and the unnatural are all up for grabs in what should prove to be a revelation.
Size is relative. For some, 20 x 16” is tiny; for others it is heroic. For bibliophiles, it resembles a large page. The viewer will find in this exhibition an inquisitive range of notions (observations, traditions, adventures) as to what painting and photography are about, with no two artists looking anything like each other. The hanging of the show is rigorous–evenly spaced and egalitarian in spirit—which allows each artist’s work to promulgate its own essential style, pitched in the timelessness of aesthetic inquiry. Since each artist is represented by two works, the viewer is treated as well to variations within each signature look.
There are acres of stylistic distance, for example, between the hothouse growth in Amy Lincoln and the nailed down “pattern” in Nate Ethier, just as there are different historically specific antecedents to the alchemical transformations in Steve DiBenedetto and Rubens Ghenov, to name but four artists in the show. Mel Bochner, as efficiently as a wunderkind, combines image and conceptual specificity with a devilish wit. And if Fred Cooper’s artistically laden interiors owe nothing whatsoever to Barbara Takenaga’s cosmic debris or Mark Olshansky’s musically inspired needlepoint? All the better for art, beauty, and exploration.
Which brings me to the pâté of this fête champêtre: everyone is invited to sample the pleasures and insights that this show presents, because there just might be a taste for everyone.
Featuring work by: Eve Aschheim, Meg Atkinson, Carl Baratta, Derek Beaulieu, Myles Bennett, Jon Berzinski, Mel Bochner, Katherine Bradford, Morgan Bulkeley, Vince Contarino, Fred Cooper, Steve DiBenedetto, Robert Otto Epstein, Nate Ethier, Rubens Ghenov, Duncan Hannah, Daniel Heidkamp, Warren Isensee, Claire Jervert, Farrah Karapetian, Philip Knoll, Zohar Lazar, Amy Lincoln, Nancy Lorenz, Lucy Mink, Andy Mister, JJ Miyaoka-Pakola, Erin O’Keefe, Mark Olshansky, Gary Petersen, Peggy Reeves, Walter Robinson, Katia Santibanez, Andrew Small, Cary Smith, Lisa Sylvester, Barbara Takenaga, Rose Tannenbaum, Nichole Van Beek, and Valaire Van Slyck.