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In This Newsletter...

- A Durham Region Special Edition -

Upcoming Show at the Cork & Bean

Other News

  • What I've Been Doing in the Meantime
  • Guest Curating an A J Casson Painting
  • Congratulations to Ingrid Ruthig
  • An Important Announcement at the Station Gallery

Upcoming Show at the Cork & Bean

I have a show coming up at the Cork & Bean in downtown Oshawa.
Photo: Bosco Reading

I couldn't be happier about this. Ever since moving to this area we've sought a comfortable place to hang-out -- that's not a corporately designed faux ambience. The kind of place that makes a town unique, and not just another collection of big-box stores surrounded by houses.

The Cork & Bean opened a few months ago. It's very comfortable, and beautifully designed with repurposed materials from bygone local industry. It joins a handful of other recent arrivals to the area -- like The Vault Gastropub, Isabella's, and Berry Hill -- that give a locale its unique character. The recent arrival of so many signature pubs and bistros is an excellent sign that the downtown cores of the Durham Region area are evolving as they must if they hope to have a thriving future.

Since moving to this region almost 15 years ago I felt a vibe here that seems to be shared by many of the exceptional artists who call Durham Region their home: there's something playfully dark and compelling in this area, and it shows in the work of the many artists and writers and musicians who live just under the surface of social awareness here.

And that's the problem with this area: such a culturally rich subterranean force needs to emerge into the forefront for Oshawa and the Durham Region to succeed in their ambitious (and necessary!) reinvention.

I predict the Cork & Bean will become a home for us artistic/cultural creative/bohemian types who have so few other places around here (currently) to call our own. The owners of The Cork & Bean see it as their mission to help make this cultural emergence a reality. That's one of the reasons they'll be rotating exhibitions of local artists on a regular basis.

I am honoured to be one of the first artists invited to fill their walls with my photos. I suspect Bosco, sharing wallspace with photos of the local environs, will feel very much at home there.

The show opens on November 16, 2017, and runs until Dec 13, 2017. (Oh, and there'll be a new portrait of Bosco there... which was photobombed!)

Other News

What I've Been Doing in the Meantime

It's been a long time since my last newsletter. By way of excuse I'll only mention that I'm still developing my pipeline for generating my visual music in processing.

There's a general rule of thumb in Computer Graphics, which perhaps may apply to any coding endeavor: employing a worst-case scenario, make a conservative estimate of how long development will take to complete, then multiply it by three.

I have since come across a most elegant proof that says the estimate must actually be multiplied by Π.

I got confused and multiplied my worst-case estimate by √3. Unfortunately that means I still have some ways to go...

Guest Curating an A J Casson Painting

I was delighted to be invited by the RMG to contribute my thoughts on a painting in their current exhibition Heavy Hitters, which is a showcase of works in their collection by important artists such as Emily Carr, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, and Andy Warhol. It also necessarily includes works by Canada's truly awesome 20th century homegrown landscape painters collectively referred to as The Group of Seven.

I asked if they'll be exhibiting any works by one of my favorite artists, A J Casson; when I learned one of his pieces would be included I jumped on it as my choice. This is the piece, accompanied by my thoughts about it:

The subject of this stunning little painting is a house portrait. Or so it seems. The composition is actually about rhythm, specifically the counterpoint between human rectilinear geometry and the non-linear patterns of nature. There's a harmonic warmth depicted here wherein form and content meet: nature swaddles human artifacts in a formal yet loose organization of patterns in space, from the foreground posts on the bottom to the oddly geometric trees and clouds in the background. Casson's unique genius is his extraordinary ability to bring out the rhythms and patterns in a landscape. He is a most gifted visual musician.

When I saw the exhibit I was gobsmacked when my eyes lit upon a gorgeous work by Lyonel Feininger. (I agree with Professor Ochs that "Lyonel Feininger is one the most unfairly ignored great artists of the twentieth century.")

There are some other wonderful surprises in the show, such as a beautiful townscape by Isabel McLaughlin, and a surprisingly abstract (and musical!) forest scene by Emily Carr.

It's not a large exhibit, but it's an excellent one that I will be visiting frequently during its duration.

If you have the wherewithal to be in the area, I heartily recommend a visit to the RMG's Heavy Hitters exhibition before it ends on January 24, 2018.

Congratulations to Ingrid Ruthig

Durham Region is replete with great talent. One of my goals with this newsletter is to increase the awareness of this truth, not only to the wider world, but to ourselves. Durham Region has talent to be reckoned with. Ingrid Ruthig, a local artist/architect/writer/poet/thinker, is one such talent.

It's been a big season for Igrid. First of all I wish to offer my hearty congratulations to her for receiving the League of Canadian Poets 2017 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for her first book of poetry This Being. (One of the poems serves to curate the Emily Carr painting referred to above!)

But as if that's not enough, shortly after receiving her prize Ingrid also had an opening of her artwork at The Station Gallery. It's an excellent exhibit, a kind of spatial list that fills the walls of the main gallery. The works are obsessive, and are meant to challenge our comfortable notions of history and truth by focusing on the negative spaces between language, image, and biography, using women artists and writers as the medium of her exploration. It opened on October 14, 2017 and runs until December 10.

So congratulations to Igrid Ruthig, an important artist with something to say. We're fortunate to count you as a local luminary.

An Important Announcement at the Station Gallery

I'm grateful to Whitby's Station Gallery for inviting me to attend an important announcement there today (Nov 14 '17).

Our MP, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, announced that the gallery would receive a $169K Federal grant through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

Then our wonderful mayor (I never thought I would ever utter such a phrase in sincerity...) took the podium to announce that he and the city council approved a matching grant, adding another $170K to give to the gallery. ("We wanted to beat the federal amount," quipped Mayor Mitchell to laughter and applause. A hint of rivalry?)

This is great news for two reasons. For one thing, and most obviously, it greatly benefits a worthy recipient (which is currently hosting two wonderful exhibits, including Ingrid's mentioned above), helping to raise its profile as an important local cultural institution.

The second thing is... it proves, to my satisfaction, that the mayor's stated intentions to me (about helping culture thrive in this area, amongst other things) were genuine. It seems that sometimes you really can trust a politician.

So Congratulations to the Station Gallery! And Thank You to our MP, our Mayor, and the Whitby City Council, for helping to make culture a more visibly thriving force in our area.

Exciting times in Durham Region.
Thank you for reading. Hope to hear from you soon.
Copyright © 2017 Aleksi Moriarty, All rights reserved.