Art 4 Life at the Port Moody Art Centre is an interactive exhibition curated for a young (and young at heart) audience. Featured artwork is meant to inspire and engage young people while raising opportunities for active participation, discussion, cultural awareness and lessons on art appreciation.

The benefits of an arts education affect every area of life, and Art 4 Life is one such event in a lifelong journey of art appreciation. “Exposure to the visual arts, especially in these creative ways, expands a child’s awareness of the world and is a tool that can be used for learning in science, history, math, and more,” says Robert Frankel, director of museums and visual arts at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.

Art galleries offer unique community spaces where an audience of all ages can experience the power of art to transform how we understand our world and ourselves. I am honoured that two of my drawings and three of my clay sculptures are included in this exhibition dedicated to a young audience beginning the habit of art for life.

Art 4 Life opens 30 September (1-3 PM) at the Port Moody Art Centre (2425 St. Johns Street) and runs thru 01 November.

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Artist Property is protected in Canada by Access Copyright, but recently several larger Canadian educational institutions have chosen to read fair use in such a way that they do not feel obliged to pay to reproduce copyright protected material for educational distribution. The impact is huge. I’m a small scale writer and artist, but still, over the past two years, I’ve come to see a 30% reduction in my yearly residuals.

In today’s Access Copyright Newsletter, you will see that the “Federal Court of Canada upheld the rights of creators and publishers with its judgment on fair dealing, which has helped to clarify its application in the context of the educational system.”  In August, York University has chosen to appeal the court judgment against a recent decision in the artists’ favour.

This newsletter is clearly focussed on offering info about where this case is now and what you can do if there is an interest on the part of you/the reader of my post. Along with 3,100 Canadian writers, visual artists, actors, filmmakers and musicians, I have signed a public letter that asks Mélanie Joly, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, to keep creators central in upcoming changes to Canada’s cultural policies. It was also forwarded to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and my own Member of Parliament. In my additional comments, I point out that if artists’ property rights are not protected, there is no Canadian culture and artists cannot afford to make the art the makes Canadian culture.

If you follow my work, you know that much of it asks, “What remains?” Hence, without the protection of artist property rights, what remains? A propos, you have also read two frequent blog endings:  The artist must get paid. Buy more art.

http://mailchi.mp/accesscopyright/bk3m7sxkmi-1116289?e=d83fef81fc

Eleven Sassamatt Collective photographs are in the Cityscapes Art Rental collection, five by Phyllis Schwartz and six by Edward Peck.  They will be on show in their September salon syle exhibition. The exhibition runs 08 – 30 September (Cityscapes, 355 Lonsdale, North Vancouver). Work on show is available for rent or sale. This is an excellent opportunity to buy more art.

https://nvartscouncil.ca/events-exhibitions/art-rental-show/

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From time to time, I incline my mind toward straight photography and assemble a  vaguely affiliated series of images. The Curated Fridge is calling for photographs that speak to their summer theme: I Wonder.

When I look through my viewfinder, I wonder about many things: will my photograph be the equivalent of what I sense (thinking about Alfred Steiglitz)? will my photograph endure my rigourous editing process? will I feel the same about this image tomorrow as I did when I released the shutter (Wordsworth’s emotion recollected in tranquility)?

Sometimes I ponder, speculate, or meditate with my camera, but best of all I like spontaneous moments that later reveal what the inner eye sees in a decisive moment. So, here I offer up a collection of photographic moments that I wonder about.

I leave these thoughts hanging on a prepositional precipice wondering about your thoughts and perceptions as you scroll through my photographic moments?

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Contemplating Water is a new gallery added to Sassamatt’s webpage. It features a series of photographs made on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, BC, focussing on water in its dynamic state.

Ever-moving water is ephemeral and transcendental. As it swirls, sputters, rises and falls, it returns to where it began. I look at water the way Alfred Steiglitz looks at clouds, contemplating how “to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed.”

View Contemplating Water (here). 

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Announcing the opening of Clouds — a group exhibition

Opening Night Reception,  Thursday,  23 March (7 – 9 pm) at Cityscape Art Space in North Vancouver (235 Lonsdale) — featuring fifty-one artists interpreting clouds in a variety of media that range from beadwork to photography.

Among the many cloud musings is my spontaneous iPhone capture of sunburst lighting up clouds on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, one of those rare moments when the drama of light obscured colour to show the contrast between rain and surf.

Clouds will be on show  at Cityscapes Community Art Space through 22 April.

Chesterman Beach (iPhone image)

 

Another sketchbook is on the way to the Brooklyn Art Libary for the 2017 Sketchbook Project. Three streams of consciousness merge: hybrid monsters (real, imagined and augmented), an assortment of owls (scowl owls, wise owls and stylized) hidden and tucked into unlikely compositional elements and sketches of freeform climbers traversing, ascending and building stamina. Exhibition and touring details will be announced shortly. Nightmares — monsters, owls, and bouldering will soon be on view online; until then, nine digitized sketchbooks can be viewed here.

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Announcing the publication of Seeking the Nuance (second edition).

Glenn Lewis, Phyllis Schwartz, and Debra Sloan present the second edition of Seeking the Nuance with new essays, photographs and glaze recipes. In this second edition is new historical information and discussion about how the Leach/Mingei philosophy continues to influence many studio practices within the BC ceramic culture.

The 2010 edition of Seeking the Nuance was based on Glenn Lewis’s 1970s glaze recipe card files that had evolved from his early 1960s apprenticeship with Bernard Leach. One of the main outcomes of this publication is an academic research written by Alex Lambley, a doctoral candidate at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall.

According to Debra Sloan these recipes not only demonstrate the numerous influences imported to British Columbia, but also they convey how information is utilized, especially in the constructed and geographically sequestered cultural environment in BC. Phyllis Schwartz believes that sharing these recipes will continue conversation amongst potters as they seek to nuance these heritage recipes work within their own practices.

Seeking the Nuance will be launched at the Best of BC (Gallery of BC Ceramics, 09 March) and the Canadian Clay Symposium (Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 18 March). It will also be available for purchase at the Gallery of BC Ceramics (Granville Island, 1359 Cartwright Street) for $25. A portion of the sales goes to the Maureen Wright Scholarship Fund (Northwest Ceramics Foundation).

nuance-poster7a

Recently, I had an opportunity to reprint a series of photographs I made when the Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau spoke to the students at Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver on 19 May 1974. It was easy to mark the day because it was the day after Operation Smiling Buddha, India’s first nuclear weapons explosion. In his address to the students, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau shared his thoughts about the global impact of this nuclear test and affirmed Canada’s commitment to Peace Keeping.

At the time of Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit, I was a new Canadian who had just signed a continuing contract with the Vancouver School Board. It was a new beginning for me in a chaotic time, and Canada offered both opportunity and a sense of social order. As well, I could not only afford an SLR camera but also my own darkroom equipment. The Prime Minister’s visit to Point Grey, along with a press entourage, was probably my first event photo-shoot. I had no experience working with all the lighting added by myriad photographers and videographers, but perhaps you will find that part of the honesty characteristic of 1970s artwork. Jay Currie, President of the Student Council, and son of G.B. Currie, Chairman of MacMillan Bloedel, introduced the Prime Minister to the student body and staff.

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Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.

South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver) now represents my work, particularly More Illuminations, featured in Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival (2016).

Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).

The Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY)/ Sketchbook Project now sells high quality prints of pages from nine of my sketchbooks in their collection. Sketchbook Collection

Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.com

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