Archives for category: Recent Activities

If prints could talk, Ocean Shores might tell the viewer that it is a trace and shadow of purple broom buds native to the craggy Pacific shore. Chamaecytisus purpureus, less prominent than the common yellow broom, is now considered an invasive plant consuming beachfront real estate.

It was the colour of this broom that first attracted me to collect a few sprigs for a series of Lumen Print impressions made on sheet film. What remained after a full day in the sun was a photogram that would be transformed into fixed images using sodium thiosulfate. Next, the sheet film was scanned and again transformed in a digital photography space where I constructed an image reminiscent of the plant material, the residual sand and the light falling on the shore at dusk.

Currently, Ocean Shores is among the 39 alternative process photographs on exhibition in unique: alternative processes at ASmith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas thru 14 January 2018. This exhibition affirms my interest in what constitutes a photograph and the experiments, historical and contemporary, which push the boundaries and yield unique results. When I agree to submit to an exhibition, I surrender, leaving curators and preparators to work their magic. In this space, the image is again transformed when set in a visual conversation among unique alternative process photographs selected by Christina Z. Anderson.

 

 

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There is something indescribable about holding a handmade object. It might not be perfect, but someone has crafted an object in hopes of handing it off to another pair of appreciative hands. When I can, I buy local, and I buy handmade, knowing that I have purchased something unique.

My ceramics is currently on show and sale at the Gallery of BC Ceramics, the Port Moody Art Centre and the Aberthau Pottery Sale. Know that each of my works embodies thoughts about craft, the enjoyment of music bouncing off my studio walls while I work late into the night and artistic risk. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Abrthau Pottery Sale
Saturday, 02 December, 10 – 4 pm, Aberthau Mansion, 4397 West 2nd Avenue

Winter Treasures 
thru 22 December,  Point Moody Art Centre, 2425 Johns Street,  Port Moody

Christmas Dove Ornaments 
thru 24 December,  Gallery of BC Ceramics, 1359 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

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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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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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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).

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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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