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Posted by: Nicki Merz on April 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Although you might not recognize her name, you’ve probably seen her work. Elena Markelova is a Russian-born Vancouver-based artist, known for her double exposure animal watercolours and her detailed city maps. In fact, her gorgeous Map of Vancouver mural was featured at last year’s Home + Design Show, and is now on display at the Museum of Vancouver.

On Thursday, April 27, MOV is hosting a live Paint-In with Elena. Guests will have the chance to watch her paint and talk to her about her watercolour techniques. This event is free/by donation and open to all ages.

After seeing much of Elena’s artwork, I wanted to know more about her and what inspired her beautiful pieces. I had the opportunity to ask Elena those questions; read her captivating responses below.

Nicki Merz: You mention being inspired by the beauty of cities, nature, and the inhabiting creatures. Are there any particular artists that also inspire you? Or have inspired your work in the past?

Elena Markelova: Recently, I found myself crushed on two Australian creators, both based in Melbourne - Laura Blythman and Paula Mills. I guess Aussies take some coloured supplements daily, because these ladies' artworks are incredibly bright and rich in color. I love that they are not afraid to experiment and what they have achieved with their creations!

NM: When were you first encouraged to pick up the brush and start creating?

EM: I remember myself painting and drawing from the very little age - in kindergarten. I was 4 or 5 years old when I was painting my first real artworks, I think my parents still keep some of them. Then, I was never a very outgoing child; I would rather read a book or spend a few hours with my crayons or paints instead of running around with other neighbourhood kids. So one summer day during the school holidays (I was ten at that time) my mom came into my room. I was painting by myself, as usual, and she looked at me suspiciously and said: "Common, get dressed. We are going to sign you up for the art school!" This is how it all officially started.

NM: Where do you think your creativity comes from?

EM: My dad says it comes from him, because he was creative and artistic when he was young. I somehow believe it comes from both experience/skills and daily dose of inspiration from the outside – walk in the woods or just a glance over a freshly blooming flower. I professionally studied art and design for more than 13 years, and expect that my brain already started to interpret everything through some sort of artistic lens.

NM: Do you have any rituals or routines you like to complete before sitting down and starting an art project?

EM: I do lots of pre-work before starting any project. If I’m starting to work on a map, for example, first I read the history, do my research on monuments and attractions, then go sightseeing and sketching before transferring everything on a larger scale. Also I need to go through all the steps of painting beforehand, especially if I’m working with watercolours. And of course I need to find a perfect playlist for one or the other artwork. It helps me to get into the right mood.

NM: Do you have a piece you’re most proud of in your art collection?

EM: At the moment it is my largest piece of all – the map of Vancouver that hangs at the MOV. I spent so many hours on it and love every inch of this massive artwork.

NM: What is the biggest message you are trying to communicate with your art?

EM: I’m trying to deliver the beauty of the world. Hope that my creations could open the eyes of people who are stuck with everyday work routine or just stuck on one spot in life and don’t see any light, so then they would stop and look around – it’s so beautiful here! Or stop and smell the roses! There are so many colours in our world and I hope to bring those colours and cheer people up with my creations!

More information about the Elena Merkelova Live Paint-In event can be found on here.

Elena’s artwork is available for purchase in the MOV Gift Shop at the Museum of Vancouver, or at her Etsy store online.

Posted by: Nicki Merz on April 20, 2017 at 11:53 am

4/20 Celebration at Vancouver Art Gallery - 2013 - photo by Miranda Nelson

4/20 Celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery, April 20, 2013. Photo by Miranda Nelson.

  

“Starting at Noon, more than 200 people begin to gather in Victory Square for the city’s first 4/20 celebration, an event that, according to the BC Marijuana Party Leader and “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.”

“…there were about only 150 people by 2 p.m., peaking at 250 people at 4:20 p.m. Nonetheless, open pot smoking went on for about 6 hours without any police interference”

This excerpt was taken from the book This Day in Vancouver by Jesse Donaldson. The book is available for purchase at the Museum of Vancouver’s Gift Shop, or online at Anvil Press.

This Day in Vancouver by Jesse Donaldson, Anvil Press

Since then, 4/20 movements have spread throughout the world. Vancouver’s iconic protest saw record breaking numbers of 25,000 supporters in 2016, and organizers continue to expect big crowds today. The event has moved from several different venues in the past (Victory Square, Vancouver Art Gallery) and now finds its temporary home at Sunset Beach. Although the annual pot rally has seen tremendous growth and there are federal plans to legalize the recreational drug, organizers say this still isn’t a celebration. The 4/20 event continues as a development and protest until legalization arrives. Only then, will become a celebration.

To learn more about revolutionary movements, come visit the Museum of Vancouver’s 1960s-1970s: You Say You Want A Revolution. The exhibition highlights Vancouver’s radial youth and time of contention.

Posted by: Nicki Merz on April 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm

No More Japanese Will Come Here,” reads a joyous headline on the front page of the Vancouver Daily Province.

An unidentified Japanese woman and boy, circa 1905. Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Archives (CVA 287-10)


 

The article quotes a message sent from the consul-general of Japan:

 “I cabled my Government two weeks ago, advising it to pursue its policy of restriction of emigration of Japanese to Canada… the Government of Japan was not desirous of forcing its emigrants into British Columbia.”

The cable continues, “that the people of British Columbia should stop agitating themselves over the immigration of Japanese labour and begin to exercise themselves over the possibilities of trade with the Orient”

 This excerpt was taken from the book This Day in Vancouver by Jesse Donaldson. This great read about our city’s history is available for purchase in the Gift Shop at the Museum of Vancouver, or online at Anvil Press.

Today, both Canada and Japan are partners in many international organizations (G7, G20, APEC, and ASEAN to name a few). With regular exchanges between parliamentarians, steadily expanding trade, growing economic relations, and newly established peace and security declarations, it’s clear to see how important the relationship is between these two countries. Canada is constantly committed to finding new opportunities to deepen the partnership with Japan.

Of course, early Canadians had yet to realize the full importance of trade at that time. One can only wonder what our great grandparents would have said about this, back in the day.

To learn more about Japanese History, visit the Museum of Vancouver’s 1930s-1940s: Boom, Bust, and War gallery. The exhibition highlights Japanese and Canadian relations during World War II.

Posted by: Anonymous on April 1, 2017 at 1:00 am

MOV crab removed in favour of new sculpture - Monolith 7.2

The Museum of Vancouver is pleased to announce that it has removed its crab sculpture and will soon replace it with a new piece of commissioned art for Vancouver. 

After reviewing a series of proposals the one that has been chosen by a panel of judges is Monolith 7.2 (see rendering below).

Museum of Vancouver will replace the crab sculture with this cube called Monlith 7.2

MOV's Executive Director Richard Mark declared, "this monumental sculpture whose squareness speaks to issues of deep significance for Vancouver will juxtapose the roundness of the building and the curviness of modern living."

Leading art critic Arthur Askey said, ‘this is a great day for Vancouver and marks the city’s clear commitment to move its approach to public art away from crabs and into square things’.

The Museum's Operations Director Gregorie Gregg insisted that the crab sculpture that has stood in front of the building for 50 years will not be wasted and will be recycled, in line with the city’s green initiative.

Congratulations for making it to the bottom of this post. By now you may have guessed that this is an April Fools Day gag. 

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Posted by: Nicki Merz on March 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

It’s no secret that the global Fashion industry is wasteful. In fact, it’s the second most polluting industry in the world next to Oil. The average North American discards around 81 pounds of clothing per year, and that scary number. What’s even more shocking is that within a year of being made, three-fifths (3/5) of clothing produced ends up in landfills.

Events like Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week aim to bring awareness to these issues and help promote the movement of upcycling. Returning for its 12th season, the Vancouver-founded event highlights the importance of moving towards a sustainable textile industry and celebrate today’s most innovative fashion!

But what exactly is upcycled fashion?

Simply put, upcycling is the process of making something new and improved from old and used items. It goes beyond reusing and recycling by building upon the original materials. The outcome is a new, handmade, eco-friendly, and one-of-a-kind piece.

 

So, what does it look like?

Many designers are bringing upcycling to life, including Evan Biddell. Winner of Project Runway Canada Season ­1, Biddell has transformed second-hand clothing from Value Village into a fully realized fashion collection. Value Village by Evan Biddell (VV by EB) just debuted at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and features 81 pounds of repurposed and upcycled garments.

In an interview with Goldie, Biddell gave some insight on what inspired VV by EB.

“Rock & Roll.  It’s going to be loud and hard-hitting.  We wanted to create a memorable show and be loud as a voice for the cause.”

And he shared a little bit about what textiles are being used in the collection.

“Weight was a factor.  Heaviness.  Leather, suedes.”

As to what inspired Biddell on this project and the opportunity to work with Eco-Fashion week…

“I was born into it… I grew up shopping at Value Village. You know, everyone wanted those track jackets in the late ‘90s and you’d get them at Value Village… I started making clothes when I was sixteen or seventeen.”

VV by EB is a perfect example of how the textile industry is finding innovative solutions in sustainable fashion, which has become more important than ever in today’s fast fashion world.

To learn more about Evan Biddell’s collection and the excitement of upcycling, join us at

the Museum of Vancouver on April 2 for the Upcycled Fashion panel discussion. Stylist Ellen Balsevich will also join the discussion, while Kelsey Dundon, editor of The Anthology, will moderate.

The 81lb Challenge – Value Village by Evan Biddell will be on display at the Museum of Vancouver from March 30 - April 17

 

Posted by: Nicki Merz on March 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Glory Days panel (left to right) Iain MacIntyre (moderator), Bob Lenarduzzi, Lui Passaglia, and Dennis Kearns.


 

Thursday night’s Glory Days panel discussion was a mixture of laughter, insight and comradery, as three Vancouver sports legends gathered to talk about sports and lifestyle in the 1970s.

The event featured former Whitecaps FC player Bob Lenarduzzi, former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dennis Kearns, and former BC Lions placekicker/punter Lui Passaglia. Moderated by the Vancouver Sun columnist, Iain MacIntyre, questions were raised about how different the sporting experience and profession have become. The discussion also hit on their relationships with the fans, the city’s vibrant music scene, and even their struggles with AstroTurf!

Sitting before a mural of exclusive black and white photos from the Vancouver in the Seventies exhibition, the four started the event off with how conditioning and the level of work put into professional athletics have changed.

Bob Lenarduzzi, who is the current club president of the Whitecaps, instantly remarked “training camps!” Specifically mentioning how players would show up having not practiced in the off season. Now, players keep themselves constantly fit. Training camps are for staying in shape, not getting back into it. Dennis even commented on a time player where once allowed to smoke between periods. Times have certainly changed!

When asked what it felt like to be a part of a sports entity, Lui notes that Vancouver was becoming a “big league city” and how special it was have the opportunity to play in his home town. Bob and Lui went on to reminisce on growing up in the same East Van neighbourhood and the irony that was Bob winning a kicking contest, while Lui won a soccer contest.

So what is the biggest change in their respective sport? “Longer shorts,” says Bob. The audience laughs. He goes on to mention how sports science and sports psychology have drastically evolved and how these things make a difference more than ever today. “Bigger, faster players,” says Lui, also mentioning how TV has brought sports into homes 24/7. Dennis remarked on the “phenomenal young players” he’s seeing today, and how entertaining these athletes are.

Inspired by the lively dancing photos in the backdrop, an audience member asked the former players what their favourite part of the music scene was back then. Lui points to Bob, “You should’ve seen him on the dance floor.” The men go on to mention Frank Sinatra, Sly and the Family Stone, and Elton John at the Colosseum. Oh yeah, and Bob loves disco!

When asked what one word best described their 1970s Vancouver experience, Lui answered “Humbling.” Dennis and Bob both rebelled by answering with three. “National Hockey League” remarks Dennis, smiling eye to eye while Bob says simply, “living the dream.”

Bob, Lui, and Dennis brought the 70s sports era back to life at Glory Days. To learn and see more of what life was like in the city during the 1970s, explore the Vancouver in the Seventies exhibition on through July 16, 2017.

Bob Lenarduzzi reminisced about the parade on Granville Street following the 1979 NASL Championship. This photo featuring goalie Phil Parkes (left) and captain John Craven (right) with the trophy was taken by Ralph Bower, Vancouver Sun, September 9, 1979.

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Posted by: Viviane Gosselin on March 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm

As part of our exploration on the relationship between public and private collections in All Together Now, I conducted an interview with Heather Gordon, Vancouver City Archives.

Major James Skitt Matthews - Vancouver historian, collector, featured in All Together Now

I wanted to know more about Vancouver’s first historian and collector, Major James Matthew (1878- 1970) whose work continues to have a huge impact on Vancouver’s historiography. Local historians, filmmakers, authors and other creatives researching Vancouver’s past are bound to stumble upon Major Matthews’ extensive records.

Heather’s insights and knowledge of Major Matthew’s collection were most helpful:

Viviane: How did Matthews started collecting?

Heather: Major Matthews arrived in Vancouver in 1898, twelve years after the city’s incorporation. Shortly after his arrival, he began writing about Vancouver. To get information, he searched old maps and spoke with old-timers. In the process, Matthews became acutely aware of the imminent loss of the Vancouver’s “pioneers” and of the city’s rapid transformation. He saw himself as the champion of Vancouver’s history.

Viviane: As someone who is surrounded by his collection and is constantly interacting with it, how would you describe Major Matthews’ collecting philosophy, in three words:

Heather: Eccentric – both the items he collected and how he catalogued them. Even today, some things are almost undiscoverable unless you 'think like Major Matthews.'

Subjective – he was the quintessential collector-archivist. He collected what he wanted to collect, interpreted it and edited it. He worked exactly opposite the way professional archivists work today. We leave the interpretation to our researchers. Not so the Major.

Militaristic -- he loved anything military.

Viviane: What would you say is one of Matthews’ most important contribution to the city archives?

Heather: His collection forms the core of the Archives’ private-sector holdings, holdings that have grown substantially since his death. Those holdings complement the City government records in our care, and are crucial for telling the non-government side of the story of Vancouver’s development.

Viviane: Could you tell us a bit more about the digitization of the collections of books Early Vancouver?

Heather: Early Vancouver is one of the most used resources at the Archives and we wanted to make it more widely accessible. Written between 1931 and 1956, and over 3,300 pages, it is a collection of Matthews’ interviews with pioneers, along with annotated photographs and maps and transcriptions of letters and newspaper articles. What you see online is actually a transcription of the text, not a digitized version. The paper Matthews used was too thin and his typewriter ink too blurry to result in a scanned image we could keyword index. Funded by the Vancouver Historical Society, hundreds of hours of transcription was the answer, with digitized versions of the photos and maps added to the transcribed version.

Viviane: Could you mention a few examples of people (not just historians) using Matthews’ archives for their work (you can be as specific or generic as you want)

Heather: Academics, of course, but also bloggers and social media enthusiasts who love to feature his photographs. The photos are also popular among business owners (particularly restaurateurs) who exhibit large reproductions of his photos, complete with his handwritten annotations, on their walls. One of my favourite uses, though, is by author Lee Henderson. He consulted Early Vancouver extensively in order to evoke the Vancouver of 1886 for his novel The Man Game.

All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds features Major Matthews' collection of Vancouver history.

All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds featuring Major James Matthews’ collection closes Sunday, March 19.

 

 

 

Posted by: Anonymous on March 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

Vancouver’s locally owned and operated fine art gallery, Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, has partnered with several leading, local artists to create a unique show that will present contemporary art works alongside historical masters for the first time.

The show titled “Reflections: Inspired by the Masters” will feature Vancouver’s top contemporary artists as well as historical masters, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró,
Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, among many others. A select group of leading contemporary artists has been challenged to create works of art that are directly inspired by any of the masterworks in Chali-Rosso's gallery collection, including works by the above Modern Masters. The contemporary art works will be exhibited next to their inspirational works by the Masters.

This project is solely dedicated to explore the connection between artists of the past and artists of the present and aims to illustrate how relevant the art of the Modern Masters continues to be.

“It is important to ask what message art carries for us, here and now, especially about works of art created in a time and place so distant from us. We believe that fine art is not separated, not developed in a vacuum, but instead, it builds a continuum along the lines of artists.” Susanna Strem says, the owner and curator of the gallery.

Featured Masters: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst.

Featured Contemporary Artists: Bill Higginson, Deborah Bakos, Farah Samari, Hale Yin, Judit Haber, Karen Hollowell, Kerry Vaughn Erickson, Lan Lao, Richard Brodeur, Sarah Symes, Stewart Stephenson, Tiarra Edmundson, Tristesse Seeliger and Wendi Copeland.

The exhibition is free for the public and will run for two weeks at the gallery’s downtown location at 549 Howe Street, Vancouver.

EXHIBITION: MARCH 10 - 24, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: MARCH 10, 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
ALL DAY OPEN HOUSE: MARCH 11, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

More info.

The project and exhibition has been endorsed by the Museum of Vancouver.

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Posted by: Anonymous on February 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Photo above taken by singer Win Butler after he stole Rebecca Blissett’s camera from the photo pit at an Arcade Fire concert; she’s the photographer without a camera.


 

In the publishing industry, change is constant and rapid.

Newspapers that once produced a hard-copy paper every 18 to 24 hours, now publish online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The photographers who once filed four photos in a workday, may now file 40.

Gerry Kahrmann, PNG Staff PhotoPhotojournalist Gerry Kahrmann began his career nearly 40 years ago, shooting for community papers when Tri-X and Kodachrome were the basis of print photojournalism and newspapers ran in-house labs to develop their film.

After a short stint at the Calgary Sun, Kahrmann returned to Vancouver and in 1983 became a staff photographer at Pacific Newspaper Group (PNG), publisher of the Province and Vancouver Sun.

He tested his first digital camera during the Queen’s royal tour and the opening of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, heralding what he did not know at the time would be a new era in photojournalism.

Three months later, PNG transitioned both of its papers away from film, under the lead of photographer Nick Didlick, and by July 1, 1995, PNG’s newspapers were among the first in North America to transition to exclusively digital images.

At the forefront of that digital revolution, Gerry Kahrmann and his colleagues have evolved and changed the way they do their work, seldom coming into the office and filing remotely from all over Metro Vancouver, multiple times per day. Along with still photos, which are sometimes posted online within minutes of a shoot, photographers also produce videos clips that accompany online stories, and reporters are posting images in real time to social media feeds, blogs, and websites.

‘Technology’ is can be defined as ‘something that speeds up communication.’ Over the past 40 years, media and its consumption have changed a lot. Now, more than ever, there is an increased demand for quick (or instantaneous) information delivery.

The Museum of Vancouver and moderator Jennifer Moreau of the Burnaby Now, have assembled a group of highly accomplished photojournalists (Rebecca Blissett, Richard Lam, John Lehmann, and Kahrmann) to consider the historical significance of the shift from film to digital photography and the role it has played in altering the media’s approach to documenting news. On the evening of Thursday, February 9, the panel will talk about issues surrounding authenticity and the currency of photojournalism in a snap-happy social media landscape will be discussed, as well as what media industry practices might look like in the future.

This ‘Happy Hour’ event kicks off at 6pm, and the discussion begins at 7pm. For more information and tickets, visit this page.

Posted by: Anonymous on February 7, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Play vintage board games, pinball, and arcade games in the Museum of Vancouver's All Together Now exhibition about collections.

Family Day is quickly approaching, leaving some parents wondering what to do for the holiday. We recommend you take advantage of these fantastic offers from some of Vancouver’s must see attractions including free admission for kids the Museum of Vancouver.

Kids (and adults young at heart) will love exploring Angus Bungay’s collection of 2,000+ toys and action figures featured in MOV's All Together Now exhibition with many interactive stations including pinball machines, typewriters, jukeboxes, and board games. On February 13, all youth (18 and under) will enjoy FREE admission.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park features the iconic Suspension Bridge, Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 100 feet above the forest floor and the Cliffwalk, a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms high above the Capilano River. Enjoy a Special Family Rate of $85 for 2 Adults and 2 Children (ages 6-16)  valid for the entire Family Day long weekend, and as a bonus, BC Residents will receive an Annual Pass.

Celebrate with the Vancouver Lookout all weekend long! With their brand new Sky Scouts program and lots of family-friendly activities, Vancouver Lookout are sure to be a great addition to your day. Children (ages 6-16) receive FREE admission with every paying adult.

Get a unique perspective of the mountain town of Squamish and the surrounding alpine scenery, as you soar above it all on the Sea to Sky Gondola. Once at the top, there are a number of outdoor activities. Choose from the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, Alpine Alley (our kids only nature walk), many accessible viewing platforms to take in the views of coastal fjords, various walking/ hiking trail, and much more. February 11 – 13:  receive 50% off day tickets purchased at the ticket window.

Bring the whole gang to enjoy a fun filled day at. Britannia Mine Museum. Explore the old mining tunnels with underground tours. Strike it rich in the Gold Panning Pavilion. Explore this National Historic Site and experience what life was like at Britannia Mine. Special event pricing: 50% off admission on Monday, February 13.

Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery on February 13, 2017! There will be an exciting range of activities to participate in throughout the day, including Art Agents, Making Place Family Programs, and more. See website for more details.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden offers serenity, history and great chi. First classical Chinese garden built outside of China. You can walk through the Garden on your own, but the guided tour offers historical perspective and encourages you to reflect on the design elements in different ways. On February 13, Seniors will enjoy FREE admission!

Celebrate Family Day weekend with the Museum of Anthropology and two great events. On Saturday February 11, explore a MOA pop-up gallery downtown at ArtStarts, where families can engage with Tsimshian Chilkat weavings and join fibre artist Rebecca Graham for a fun, hands-on workshop: The Magic of Making Cloth. This workshop is FREE of charge! Or for something even more active, join the dancers from Axé Capoeira on Sunday February 12 at MOA for an irresistible taste of Brazilian culture, try your hand at capoeira at our 11am workshop and then celebrate Brazil through an awe inspiring presentation Viv Brazil.  The capoeira show is FREE with MOA admission; the workshop is FREE for MOA members.

The Vancouver Trolley Company’s Hop-On, Hop-Off City Attractions Tour, onboard San Francisco-style trolleys, is the easiest way to enjoy Vancouver’s most popular areas, including: Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown and Gastown. They even stop at Vanier Park! February 10 - 13, enjoy a special $100 Family Rate, which includes 1-day Hop-On, Hop-Off for two adults and two kids (4 - 12).

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