Friday, November 24, 2006

Brian O'Dea and private donations to artists

I was lucky enough last month to attend the Fresh Fish Award ceremony as part of WANL's annual AGM. It was great fun with numerous workshops over the weekend, a nice supper, and drinks.

Something Brian O'Dea, the Fresh Fish benefactor said before giving out the award has been sticking in my craw ever since. He mentioned how the award is the biggest of its kind in Canada, and given that he "doesn't have any dough" (a matter for some debate), how was it conceivable that he was the one putting up the money for this sort of thing?

Given how the public is constantly bombarded by how proud we should all feel for Newfoundland and Labradorian culture, how can it be that the wealthy members of our community are dropping the ball? I know, I know: the wealthy patrons are out there buying art, making donations to cultural orginazations (Saint Rick Mercer's $10000 donation to the Hall springs to mind), but given the comparably pitiful amount the NLAC has to dole out each year, where is the splashy, headline grabbing generosity for which Newfoundlanders are so renowned?


Anonymous anon said...

This is a matter quite unrelated to the Brian O'dea posting. Far more serious
Here we go round the mulberry bush.
There has been a serious case of artist censorship lately that people may or may not be aware of. It is quite shocking actually. It envolves Gordon Laurin (or more presicely his artwork) Eastern Edge Gallery and yes the Rooms. At last weeks Click fundraiser event for Eastern Edge which was hosted by the Rooms featured several dozen groupings of photographs shot by local and national celebrities and artists, Laurins grouping of photographs I understand was pulled from the event/ exhibition only hours before the event was to happen. What happened here? Why did the management/ director of the Gallery and the board and director of Eastern edge allow this to happen? Is Mr Laurin going to be barred from ever showing his own art at the Rooms because he once worked there?
Mr Laurin deserves a written apology from Eastern Edge gallery and from the Gallery at the Rooms. This one is not going to be swept under the carpet.
Comments for the last posting were provocative and interesting

9:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I heard something about this too, through the grapevine...although in the version I heard, it was the Rooms who decided to pull the photos at the last minute, and Eastern Edge didn't really have anything to do with it...

Either way, I agree that it's ridiculous to have pulled his photos at all, and without explanation.

11:38 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is exaclty the problem with big gallerys....too much influence.. so you can't have a beef with anyone anymore?. they should not have pulled him out unless his photos where of an illegal nature..
this really saddens me and it really promotes suckupedness... that is the last thing an artist should have to do.
Anyone that cares about this in the least should pull connections with this place and demand an explanation..

6:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What in the hell is The Rooms anyway -
Is it a large corporate interest of a few frightened power-mad people or a cultural institution of the province?

Or, is it something in between?

Why in the hell would they pull someone's art off the wall like that, even if it WAS Gordon Laurin?

What's going on?

I'll call Eastern Edge myself and find out what happened. Then, if it's true, I'm up for raising hell.

First the arts council seems to forget its arms length policy and now this?

Who in the hell do these people work for? DID we sell out our peer assessment juries with these funding increases?

These are the days of big business, and tourism and recreation, so arm yourselves accordingly...

Glenn Nuotio

10:09 p.m.  
Anonymous joseph b'ys said...

that would be Coat of Arms yourself accordingly

11:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think both of these issues are related.

As it stands most artists finance their careers by a combination of three options;produce work that makes money by being a commodity-based product, become employed at something else, or work into the granting/gallery culture for their livelyhood. When ones creative output is so hard fought for one is less likely willing to complain about an issue that is not directly related to them or seemingly may threaten their creative career.

That cultural blue-print seems to be stalled. Any movement anywhere? It seems the province really is pulling back while covering their steps with big press announcements. Or am I missing something?

10:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word to the last post - when hanging on by our fingernails it is difficult to kick up a stink...!
Also - who knows what the government is up to, certainly it is difficult here to be making boundary-pushing work in any medium and to get by at the same time. Nationally I am not sure that things are much better, although no giant cuts to the Canada Council have been announced recently, other unbelievable things are afoot - witness the closure of nearly all of the Status of Women branches in the country this week, including our own. Why? We're supposedly all equal now and don't need any organization to speak up for women's of the most fallacious statements ever uttered as nearly every woman I know has her own horror stories of various sizes about the inequality of our society,which is sliding further backwards every day. The attitude of the government towards this issue points the way, I think, to how they will be dealing with the Arts in Canada as well...

8:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well artists...
we can still all move to alberta, like the unemployed fishermen. the ratio of $$'s handed out is something like 5oo bucks a head of population - for the arts.
Dont talk about $ as a reason not to produce the art you want and care about.
There are many ways to get by and survive while not comprimising yourself or art practice. The best artists don't comprimise. - yes i hope very soon some artists here will be recognized for it. not tomorrow but in future...Does anyone see anything wrong with the art that generates public/ financial support here in NL??

9:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I've been reading on this site the NL art scene is becoming a real gong show...taking art down before the opening? I'm finding it hard to believe that it's that bad back home. I really hope it isn't.

11:48 p.m.  
Anonymous joseph b'ys said...


Central Newfoundland Visual Arts Society (CNVAS)

Grand Falls-Windsor NL


Support to offer CNVAS members two workshops: one on mixed media with Michael Pittman, and one on stone carving with Nathaniel Noel. Also, support for a community mural to be painted by CNVAS members.

William Ritchie

Tors Cove, NL


Support to attend a two-month artist residency in Tasmania from February to April 2007. This will include a wilderness residency project, and a one-month studio residency at the Landscape Art Reseach Centre in Queenstown. The artist will create prints, paintings, and digital media.

RCA Visual Gallery

St. John's, NL


Support for winter/spring exhibits including: Shift, an exhibition of traditional landscape paintings by Susan Jamieson, and an exhibition of digital photograhic work by Kathy Browning, January 21 - February 25, 2007; Portrait Work, a solo exhibition of works on paper, canvas, board, and clay by Michele Stamp, March 4 - April 8, 2007; an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Canadian artist Shary Boyle, April 15 - May 20, 2007.

Audrey Feltham

Deer Lake, NL


Support to produce The Invisible Landscapes: The Red Shoes a series of monoprints, drawings, and book works.

Art Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's, NL


Support to offer workshops by Don Short, Lisa Piercey, Chris Pratt, Ilse Hughs, Ed Roche and Janice Udell. These workshops, available to members, will be held from October 2006 to April 2007.

Peter Wilkins

Clarke's Beach, NL


Support to produce a series, Stripe Print. It will combine brightly coloured patterns with digital details of landscapes and still lifes.

Michelle Stamp

St. John's, NL


Support to produce and frame a series of drawings, oil paintings, and sculptures for a solo exhibit of portraits at the RCA Visual Gallery in March 2007.

Will Gill

St. John's, NL


Support to create 12-18 works exploring underground passages, ranging from ant hill complexes to nuclear bunkers. The series will be exhibited at a solo show at the Peak Gallery in Toronto in June 2007.

Mark Prier

Corner Brook, NL


Support to produce Survive, a collection of four large-scale sculptural installations exploring wilderness survival methods and techniques. The works will be made from local forest plant material, twine and muslin, and will incorporate sculpture, performance, video and dance works.

Ryan Davis & Jason Sellers

St. John's, NL


Support to mount Trust – An Exploration of India, an exhibition of suitcases containing found objects, puppets, video screens, pop ups, location sound recordings, and a photograghic exhibit of the artists’ stay in India.

Craft Council Gallery

St. John's, NL


Support for winter/spring exhibits including: Comfort and Joy, a multimedia exhibit that reflects the holiday season, November 19 - December 17, 2006; Celebrate Craft, a multimedia group exhibit celebrating contemporary craft in Canada, and in the Annex Gallery an exhibiton of functional and ornamental clay works by Vicky Northey, January 28 - March 9; A Study of Newfoundland Through the Eyes of Women, a print and textile exhibit by Janet Davis, and in the Annex Gallery a textile exhibit including appliqué, quilting, and woven works by Stephanie Jayce Stoker, March 18 - April 27.


St. John's, NL


Support to offer a series of professional development workshops at three locations in Labrador. The workshops will focus on marketing and business skills for visual artists at different stages of their careers.

Florence Baird

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, NL


Support to produce an exhibition, The Birth of The Sun, consisting of ten pieces depicting various native Indian creation stories about the beginning of light.

Julia Pickard

St. John's, NL


Support to complete the first phase of work at St. Michael's Printshop, towards a new solo show, Diaspora.

Eastern Edge Gallery

St. John's, NL


Support for winter/spring exhibits including: Members Speak, an exhibition of Eastern Edge members’ recent works, November 25 - December 15, 2006; Taking Care of Business, a performance/installation mural by Quebec artists Mira Lyn Lu and Immony Men, and The Death of the Party, a series of two-dimensional wall works by Manitoba artist Les Newman, January - February 2007; The Dad Tapes/The Mom Photographs, an exhibition by Quebec artist Kim Waldron, and Did you hear about…? A Book Project, a series of prints and cut-up prints presented in book format, by local artist Michael Young, March - April 2007.

Dinah Anderson

Nain, NL


Support to produce a series of carvings, The Sedna Legend, about Sedna, the Inuit sea goddess, and her children, the creatures of the sea.

Navarana Igloliorte

Goose Bay, NL


Support to attend the New Works: Materials, Processes, Practice residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, January 8 - February 23, 2007. The artist will create a series of mixed media prints.

Jennifer Dyer

St. John's, NL


Support to produce a multi-disciplinary exhibition, Restructuring The Horizon, exploring the changing horizon of the coastal environment. Artists include Jim Maunder, Annette Manning, Peter Wilkins, Greg Bennett, Will Gill and Lori Clarke.

Kym Greeley

St. John's, NL


Support to complete a series of large scale paintings of the Newfoundland landscape.

Justin Hall

St. John's, NL


Support to create a photographic series, Dance in Movement, using panaramas, layering and blurring techniques.

Anita Singh

St. John's, NL


Support to create a series of large-scale printed works, at St. Michael's Printshop, revolving

1:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, thanks for the list, did you type it- cut n paste i hope.. Must say that about 1% of that work sounds interesting. and 1 show that might be interesting won't be shown here, oh well. How many projects were about India again, i forget? Listen project money givers, can you send me to Las Vegas next time round so i can learn about the world of prostitution and the sex trade?
I'll document it. sounds like $$ for projects you might be forced to do in a foundation course..

3:18 p.m.  
Anonymous joseph b'ys said...

cut'n'pasted it from the press release.

my point was that, to me, it seems like a pretty interesting group of projects. to you, only two of them seem worthwhile. I'm impressed by the efficiency by which you can insult the other 18 artists/arts organizations.

I see many media, cool interdisciplinary stuff, limited newfoundlandia, new customers and repeat offenders. I think it's kind of exciting.

You mention that the list sounds like some sort of assigment for a foundations course. I find this interesting that you would make reference to schooling when you yourself have obvious literacy problems. You make mention of projects about India with the complaint that there are too many and then imply that the NLAC funded the ONE project that references India. I suggest that you have someone read you the list and then get back to me.

And, in regard to Jason and Ryan's work. They are two guys who work hard and make interesting art. If you discount Ryan's work because he shows at the Sprout then you move beyond ingorance and into premeditated stupidity.

There once was a fellow named Marcel Duchamp. He suggested that the gallery was just a middle class construction that predetermines reception to the art object. To loosely quote CFP, you could place dog turds on the floor of the Rooms and it would still look great. Now personally, I'd use a plinth but the sentiment shows that there is a nostalgia for the gallery and to exhibit outside of it remains taboo.

2:30 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well joseph,
i certainly don't have to reread the list but thanks for the advice, Yes i might have some dyslexia... and to each there own about what sounds interesting..To you this sounds great.. I'm sure you are a great connoisseur of many fine things.. For me, I don't have a taste for the finer details, not happy because something is simply a good mix..
When someone dismisses something with no good explanation for you, relax. It's but one opinion..Its funny you bring up duchamp and then defend middleclass art.. anywho...

7:00 p.m.  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

Hey Joseph. I'm glad you pasted the list here. Some of the projects do look interesting to me, others do not. My point (unlike Anonymous' above) is that a jury shouldn't be telling professional artists in this province that their work isn't art. As a fan of Duchamp, I think you might agree with me.

My criticism of work shown in restaurants as opposed to a gallery space hasn't much to do with any attachment to the white cube, but rather an attachment to holding work up to rigorous examination by a jury of one's peers. Submitting one's work for judgment by a restaurant owner isn't quite the same thing as submitting it for adjudication by an artist run centre's selection committee.

But then, of course, some of my favourite art is the stuff that happens outside the gallery context altogether: performances, happenings, street art, tableau vivant etc., the exact sort of thing NLAC adjudicators would describe as "not art".

7:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a P.S.
If you made a list of 10 wines that suited your pallete and i said only one of these gets me drunk the way i like it and all were created by respectable, hard working individuals, would you care?

7:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main problem i think with this site are the policers - That can't handle opinions that don't agree with them.. Its like Name/Rank/Credentials please or its just an insult fest..If the art being posted and talked about was a bunch of artists that were semi - or successful and not from around here it would be a slug-fest and who would take it personal? But anytime you post here you feel as though you are insulting someones mother which is actually disheartening. This isn't in the spirit of art criticism..and is quite lame.

7:52 p.m.  

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