Category Archives: Art

Siloam Mission at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

touring people from sialom missionAs you can see from this photo I’m having a delightful time!  Recently I had the privilege of taking a group of people from Siloam Mission through the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  I usually give tours to school groups so I am always a little apprehensive when I’m asked to guide adults.  I needn’t have worried!  The experience with the Siloam community was great ! In this photo we are looking at a painting by the great Canadian artist Emily Carr. One of my tour participants knew so much about Emily and her work. I learned a lot from him. And there were other people on my tour who taught me things about Chagall and Rembrandt and Inuit whale bone sculptures and the art of scrimshaw. wanda koop with sialom mission peopleI had heard of Siloam and the work they do but I have never visited their location on Princess Street.  It was an eye-opening experience to meet and learn from the Siloam Mission folks.  In this photo we are looking at work by Winnipeg’s own Wanda Koop.  Wanda who has an important international presence in the art world hails from inner city Winnipeg and took her first art classes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  She won those lessons in a contest and it set her on the road to a remarkable career.  The Siloam visitors were so interested in her story. 

rachel with siloam group

Rachel Baerg the Head of Education at the Winnipeg Art Gallery led another tour group from Siloam

One of the reasons I love working at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is because it is a place that tries to be welcoming and invitational to everyone and as a result I get to meet so many interesting and amazing people.  I hope Siloam Mission will come back for another visit.  If they do I’ll be the first guide in line to offer to lead the tour. 

Note:  The photos in the post were taken by Al Foster and are used here with his kind permission.

Other posts………

What’s a Portscape?

The Dakota Boat

Whalebone Sculptures

 

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Art in Bloom- Women in Bloom

raeburn portrait of a ladyThe Winnipeg Art Gallery is awash with flowers this weekend. A special event called Art in Bloom has paired floral designers and their creations with works of art. I attended yesterday and there was almost too much beauty to take in so I decided to focus on artwork featuring women. What kind of floral art had been created to accompany their portraits?
raeburn portratit of a lady

Scottish artist Henry Raeburn’s  Portrait of a Woman is a painting I often stop at when I am giving art gallery tours and together with my visitors we try to figure out everything we can about the lovely woman pictured.  Who is she? What kind of family does she come from? What is she thinking and feeling? Why did she have her portrait painted?floral design for portrait of a lady

Floral designer Heather Page created this arrangement as a tribute to Henry Raeburn’s lovely lady. She decided a traditional bouquet would best compliment the classic style of the portrait. st. cecilia

This 1630 painting of  St. Cecilia the patron saint of music by Giuseppe Puglia shows a cherub interrupting St. Cecilia’s violin playing and pointing out something in a sheaf of music. Did the beloved saint who inspired so many composers miss a note or play a certain passage with exquisite beauty? Exquisite beauty probably best describes the arrangement of delicate pink roses Saint Cecilia inspired floral designer Mari Loewen to create. farmers daughter prudence heyward

The Farmer’s Daughter is by Prudence Heward a Canadian artist who sometimes exhibited with The Group of Seven. Floral designer Michele Pitre tried to imagine what the girl in the portrait was looking at and decided she might be staring off into a cool forest. So Michele created this natural arrangement complete with birch bark and woodland flowers and grasses. 

friends rejoicing daphne odjig

Daphne Odjig’s Friends Rejoicing is a recent gallery acquisition and I love its vibrant, joyful colors. The happy women in the painting are celebrating the birth of a child.  Floral interpreters Paul Jordan and Jordan Maegher are both in management positions at The Forks in Winnipeg. The Forks is a place of friendship, connection and the bright diversity of the prairies. They felt Daphne Odjig’s painting reflected those values as well. woman and interior by ivan eyre

I was delighted to discover this floral arrangement by Bernice Klassen. Bernice and I attended the same church  for many years and our sons were the same age. Bernice was drawn to the orange hues in Ivan Eyre’s Women and Interior because orange is the color of courage.  Elements in Bernice’s bold arrangement also echo the vase of flowers in the painting. in he orchardOne of my favorite combinations was this arrangement by floral designer Dorothy Vannan created for English artist Dorothea Sharp’s impressionist work  In the Orchard that features a woman picking fruit. 

WAG LOBBYThe weather is going to be cold and wintry this weekend but you can escape at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  There’s coffee in the lobby to warm your body and in the galleries you will find lots of lovely flowers and beautiful art to warm your soul. 

Other posts………..

Flowers of Costa Rica

Flowers of Jamaica

Trilliums- Food For the Soul

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Spring and Love

spring by louis bako

The red Chinese character is for love.  It is superimposed on the green character for spring.  I’ve walked by this painting on a Portage Avenue wall a hundred times but finally decided last week to stop to photograph it. The work is titled Spring Over Love Under and is by Louis C. Bako a Winnipeg artist who was born in Hungary.

The painting brings to mind a line from Le Miserables by Victor Hugo.  

If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.

Other posts…….

It Must Be Spring

Inspiration to Speed the Coming of Spring

Hope

 

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The Easter Story at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Two paintings displayed side by side at the Winnipeg Art Gallery have an Easter message for me. And Peter followed afar off by William Ashby McCloy

The first one is And Peter Followed From Afar Off  by American painter William Ashby McCloy.  It is a Good Friday scene.  Jesus is hanging upside down on a cross shaped like an X.  Over to the right you can see Jesus’ disciple Peter who denounced Jesus three times.  The cock that crowed after the three betrayals is pictured. So are the people Peter spoke with denying he had any connections to Jesus.  Could the man in front be Judas who betrayed Jesus for money? Artist McCloy gives us a grey, sad canvas full of rejection, violence and guilt. friends rejoicing by daphne odjig

Right beside the crucifixion painting is this vibrant and heart lifting canvas by the famous First Nations artist Daphne Odjig.  It is called Friends Rejoicing.  A group of women are celebrating the birth of a child. Easter is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and Daphne’s painting fairly bursts with the joy of a new beginning and the happiness it brings to a community of people. For me it beautifully captures the spirit of Easter Sunday a day to celebrate the resurrection of hope. 

I have no idea why the curator chose to place these two paintings side by side, but I love their juxtaposition.  One of our former guides at the WAG Perry Nodelman gave a talk at the University of Valencia in Spain in March.  He said that in an art gallery…..

…..where pictures are hung, how the floor plan of the galleries invites viewers to move through them— makes each picture part of a larger text, a larger story…

The way these two paintings are placed in the gallery makes them part of the Easter story for me. 

Other posts……….

Easter Retrospective

Blood Upon the Rose

A Storyboard in a Painting

Whale Bone Sculptures

 

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Dave’s Christmas Present

Dave’s Christmas present is finally up and on the wall. This year I gave him a framed print of an original painting of his grandmother created by his cousin Ruth. Ruth’s artwork is displayed on her website. You can buy originals from her as well as prints.

Last fall I ordered the print of Ruth’s painting of her Oma, Margaretha Driedger, who also happens to be Dave’s Oma. I had the print framed in the months leading up to Christmas and then hid the painting at my brother’s house so Dave wouldn’t find it.

Since we left for Arizona right after Christmas I didn’t have time to find a space for it on the walls of our condo.  But now it’s up!

Oma with her husband Abram and two children Agatha and Cornelius when she first came to Canada. Cornelius is Dave’s Dad. 

I think its wonderful that Ruth chose to paint Oma holding a baby.  Oma loved children. When she first came to Canada she and her husband Abram and their children lived on Pelee Island, Ontario. Oma served as a midwife for many of the Mennonite women living there.  

Oma and Opa Driedger

Later after her husband died Oma opened a day care in her home looking after the children of working parents. I remember going for a walk with her once and we met a man who greeted her warmly.  He had been a child in Oma’s daycare.

Oma with our son.

 I remember how Oma loved to play with our son.  She was in her eighties when he was born but when we visited she would get right down on the floor to race cars with her great-grandson or play with a set of blocks she kept in her apartment for visits with children.  We saw Oma for the last time on a Christmas visit to Ontario and even though she was very ill and confined to her hospital bed I remember how she engaged our young son in conversation, asking him about his Christmas gifts. 

Dave often is rather blase’ about the gifts I buy him but I think he really liked this Christmas present this year.  I do too!

Other posts…….

My Grandmother’s Childhood

When My Grandmother Was Twelve Years Old

A Beautiful Woman

 

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The Guess Who On The Wall

guess who mural winnipegI was walking to an appointment on Tuesday when I came upon a striking mural that honors the music group The Guess Who. I had never noticed the mural before so I stopped to take some photos. According to an interview with artist Michael Bridgford Read on  Murals of Winnipeg his Main Street artwork has images from a number of The Guess Who’s records.main street guess who mural

This is exactly how The Guess Who appear on the cover of their album It’s Time. guess who it's time album cover

Version 2

This blue -faced woman pays tribute to the face on the album American Womanamerican woman album cover

And the car in the centre of the mural

Is the one featured on the album So Long Bannatyne

The cans of wheat allude to the cover of the album Canned Wheat. 
There are other interesting images on the mural and if you want to check them out in person you will find The Guess Who mural at 1400 Main Street.

Other posts……..

Connecting with Burton Cummings

The Street Where I Live

Photographed Just in Time

 

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Artists in Action

artists at work marylou debbieWouldn’t it be something if you could see a Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Monet, and Klimt painting all in one room?  Well on Monday you could have, if you had peeked in on the T-4s the group of women I get together with regularly for fun and friendship.  

glenys and her klimt

Glenys works on Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life

We met at my friend Glenys beautiful home to use the present she gave each of us for Christmas- an art kit called MasterKitz that would guide us through the making of a reproduction of a famous painting.  kandinsky profileEach kit came complete with a story about the artist’s life, a set of instructions and inspirations and every single thing you would need to complete your work of art.  

esther starry night

Esther works on Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Each of our pieces was very different and it was interesting to watch while some of us used oil pastels and others water colors or oil paints.  

debbies water lilies

Debbie works on Monet’s Water Lilies.

Some of the paintings required rollers, other sponges, and some brushes.    

marylou kandinsky

I worked on Wassily Kandinsky’s Black Lines.

One painting had stickers to adorn the work while I put the finishing touches on my artwork with carbon paper and a pencil. 

debbie's birthdayWe started off the afternoon with a celebration of our friend Debbie’s birthday and of course the art project moved along every so much more smoothly with the wine, fruit, cheeses and sweets Glenys had provided. 

esther's starry nightWe had a lovely time and we each went home with our masterpiece as well as enough supplies in our MasterKitz  to create another one if we wanted to.  

my kandinskyDue to my two months in Arizona I hadn’t seen the T-4s for quite some time so it was lovely to spend an afternoon catching up and being creative together. 

You can read about more T-4 adventures here.  

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