Tag Archives: wanda koop

What’s a Portscape?

I was absolutely delighted when I found out the Winnipeg Art Gallery would be displaying Wanda Koop’s portscapes again. Never heard of a portscape? That’s the name a lively ten year old boy created last week to describe Wanda’s intriguing series of landscapes skillfully drawn inside faces. I was giving a tour at the Winnipeg Art Gallery to grade five and six students. We had been in the Group of Seven gallery looking at landscapes. We talked about what a landscape is. Then I took the students into another gallery where we examined portraits and tried to figure out what we could learn about the people in the portraits by looking carefully at how the artist drew them. Finally we visited Wanda Koop’s View From Here exhibit. “Are these portraits or landscapes?” I asked the kids. One boy piped up enthusiastically. “They are portraits AND landscapes. We should call them portscapes.”
“That’s perfect,” I said excitedly. “Can I tell other people who come to the art gallery about your new word?”
“Sure,” he said grinning broadly. We went on to examine each of Wanda’s portscapes figuring out how she had used things in her landscapes to create facial features for each portrait.
Then I had the students create some portscapes of their own. They did a great job.

One reason I love giving tours to children at the art gallery is because every single time I learn something new from them. This week I learned about portscapes.  What are portscapes? Come to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to see Wanda Koop’s View From Here and find out!

Other posts……..

Portraits or Landscapes?

Haunted by Ghosts

Through the Eyes of A Child

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Through the Eyes of A Child

child's version stone hengeEvery spring the Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates the talents of the young students in its studio programs by displaying their work in an exhibit called Through the Eyes of A Child.  time line throught the eyes of the childThis year marks the 30th anniversary of Through the Eyes of A Child and the exhibit includes a timeline of art instruction history at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as well as video footage of some of the studio’s former students talking about their experiences in art classes. Wanda_Koop public domainThe most famous of these is Wanda Koop a Canadian artist of international renown.  helicopter wanda koopHer work Helicopter is included in this year’s display.  cat lady children's artMy favorite piece in the Through the Eyes of the Child exhibit was this one about cats.  Check out the cat shaped back drop, the cat lady in her chair surrounded by cats, all the framed portraits of cats on the wall, cats on the curtains, the cat headboard on the bed and the little litter box down in front. Delightful.  child's version taj mahalAnother display that caught my eye was one of famous structures around the world as envisioned by kids.

elvira finnegan wedgewood teacup

Elvira Finnegan’s Wedgwood Teacup

This year’s exhibit also features work by some of the talented instructors who have been part of the studio program.  jordan sewell ashleyI was drawn to Jordan Sewell’s piece Ashley because it reminded of the buildings in the Exchange District where I live. 

child's version leaning tower of pisaThrough the Eyes of A Child runs till May 8.  

Other posts……….

Through the Eyes of A Child

What Talent! Olympus Inspired Art

Stopping By Woods Kids’ Style

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Filed under Art, Childhood, winnipeg art gallery

Portraits or Landscapes?

Are they portraits or landscapes? Wanda Koop’s exhibit The View From Here now on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery blends portraits and landscapes in a way that is intriguing. I’ve taken a half-dozen or so tours through the exhibit and kids love it.  Wanda has created landscapes within a facial outline. wanda koop the view from here winnipeg art gallerySome are city landscapes like this one featuring the Manitoba Legislative building while others are clearly country landscapes. wanda koop view from here

One little girl told me the trees in this portrait/landscape looked like cuts that had been stitched up almost as if the person had been hurt and her injuries had left scars. wanda koop view from hereWanda places the ‘eyes’ in each work on the horizon line and other elements in the landscape act as the nose and mouth. wanda koopThe kids on my tours have great fun finding the various facial features.  One boy told me the sun was the left eye in this portrait, the cloud to the right was the other eye winking, and the log was the mouth. wanda koop the view from hereI make sure the children know that Wanda is from Winnipeg and I tell them how her artwork has been seen all around the world in England, Holland, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Japan, India, China and the United States.  I also tell them about Art City, the program Wanda started that brings artists and  inner city Winnipeg kids together to be creative. wanda koop the view from hereAfter we’ve looked at Wanda’s eight huge paintings I give the kids a paper with a facial outline like Wanda’s and ask them to create a portrait/landscape of their own.  The artwork Wanda inspires the kids to make is just marvelous. I’ve had children do portrait/landscapes for autumn, in outer space, at the beach, on a starry night and in the jungle.  I need to bring my camera on some of my upcoming tours to take photos of the children’s innovative pieces in Wanda Koop style. 

Other posts……..

Landscapes for the End of Time

Portraits by Western Canadian Female Artists

Thanks to the Winnipeg Art Gallery I’m in the Newsletter of the Pre-Raphaelite Art Society

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Filed under Art, Winnipeg