Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"It’s a reflection of the crisis in cultural funding. It’s about the role of museums in a culture where visual art is marginalized except for the buzz around secondary market sales, it’s about the not so subtle recalibration of the meaning of “philanthropy,” and it’s about the morphing of the so-called “art world” into the only speculative bubble still left floating (for the next 20 minutes). Can important and serious exhibitions receive funding without a donor having a horse in the race? Is attendance a sustaining revenue stream for museums? Has it ever been? "
-Barbara Kruger and Catherin Opie

Friday, July 6, 2012

Glock Days? UPDATED

Listening to CBC Radio 1, my ears perk up when I hear 'Glock Days' and 'Westman Dreams for Kids' in the same sentence. A business in Virden, MB (Wolverine Supplies), has decided to hold a two day festival celebrating the glock pistol. "No license necessary to participate!".

The woman being interviewed, Danielle, noted how successful the events were in the USA.

Incredibly, they are also raffling off a new glock pistol. So anyone who buys a ticket can win the gun.

I just don't understand how the people at Westman  Dreams for Kids could possibly think this is a good festival to get behind. Kids and guns? I am reminded of my dearly beloved but long since departed Pearl Jam t-shirt from my teen years: 9 out of 10 kids prefer crayons to guns. Silly me, I thought that was a good thing....

And another reason I am disgusted with the pairing of children and guns. A 5 year old shot his 2 year old sister with a rifle marketed towards youth, ages 4 - 10.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

I stumbled upon one hell of a website this evening. A site devoted to controversial works of art, complete with comments published in local media, answering messages, or interviews with the general public. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 30 minutes laughing at some of the responses people have when they don't understand something.

I had two favourites:

 After the WAG selected as winner Jean Paul Mousseau's The Blob, 1955, in the annual juried exhibition:

"My painting is not a meaningless blob but an expression of the cosmic forces of the universe".
-Jean Paul Mousseau, prize-winning artist (Free Press, Nov. 8, 1955)

And of course, in response to a show at teh Plug In in 1998:

"I don't really care for you people using the Golden Boy as your gay thing. That's pretty gross. That's Manitoba's honorable person standing up on that thing there. That's pretty gross you guys".
-Anonymous caller to the Plug In answering machine, June 1998

If you want to see how Winnipeg has responded to art over the years, I highly recommend Don Goodes site.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Down then Up

Feeling characteristically down, I went to the internet to see what I could find. Normally I try 'funny cats', but somehow I happened upon a website called 'In the Make: Studio Visits with Artists and Designers. It is a site run by photographer Klea McKenna and writer Nikki Grattan. The two travel around documenting wildly cool artists through intriguing interviews and stellar photography.

The site is beautifully laid out: boat loads of white space, clean text, and vibrant colour photographs. I was immediately drawn to the entry on Mary Button Durell. Giant shaped paper reminiscent of my childhood attempts at geometric beehives, spirograph fleshed out, and candy. Her medium is tracing paper, wheat paste and recently adding acrylic paint. The result is playful and ethereal. 

In her own words:

"I’ve chosen to work with the properties of light and translucency, biomorphic forms and patterns. The work has been compared to natural worlds: subaquatic, celestial and cellular. Depending on the process and the light, the individual pieces can take on the characteristics of different, more solid materials such as wood, bone, shell or marble."

Subaquatic - definitely. There is also definitely a scientific element to the creations. 

Seeing her work seemed to make me feel temporarily better. If I could have a wish right this moment, I'd wish that I could shrink down a la Alice, and float through those beautiful wispy tunnels.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have to say, this Harper government is really getting to me. I find this country almost unrecognizable: from the days when I was a little kid learning in school about all of the things that made this country, well, this country, those defining characteristics are vanishing at such an alarming rate that I am shocked.

 Let's reminisce for a moment, shall we? What do you remember about Canada when we were young? Our incredible abundance of natural resources, our steadfast decision to be a country devoted to staying out of wars (although I am keenly aware that we have a troubled, deeply troubled past), our support for the arts (admittedly mediocre support, but this recent trend is horrific)...

Well, a dear friend of mine just informed me of a decision laid down today: The closure of Experimental Lakes Area: a research site that has been functioning since 1968.

 Borrowed from The Wall Street Journal:

"One example of the very real impact on Canadians of the government's most recent decision regarding DFO is the withdrawal of support for research conducted as part of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) program. A region of remote lakes has been dedicated, since the late 1960's, to whole-lake ecosystem research. It has been the site of groundbreaking studies into the effects of pollutants, acid rain, freshwater aquaculture, and hydroelectric dams on freshwater ecosystems. The ELA is also where researchers track how Canada's freshwater ecosystems respond to climate change.

This latest round of cuts to the Department will affect positions for Biologists, Chemists and Researchers, Policy Advisors, IT Specialists and Commerce and Purchasing Officers in communities across the country: British Columbia(18), Manitoba(27), the National Capital Region (16), Ontario(14), Quebec (25), New Brunswick(5), Newfoundland(10) and Nova Scotia(19).

 "These cuts are not "back office" cuts. They are yet another blow to the federal government's capacity to use science to protect Canadians, their environment and our economic interests", said PIPSC President Gary Corbett. "The government is eliminating programs that have generated world-renowned studies of freshwater ecosystems as well as impacting work to monitor Arctic contaminants, dioxins and other pollutants."

 WTF?! I feel sick. But what can I do? This is a concern that is facing all of us today-feeling our voices are not/can not/will not be heard....

Visit www.SafetyEh.ca and join the growing number of Canadians supporting public services.You can sign petitions, send letters to your MPs (they even look them up for you if you don't know who yours is), and you can also download an action kit to become more informed about what is happening.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

This picture was taken exactly 60 years ago today. Happy Birthday Dad. Miss you every single day.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chocolate and Dinosaurs

I was just rummaging through some old videos and came across this adorable clip of Oliver and I having a conversation. What a kid....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Silence Update

Whoever said 'silence is golden' was a wanker. Make noise.
UPDATE: Silence can be cool too I guess, if you're busy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Simply Stunning

The earth is incredible. Make that incredibly incredible in its incredibleness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The word 'love', what does it mean? It has inspired countless songs, books, acts of bravery, poems and whispers. A four letter word that contains the strongest of emotions, the greatest of feelings, an unparalleled intensity, a softness, a deepness, a sadness, a devotion and dedication. Inspiration.

Friday, March 23, 2012


This video is amazing. And scary.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Love + Science =15:17 of pure awesomeness

If you can watch this short and not want to fall madly and deeply in love, or not become overwhelmed at the power of love, then we probably can't be friends.

I watched this a few weeks back, and it hasn't left my heart since. I have been on a journey as of late, trying to find out what love actually is. Exploring things like how many kinds of love there are, how we react to it, why we react to it, all sorts of things really.

Somebody once told me that I am a creature of love. And I like that.
Enjoy this video my friends...

The Love Competition from Brent Hoff on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Long time running....

I forgot how beautiful the song, 'Long Time Running" by the Hip is. It just crept into my playlist somehow this morning and it made me smile. It reminds me of doing dishes in my little basement apartment on Corydon. I had bought 2 cassette tapes earlier that day-Tragically Hip and Linda Ronstadt. (The oddity of the combo has not gone unnoticed).

I had a tiny ghetto blaster that my sister gave me that used to sit on the kitchen counter. I remember hitting rewind over and over listening to this song.
Mhmmm, I know-you are there too....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Best Title for an Essay Ever...

Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic: Modern (Re)Constructions of the Cave Man
by Judith C. Berman.

Jean Dubuffet

"The consideration given to the work of professional artists has had the effect of conditioning the public, of creating a state of mind which makes it responsive only to the art displayed in museums and galleries or to art that depends on the same frame of reference, the same means of expression. Any works which, out of ignorance or obstinacy, depart from the accepted codes are given no more than a passing or condescending glance; or, at best, they are granted the status of a marginal art. Yet it may be that this is a misguided view. It may be that artistic creation, with all that it calls for in the way of free inventiveness, takes place at a higher pitch of tension in the nameless crowd of ordinary people than in the circles that think they have the monopoly of it. It may even be that art thrives in its healthiest form among these ordinary people, because practiced without applause or profit, for the maker’s own delight; and that the over-publicized activity of professionals produces merely a specious from of art, all too often watered down and doctored. If this were so, it is rather cultural art that should be described as marginal."