Saturday, May 14, 2011

Back from Canada

...and this is the image I choose to depict Calgary? Ah, the things that impress us Austinites...

To be honest, though, not many of my Calgary photos came out to my satisfaction (for public exhibition) and I really didn't take that many since I was pretty busy the whole time!

Another successful Art forMS this year: raised a good bit of money for the M.S. Society; had a swell party; and some quality artwork found new homes. Yet again, Mali collected a fine batch of work from artists around Calgary and beyond (e.g. Austin, TX). I, personally, enjoyed this years art even more than last time's and would like to have gone home with a haul of new artwork (at some pretty fantastic, bargain prices), but, alas....$.

However, I did get a nice gift of one of the artworks. Mali's husband's mother gave me this swell, little painting from the auction as a thanks for helping out with the event.

What a great, little fellow! I'm totally loving it! I haven't been able to get a satisfactory photo, but this one, "Powdered," is by Ljubica "Luba" Todorovic. Most of her work is more abstract and larger, as you will see when you visit her website. I saw one of those when I visited her shop; want one of those, too...

The days leading up to Art forMS were busy, but less crazy than last year since Mali is very well organized and last year's event provided a good template for this year's. The day following Art forMS, Saturday, Mali, Ben (husband), Miles (son), and I went to an open house and glass blowing demonstration at Bee Kingdom, a popular Calgary glass studio (which has donated works to Art forMS). It's newest member, Kai (who also, independently donated a work this year), demonstrated his particular method, in which a work is constructed from multiple, sculpted, segments of glass.

Saturday evening Mali and I headed out to High River, a little town about half-an-hour South of Calgary, for an opening at Evanescence Gallery which shows Mali's work. Here she is with one of her paintings at the gallery:

You can, of course, keep up with Mali at her website.

Sunday, I helped Mali shuffle paintings for and attended Calyx, a group art show/sale that takes place a couple weekends of the year in Calgary and Edmonton. I think more jewelry and that sort of thing sells than artwork, but Mali sold a couple paintings - that's always exciting - and just heard she sold another, good-sized piece in Edmonton.

Also at Calyx, I met artist, Lisa Brawn, who was not only showing there, but also has work at Evanescence Gallery, other places in Calgary, and here in Austin at Yard Dog Gallery. Mali came across and pointed out to me the Yard Dog ad featuring one of Lisa's woodblock paintings in an Austin Monthly magazine I'd brought, telling me that she runs into Lisa's work everywhere lately. Anyway, Lisa's work involves carving an image onto a wood block which, instead of being used for prints, is painted with color and then black on the lines that would make black lines on a print: quite striking and cool pictures... sculptures?

After the whirlwind weekend, we took things a bit easier. I spent some time building Lego constructions, kicking around a beach ball, and blowing bubbles (the blue ones don't work so well) with Miles; had some delicious Indian food with Mali and Ben one evening; ran some errands; watched a movie about surfing penguins; visited some art galleries; hung out with Darcy and Greg at DaDe; general hanging out.

I'll need to get pictures of the results, but Mali and I also did some collaborative painting. That may be a good feature of its own.

The day before my departure, we all went out to Canmore, a little town in the mountains outside of Calgary where we had coffee, stopped into several shops and galleries. None of my pictures gives a clear idea of the town, but here is one scene that includes an amusing, old building and a view of the mountains that surround the town.

Calgary had snow the first couple or so days I was there, then it was mostly clear with some rain during one part of the day or another. Not much Springtime action as far as green was concerned...

That evening Mali and I went to art openings at Art Central, a collection of galleries, etc. in a building in downtown Calgary. Luba's shop, which has already moved at this writing, was there, so we visited her there where she was featuring work by her husband, photographer Sean Esopenko; Lisa Heinricks, another Art ForMS artist, at Stoneworx Gallery, which was featuring her paintings along with little sculptures by one, Tobias Luttmer; and a space in which the Consulate of Mexico, Calgary, was exhibiting works by contemporary Mexican artists.

We'd planned to make some more openings elsewhere in town, but had a late start since Mali had a yawning episode related to a concussion from which she's recovering. Plenty to see at the Art Central, though, and we followed the art viewing with a late supper with the Stoneworx set, then returned to Casa de Ben and Mali, where I packed.

Friday, I joined Mali for a Mother's Day concert at Miles's school then it was off to the airport and back to Texas.