#OTTAWA TONIGHT: Featuring #Indigenous #Artists “When Raven Became Spider” opens @ OAG Annex Gallery @ City Hall

Shaun Beyale, The Time Traveler, ink, gray Copic marker, and white Gellyroll pen on paper, 2015, courtesy Ottawa Art Gallery.

Curated by Leena Minifie When Raven Became Spider features 6 Indigenous artists whose work references superheros and ‘sheros.’

From the Ottawa Art Gallery:

“Taking its title from a Sonny Assu button blanket depicting Spiderman in a traditional Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw style, When Raven Became Spider is guest curated by Vancouver-based Gitxaala/British, curator, artist and writer Leena Minifie. Minifie’s research examines supernatural characters in Indigenous art and modern comic superheroes. She notes that traditional stories often highlight figures with superheroic traits, but that these figures maintain complexity as they are fallible, and capable of making mistakes. Most pop comic icons lean towards the archetypal, exhibiting simplified ways of being; they are good or evil. This generation of Indigenous artists and storytellers are increasingly depicting modern super-beings and using pop icon images within their work, blurring the line between oral stories and modern comics. Their aesthetics, style, and composition flow between both worlds.

Does the use of these modern-day images generate a space for oral narratives related to super beings? Or does it reduce these characters into one-dimensional archetypes? Does this work make stories more accessible and palatable to audiences and listeners, who may not be familiar with storytelling traditions? Do modernized forms sacrifice a certain degree of the three-dimensionality and nuance of the characters they depict? Can these characters still transmit old-world, oratory tales and teach us something about the frail human condition, as they were intended?

When Raven Became Spider grapples with such questions.”


WHEN: Vernissage is Thursday, February 26 @ 5:30
WHERE: OAG Annex, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa

The OAG Annex gallery is open daily from 9 am to 8 pm.
Free admission.  Wheelchair accessible. Parking available.
For more information: 613-233-8699 x234, info@ottawaartgallery.ca

Organized by:  Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library


INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY: Gathering Together The Voices & Faces

Poster mimicking iconic Yes, We Can image using three women of different racial backgrounds with their arms pumped up
Art by Chelsoir.

Not every feminist is a white, cisgender, middle class, able bodied woman.

“The original poster, which is a celebrated American cultural symbol, features and glorifies a white woman. While I adore the original image, not every feminist is a white, cisgender, middle class, able bodied woman. In the same way, most mainstream feminism only speaks to that particular group. I made my poster to acknowledge the diverse struggles of the group that gets left behind, and to protest that in order to be effective in deconstructing sexism, we must understand that issues of sexism, race, class, and transphobia all intersect. My experiences as a white woman are very different from those of a WoC [Woman of Color] or a trans*woman or a trans* WoC, for that matter. Despite this, historically it has always been the experiences of white women that get the most representation within the feminist movement. So about damn time that we celebrate the rest of us. Let somebody else have the spotlight.” (cited from www.flaneurinthecity.com)

This collection was gathered from what was circulating on MIXED BAG MAG’s Facebook Page on International Women’s Day. Loving the iconic “Yes, We Can” poster remixed for the 21st Century and as well as Shep Fairey’s series of silk screens where, after the birth of his baby girl, he took his recognizable aesthetic and created a series focusing on the revolutionary spirit of women.

Also work by Favianna Rodriguez, Jared Oxdx Yazzie, and Laila Shawa. Beautiful! We are inspired!

Silk screens in red and black and patterns with women of different racial backgrounds in revolutionalry poses
Art work by Shep Fairey. 

Colourful poster with women with three women of different racial backgrounds represented
Art by Favianna Rodriguez. 

Silk screen of Native woman opening up her jacket mimicking Super Man with a S emblem on her necklace
Art by Jared Oxdx Yazzie.

Colour artwork of various Muslim women collaged on top of each other in niqab with hands held up and painted symbolizing Hand of Fatima
“Hands of Fatima” by Laila Shawa. Art work featured on Huffington Post.

See more International Women’s Day posts on MIXED BAG MAG’s Facebook wall.

THE HAPPY SHOW: Last Weekend to View it at Toronto’s Design Exchange

What is happiness to you?

Is it the same as joy? Is happiness a series of contained moments? Or is it more like what Luminato’s Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt discovered from his 102 year old grandmother – that happiness is when we settle into our role in life and live it well creating a constant state of well being.

On Tuesday evening at the Design Exchange some of the talented and creative spirits in our city were gathered together to share what they know about happiness.

For Vanessa Eckstein and Marta Cutler of Blok Design it has something to do with being mothers. “You can’t find better inspiration than children” and they from that they were motivated to put their design talents to work creating children’s books.

“Lampyro’s publishing program invites renowned contemporary artists of international repute to show us their interpretation of transforming the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. We believe that by guiding children’s inherent curiosity through artists’ eyes, unconventional means of perception become familiar. This freedom to believe becomes a fundamental element of their world view, helping to shape the person they become.” (cited from www.editorialrm.com)

Caca Grande (Big Poop)
from blokdesign on Vimeo.

For artist and illustrator Gary Taxali “Happiness is about being silly.” Giving himself the permission to be just that has resulted in a successful career and international recognition. Around the world he is now known for his iconic work that speaks to his wonderful sense of absurdity. 

fun illustrations in retro comic style and headshot of man with glasses

And although with every speaker (interior designer Christine Ralphsarchitect Ralph Giannone, landscape architect Claude Cormier, architect Meg Graham) I happily shared some common ground it was with Armenian-Canadian actress / producer Arsinée Khanjian that I shared my bliss – rich French desserts, the deep Klein Blue skies of the Mediterranean, and the magical love story of Mary & Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. I must confess, that just like Arsinée, that since childhood I have been tearing up the moment Georg looks deep into Mary’s eyes and sings:

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good

What makes me happy is that Rogers and Hammerstein inspired me to believe that love can arrive unexpectedly in the most difficult of times and in the most unusual ways.

The Happy Show is what came out of internationally renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister’s last sabbatical.

Stefan decided that every seventh year he would take a 365 day break to rest and play then see what bubbles up to the surface. This show is one of his creative bubbles.

“The Happy Show offers visitors the experience of walking into the designer’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via meditation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals. “I am usually rather bored with definitions,” Sagmeister says. “Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down.” Centered around the designer’s ten-year exploration of happiness, this exhibition presents typographic investigations of a series of maxims, or rules to live by, originally culled from Sagmeister’s diary, manifested in a variety of imaginative and interactive forms.” (cited from www.dx.org)

After touring around The Happy Show with a friend I asked him if I could get a quote about it. Sure he said – “Quote, unquote this show makes me happy.”
Do you need any other reason to go?!

The Happy Show ends this Sunday, March 3.
More info on www.dx.org and as well as on Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art’s tumblr blog for the show.

Which gumball machine would you choose? My friend is actually happier than 5, he was just following the lead of the very happy toddler in front of him.

Outside our level of comfort we discover the magic inside of us.

What would you draw?

Canadians are doing ok!

Don’t forget to press the button at the end of the show and await further instructions…

This show comes with free candy.

Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.