By: Angelica Ng
Laughter caught between the lines,
of a gently unfolded love letter,
its elbow creases signed with lip prints,
its complexion a shade of soft blush.
With the moon as the only witness,
to steam rising off freshly brewed tea,
heat wraps a blanket around the breeze,
and warms our dancing fingertips.
Nestling in the sherpa folds of here and now,
sheltered in the nook of this moment,
we pray we won’t be forgotten,
in the fate that is dawn’s hour.
Like collectors of ephemera,
grasping on to the finest threads,
lines that tear the quickest,
when the chamomile grows cold.
A developing photograph,
film still wet under a cherry glow,
fuzzy as a peach around the edges,
begging the light of day to stay back.
The touch of this memory,
so gentle it isn’t real,
so genuine it isn’t imagined.
(People's Poetry Festival, LOFT 112)
I am so excited to be mentoring a new group of Emerging Artists through @levellingup beginning on October 21. We meet online monthly, there are also variety of separate workshops on improving skills, marketing and more, and each group meets mid-month together as well. This is something I really wish I had access to when I was starting out.
It has been an incredible opportunity to share the things I've learned throughout all my years as a practicing artist and so exciting for me to see artists' work progress, to begin exhibiting, to be featured in articles, and to celebrate every little step along the way.
Even greater than that, I think, are the bonds these groups make with one another. I love how they each encourage & support each other.
For more more information or to join a group, please visit levellingup.ca
A girl should command attention, not suffer it.
Ami McKay, novelist, journalist (born in Indiana, USA 1968). Born and raised in rural Indiana, Ami McKay began her career as a music teacher after earning an undergraduate degree in music education and a graduate degree in musicology at Indiana State University. Upon completing her degrees McKay moved to Chicago to teach music at an inner-city high school for the arts, while writing short stories in her spare time. She fully embraced the writing life upon moving to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia in 2000, and also began writing and producing documentaries for CBC Radio. Through both her documentary work and her historical fiction, McKay has established herself as a chronicler of Canadian history and a modern storyteller.
McKay is best known for her bestselling and acclaimed first novel The Birth House (2006), which was inspired by the stories of the midwife who had previously lived in McKay's Nova Scotian home. The book weaves together traditional narrative, journal entries, letters and old advertisements to tell the story of Dora Rare, a girl born to a large family in Scots Bay in the early 20th century. As a youth Dora is taken under the wing of Marie Babineau, the local midwife, from whom she learns how to heal the sick and "catch babies". Dora's coming-of-age and midwifery training coincide with several local and worldwide tragedies, including World War I, the Halifax Explosion, and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. The tradition of midwifery in rural Scots Bay is jeopardized when a young doctor arrives with new ideas focused on science rather than tradition, and threatens to displace Dora and the generations of knowledge she possesses. The ensuing struggle between Dora and the doctor illustrates tensions between new and old, masculine and feminine, traditional and modern.
The Birth House has become a favourite among women's book clubs, not only because of the story itself but also because of how it invites discussion on the status of women and the continuing struggle by contemporary women for the right to make choices involving their own bodies, from abortion, to birth control, to breastfeeding. The Birth House received several awards, including Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards for author of the year and fiction book of the year in 2007. It was on the longlist of the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and appeared on both Quill and Quire and the Toronto Star's best books of the year lists in 2007. The novel experienced a resurgence in popularity in 2011 when it was 1 of 5 finalists for the 10th anniversary of CBC's Canada Reads, the broadcaster's annual "battle of the books" competition.
In The Virgin Cure (2012), her second novel, McKay switches settings to that of Manhattan in the late 1800s. Inspired in part by McKay's research into her own great-great grandmother, a physician who was one of the first graduates of the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the narrative presents the lives of the diseased and impoverished of New York City and those who assist and exploit them. McKay focuses particularly on the young women sold into lives of prostitution; her protagonist, a young street girl named Moth, surveys the damage done to countless women in the quest for "the virgin cure" for venereal disease, and searches for an alternative to the life to which she was born.
McKay has also gained accolades for her work in journalism, receiving an Atlantic Journalism Award and a Gabriel Award nomination for her feature documentary Daughter of Family G in 2003. Her play Jerome: The Historical Spectacle (2008), the story of a legless man who was found washed ashore on the Nova Scotian coast and lived out his life as a circus freak-show act, was first staged by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre Company at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts in Nova Scotia in 2008.
~ Suzanne Gardner, The Canadian Encyclopedia
It's always such a privilege to be able to contribute to our local Food Bank...it's something I do with my weekly grocery shop and also in my annual contribution to the Empty Bowls Festival. Things were a bit different this year as it had to be held online but I'm still glad I was able to pop by an paint a bowl. This year I decided to paint Nose Creek as our city was built here because of it (my bowl is the top row, third bowl). I've been painting a bowl for this fundraiser since it began and am so grateful to be involved every year.
There's an assumption that because I'm an artist, I've got all the time in the world.
Wanda Koop is one of Canada's most celebrated contemporary artists. She's had her work shown at the National Gallery in Ottawa and all over the world.
She was raised by immigrant parents in Winnipeg. When she was a child she was chosen by the Winnipeg School Division to take art classes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Koop can trace her desire to be an artist back to a specific moment when she was just nine years old.
"I was an undiagnosed dyslexic so my vehicle of communication was through visual language" she recalled.
I remember walking into the space and seeing all these paintings and becoming completely overwhelmed.'- Wanda Koop
One day Koop and her class went to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to see a Vincent van Gogh exhibit.
"I didn't know anything about him" said Koop. "But the child that entered that room was a different child than the child that left that room."
"The colour was so intense and the brush stroke was so intense. I could feel something...I could read what I was seeing. It was like diving into a deep pool."
Koop knew then and there that she wanted to be an artist."It was my language" she insisted. "Visual art is a language. It's the way I can communicate what my observations of the world are, to everybody else."
Just as those early art classes were her lifeline when she was young, Wanda kick-started started Art City, a groundbreaking art centre for inner-city kids in Winnipeg. Over six thousand kids take part in art activities at Art City on Broadway Avenue in Winnipeg every year.
"Art City came about after nine years of working in the West Broadway area....there was a huge gang problem," she remembered. "I got some artist friends together and we opened the doors to all these kids."These days there are over six thousand participants at Art City every year.
"I think when you have disenfranchised youth, if you empower them in a way that they feel resourceful and able to survive....if you think creatively, you can survive anything," she insisted.
"I think you can change society. I would like to see an Art City next to every soccer field or hockey arena."
~ Sook-Yin Lee, CBC News
The People's Poetry Festivat opening at LOFT 112 located at 535 8 Avenue SE in Calgary, Alberta will take place on October 1 at 7-10pm. Due to current regulations, tickets for attendance have to be arranged in advance here. Everyone is welcome.
Loft 112 Regular Hours: Thursday-Friday 4-7pm, Sunday noon-4pm
Barbara Frum’s name will forever be associated with the CBC. Indeed, the celebrated journalist and broadcaster enjoyed huge popularity, first as one of the original radio hosts of the magazine show As It Happens, and later and as one of the founding cohosts of CBC TV’s The Journal.
The Niagara Falls, NY-born Frum studied history at the University of Toronto, where she began freelance work in radio and magazine writing. One of her first regular gigs turned out to be fortuitous: in 1971, she began interviewing newsmakers on As It Happens, the fledgling radio show that often took unusual angles on current events. With her sardonic wit and sharp intellect, Frum soon became an audience favorite. She remained with the program for 10 years, until she departed to help launch The Journal, a program that would make her face as recognizable as her voice had already become.
The Journal was a way for CBC to enhance the weeknight broadcast of The National. On Jan. 11, 1982, The Journal would debut at 10:22 p.m., with Frum and Mary Lou Finlay as cohosts. The show would touch on any and all manner of Canadian life, or delve into international affairs through a Canadian lens. After the first year, Finlay would move on, with Frum left as the sole host.
Frum was the iconic face of a program that a generation of Canadians will remember for its depth and focus. For nearly a decade, Frum interviewed countless newsmakers and celebrities – from Canadians like Margaret Atwood to global leaders such as Nelson Mandela – all the while keeping her own political views private.
When asked about her mother’s politics, Linda Frum (herself a journalist) suggests that her mother may have started with more liberal-centrist views, but became more conservative as she grew older.
‘[My mother] had a high sense of calling, and she was intellectually fearless,’ says Linda Frum, who in 1996 would pen a critically acclaimed book about her late mother called Barbara Frum: A Daughter’s Memoir (Random House). ‘She worked in journalism without an agenda,’ says her daughter.
As well as her daughter Linda, Frum spawned another journalist, David, a National Post columnist.
Barbara Frum’s peers at the CBC recall someone whose professionalism was matched by her humanitarianism.
‘I recall her incredible generosity,’ says Ruth-Ellen Soles, who worked as the publicist for The Journal for its entire 10-year run. ‘She was constantly helping people. When one of our coworkers had a wife who was terminally ill, Barbara paid for their dream: to take one last trip away together. We only learned about her kindness later – she wasn’t doing it for recognition.’
As well as keeping her politics private, Frum also kept her leukemia under wraps. At one point, she was given six months to live. She would succumb to the illness 18 years later, on March 26, 1992.
‘Barbara had a way of reaching out to people,’ recalls Soles. ‘She was incredible with the viewers and felt it important that all of her mail was responded to.’
Frum was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1979, and the atrium in CBC’s Toronto building has been named in her honor.
~ Matt Hays, Playback
The top image is my re-visited painting, the bottom is the original.
I've been extremely busy since beginning two art history classes: 'Memento Mori' focuses on death + art and 'Modernims' on the effect of culture and society on art. Love them both but, I have to admit it has been a bit busy as it wasn't expected (I was supposed to be starting in January). Along with mentoring artists through LevellingUp and renovating our home, I have been a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. But in a good way. So, instead of doing some of the things I should be doing, I decided to re-visit this painting I created last year. It never quite sat well with me so I added some scumbling and glazes and now I feel as though it looks richer, less flat, and much more interesting. Maybe now I can get back to my studies. :)
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +