HEADS UP | History Of The Swimsuit Exhibit Opens At The Vancouver Maritime Museum

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by Robyn Yager | The Vancouver Maritime Museum’s new 2014 summer exhibition, Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit, opened to the public today (June 28th) and should be well worth checking out. Aside from providing one of the most frustrating and sometimes humiliating  shopping experiences, swimsuits are seriously overlooked at the interesting intersection of fashion and social history. Over the years, swimsuits have helped to communicate and facilitate eras of social change, and as such they are integral to our understanding of the role fashion plays in society.

With the help of Vancouver fashion historian Ivan Sayers, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is exhibiting swimming costumes worn in Vancouver from the 1890′s to the 1980′s (Sayers is the owner of one of the largest private collections of clothing in the country and has lent his expertise to fashion shows, lectures, and exhibitions throughout North America). What should prove particularly fascinating is the accompanying collection of Woodward’s catalogues that reveal through their many pages how this city has dressed for the beach over time.

VMM | 1905 Ogden Ave. in Vanier Park | Now-Nov. 2 | vancouvermaritimemuseum.com

HEADS UP | Origami-Inspired “Oru Kayak” Pop-Up Demo At Kits Beach Tomorrow Night

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by Luis Valdezon | The gentlemen behind San Francisco based Oru Kayak will be hosting a waterside pop-up demo of their award-winning, origami-inspired, 12-foot compact boats in the early evening tomorrow night (Friday, June 27th). Vancouver’s outdoor enthusiasts will be given a chance to interact with the designers, learn more about the design, and test-paddle the product – recently showcased at San Francisco’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art - for the first time in Canada. The boats are simple to set up and easy to transport and store, which makes them perfect for Vancouverites looking to get on the water more.

Friday, June 27 | 5pm-8pm | Kitsilano Beach | Free

HEADS UP | Score Tickets & Check Out The Killer Crew Speaking At Pecha Kucha Night

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Pecha Kucha Night organisers have announced the final line-up of speakers for Vol. 33 on July 3rd, and it’s quite the doozy cross-section of Vancouver’s cultural fabric…

Sam Chandola - Founder and CEO, Victory Square Games
Sandra Singh - Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library
Laura Barron - Director, Instruments of Change
Scott Larson - CEO and Co-Founder, Urthecast
Kevin Lee Royes - Soulcial-Preneur, The Soulcial-Preneurs Club
Lital Marom - Co-Founder and CEO, Beyond
Christopher Gaze - Actor and Artistic Director, Bard on the Beach
Emerson Lim - Founder, Karma Teachers
Jonathan Anthony - Corporate Disorganizer, Teekay Corporation
Seann Dory - Co-Director/Co-Founder, Sole Food Street Farms
David Pay - Artistic Director, Music on Main
Jimmy Stewart - Chef, Blacktail Florist

Score tickets here. We’re going to be giving away a double pass to the festivities before too long, so be sure to watch our Twitter feed.

HEADS UP | New Exhibit.001 Photography Show Opening Tonight At “Catalog Gallery”

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Catalog Gallery (top floor of Tinseltown Mall) has an interesting show opening tonight. Exhibit.001, as it is called, showcases Instagram shots by Vancouver photographers using the common hashtag #streedreamsmag. Street Dreams Magazine, a slick little publication that has just started out, is motivated by a desire to build community through photography. The editors were so inspired by the gallery of images that took shape that they decided to round up a bunch of the shooters and have them display printed versions of their digital pics in old school fashion (ie. hanging from the walls).

Friday, June 20 | 7pm | Catalog Gallery, 2061 – 88 West Pender (aka Tinseltown Mall) | Free

HEADS UP | Troublesome Waters Exhibition Opens At East Van’s “Shack Art Collective”

Mark Hall-Patch exhibit at The Shack Art Collective

The Shack Art Collective is a cool little East Van gallery located in a refitted residential garage deep in East Van. We love the spirit behind this collective. It puts action to the idea of encouraging emerging artists to show their work by creating a space and cultivating a community of support to aid them in the development of their work.

This Saturday, co-curators Niki and Paris are re-opening the Shack after a winter hiatus with ‘Troublesome Waters’ – a show of recent works by artist Mark Hall-Patch. It’s part of a continuing series of watercolour paintings marked by a narrative theme related to ambiguous figures and landscapes. (“One of the themes that continues throughout the present body of work is the cultural fascination with the failure of the Free Spirit movement or failed utopian colonies of the past.”)

So put a little cash in your pocket for art (and a drink) and enter through the alley to check out this cool little gallery and the artist exhibiting within.

Sat, May 10 | 7pm | Shack Art Collective | 4364 Prince Albert (enter through alley) | DETAILS

HEADS UP | Upcoming “Duality” Show To See Artistic Takes On Local Writers’ Words

April 25, 2014 

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by Grady Mitchell | When someone looks at a piece of art, they bring with them an infinite knot of variables – every experience that has shaped them into the person they are at that moment, standing in front of that artwork, influences the unique way they interpret it. Curators Shannyn Higgins and Erica Wilk hope to explore that phenomenon with their upcoming show, Duality.

The two approached 25 Vancouver writers and asked for some words – a snatch of song lyrics, a few verses of poetry, a particularly beautiful passage in a notebook – then handed the excerpts to 25 Vancouver artists to interpret into visual art. The writers don’t know who received their words, nor do the artists know who’s provided their inspiration.

The project, which is being entirely self-financed by the curators, includes both established and emerging Vancouverites. Among the writers are musicians like Dan Mangan and Ryan Guldemond, while the artists include international names like Carson “Chairman” Ting. Featuring newcomers was equally important to Shannyn and Erica, who recruited contributors across all ages, demographics, and mediums to generate the broadest possible set of interpretations.

The show opens May 2nd at East Van Studios (870 E Cordova St) starting at 7pm and will run for just 48 hours. It should have an interesting twist on the traditional art opening, as the writers will be seeking out their words, and for the first time the pairs will meet. It’ll provide a rich opportunity to eavesdrop on insightful conversations about how and why, exactly, each artist interpreted the words the way they did.

Each piece will be on sale for $200; a great deal that sees all proceeds going to the individual artists. The Duality pieces will also be collected in a book (printed, stitched, and constructed in Vancouver) that will include 25 colour prints that can removed and framed. To learn more about Duality, visit the project’s website.

HEADS UP | “Centre A” Set To Offer New Cantonese “Chinatown Survival” Lessons

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Chinatown remains one of the more interesting neighbourhoods in Vancouver partly on account of the language barrier it often presents to those who don’t speak Cantonese. If you’ve ever wanted to attempt to scale that barrier, Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) is now offering a ‘quick & dirty’ series of classes that will not only school participants on the basics of how to communicate with shop owners, but also provides some cultural and historical context for the neighbourhood. “The streets, shops and spaces of Chinatown will be our classroom and its people will be our textbooks. Classes will include: basic Cantonese greetings, numbers, getting around, how to order food in a restaurant, and grocery shopping. We will do short field trips around the neighbourhood and hear stories about Chinatown history, community organizing, and historic and current relationships with the diverse cultural communities who share the space. Our final exam will be a grocery shopping expedition and collaboratively created meal.” How awesome is that? The seven classes will run you $60 ($9 drop-in). Super deal!

Saturdays | 10am-12pm | April 26 – June 7 | Centre A (229 East Georgia St.) | DETAILS

HEADS UP | “The Postcard Show” Set To Open At The Remington Gallery On April 5th

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by Grady Mitchell | Just over a year ago, Curator Paulina De La Paz organized the first Postcard Show after noticing the lack of platforms for emerging artists and curators in Vancouver. On Saturday, April 5 the show’s fourth volume will open at The Remington Gallery (108 E Hastings) at 7 PM, granting young artists, especially recent graduates, a chance to exhibit their work in Vancouver and internationally. For this edition, the artists will be creating their postcard-size pieces within the greater theme of “Transformation.”

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Works by Frazer Adams, Tony Yin Tak Chu, Mia Dungeon, Andrea Hooge, James Knight, Guillem Rovira, Carley Stadelmann

Most of the forty-five artists have contributed multiple postcards, which means there will be plenty to look at – and bid on. Every piece is for sale, starting at $10 in auction-style bidding. As you’d expect with such a stacked roster, the styles are eclectic, spanning photography, painting, illustration, textiles, origami, and even more unique mediums. Andea Hooge, for instance, specializes in scratch boarding; she coats a surface in paint and scratches away layers to create an image. Another artist in the show, Carley Stadlemann, has built her own Harmonograph, a device that takes sound waves and translates them visually into spiralling, precise, and hypnotizing patterns.

If young talent and affordable original artwork aren’t enough to draw you to the show, then consider this: the fourth volume will be Vancouver’s last Postcard Show for some time. After this, Paulina plans to take the exhibition international, starting with Mexico City.

Learn more about the Postcard Show and keep up to date with their TumblrTwitter, and on Facebook.

HEADS UP | Heritage Vancouver Society To Give Iconic ‘Marine Building’ Tour March 12

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Standing proudly at the north end of Burrard Street, Vancouver’s Marine Building, which opened in 1930, is certainly one of the most iconic and stunningly beautiful heritage buildings in the city. If the doorway is any indication of the level of craftsmanship and style of the offices inside, just imagine how impressive it must be to set foot in the art deco-styled penthouse!

Next week you will have an opportunity to do just that. On the night of Wednesday, March 12th, the Heritage Vancouver Society will lead an informative tour of the building’s jaw-dropping lobby and gorgeous penthouse. Tickets aren’t cheap, but this will be money well spent, particularly because your 100 beans counts as a donation to the Heritage Vancouver Society (tax receipts will be issued) and there will be a reception that includes wine and hors d’oeuvres.

We went last year and it was such a fantastic experience that we want to go again. Click on any of the photos below to get a feel for the magic of the place…

Wed, Mar. 12 | 5:30-8pm | Marine Building (355 Burrard) | $100 | DETAILS

HEADS UP | Local Artist Sophia Ahamed Showing At Catalog Gallery This Saturday

February 19, 2014 

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You should know about this opening that’s going down at Catalog Gallery this Saturday at 7:00pm…

Sophia Ahamed is a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist living in Vancouver BC Canada. She is a young creative who has worked internationally on a wide rage of projects and has had her work featured in various publications such as Color Magazine, Semi-Permanent and Design is Kinky just to name a few. Her illustrative work is a balance between hand drawn, digital renditions which creates beautiful contrasts of colour and depth through out each piece.

Her current collection of illustrative works demonstrates a valuable connection between the conscious and unconscious mind. No matter who we are or what we are, we as human beings are built the same. We have all gone through moments of happiness, of loss, of despair and of triumph. It is said that what we truly desire in life in happiness. But only through pain can we begin to understand what happiness really is and allow our selves to feel it without hesitation.

Science has given us the ability to understand our own minds and bodies. Art has given us the ability to communicate these findings with others. The goal is to create a different kind of healing process, one that stems from the artist and to the viewer.”

Catalog Gallery is on the 2nd floor of Tinseltown Mall. In addition to Ahamed’s work, you can expect music, beer and fun times.

HEADS UP | “Happy Little Clouds” Art Show Now Collecting Works Inspired By Bob Ross

January 27, 2014 

From the creators of Bill You Murray Me?, Drop it Like it’s Art, the Steven Seagallery, and Zig – a – Zigallery comes the one, the only, Happy Little Clouds. It’s a new art exhibition celebrating the artistic style and unique spirit of the man famous for saying “we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents”: Bob Ross!

The show itself goes down Saturday, February 22, at the Fall Tattoo & Art Gallery (644 Seymour Street), but if you have a bit of time on your hands and some Bob Ross-fuelled inspiration to channel, you can still get involved. To submit a piece to this show, check out their Facebook page for details. Basically, as with their past ventures, organizers are looking for some quick and dirty art work. They aren’t stuck up about it; they will accept anything from painting and drawing to short stories or papier mâché sculpture, as long as it is Bob Ross-centric.

Mark your calendars now for opening night. Not only will there be some good people, amusing art and cheap booze (a good time if it stopped right there), but you can also expect a show of remixed excerpts from Bob Ross’s show the Joy of Painting AND this may be your only opportunity to ever see a live perm that will be painted by a Bob Ross look a like. Door donations will be going to the Positive Women’s Network, an organization for women with HIV in BC.

VOTE | Whose Architectural Vision Do You Want For The New Vancouver Art Gallery?

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After wading through a pool of some 75 architectural firms from 16 countries following and open request for qualifications, The Vancouver Art Gallery has just named five of them as finalists for the design of its highly anticipated new home at West Georgia and Cambie. They are New York giants Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, KPMB Architects of Toronto, and our fave of the lot, SANAA of Tokyo. According to the release that the VAG sent out this morning, they will be conducting “in-person interviews with each of the finalists in the coming months” and they expect to announce a final decision before the start of summer:

“The new museum building will allow the Vancouver Art Gallery to better serve its visitors, more fully realize the international reach and range of its mission and program, and will provide an international platform for local and regional artists. The new building will offer dedicated space for the Gallery’s growing collections, expanded indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces for its dynamic exhibitions, and new educational facilities that will allow the museum to dramatically increase its educational and public programs.”

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Granted there are no designs to get excited about yet, but after salivating over our keyboards going through the portfolios of each firm all morning l0ng, we’ve ranked them in the order of our preference below (accompanying text via the VAG). It’s a pretty kickass short list. Once you’ve finished your own perusing, be sure to add your two cents in the poll at the bottom of the post.

1. SANAA is a Tokyo-based collaborative office, founded by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. With all projects based on careful study of the context, program, and client objectives, their works range in scale from master planning, to educational and cultural facilities, to product and furniture design. Recent and notable projects include: Louvre-Lens Museum in France; the Rolex Learning Center in Switzerland; New Museum in New York; the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. SANAA has been awarded The Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Golden Lion, and the Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan, among other awards. [image credit: Iwan Baan]

2. Herzog & de Meuron are known for designs that are sensitive to the site, geography, and cultural context creating projects that are highly specific to their place and program brief, from small-scale private projects to large-scale public and cultural facilities. Recent and notable projects include: the Tate Modern in London; the Schaulager in Basel; the de Young Museum in San Francisco; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and M+ in Hong Kong. Led by five Senior Partners—Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, and Stefan Marbach—and based in Basel, Switzerland, the firm has been awarded The Pritzker Architecture Prize, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, and the Praemium Imperiale.

3. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is an interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. Based in New York City, DS+R is led by three partners: Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, and Charles Renfro. Completed projects include: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, including the redesign and expansion of the Juilliard School, Alice Tully Hall, and the School of American Ballet; the High Line, an urban park situated on an obsolete elevated railway stretching 1.5 miles long through New York; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, the first new museum to be built in Boston in 100 years. Projects in progress include: the Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles; the Museum of Image & Sound in Rio de Janeiro; the MoMA Expansion in New York City; and Culture Shed in New York’s Hudson Yards Development. Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio were the first architects to receive the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, awarded for their commitment to integrating architecture with issues of contemporary culture.

4. KPMB Architects is considered one of Canada’s leading architectural studios and has led the design for major cultural public projects throughout the country, including Canada’s National Ballet School, the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, and the Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto, as well as the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Its work has been honoured with twelve Governor General Medals, Canada’s highest honour for architecture, and has been recognized internationally by the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Urban Land Institute.

5. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects is a New York-based firm providing architectural, master planning, urban design, and interior design services to municipal, institutional, and private clients in the United States and abroad, with a particular focus on buildings for museums, schools, and non-profits. Notable projects include: the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia; the American Folk Art Museum in New York; The Phoenix Art Museum; the Asia Society in Hong Kong; and the new US Embassy Compound in Mexico City. Williams and Tsien are recipients of awards such as the 2013 AIA Architecture Firm Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Brunner Award, and the New York City AIA Medal of Honor, among others.

Which firm would you like to see tasked with designing the new Vancouver Art Gallery?

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HEADS UP | Score Tickets & Check Out The Killer Crew Speaking At Pecha Kucha Night

January 8, 2014 

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The Pecha Kucha Night organisers have announced the final line-up of speakers for Vol. 31 on January 30th, as well as the opening musical act, and it all amounts to a doozy of an evening. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning, so be quick with your mouse, trackpad, or fingers because they sell out faster than the pies at Pizzeria Farina (for serious). The opening band is Gold and Youth, and the speakers are…

Malcolm Parry - Columnist at Vancouver Sun
Judith Marcuse - Founder and Co-Director of International Centre of Art for Social Change
Mia Kohout - CEO & Editor-in-Chief at Momentum Mag
Arno Kopecky - Environmental Journalist Oil Man and the Sea
Jenna Herbut - Co-Producer of Make It Vancouver
Navida Nuraney - Executive Director of ArtStarts in Schools
Dane Brown & Clinton McDougall - Owners of Bestie
Ken Tsui - Program Director at Vancouver Chinatown Night Market

We’re going to be giving away a double pass to the festivities before too long, so be sure to watch our Twitter feed like this guy for your chance to win!

HEADS UP | “Hey Jude” Pairing Up With The Found And The Freed For A Main St. Pop-Up

December 5, 2013 

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Our friends over at The Found & The Freed are pairing up with vintage clothing store Hey Jude for a holiday season pop-up of curated antiques and sweet duds at 3088 Main Street. The collaborative awesomeness starts December 7th and runs everyday through to December 21st from 11am to 7pm.

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