Dear Readers

  Dear Readers, How’s your new year going so far?   I am delighted to share my experience in the KCC’s brand new series called Kerrisdale Contemporary Arts Lab (K-CAL), which hit the ground running on January 6, with an interdisciplinary artist, Soyoung Park. I brought my parents who were visiting me from Japan to the Soyoung’s workshop, called Everyday Installation, partly because I, as an organizer, was worried about a low turnout. Plus, I thought my mother would enjoy art and craft and my father wouldn’t mind accompanying us for a few hours. It turned out that the workshop was an improvisational acting in which people had to create a pop-up installation as a group (with whatever available materials in the room like chairs and papers) and tell a story collaboratively without using any words.  Hmmm….That’s even possible!? …..No one knew what we were getting into!  There were 3 other adult participants besides my father and my mother (aged 82 and 78, respectively) who cannot speak English and have no acting skills nor previous experience to my knowledge. I was feeling anxious (on the group’s behalf) and a bit guilty for “dragging” my parents along to the workshop with no explanations other than, “It’s part of my volunteering as a board member!” (I am extremely grateful for my lovely parents who always support me no matter what, evidently!). As the workshop was proceeding, still weary and disoriented, I noticed that everyone were embodying (as the photographs show!). And more impressively, it seemed to me that everyone were self-contextualizing quite effortlessly at least from a distance. Literally, there was no words to describe what’s happening, but it was a wonderful surprise to discover my parents’ hidden “talents” and witness their 200% engagement and liveliness. It seemed as if...

DANIELLE GAGNIER: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST...

By Simran Dhaliwal Photo Courtesy of Danielle Gagnier *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society     “The world is so big! Why do the same thing over and over?” I walked into this interview nervous, not knowing what the temperament of Danielle Gagnier would be like. To my pleasant surprise, as we began to talk over hot cups of peppermint and nettle tea, Danielle revealed herself to be a kind and patient woman with a soothing passion lying beneath her words. As we continued to converse, my stiffness faded and was replaced with excitement as I learned more and more about this remarkable artist. Speaking to Danielle was enlightening as she is one of the best examples of a truly artistic spirit. Throughout her life, she has maintained an open-minded approach to art, branching out into many fields that appear to be divided by our arbitrary categories. Danielle has ventured into pottery, mask-making, singing, songwriting, improv, dancing, guitar, percussion, photography, and filmmaking. If all of this seems excessive, Danielle would disagree, as she is eager to venture into even more pursuits, open to discover new ways to express her creativity. She has this amazing mindset of a learner, something many artists cease to do once they feel like they’ve settled into their niche. Danielle breaks the conventional rules, and I am excited to tell you about how she does so. But to do that, I believe it’s important to go to where Danielle began. Growing up in Francophone Canada, she was quiet and contemplative as a child.  Danielle appreciates that her parents encouraged her innate draw to the arts, as she tells in a heartwarming story. When she was five years old, in the exuberance of youth she took a...

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: A CONVERSATION WITH THREE ARTISTS...

By Chloe Price Photo courtesy of Cathy Stubington *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society There are precious few remedies for the bleak mood of Vancouver in January, but I can say with certainty that a visit with artists Paula Jardine, Carmen Rosen and Cathy Stubigton is a sure-fire cure. Our meeting takes place on one of those grey winter afternoons that us locals know all too well, when it appears that someone has punched a hole in the sky and all the color has drained out of our city, only to be replaced with relentless drizzle. I hear Paula, Carmen and Cathy before I see them—their voices and laughter pierce the sleepy air, announcing their approach. The three women enter in a flurry of bright woollen hats, scarves and coats, chattering cheerfully as they shed this winter plumage. Greetings are exchanged, hands are shaken and we soon all settle at a tea and cookie-laden table. I quickly note that any question posed to the trio is met with a chorus of inter-weaving, over-lapping answers—and yet they are all remarkably, genuinely interested and engaged with each others’ comments and opinions. This is perhaps a side effect of the emphasis on being present, and re-connecting with one’s environment and fellow humans, that seems to be a unifying theme for all three artists’ work. We briefly discuss some of their past residencies—in this city as well as out of town—and the art they’ve created. Carmen, for example, cloned spores from local oyster mushrooms and incorporated them into deadwood sculptures to create environmentally sustainable art that would decompose over the years. Cathy and Paula use the term “guerrilla acts of creativity” to describe much of their work—that is to say, spontaneous instance of art...

LANGUAGE: THE KEY TO OUR PAST AND PRESENT...

By Eileen Chen Photo courtesy of Pille Bunnell *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society What does an intersection between poetry and science mean? Does it relate to poems that talk about science or scientists that speak in verse? These were the questions that plagued me when I was preparing an interview with Dr. Pille Bunnell – an ecologist and cyberneticist – to discuss the topic of integrating poetry and science, as well as her experiences and fields of study. Before diving into discussions of what systems ecology and cybernetics are, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Bunnell relate a beautifully personal tale. In the year 2002, Dr. Bunnell attended a course at the University of Tartu during a visit to her mother country, Estonia, which she left as a refugee when only eight months old. There, she joined a field trip to an ancient raised bog, where the peat moss had built up several meters above the surrounding area. It was a chilly November day, with a smatter of snow on the ground. After receiving a bog-walking lesson, she had a chance to explore the ancient landscape herself. Pausing to look around, she was suddenly overcome with a striking sense of awe and familiarity: “I am home!” The emotional intensity of this experience was evident, even when retelling her story. After long reflection on that impactful experience, Dr. Bunnell came to the conclusion that language links people with their ancestry through its connection with the land. I was surprised to see language brought into the equation like this, but through Dr. Bunnell’s explanation of how the grammar, intonation, and flow of language arises from how people relate within the landscapes they live in, I eventually became convinced. To apply...

BREAKING FREE: A SATURDAY WITH SOYOUNG PARK...

By Eileen Chen Photo Courtesy of Keiko Honda, Eileen Chen *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society   When I walked into the Kerrisdale Community Centre on a Saturday afternoon, I half-expected to witness children being taught to produce intricate designs in the print-making class I was to observe. Instead, I was met with a few participants from varyingage groups, each too invested in pressing seemingly ordinary leaves dipped in black rice water or diluted coffee to notice an additional visitor. Initially, I was somewhat underwhelmed, but my curiosity towards the workshop soon grew as the participants took turns coming to me to display their artwork before the camera. There were elementary school-aged kids, teenagers, and even a senior, but all enjoyed this simple workshop and looked upon their creations with an unmistakable expression of pride. As I began pressing my own leaves onto paper, I let go of any prejudices and genuinely indulged in the simple pleasure of directionless art. The instruction I received was minimal, with the only guidance being to “do as I like.” That was my first taste of improvisation as devised by Soyoung Park, the instructor of the workshop. By the end of the workshop, I was a little surprised that Soyoung gave me the casual permission to dispose of all the unclaimed artworks when I was helping her with the clean-up. Throughout the clean-up, I felt slightly wary of approaching her for conversation due to her seriousness. The silence was broken when I came across her own creation from the workshop and inquired about it, which elicited a tender smile as she patiently explained the process of her artistic creation. The freshly created work featured the delicate body of a sparrow, outlined using the same...

Congratulations!

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AGM – Feb 21

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Kerrisdale Contemporary Arts Lab – Film Screening, Feb 3, 2018...

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Reclaim Your Creativity! Contemporary Arts Lab Spring 2018...

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Sakura Walk is Back!

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Please Come for A Conversation!...

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You’re Invited! Place That Matter Community Celebration...

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Sustainability of forests in BC...

SFU’s Faculty of Environment is pleased to invite you to a talk and discussion about the sustainability of forests in BC featuring guest speaker Herb Hammond, a forest ecologist and forester with Silva ecosystems Consultants. Ken Lertzman a professor in SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM) will respond to the presentation before moderator and professor Sean Markey (also in REM) opens the conversation to the audience. Title: Are We Managing BC Forests in Ecologically and Socially Responsible Ways? When: February 21, 2018 7-9pm Where: SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1400, 515 West Hastings Reservations: This talk is free and open to everyone. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. ReserveMySeat...