Jasper Culture Days 2014

Five years and going strong.  So many ways to bring community together through art.

Starting in early September a partnership with Arts Jasper (celebrating 42 years of bringing art to Jasper stages!) brought some amazing musicians to town.  Christine Hanson, Bruce MacGregor and Andrew Hillhouse filled the Legion for an evening of celtic music, tales and even had some folks up dancing.  Bruce, on the left, Christine in the middle are not strangers to Jasper.  And in the fall of 2015 Christine will return to present her composition commissioned by Arts Jasper to honour the life of Edith Cavell.

Bruce is always full of tales, with a Scottish accent!

A Taste of Scotland

With Culture Days only a few weeks in the future and the volunteer room filling with programs and Culture Days swag and white board calendars being edited on a regular basis…we saw the second lead up event come together out at Pine Bungalows.  Fitting place for a Film Festival fundraiser.  Pine Bungalows owner, Mike Wasuita, has been a supporter of Alberta Film and filmmaking for years.  As an IATSE member he has offered up the Bungalows as a base for all kinds of productions.

The Karvonen family are also no strangers to Jasper.  And what better place to show a documentary on Albert Karvonen made by his daughter Ava than in one of the wilderness locations that inspired his work.  Albert often visited Jasper National Park to film.

Alberta Karvonen

Screening the documentary on Albert produced by Ava Karvonen.

Screening the documentary on Albert produced by Ava Karvonen at Pine Bungalows.

Any evening at Pine Bungalows is a treat and this one did not disappoint.  In attendance for this Jasper Short Film Festival fundraiser was Peter Wunstorf to the left of the easel above.  Peter created a short called ‘Patiences’ that was selected for the Festival.

Alberta has no end to great talents and Jasper has connections for many.  It is unfortunate that Culture Days is only a weekend long…so we cheat.  It’s difficult to get artists to come to Jasper when the entire country is celebrating Culture Days!  For that reason we called on Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail to come do a writing workshop through the Library before Culture Days weekend!

Danielle grew up in a family with a passion for aviation – and she just released her newest book ‘Polar Winds’ on flying in the North.  She did a book signing at the Snowdome Coffee Bar and then a free workshop for a room full of inquisitive writers and wanna-be writers!

And then the countdown was on…less than 7 days to Culture Days…

Time for Marie Helene to bring life to some inanimate objects…the annual puppet making workshop is always a treat for all ages.

These creations were on display during the Community Fair on Culture Days weekend!

One of the key events to come from this weekend dedicated to art and culture…is the annual Raven’ About the Arts Awards.  An evening that has ranged from a black tie affair at The Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre to fabulous gatherings in the Jasper Artists Guild.  This year we had the opportunity to host the event at the Jasper Museum…surrounded by works from the Artists Guild in the Showcase Gallery.  The Guild did a Sketchers crawl on a fabulous fall afternoon and then the day evolved into the evenings awards.

Jasper is a wealth of heritage sites to sketch...and a sketchers crawl for Culture Days!

Jasper has a wealth of heritage sites to sketch…and a sketchers crawl for Culture Days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards were created by Urban Forest Pottery Studios - glass fused photography.

Awards were created by Urban Forest Pottery Studios – glass fused photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And thanks to Jasper's very own engravers...Lucia's Gifts...we have some very nice plaques for the awards too! Thankyou Vera Forabosco for doing these up for us!

And thanks to Jasper’s very own engravers…Lucia’s Gifts…we have some very nice plaques for the awards too! Thank you Vera Forabosco for doing these up for us!

An evening to honour those who inspire, create and share their art …

Watch how they express their work in their own words!

The Fitzhugh also did a very nice writeup of the evening… http://www.fitzhugh.ca/locals-celebrated-at-arts-awards/

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Close the doors on another Raven’ About the Arts Awards Friday night…and open the doors on Saturday morning for Jasper’s FIRST ‘madeforjasper’ Film Festival!!

Starting in April the call went out across as many channels as we could think of…other festivals, websites, friends…and over 35 submissions came into the Film Fest office.  From all over Canada, Quebec, Manitoba, BC…and even one from LA!  Documentaries, dramatic shorts, animation…from nature to comedy…over 14 hours of programs.  And the selection committee watched them all, sometimes twice.  We have a fantastic small town theatre, the Chaba Theatre, that was opened to us to use for one day…6 hours…a big screen!

Having the films, the theatre and even banners on the street were all good…but what about an audience!?  Being the first ever short film fest in Jasper, on a beautiful sunny fall day…lets just say lots of fingers were crossed.  And it worked!  Thank you Jasper and all the filmmakers who came from away…thanks to the volunteers who kept the tight screening schedule tight.

Toddske, from Fort Mac...got away before the day ended...interestingly he was involved in the short Ninjavention.

Toddske, from Fort Mac…got away before the day ended…interestingly he was involved in the short Ninjavention.  Coincidence?

Peoples Choice was chosen by ballot during the day, second choice was Ancestors Calling…and third place was shared by Exquisite Taste and Through Ice and Time.  All of the award winning films and runners up for Peoples Choice will be collated into a BEST OF THE JASPER SHORT FILM FESTIVAL program to travel the region as a fundraiser!

And of course…what is a film festival without the chance to meet the filmmakers and have some fun…dance…

One of the more famous actors to grace Jasper soil...Marilyn made an appearance!

One of the more famous actors to grace Jasper soil…Marilyn made an appearance!

Chad Krayenhoff of Jasper’s blues fusion dance group brought some life to the floor…what better way to get a room of strangers mingling?

And who better to play blues for blues dancers than Jasper’s own Brian Lackey…who was this years award winner for music at the Raven’ About the Arts Awards!

 

 

 

 

 

Mingling at the Jasper Inn!

 

Who knew magic was so much fun!

Who knew magic was so much fun!

Sometimes things can get out of hand…but no filmmaker was harmed in the making of Culture Days!

Daniel Foreman of Groove Soldier Productions...just keeping things in order!

Daniel Foreman of Groove Soldier Productions…obviously making new friends!

Saturday also meant street performers!  This year we found a young man – Ryan Lackey – who we like to think brought the MAGIC to Culture Days!

If you ever need a little magic for your event...give this guy a call!!

If you ever need a little magic for your event…give this guy a call!!

And on the other side of the street!!  Stephen Nelson entertained at the SnowDome Coffee Bar.  (Stephen also takes a lot of the photos we use for Culture Days archives…a couple of years in a row now!)

Sunshine, coffee and music…gotta love Jasper in the fall.

We like to bring the season into the weekend if we can…and scarecrows just seem to be the thing to do for a workshop, to decorate and to entertain!

 

 

 

 

 

A workshop midday by Ann Hoffele was supposed to be for kids…but it soon became apparent that kids in Jasper have no age!   (Ann also offers weekly workshops in all kinds of crafts…ask us about them arts@iotad dot ca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isara arrived in Jasper last week...on time to join the weekend!  She sang at the Raven' About the Arts Awards.  Thanks Isara!

Isara arrived in Jasper last week…on time to join the weekend! She sang at the Raven’ About the Arts Awards. Thanks Isara!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hula Hoops and Drums rounded out the workshop offerings (excuse the pun)!  Matricia Brown shared her love of song and drumming.  Shawna Woelke shared her passion for movement with whoever was brave enough to pick one up!  (Shawna is also this years award winner for dance for her amazing choreography on the hoop.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundog Tours let us put up the Astrodome so Jasper could get excited about the Dark Sky Festival that is just weeks away!  A lot of Jasper residents didnt even know we had a DOME!  Jasper has a lot of well kept secrets :)  but now that over 40 people got to get inside this amazing attraction…the word will get around!  Thanks Sundog!

The Dome was nominated this year for a TIAC (Tourism Association of Canada) award.  It is the only dome (we know of) that has taken the songs and drumming of a Cree storyteller and put that audio track to the visuals of the night sky.  Good Luck Matricia Brown and Sundog Tours and Delphinus 18 Productions – lets bring TIAC notoriety back to Jasper again!  (Delphinus 18’s parent AV production office was a finalist for a TIAC Globe and Mail award in 2008)

And so we come to the end of the weekend…to the most anticipated event of the weekend…the one that started when a young potter told us about an annual fundraiser at her college.  Julie McMath inspired the BOWLS WITH SOUL weekend in 2010.  Simply set out handmade bowls, people choose the one that they like, fill it with soup and keep the bowl for a modest fee to support the arts.  It has been 4 years now…and while Julie and her bowls are temporarily not available (rumoured to be around for 2015!) the artist was chosen for 2014, the bowls were picked up at the Connie Pike Studio in High River Alberta…and soup was had!

In 2012 we took the idea one stop higher and have the public vote on their favourite soup of the night.  The soups are marked with ingredients only…so its fair.  2012 and 2013 saw Mountain Park Lodges’ Riley Black take the Golden Ladle award…two years in a row.  The challenge for 2014 was not only to make great soup…but to unseat Jasper’s two time winner Riley Black.

As the soup was warming I asked Clayton Anderson what the chances were of someone new taking the Golden Ladle from Riley.  Clayton thought it was likely as Riley had made a humble tomato soup.  Well…it was a very good tomato soup…with chorizo meatballs…and again – third year in a row the community chose Riley Black!

Arts Jasper always there to help keep order!

Arts Jasper always there to help keep order!

Decisions Decisions...what the heck...take one of each!

Decisions Decisions…what the heck…take one of each!

Aw...someone brought a bowl from a past year...Julie McMath will always be part of Bowls with Soul!

Aw…someone brought a bowl from a past year…Julie McMath will always be part of Bowls with Soul!

The man who makes Bowls with Soul a wonderfully smooth running event!  Clayton Anderson!

The man who makes Bowls with Soul a wonderfully smooth running event! Clayton Anderson! And thanks Kaitie Worobec too…couldnt have done it without you!

Soup, scarecrows, music, dance, films, hula hoops, drumming, writing workshop, book signing, Scottish music, an Astrodome, awards, new and old friends, puppets, street performers, Marilyn Monroe!  I think that’s it!

We will post MORE photos on our Flickr site, and of course follow us at the JASPER COMMUNITY HABITAT FOR THE ARTS and THE JASPER SHORT FILM FESTIVAL on facebook to see what’s going on next!  Arts Jasper and the Jasper Artists Guild, the Library and the Museum have facebook pages too!

 

If I forgot someone...apologies...we can always add as the memories flow in!

If I forgot someone…apologies…we can always add as the memories flow in!

 

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward!

Yes…I know.  Its an old cliche that usually reads one step forward, two steps back…usually meant for the times when what you are trying to accomplish just seems to be out of reach.

Yes…its true…the new Cultural Spaces building is still under construction…and we have had to cancel shows, re-budget events, decline funds and break some hearts (ours usually) BUT 2014 just keeps getting better.

This years Culture Days funding has come through.  Great stuff coming up…puppet workshops, harvest dancing, Raven’ About the Arts Awards, A FILM FESTIVAL!! and the ever popular Bowls with Soul! (Check out this year’s potter for bowls with soul!  Connie Pikehttp://www.pikestudios.com/Pike_Studios/Dinnerware.html )

Check out her glaze names...Earth Spirit, Morning Mist, Maple Syrup and Alberta Gold!

Check out her glaze names…Earth Spirit, Morning Mist, Maple Syrup and Alberta Gold!

Last years theme was that of ‘Gypsy’ as we were homeless…this year we are still homeless, but, kinda likin’ it!

Where to start with an update…I hope you are one of our facebook followers as that is a daily way to watch what’s going on.  (on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jasper-Community-Habitat-for-the-Arts/187132354657836?ref=hl )

If not, here’s the low down:

The Jasper Short Film and Media Arts Festival

JSFFJasper’s first ‘made for Jasper’ Film Festival.  Submissions are open now through to August 15. Details on how to submit, application form and rules are at http://www.jasperfilmfestival.com . BIG thanks to Alberta Culture for the Culture Days funding…no application fee THIS YEAR!  We have three awards…emerging, established and peoples choice films.  Prizes are pretty FREAKING AWESOME!!  A weekend in Banff during their world famous (we are never sure if we should be jealous of Banff’s great film festival or thrilled that such a great event is only 4 hours away!!  Lets go with thrilled!)…so where was I…oh yes…A NIGHT at the Fairmont Banff Springs and a day pass to the Banff Film Festival!  Get your films submitted!!  And please…consider coming to Jasper for the day of…both the Mountain Park Lodges and Best Western have allocated some rooms for discounts that weekend…ask us for details!  arts@iotad.ca

On Saturday Sept 27th a full day of films with run at the Chaba Theatre in Jasper.

The day will start with a Premiere showing of ANCESTORS CALLING from our neighbours to the north who have a great history of publications including films and books!

Ancestors Calling Cover_2014_low res

For media art lovers we will have Gary James Joynes in Jasper presenting PEREGRINATION.  A live cinema work reflecting on the nature of sound and its visual and material nature. A meditation on Joynes’ visual experimentation using historical scientific instruments and anachronistic musical technology. PEREGRINATION combines compositional sound elements and improvisational use of recorded footage of live play of the wavedriver machinery he uses to create in the studio.

Gary James Joynes
Gary James Joynes, also known by his performing moniker Clinker, has been active in the electronic and experimental music performance community for years. He has more recently embarked on a broader artistic exploration using his analog synthesizers and custom made machines to create visual sound as photograph/drawing/sculpture hybrids along with immersive and unending installation environments for reflection and a deep listening experience.

https://vimeo.com/62593278

The day will be followed by an evening at the Best Western Jasper Inn and Suites with an industry and filmmaker meetup with guests from the industry as well as entertainment.

AND to help fund all this we have a raffle ongoing in Jasper…tickets at the Fitzhugh office and the Video Stop. A dinner for 4 at Syrah’s Jasper…a dinner you cannot buy as Chef Munn will be creating a special menu for the lucky winners!  And executive seating and swag at the Festival…

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Arising from the Film Festival news Jasper’s Laura Campbell has taken her concept of collecting ‘Jasper Stories’ one step higher.  The idea was that – for the 50th anniversary of Jasper’s Marmot Basin and Jasper Skytram – stories by the folks that made those places possible would be collected for fun and heritage.  Well…anything fun will eventually lead to a film!

Jasper Stories

JASPER STORIES has evolved into a proposed series of visual storytellers/storytelling.  Details are on line at http://www.jasperstories.com.  Check it out…and its crowd sourcing project page at Indiegogo.  There are some great perks…just for supporting a great idea!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jasper-stories-from-the-mountains

First one in the series is about the two celebrating their 50th anniversaries…the people behind the origins of Marmot and Skytram…but the next one might be about biking in Jasper or hiking or ???  Who doesnt love a good yarn!?

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So

Yes…we have had some set backs…but we sure dont have time to worry about them!

OH Yes…yesterday we received some serious green light funds for this fabulous project!!  CHECK OUT our ARTOGRAPHY page to see what else we are up!  If you are an Alberta artist…let’s chat!

The Alberta Guide to Art and Artists!

http://albertaartspeak.wordpress.com/alberta-artography/

See ya soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Now What

Checking the site

It looks good.  It has been designed to look good.  The floors are perfect for cleaning up after busy workshops…

The patch bays between rooms for tech hookups and communications are done.  The sound proofing in the music room is done…

The industrial plugin is in for the kilns.  The plumbing for the big sinks for washing up is installed…

Now what?

For those of you who have been following this exciting developing cultural spaces building…what now…not much.  Apparently nothing done well is done quickly.  And that statement is not applicable to this building in any way.  There have been some flaws, a few errors in construction.

We get disheartened.  Just this week we had to tell an artist her exhibit planned in 2013 for August 2014 would not be possible.  Heartbreaking news for any artist…and family that have planned time in the Rockies to celebrate the completion and exhibition of a new body of work.

The process of dreaming up a cultural space and programs for engaging as many people as we can is unshakable though.  As we stand in the incomplete facility we can almost hear the chatter and music that will happen there soon.

studio

The studio space for independent study or resident instructors sits eerily quiet for now…but we can almost hear the guitar lessons – we can almost envision the author pulling the doors closed so they can work in solitude on their writing.

pottery with a view

So while the tarps blowing in the wind may be the only sound at the end of the day still…we dream.  Because without out dreams we would be looking for a certain building contractor to hang in the elevator shaft!  KIDDING

As the sign says that is hanging over our desk… ‘Another failure!  Success is imminent!’

See ya soon in this amazing space.

 

 

O manusha khelevan tut

The people make you dance.  (Romani/Gypsy – Said if a place is nice.)

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Wow.  The last post was all about the stuff we were going to do for Culture Days.  And here we are – two months later…ready to tell you the stories of a festival well lived!!

Our theme for 2013’s Culture Days was that of ‘homelessness’ or more romantically…that of being a gypsy!  (we eagerly await – still – the opening of Jasper’s new cultural spaces building) BUT the arts are never really homeless…instead we will think of them as subject to movement, colour, sound and entertainment, like a gypsy caravan!

Marie Helene took the lead again this year with a workshop in puppet making.  Some puppets went on to perform on the street during our day of Street Art…and even welcomed folks to the Raven’ About the Arts Awards night.

Every year, actually every time there are events for community to gather, we try to create interesting events that will entice all ages.  Well, this year we thought that, rather than having the Harvest Dance at the community hall and then go pickup our amazing seniors, why not host the Culture Days Harvest Dance at the seniors lodge and have them invite the community to join in!  And what would a Harvest ‘anything’ be without scarecrows.

Our second year of building scarecrows grew substantially…and the voting was done at the Dance for the scariest, the most recycled and of course…the Jasperiest!

Music was presented by the lovely Ms Monika Schaefer and two fabulous musicians from Tight Squeeze.  The evening opened with The Jasper Dance Program dancers…followed by great food, music, family, dancing…it was quite a party!  (actually we had a hard time shutting this evening down!  They could have danced all night!)

Scarecrows had three categories…Jasper the Bear (now one of our senior community!) awarded Ursula for the Jasperiest scarecrow.

Awards were from Jasper’s artistic community, this image by Judy Gieselman was met with great enthusiasm!

And of course – the Culture Days swag was a big hit!

The week of Culture Days was shared with the schools…they not only designed a few of their own scarecrows – they added to their rock garden and hosted an art exhibition.

cdayskids

Culture Days offers us an opportunity to celebrate all things art…to invite all ages to play, to create as many ways to engage with the public as possible.  So what would a weekend of art be without buskers!!!  Art in the streets…

And while downtown enjoying the sights and sounds of Jasper artists…there was also the opportunity to stop into the Chaba Theatre to take in two French Films, one for the kids and one the big kids!  Les Jour de Courneilles and Les Gamins…thanks to our new partnership with the Alberta Media Arts Alliance and cInaMAGINE Lethbridge!

As we move closer to moving into the new Jasper Cultural Building we are making new partnerships…the new building will hold the Library, the Jasper Artists Guild, L’ACFA’s French Library and the of course…the Habitat for the Arts.

With Saturday afternoon winding down we headed over to the Legion to setup for the annual Raven’ About the Arts Awards!

As folks arrive they are greeted by an unexpected host!  Marie Helene and her puppet characters…

Alan Butler accepts the evenings program…one of two presentations he will be part of this evening.  Alan did receive an arts award for Fine Arts this year.  You can find Alan’s work at the Jasper Artists Guild!

The Raven’ About the Arts Awards is one of Jasper’s key Culture Days events!  Jeremy Derksen was our MC for the evening, Mayor Ireland recited some of his own poetry, the Library’s poet in residence Shirley Serviss graced the stage as well.

See end of story for the poem written just for the awards by Mayor Ireland!

This year’s awards were created by Enzien and Christian of Urban Pottery Designs.  They work in fused glass as well…and just happen to take lots of photographs of the ravens on Chip Lake…making for amazing awards.

Foods were presented by Elizabeth Prinz…a great evening of recognizing all the great art and artists in our community!

Patron of the Year award went to Wayne Kennedy for his amazing community connecting he does for all the orgs in town…making sure we all know what is going on.  He had an important message for us all…regardless of all this social media – we still need to get out and communicate to our neighbours one on one about what we are doing!  Well said!

Check out these artists, eloquently sharing their love of their art… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yf7LA5hnEE&feature=c4-overview&list=UUYc2gpkTFYDws_glNif07pA

Entertainment for the evening – besides our noted poets – was piano by Alys Thomas and guitar by Edwin Richards.

Night Two of Culture Days concluded…on to SOUP FOR THE SOUL!!

This event began 4 years ago when Julie McMath told us about an event from her days at college in Nova Scotia…the ceramics students would create bowls for an event…they would be filled with soup and you kept the bowl.  How absolutely perfect for Culture Days.  She had several students from Dish Pottery School help her create the 100+ bowls that we would need for the night.

In 2013 we changed it up a bit…as Julie has moved out of town – and until our own pottery school is in place – we now call the event SOUP for the Soul…we find misc bowls…you come for the soup which is provided by restaurants in town.  Soups are voted on…and the community awards the soup maker with the most votes the annual GOLDEN LADLE award.  This lovely mini chef is about 2 inches tall, created by Tracy Templeton for us.

soup

If you think soup is a ‘so so’ meal…you will have to come out next year!  Purple cauliflower, boar chorizo, all kinds of veggies and curries and cream and colours.  And yes, our servers were dressed in gypsy attire. The theme this year was ‘homelessness’ – as we await our new building we are ‘gypsies’!  The music on the stage was even gypsy themed as Cam Neufeld and friends treated us to excerpts from the ‘Road to Django’ show.

This event would never be as smooth and successful as it is if it were not for Clayton Anderson and his team at Mountain Park Lodges!

Success!  Another great year of music, food, friends and art.

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And the poem!  By Jasper’s very own Mayor Ireland!

Raven about the Arts

Raven about the Arts pg2

Raven about the Arts pg3

Culture Days AGAIN!!

Next weekend we will once again celebrate all things art…in as many ways and places as we can!

An Afternoon at the Chaba!

Friday evening, September 27 join us for an evening of music and dancing at the Alpine Summit Lodge.  Our elders are throwing a party and we are all invited!   Live music by Monika Schaefer and Friends, with an opening dance presentation by the Jasper Dance School!  Starts at 6:30pm!  FREE (by donation if ya’ got it!)

This year we see the Scarecrow Festival building for a second year…spearheaded this year by the Jasper Chamber of Commerce!  Create a scarecrow and let us know where it is so we can add it to the weekend.  Jasper the Bear will choose the one most ‘JASPERY!’ at the Alpine Summit Dance.

Scarecrows and a Dance!

Saturday afternoon take in one of the two French films being offered by the Habitat for the Arts, L’ACFA, the Chaba Theatre and cIneMAGINE.  The second film for us bigger kids is called Les Gamins.  $5 for Le Jour and $8 for Les Gamins.

Films at the Chaba

Saturday evening join us in honouring the artists of Jasper with the annual RAVEN ABOUT THE ARTS awards night at the Legion 7PM.

Saturday and Sunday watch for artists in streets for the third year!  Music under the trees…

Saturday WRITING workshop at the Library…FREE!  Call 780.852.3652

Friday Saturday and Sunday catch the Open Studio of Claude Boocock!

Studio Tour

Sunday – come join us for a bowl of soup in the annual SOUP FOR THE SOUL event at the Jasper Activity Centre!  Music starts at 6:30 with special guests Cam Neufeld & The Django Collective…what better music for homeless artists and patrons (while we await the opening of new cultural building) that that of the gypsy!

Road to Django!

Watch our facebook page for updates on these events as they evolve!  If you have an idea for an event or wish to volunteer…contact us at arts @ iotad.ca

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jasper-Community-Habitat-for-the-Arts

Puppet making workshops with Marie Helene…First Nations art workshops with Carmen… watch our events page for details

Puppets with Marie Helene!https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jasper-Community-Habitat-for-the-Arts/187132354657836?id=187132354657836&sk=events

Films from the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival… https://www.facebook.com/events/616020878442377/

Films from the Alberta Media Arts Alliance…Prairie Tales presented by the Jasper Library… https://www.facebook.com/jaspermunicipallibrary?fref=ts

I am sure I am forgetting something!  It just keeps getting better…

Slow Art

  Jasper is located in a National Park, and April is the month previous to the busiest time of year for the residents of Jasper.  The opportunity to look at art slowly, to be welcomed into a Museum to look and forget about the hectic world outside was met with great anticipation.  Such unfamiliar territory…

I suggested as the ‘viewers’ arrived that they each take a journal and select one or two pieces from the exhibition to focus on.  The following text is from the journals.

Paulette: I walked into the room.  Bear called.  There was Raven.  Bear called again.  From the centre of my brain he was calling, he was calling and I kept circling.  Then the moon and her phases catch me on the left.  Bloom into dark places where things are born.                  Red chakra bleeds down his legs.                 This bear has no claws. No mouth. Such small eyes – those two can be liars.                  The ears, are the big part, one dark one clear.  No gold here like on his feet.  He stepped in the honey is all.  Sometimes, the sweet things in life are there to slow us down.  Like walking through honey.

 bear  

I am drawn again to the eyes and the frost, the pattern on the face.  I wonder how an artist can ‘contain’ ‘produce’’coax out’…’birth’’vision’…’dream’’pray’ such elegance and not go insane.                  This is not a sculpture.  The inside is hollow hello, it is speaking from the inside.  It’s still moving, I wonder if there is a room big enough for this piece?  I wonder if it will fit under my coat?  He belongs outside? 

(for the full text from this viewer please ask)

                Small remote communities are often full of treasures yet can lack a sense of inclusion that larger arts communities have.  Jasper’s humble ‘small town’ museum has the usual walk through our history displays, high points along the way include famous people who have been here, connections to the rest of the world through world events like war and peace.  AND then it has a beautiful big room for exhibits and gallery showings.  Behind the displays of patronage to the monarchy and institutional colours is a room that the Museum has created for showcasing the art and soul of the region. 

Love Spell by Marla Pollock

Sharon:  Love Spell.  Little child, wings, infinity.  Raven, cosmic joy, moon, freedom.  Love.  The dreams of magic and what the future will hold.  Its all happening, past present future.  This picture for me is about infinity.  At first it was childlike wonder that attracted me to it.  But in the end I felt the whole continuum of life and a sense of wholeness completeness.  Love the colour and the name.  I felt love, the innocence of a child, protective and unemotional.  Lavender moons, feminine energy.

Sharon is the clay artist…if anyone can understand the process of slow…it is a clay artist.  The stages of creating from clay to bisque to glaze to completion is not for the impatient.  Even after working through the winter on her exhibition pieces she finds the time to stop and look a valuable exercise.

Earth Keeper by Sharon Anderson

Sharon:  Earth Keeper, by Sharon Anderson.  Interesting she hasn’t found a home yet.  She looks like stone not so much like Raku.  It seemed to me that the Goddess came from the cup…I didn’t see that before.  The intent is the same as when I created her – but I think I need more introspection – maybe that is why I am taking her home.  This piece seems to be in my life right now in some form or another in conversations.   There is a letting go as you put the piece in the kiln.  Time is very important to my work.

 

                As a curator (not of this show) and observer for the day I imagine the journals of the two artists talking about their own work were the hardest to write.  I find artists are often immediately their own worst critics…but after an hour of sitting with their own creations…

Athena by Marla Pollock

Marla:  Athena, by Marla Pollock.   This busy highly decorative piece appeals to me because of its joyful central figure.  The whole effect of scattered jewels in contrasting colours.  The more you look the more you discover!  The hand turned into bird, the feathers turned into fern branches, the dominant snake come to tempt or embrace Athena?  Do you see the claws, antlered fish, skull, heart, waves, a palm laden with fruit…what was Marla thinking?

 

                Needless to say the lunch after the hour in the gallery gave way to much chatter.  Not only do we seldom spend an hour inside our heads and hearts looking at art…it is equally seldom that we spend an hour in silence.  Recurring themes and thoughts from the morning were obviously very relevant to the subject matter of the exhibit.   The journals overflowed with the ideas of compassion, wisdom, healing, earthy, imaginative, harmony, richness, beginnings, portals, movement, freedom,…playfulness.

                Would an exhibition of more dramatic imagery/black and white photography/or digital media result in a different conversation?

                Would a different group of people have written different journals?  Or does the art have the power to direct the writings?

                Does looking at art slowly change the viewer and/ or the viewing?

                We look forward to next year to have some way of comparing the process.

Yes. We can!

One thing we have learned about running a three week arts ‘festival’…there is no such thing as NO we can’t.  It’s yes time.  All things are possible…all things are subject to change – but there is no NO.

Let’s start with the annual Raven about the Arts Awards.

This year’s funding was a bit less than expected and at least four of our hard core volunteers (and when you have four hard core volunteers you really have eight volunteers!) were going on vacation, a couple had work related issues and some had even moved on to new horizons.  The remaining crew took over the gaps, filled them in or the event was simply changed to work with what we had.  The doors opened, the MC welcomed the full room of artists and art lovers and the night went off without a hitch.

The photos are up on our Flickr site… http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631795067324/

And there is a youtube video where the award winners tell you about their art in their own words.

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The awards night was followed by the third Artists in the Pines weekend with instructor Tessa Nunn.  Sunday afternoon music provided by the Artists Guild with guests The Fiddle River Band.

Visits with the Alberta Minister of Culture and Premier Redford…

Tours through the new cultural spaces…scarecrow building, puppet making, dragon drawing!!  (you really have to check out the photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631630950375/

Wrap that up in a Variety Show of Jasper talent, a community coming together for soup…a photo workshop in the most beautiful time of the year…

So while volunteers can fall victim to jobs…or vacations…Jasperites just seem to be able to bring it together through all kinds of circumstances!

Like the awesome theatre troupe that brought Jasper two nights of live theatre this month.  We heard some back stage jitters about minor nervous stage stumbles or bumbles but unless you had written the script – it was perfect!  Congrats Jasper Theatre Company!

More pictures on Flickr @  http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631795054762/

And in case you are wondering…throughout the photos you can catch our painted skulls and South American theme…well…its 2012.  Yes, it is a year of change.  Jasper’s arts community is getting a brand new building for 2013.  In early 2011 the Municipality of Jasper invited both the Habitat for the Arts and the Jasper Artists Guild to be part of the new Library/Cultural Building presently under construction.   Definitely a time of change!  Culture Days and Arts with Altitude 2013 will be bigger and better with the new dedicated artspaces!

SO

THANKS JASPER.
On to the Yellowhead Arts Festival Spring 2013!!  Another two weeks of art that YOU can be part of.  Ask us how!

jasper@yraf.com