Tuesday, November 16, 2010

End 2010 with (sir)rogates and Foldy Books of Death

Julian Forrest: (sir)rogates
Ian Forbes: Foldy Books of Death
November 25 – December 18, 2010

Opening reception: Thursday, November 25 from 7-10 pm
Ian Forbes artist talk: Saturday, Nove
mber 27 at 2 pm

Well, 2010 is quickly coming to a close that means it's time for our last exhibitions of the season - and a couple of great exhibitions we have...

In the Main Gallery we are excited to exhibit one of our very own local artists, Julian Forrest. Julian is a professor at the University of Alberta and maintains his studio on site at Harcourt House Art Centre.

His exhibition, (sir)rogates, presents a playful yet poignant look at masculinity and issues that arise in migratory oil-rich centres, like Edmonton. It offers viewers a chance to contemplate Alberta’s continually evolving landscape.

This is the first time this body of work will be exhibited - so check it out.

Gracing the wall of the Front Room Gallery, Harcourt House Art Centre presents Ian Forbes. Although Ian currently resides in Vancouver he has some meaningful ties to Edmonton as an MFA grad from the University of Alberta.

Ian brings to us a body of work that began “almost by accident” in the spring of 2008. The Foldy Books of Death (FBoD) are a series of accordion-style books that string together the random sketches and doodles typically relegated to the pages of a sketchbook.

The FBoD's
are loaded with much to explore, which you can do on Saturday, November 27 at 2 pm while sitting in on Ian's artist talk.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodbye Neil, Hello David

Well, Neil's last show is up and he is teaching his last class as our Artist in Residence. We turn another page in Harcourt history. We all want to express our sincerest thanks and good hopes for the future to Neil. He has been a joy to have around. We will truly hate to see him go. I hope he does pop in now and then to let us know what he's up to and maybe keep his hand in and teach a class or something.

On the other hand it is time to welcome David Janzen. Last Thursday David mentioned that he felt he was following in some pretty big foot prints. I am sure he will be just as successful as Neil. David will make his own substantial marks in the Harcourt soil.

Unfortunately the Visual Arts Alberta Association has seen fit to not collaborate with Harcourt House in the Annual Art Auction and Gala. Therefore, we are rethinking our annual fund raiser out of necessity. At the moment we are thinking it will be in the spring some time. Stay tuned for more information about that.

Anyone who was thinking of making their usual annual donation will still be welcome and the donations will be matched by the Alberta Government's Community Spirit program. Of course tax receipts will be issued for all donations. Those who usually donate works of art can hold off for a little while. We have very limited storage space. We will be in touch with the usual people to let them know when the Harcourt fund raiser will take place.

In the meantime, everyone come out and see Neil's show as well as Duncan Johnson who's work also merits a close look.

I hope everyone has a great autumn and I hope you will be able to visit here a little more often.

Derek Brooks
Executive Director
Harcourt House Artists' Run Centre

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Art Saves Lives

Art Saves Lives!

Something that I personally feel very passionately about is the overall effect that art has on people. Whenever someone makes a comment that art is not important or frivolous or is “O.K. for those who have lots of spare time on their hands”, I begin to wonder why these people are so broken. Art, and I mean all of the arts, is not a spare time thing that is for the idle. Art is primal and goes to our very soul and defines who we are. Art makes us feel better and gives us purpose.

The healing qualities of art have become recognized so that hospitals now include it as an important part of their programming. The University of Alberta believed it was so vital that there was a gallery incorporated in the design of the original building.

Art has been found to be a very important factor in dealing with underprivileged youth. Since art can be what ever one wants it to be and there is no right or wrong it can be very useful in building self esteem in those who may not have had a very nurturing home life or a life where parents may have been absent for a good deal of the time. If you can teach a young person to gain attention by picking up a paintbrush or a guitar rather than a knife or a gun we all win. And, I know from personal experience that this is very possible. I have personally witnessed a child turn from a disruptive troublemaker to a budding Vincent Van Gogh in the time it takes to fingerprint someone. Often all they need is someone to tell them that their activities are worthwhile.

How many potential gang members have become musicians or dancers or visual artists? You can see the talent in the streets. The rappers, and the hip hoppers are everywhere. They are doing what we all yearn to do. They are expressing themselves. They need to let out emotions that in many cases can be extreme. On the other hand how many never had the opportunity. How many fathers thought that their son would become a sissy if he took dance lessons? How many mothers worried that their child would never be able to feed itself if they went to art school rather than welding school or law school? How many kids with spray cans have we put in handcuffs rather than enrolled them in a legitimate art classes?

Self-expression can take forms that cause many people to cringe. When you live on the edge your art will tend to be edgy. Usually the only direction they need is to be shown the difference between edgy and destructive, or self-destructive. Often, but not always, the art that flows will become more socially acceptable, at least to the point where nobody gets hurt.

Art has not only emotional healing qualities in the long run it can prevent serious physical harm. Anyone who tries to diminish the importance of art has no understanding of what it actually is. The future will be one where we recognize the real contributions that art makes and capitalize on them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bye-Bye to Summer

Actually, we're still trying to pull a few more weeks out of the summer-sunshine, but not the summer staff. We have to head back to art school. Geri and myself, have had a great time here at Harcourt House and we wouldn't have been able to do it without the awesome staff and volunteers. So here's our little goodbye note for having us and for being so great.

Maegan R. Mehler
Special Events and
Marketing Coordinator

Monday, August 30, 2010

12 Point Buck and Jenny Keith!

It's opening reception time again, and I for one, am very excited for both shows.

Jenny Keith, our very own local artist, will be showing You and Me and Everyone We Know in the Front Room Gallery. Jenny's interest in animals and people is represented in a whimsical fashion with acrylic, oil and beeswax. She dedicates this show to her hometown of Edmonton.

12 Point Buck will be presenting us with Wild, Wild Life in the Main Gallery. A duo which formed in Lethbridge back in '07, who examine nature, society and all the yearning that comes along with it. They will be creating an installation that explores these ideas in hopes that we can better understand our daily realties and our larger social responsibilities.

September 9th to October 14th
Opening reception: Thursday, September 9 at 8-10pm
Artist Talks: Opening night, Thursday, September 9 beginning at 6 pm

Both shows should be a real treat. If you would like three scoops of ice cream instead of just two, come to Harcourt on Saturday, September 11th for 12 Point Buck's Wild Life Sketch Club!! What time you ask...from 12-2pm. What do you need to bring you say...Yourself and some sketching materials! You'll be in the wilderness of the Wild, Wild Life exhibition merrily sketching along side the 12 Point Buck crew. The best part about these treats, is that they're completely FREE so bring yourself and all the cubs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Camp is over...

Geri and the kids had an awesome time at summer camp! Now that it's all finished, we thought we'd share a few more photos with you. The fourth camp was aged 12-15. They did neat projects similar to the other three camps, but Geri mixed things up and made them a bit more challenging. Just a few of the cool things they did were; abstract colour theory paintings, blind contour drawings, and collages that they used as reference for their Surrealist drawings. All and all, it was a super-fun summer! Thanks to all the parents and kids who made it out. We hope to see all of you back next summer.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Derek's thoughts...

It is hard to believe but we are beginning to run at our annual art auction again this year. As always we will be looking for art and artists who would like to help us out with donations of work to make this years auction a bigger success than ever. It is our big fund raiser of the year and we hope to make it especially splashy this year. This year due to some funding cut backs we will have to make a particularly big effort.

Of course there will also be a need for a small army of volunteers to keep things running smoothly, God bless them all. Of course we have until November to put all of this together but in my experience 3 months is not a terribly long time to plan these sorts of things.

Our current shows are very cool and you only have until August 28 to catch them! The Opening of "12 Point Buck" with Chai Duncan and Leila Armstrong will be opening on Sept. 8 proves to be just as exciting! Come to the opening night and take in the festivities.

I hope I will see you all there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Security, Control

Hi Everyone!
It's been a little while since our last blog, but boy have we been busy. The members show has come and gone. We made the gallery all nice and pretty, had DRAW and then set up Sylvia Ziemann and Paul Bernhardt's work.

Draw was a great success. The gallery was full! We even had to bring out our wheelie computer chairs so people had somewhere to sit. It was really nice to see so many people who had never been to Harcourt House before.

We also thought we'd post a few photos from the opening reception for Sylvia Ziemann's Home (In)Security and Paul Bernhardt's Control. They are both great shows with Bernardt's largescale paintings and Ziemann's video and sound based installations. So if you haven't had a chance to see them yet, hurry! You only have until the 28th of August. (Holy moly, the summer is really flying by.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Exquisite Corps pre-DRAW

This drawing was so funny, I had to make a little post for it.

For those of you out there who either don't know of, or have never participated in an exquisite corps drawing session, let me explain a bit about it. First you find some cool people to draw with, then you take one sheet of paper and fold it into three sections. You can pick a theme, a word, or a figure to work from. The lovely ladies from the Visual Arts Association of Alberta (who we just so happen to share our third floor living space with) offered to help me get some examples ready for our big DRAW event this upcoming Saturday. They used me as their model, each with a section of their very own. Sharon had my bust, Jaye had my torso, and Brittany had my legs! Exquisite Corps works kind of like this...the first person draws their section then folds it over so the next person can't see what they have just drawn. After each person has finished their section, they take a few lines and peak them over the fold so that the person who will be drawing after them, has a starting point. The second person repeats and does the same. Then when the third person finishes their's, you open up all three folded sections and TADA! A beautiful, sometimes strange, and always funny exquisite corps drawing!

Sharon, Jaye and Brittany's drawing actually turned out surprisingly normal, and it was the first time any of them had tried it!

I decided to post another example of an exquisite corps drawing. I'm not sure who's it is because I borrowed it from the internet. I also have no idea what they used for a theme, but it shows how weird these drawings can get.

If you haven't tried this cool drawing collaboration, come to Harcourt this Saturday anytime between 12pm and 5:30pm. We'll be doing it, plus lots of other neat drawing stuff.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There are Happenings, happening!

When we said tons of great things happen at Harcourt during the summer, we really meant it!
The next week is jammed packed starting this Saturda
y, the 24th. The event is DRAW, and it's all about showcasing the three Artist Run Centres in Edmonton, plus FAVA. From 12-6pm at Harcourt House you can take part in some exquisite corps and life-drawing sessions with two models, one clothed and one not-so-clothed. At SNAP from 12-6pm you can do print making, (which is way cool), and if you've never taken part in the art of print making, there will be nice people who know what they're doing to help you along. The evenings escapades will roll on through from 6pm - midnight at Latitude 53 where you can collage, dance, and drink. FAVA will also be kickin' it, doing some really neat scratch animation! It's basically going to be a really cool day and a super fun night. We should all be there. http://www.latitude53.org/draw

Next up, Harcourt's very own Artist Talk and Opening Reception!
From July 29th-August 28th, Sylvia Ziemann and Paul Bernhardt will be showing in the Main and Front Room gallery spaces.

Ziemann is a multi-media and sculpture based artist from Saskatchewan. Her show, titled 'Home (In) Security', explores our tendencies to turn our homes
into utopies that we allow to be haunted by the outside world through virtual means.

Bernhardt is a local artist who does large scale paintings based on landscape and structures of the contemporary environment. His abstracted compositions are drawn from seemingly banal elements; parking lots, tollbooths, billboards and fences, which he reinterprets in rich, electric colour.

And remember, there is always more information on our
website, just incase.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer is always funner with Art!

At least that's what the folks at Harcourt think.
Our summer Art Xpressed youth camps are in full swing! We have four five-day camps for youth ages 7-11 and 12-16! Geri, our Summer Camp Coordinator is busy teaching the kids really cool things like... how to make figures out of clay, how to screen print t-shirts and cards, paint like the oh-so wonderful Jackson Pollock, all about the colour wheel, and tons of other fun stuff. They even get their very own art show on the last day!
I must say, I wish we had a camp for kids my age.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Four more Days of Elemental Titanium

Elemental Titanium is our 22nd annual members show and sale and has been up since the 18th of June! It's coming to an end the 17th of July, which is this Saturday. So if you haven't made it up to see the show yet, you should try. It is a great show with over 200 pieces including sculpture, painting, prints, and photography. Above are some peaks at the show from our opening reception.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well hello there Mr. Blog, we are Harcourt House!

Harcourt House is an Artist Run Centre, with loads going on, and we've decided to join in on all the blogging fun that has been happening. So stayed tuned for all the cool things we will be posting. From our Art Xpressed summer camps to our Artist in Residence, special events to exhibitions...we would like to get to know you, and for you to know us too!

First we should say a summers-day hello, and maybe introduce ourselves.

This is our lovely building! We live up on the 3rd floor along with our two gallery spaces. It also houses artist studios which we rent out, and so does our second building, which we like to refer to as the Annex. We also have various classes and drop in sessions, as well as Youth Summer Camps in the Annex.
You can check out our website for all of the juicy details. www.harcourthouse.ab.ca

Oh, and here is our little gang! We look forward to many blogging adventures with you in the future. Toodles for now.