I hope the community comes out for that weekend. There is a People’s Choice as well quite generously sponsored by Blenz and Opus, $200 cash and a $50 Blenz card, and a $100 gift card from Opus Arts and Framing.
The last few months have been taken up with Westside Culture Days, as well as work for Comic-Con and Gallery Odin. What is Westside Culture Days do you ask? Well, sit right down and I am happy to tell you!
Westside Culture Days came about because I am a big believer in community and I have been trying to think of a way to get artists and businesses to work together under one umbrella. In my book Art & Money, I talk about the benefits of businesses and artists working together. In the spring, my friend and fellow artist Vera Peltonen posted up a poster for an event she was involved in in Michigan.
I was immediately captivated by the possibilities here. The complaints normally heard on this side of the lake is that it is so spread out being about 20 square km, there are so many strip malls, so many business, so many failing because of the high cost of rent. Artists and creatives have no recourse for renting because of that rent and are pretty much invisible. Not only that but there are two governments on this side, both the Westbank First Nation (WFN) and District of West Kelowna (DWK) who don’t really get along. People live on WFN land and work on DWK land, and vice versa.
I thought wouldn’t it be great if this type of event could happen on this side of the lake? Wouldn’t it be great for the artists and cultural entities work together with businesses to go beyond the governmental problems? So it got me thinking …. Culture Days is coming up in September, it is May …. there is tons of time.
I approached my friend Melissa Brown who owns the Blenz here on the Westside. We talked about it, and she said that even if it just happens in her coffee shop, she is happy to participate. Then I went to talk to my friend Tracy Satin who is the Cultural Manager for the Westbank First Nation Sncəwips Heritage Museum. She was excited for the possibilities too. So we all made a plan. I went and talked to Bob Kusch with DWK who supported the idea, as well as Karen from Greater Westside Board of Trade. Tracy assigned Coralee Miller within the WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum to work specifically on this project. Melissa talked to her many customers, also local business people, who got excited and many were able to grasp the vision and the passion.
Now, our locations for Westside Culture Days are WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum, Westbank Shopping Centre, Dogwood Nursery, Main Street Westbank, Snya?tan Shopping Centre, Okanagan Landing Shopping Centre, Volcanic Winery, and more being added as businesses hear about it and artists talk about it. The landlord for Westbank Shopping Centre gave all the empty spaces and the use of the parking lots for free, we just have to get insurance for those three days to be able to use the empty spaces. I hope other landlords join in on that principle! Way to support your tenants Bentall-Kennedy!
We called it Westside Culture Days so that there is no differentiation between governments of WFN and DWK but included Westbank and West Kelowna as entities. We are a community and that is the focus. Below is a snapshot from the Westside Culture Days website, but you will probably hear more about this as time goes on. Small updates not yet published on that website are the inclusion of the Food Bank and the local Hockey teams.
The first press article… don’t you just love that sublimal and serendipitous ad … “Just got better” at the bottom?
Culture Days is a cross Canada cultural fair on Sep 26, 27 & 28. http://www.culturedays.ca. This event encourages creatives of all types and the public to interact in various ways some of them inventive and unusual. If you can think it, you can do it!
The Westside is a mix of very impersonal strip malls with many businesses scattered throughout the area and many spaces are empty. For this one weekend it could be very exciting to see the businesses cross the line of culture to participate in a very active way on this weekend. Some already are involved, and this could be a way for them to highlight it in a very visible way.
FOSTER appreciation and support of the artistic and cultural life that is lived, created and expressed across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas alike;
PROMOTE direct interaction between creators and citizens, as a key to increasing understanding and appreciation of art and culture; and
AFFIRM that every citizen is the guardian of the cultural life of his or her community.
Culture Days believes that every individual — regardless of age, location or experience — has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture.
Culture Days also believes that the arts and cultural sector makes a vital contribution to the economic and social development of Canada and contributes to the overall health of the country.
People who had never participated in the arts before found it exciting and rewarding, finding a side of themselves they did not think existed. To us, that is what Culture Days is all about.
-Pam MacKenzie, Consolidated Artist Group of 7s (North Bay, ON)
I will transcribe your story and become your second witness. The recording, whether audio or written, is the first and the act of recording validates whatever it is you say. When you record or write, consciously think about this as you go through the process.
If you choose to do an audio recording, I will be transcribing – writing the story for you. Your name is not important unless you choose it to be, but your story is. I feel that there is healing in this process and there will be a healing and compassion in the process of my transcribing. There is healing in telling the story and healing in writing the story. When I do any transcribing, I always say a little prayer for each person regardless of what was done or received.
The show itself would look like this. Part one would be the visual: Everyone’s story, printed out, papers, 8 1/2 x 11 would cover the walls of the art gallery, all through the art gallery, everywhere. You wouldn’t be able to get away from it. All of your stories. All double spaced stories. Part two would be the recorded audio: Stories would be told on continuous loop, all stories one after the other, different people talking, in various places throughout the gallery. Part three would be recordable audio: There would be places for people to record their own stories if they have not already or to add if they already have. Part four would be tactile: there would be a place for them to write their own stories. Part five, and the most important: the people who come in to the gallery become the witnesses, the validations of all these stories. That validation creates connection, understanding, empathy and compassion. There might be a part six, which would be people in the gallery telling their stories in person.
I believe that there are many in the community who share the same experiences. Maybe in others seeing and hearing what is said, there will be healing in them too.
This is all anonymous. No identification. You would need to give permission to have your stories used in a public setting, but this would be implied by the very fact of submitting it. I am thinking that a book could also come out of this, because there is something empowering by seeing your words in print. This I can tell you for sure.
It’s about healing, partnerships and compassion. We can do this together. I believe it is the only way.
As of the beginning of June 2014, I’m a blood donor with 57 donations. I started donating blood when I was around 18 or 19, I can’t really remember – early 80s anyway. I can’t remember why I started except that it seemed to be the right thing to do – this was before the Jackie Chan ads but I do know his message was my thoughts. I took some time off of donating while in the Air Force, children and such and iron deficiency problems which still plague me today, but this last issue is counteracted by taking an iron supplement. I try to give a minimum of four times a year if I can. Even after these many donations I can’t stand the needle, I can’t stand to look at it at all, and have to take a deep breath when it’s going in.
Giving blood is something our family does. Our two daughters also started donating when they turned 18, and our son might be coming in soon too. I guess the philosophy of giving is that it’s a direct, impactful and easy way to help our fellow man. To make it fun and interactive, we have races to see who is the fastest in donating. It’s not like we have any control over it or anything, but it makes for some fun conversation. My husband Chris usually beats me though as my average time is around 7 and his is 6. My fastest time is just over 4 and a half minutes. I either drank a lot of water that day or the nurse hit a gold mine of a vein!
Excerpted from Word for Word: A Prairie Voice, 1996:
Venerated Prairie author W.O. Mitchell, 82, left a hospital bed in Calgary, where he is being treated for prostate cancer, and traveled to Winnipeg last week to address the annual meeting of the Writer’s Union of Canada. Some highlights:
“Death and solitude justify art, which draws human aliens together in a mortal family, uniting them against the heart of darkness. Humans must comfort each other, defend each other against the terror of being human.”
“All artists make or create, and the result is an important ingredient in the receipe for culture, for they are the bridges and patterns which connect us, which create human solidarity.”
“Artists, philosophers, historians know that man is a finite, warm sack of vulnerability and because of this knowledge they do have an unfair advantage over politicians and generals and quarterbacks.”
I was given these quotes from a gentleman who came to the Summerland Art Gallery Philosopher’s Cafe, where I was presenting with David Korinetz and Linda Lovisa. It struck some amazing chords within and it says everything about arts and the humanities and being human. Those who are in business should take note that they can not fail by championing the humanities, because it is what makes us who we are.
I get the feeling that artists are finally willing to stand up for themselves and not be bullied or “shamed” (you expect to be paid? but this is for charity!) in to donating their art, and I think that they would almost jump at any effort from non profits and businesses actually respecting their work as a valuable commodity… obviously it is valuable enough that their work is constantly requested for a silent auction or other fundraising project.
This is a problem that I feel personally invested in, and I’m trying to establish a win win scenario for all involved. I think I have found a way it can be done
It’s been a common goal of many businesses that they become more involved and invested in their local arts and culture. At the same time, I am suggesting that the non profit approach the idea of art in silent auctions or art in their fundraising schemes, in a different way. Here it is: they ask their favourite business to choose their favourite artist(s) and buy an artwork from them, then donating that work to their charity.
What would be the benefit to the business and the charity? Bragging rights of donating, bragging rights of supporting (really supporting as in $$) the local art scene, being able to pinpoint a favourite artist, plus they get their tax receipt for their purchase price from the organization supported by the receipt from the artist (why this is important will be explained in a minute). Because they are invested, they share this with their business partners and customers, boosting the event’s promotion, and the charity gains the exposure it so desperately needs. The artist and the artwork is respected. It becomes important for that business’ donated work to get a higher bid. I can’t see how this would fail. It just needs to be championed and done!
Better than nothing, you say?
There is a misconception that perhaps the artwork was originally purchased by someone and then donated to the charity for auctioning off. Nine point nine times out of ten, this is not the case. Charities who ask for work from artists expect it to be given for free, and we artists are expected to be honoured to be asked. (We aren’t.) Oh, but there is a reserve, and the artist gets paid 50 or 60 or 70% of the money coming in. What does that work out to, really? 50% of 30% of an artwork’s value… you tell me. It’s better than nothing, some people say. I say, artists, hold out for the brass ring, and keep a reserve all right … reserve your work for those who really respect it. There is no one strong arming you, and they came to you. Be the apple at the top of the tree.
Remember the point about a receipt? Canada Revenue also recently changed the guidelines for cultural donations. Quite frankly, it does not do artists or investors any favours. Normally, for cultural institutions such as public galleries, art is not purchased from the artist, it is donated by the artist, and or donated by the patron. The quick and dirty on that new CRA guideline is that artworks considered Cultural Property donated to Art Galleries and such, may be given a taxation receipt, but that receipt must be the value of what that patron paid for it, regardless of how many years ago. So that means is if an Emily Carr, for example, bought by Mr Z in 1960 for 20,000$ is donated to the local gallery, Mr Z will get a receipt for 20,000$, regardless if that Emily Carr was worth 2.5 million today.
Changes such as what CRA did for 2014 really highlights the necessity of creating clean donations. I would not be surprised to see CRA do audits on non profits, and really question why they are giving receipts to artists for their donation of artwork, when their artwork is getting less than 30% of the market value. I might be naive, but I really think there are businesses out there who don’t want to do what was always done, and who are looking at a way to become personally invested in the local art scene, and perhaps support some local organizations at the same time. I’d be interested in connecting with these businesses, so if you are one of them, send me a note.
I seldom use an eraser, and when I do use one, it is at the very end of the drawing session, sometimes even a few days later. The reason for this is, I believe a mark laid is a mark played. The essence of the expression is intact and pure, the lineage of senses and expression maintained. The lack of eraser forces me to be efficient and clean and direct. It is about the honesty of mark making in my practice.
Before the eraser … (please excuse the colour differences, as this one was taken by my iphone during drawing session, and the lights were dim. Interestingly, the colour is more correct in this image than the second image.)
And after the eraser …
The editing is slight, and only because I felt that the drawing was telling me to do it. Sounds strange if you aren’t an artist yourself, but my fellow artists will know exactly what I am talking about. The editing was done three days after drawing session was finished. This work and others are available for sale in my online gallery. This link will open a new window.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty; to provide you with guidance and support; to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
I am once again making an appearance at Opus on Saturday March 22, 10 to noon. This time I will be discussing gold leafing and mixed media. The Opus staff did a far better job of doing the write up, so I will just copy and paste what they have on their website.
Date: Saturday March 22 2014, 10 to noon
Note – March 5, 2014: This demonstration is now full and no further registration will be taken. Thank you for your interest!
Gold Leafing can add a unique and engaging element to mixed media works. Julia will be demonstrating the water gilding gold leafing process on both paper and wood panel, getting them ready as surfaces on which to paint and draw.
Using a variety of art materials, from pens and markers to acrylic and oil paints and mediums, Julia will demonstrate each step of the mixed media process through a number of works in progress.
Space is limited to 30 attendees and registration is required.
Some people are automatic writers; I’m an automatic drawer. I respond with mark making, and it doesn’t always look like what I see. I’ve had clients and friends telling me they see faces and people and angels in my work, and I never really looked until this weekend. There’s quite a few in this one. I’m not sure where they are coming from. This is actually a female figurative nude based on magnificent model Donnalee, 12×16 watercolour paper.
I was asked the other day, who is the artist who should read Art & Money?
Well, I answered, that’s a tricky question. There is no one group who “should” read it, whether beginning, mid or late career. I believe that we can all benefit from many streams of information, and that having read something is superior to not having read it.
The book talks about a lot of areas, and would be good for those who are beginning, as it gathers the information that I wish I knew about when I was first starting out.
This book would have a long shelf life because there are a great many things in the book that take years to develop, and by this I mean items on the cv, and renewed perspective on the biography, as time goes by, and you are active in your career and your community.
The book touches on the media, and how I believe they are interested in their community too, in helping it grow, and expand. It touches on the city – or at least my city – on how those in the cultural departments are interested in helping their city grow, and how the artist can be and is a valuable resource. It describes ways that you as an artist, or a believer in culture, can encourage this kind of investment of your city. This book would help the patron understand what goes on behind the easel.
The book also describes how the beginning, mid or late career artist can interact with charities, giving a number of points of view to do with supporting non profits. The charities would benefit from reading this information to see how they could change or adapt their policies to be more artist friendly. The patrons who frequent charities would benefit because they, as patrons, are interested in the success of their charity, and I believe they wish to see everyone successful. This book would help the patron or supporter understand what goes on behind the easel, and how they could help.
Am I an expert? No, I don’t say that I am. I am just an interested party, and believe in the growth for the good of all. I care enough to say something, and I care enough to believe that artists can take control of their career. This book is for those who believe in culture, who believe in their community.
I will be at Margot Artist in Residence Studio on Saturday October 12th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing. If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note. My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.
The address is:
9533 Main Street
Parking for Margot’s studio is easy and it’s free. The Summerland Art Gallery is located right across from the high school, and you can park directly in front of the gallery. Or you can come around back of the gallery and park in the big parking lot right across the street.
I teamed up with Margot to create a partnership that is mutually beneficial, and promotes the premise of cooperation between artists. Margot has just launched her new Artist in Residence studio at the Summerland Art Gallery, and I have launched the book.
Margot has this to say:
“I believe we each have a unique gift to contribute to society, mine happens to be the way I see the world and how interpret it through my ART. Most artists work in isolation in their studios and rarely come out to share their vision with the exception of exhibitions and even then the interaction of the artist with fellow artists and the community are somewhat brief and limited. Thus I welcome any opportunity to share my vision with other artists and the greater community. Such opportunities however, don’t just appear magically…someone (I, you, we) have to create them and make them happen. That’s why I applaud Julia Trops efforts in writing this book and giving artists an insight on how to make this happen. Thanks Julia and cheers for creating the Okanagan Erotic Art Show event and all the opportunities of networking it provides“.
Thanks Margot, I appreciate that! It is true, we can think and dream all we wish, but it comes right down to doing, and making the magic happen ourselves. The possibilities are endless, and my belief is if we can dream it, we can do it.
I will be at Blenz in Westbank Centre on Saturday October 12th, from 9-11 pm for an Art & Money book signing. If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note. My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.
Melissa Brown and her husband Mike just launched the Blenz Coffee House in West Kelowna this year. It was originally in the shopping Centre near Canadian Tire and Home Depot, but it has since moved into the old Starbucks location near the Landmark Theatres. They have made some excellent partnerships with the theatre, such as a COFFEE and a MOVIE. Bring in your TOONIE THURSDAY ticket stub to Blenz Coffee Westbank Centre and receive a FREE upsize on your COFFEE.
I knew Melissa from her Ex Nihilo days, and I can tell you she loves art. She can talk about art, and she supports artists.
“I am a big believer in the “eat, drink, shop local’ movement and I am always looking for ways to support the local talent and businesses in our community. Having Julia in for a book signing at the coffee shop is just one more way I can support local talent and the community.”
Thanks, Melissa! You are an outstanding example of cooperation and partnership with the arts!
I will be at Gallery Vertigo on Saturday October 19th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing. If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note. My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.
The address is:
3001 31 St. #1 upstairs
Vernon BC V1T 5H8 Canada
(250) 503 – 2297
I am a long time supporter of Gallery Vertigo, and believe in their mission, which is artists helping artists at a very grassroots level. They have an event coming up called Almost Famous which is one of my favourite events in the Okanagan valley. The Call to Artists has just been announced, and interested artists can get the submission form here: online form.
Almost Famous has original artworks created by local artists up in a silent auction, but these artworks have a unique twist in that the artist “copies” or “reinvents” a masterpiece from the past. Considering that Picasso created 58 works based on Las Meninas from Diego Velázquez and these 58 works are all on display at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona (which I saw this spring), these Almost Famous works should not be under appreciated. You really don’t know where our local artists are going to be in fifty years, and if you are lucky enough to be the successful bidder, you might just happen to have a winner in your hands. I contribute two or three each year. These are fun for me, and I always learn something new about the artist on whom I am focusing. It’s a win/win.
I hope to see you there! All the book signings are set up to show the benefits of cooperation and partnering with your fellow artist, or your favourite business.
I’m a fan of Comic Con. I like to get my geek on, and when I was growing up, I’d draw mermaids and angels and all those sorts of things that young girl artists do, when they aren’t doodling about their latest crush. I had a lot of crushes, and a lot of mermaids.
The first time we attended Comic Con, in 2013, we had such a blast! I had no idea there was even an art show, but you know, it should have dawned on me as Comic Con came in to existence because of comics, and comics are art. Having just returned from old and elegant Italy in 2012, and going straight to a popular culture event was the epitomy of visual extremity. I loved every second of it.
When I saw that there was an art show there, I thought I’d like to try it out too. It’s a different subject matter for me, and I knew it would be a challenge, but what the heck, right? Most of my drawings were based on old masters, and had to do with the Game of Thrones, Westeros, or dragons (I’m an Anne McCaffrey Pern fan, as well.)
So I applied and was accepted. It was fun, and maybe I’ll do it again next year.
Earlier this month, my web service provider GoDaddy rearranged a few things for me, and while everything is running much smoother, I have some work to do to get it all up and running as it should. The transition was kind to Livessence, which is now completed, and thanks to Postie, it gets its updates with the emails that go out to the members.
The Okanagan Erotic Art Show is next on the list. I expect it to be up and on its way in about a week or two. In the meantime, I’d like to share what I am contemplating the theme will be for 2014. Steamy, a play on the idea of the beautiful Wellness Spa Resort at Sparkling Hill, and a steampunk influence, is what I am leaning toward. You all know I have some sort of byline so that the artist does not feel restricted in their creative process. Once that is finalized, I will post it all on the Erotic Show website.
I am looking for jurors for the show, so if you have any ideas, do send them along! The process for the jurying will be the same as last year: blind (no names), image + title + artist statement. Yes = 1 point, No = 0 points, and Maybe = .5 point. Artworks with 2 points are automatically in.
I am also looking for sponsors for any amount. If you would like to be involved in any way, let me know!
If you have any questions, I’ll see what I can do to answer them. I expect the Call to Artists to come out Nov/Dec timeframe. Some small changes have been incorporated, and as you know every year I try to make the show better. We had a fabulous year this year, so the challenge has been set before me.
After so many years on Ruby Lane, I have opened up my own art gallery online at http://www.juliatropsart.com. It’s really new, less than a month old, and the works from the residencies in Italy and Spain are available here. Because I am so prolific, it did not make financial sense to keep paying the fees on Ruby Lane, but I will keep that art gallery open for a little while longer, probably til the end of the year, or to mid 2014.
During the transition, send me a note if you are looking for a specific artwork and can not find it.
Payment can still be done the regular way, online through paypal or if you want to call me with payment information, I am set up for that as well. Any questions, by all means, let me know.