Monday’s Update for March 24th

Sorry for the delay and the lack of media.  Spent Sunday evening trying to do time-lapse photography of the James Street Baptist Church.  Media that goes along with the text will follow over the next several days.


Monday’s Update for March 24, 2014

A weekly update on my art related activities.  This week:

1.)    Artists should be seen but not heard

2.)    The ice cube that wouldn’t melt

3.)    Demolishing heritage in order to save it

4.)    Downtown Heritage Inventory Project goes to Council

5.)    Other art-heritage news reported in the media


Artists Should Be Seen and Not Heard

New Yorker Critic, Peter Schjeldahl, states that

“…one of the things I tell artists is I don’t want to hear them talk about their work.  I want them to shut up and I will talk.”

(For New Yorker critic, all art is contemporary, by James Adams. Globe and Mail, March 22, 2014 page R2)

In the article interview by James Adams of the Globe Mail (Saturday’s edition, page R2), Scheldahl goes on to say that the Artist’s “mind that produces analysis and explanation is turned off.”

Well, it is great if you get lots of reviews in papers like the New Yorker, Washington Post, or the Guardian, but for most artists, there is nothing but silence.  I wish artists would talk more about their art.  A lot of artists seem to prefer a cloak of mystery.  Somehow, I am supposed to divine the value of their art.

Why do you think the public is so uninterested in most art?  My answer is that we are putting up too many barriers, particularly if the art is challenging.

Once you know something about the artist and what he or she is trying to achieve then you can join the adventure together.

Stephanie Vegh, executive director of the Hamilton Arts Council, recently wrote that…

“Because the work behind art is rarely seen or heard, it’s all too easy to attach value to the creative product alone without considering the hours of training and toil that made it possible.”

(Being an artist is work. Really., by Stephanie Vegh.  Hamilton Spectator, March 14th, 2014).

I completely agreed with her assessment, but holding special events is not enough.  I believe, and the reason for this blog, you must invite the people into the process of creating art.  You need to provide a behind the scenes view of your work and your hopes and dreams.

With the development of the internet and social media, artists have the ability, like never before, to reach out and build an audience for their art.

Hamilton has some very talent people out there and they should be seen and heard.


The Ice Cube that Wouldn’t Melt


How do you capture the passage of time?  As an artist, I am always looking for a way to explore memory, history, and time with regards to architecture and landscapes.  Maybe time-lapse photography would be helpful.  Little did I know the pain and suffering involved?

Beyond the technical challenges of getting my Canon 600D camera to capture these photos and then turning them into a mini-film, this damn little ice cube would not melt!

After setting in a warm kitchen for over one hour, this ice cube seemed almost as good as new.  Next time, I will film a clock.


Demolishing Heritage in Order to Save It


Janice Brown, President of the Durand Neighbourhood Association, is questioning the process for granting the partial demolition of the James Street Baptist Church.

The Permit Review Committee of the Municipal Heritage Committee approved the partial demolition of the heritage designated building, but the decision was never reviewed by the full Heritage Committee or City Council.

Furthermore, public input into the decision-making process was also bypassed.  Given the significant impact on the structure, the decision should not have been left to City staff or to members of a sub-committee.

It was certainly my impression that the decision would go to the Heritage Committee and then be ratified by City Council.  I followed closely the meetings via Joey Coleman’s live-streamed and archived videos.

My concern with the process is the lack of an independent assessment on whether or not the building could be saved.  With that information, we could have had a debate about the options and costs for the future development of the building.


Downtown Heritage Inventory Project goes to Council

After a year of work, the Downtown Heritage Inventory Project goes to Council this Wed, March 26, 2014.

The goal of the project is generate a list of potential heritage designated worthy buildings but to design criteria for reaching that conclusion.

Prior to amalgamation, each community had its own rationale for what buildings went onto the current list.  This project will recommend one criteria for the entire city with additional information on the building.  This will allow Council to make informed decisions on whether a building should be designated or not.


Other News Reported in the Media

1.)    Developer is appealing the heritage designation on the Gore Park Buildings

2.)    Hamilton is looking at promoting the 1836 Chedoke House as a potential site for film production

3.)    The 1870s Gage Park House is to get repair work done

4.)    Council did not support a request to close James Street North to car traffic during the monthly Art Crawls.

The End.

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