Hamilton Artist Update 18: Heritage Permit Review Subcommittee

Sorry for the long delay, but was sick for the past few days.

The issue facing the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) is whether they are going to step up to the plate and protect designated heritage buildings that speak to a time when Ancaster was known for its mineral waters.

Despite the significant decay of the structure, the Hermitage still sparks the imagination of visitors for a time when we were connected to the land and the seasons. Over the past two months, I have made several drawings (session 1, session 2) of the building over 2-3 hour sittings, and dozens of individuals and groups have told me how much they love the place.

What the HCA is proposing is the demolition of a heritage site that they are responsible for maintaining. A four foot wall does not save any of the designated architectural features. The only reason they are willing save a four foot wall is the cost to demolish completely the building is about the same.

The only thing more outrageous than the HCA proposal is the Heritage Permit Review Sub-committee willingness even to consider their application. The committee’s job is to protect designated heritage buildings, not to ease their path to destruction.

There was very little discussion about how the HCA should change their plans so that Georgian symmetry of the surviving building is preserved, nor saving the remains of second floor Italianate windows, or French windows below that once allowed access to a long gone veranda; nor saving the surviving ring beam that was once supported by corbels.

It appears that the only people on the committee who seem understand the purpose of the committee is to save heritage is Joseph Zidanic and Rebecca Beatty. Mr. Zidanic was particularly effective in pointing out that the HCA has owned the property since 1972 and commissioned many reports over the past 40 years, but they have done little more than quick fixes.

It times for the HCA to set up to plate and start properly taking care of the Hermitage; even if the Board doesn’t consider it part of their strategic mission of watershed management.

(The above comments were first published on the Raise the Hammer website).

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hamilton Artist Update 18 – 24 HRS delay

My weekly review of art and art related activities is being delayed by 24 hours so that I can report on the results of the Heritage Permit Review Subcommittee meeting.  Late Tuesday afternoon (between 5-7 pm) at Hamilton City Hall, Room 264; the Sub-committee will be deciding the fate of the Hermitage Ruins in Ancaster, Ontario.

I should have my posting up by 10 or 11 pm Tuesday, May 27th, 2014.  For immediate results, please check my twitter posting.  I will tweet as soon as I know the results.  You can follow me at @erskinec

Hermitage Ruins, Ancaster (Ontario)
Hermitage Ruins, Ancaster (Ontario)

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

 

Drawing at the Hermitage – Part 2

After a winter of working inside my studio, I just love getting outdoors and drawing or painting from life.  Time pressures and the changing weather conditions creates a certain amount of tension – almost like a game show.  Will he get it done in time?  How bad will the results be?

The other advantage of drawing on location is the people.  I am always surprised by the number of people who will stop and look at your art.  The feedback is always positive, and for someone who works in the isolation of the studio, this is very rewarding.

While it doesn’t show much, here is part two of my efforts to capture the soon to be reduced Hermitage Ruins in Ancaster, Ontario.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Drawing at the Hermitage Ruins (Part One)

Creating art is a very lonely process.  You are usually stuck in a studio for days on end, working on a particularly project.  This is why I enjoy drawing or painting outdoors.  You get to meet so many amazing people, and they love the opportunity to see a work of art being created.

Here is a time-lapse photo session of my May 11th trip to the Hermitage Ruins, located in Ancaster, Ontario.  The Hamilton Conservation Authority is planning to demolish the ruins to a height of 3 feet.  They call it restoration, I call it needless demolition of a heritage designated site.

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hamilton Artist Update 17: Local Bloggers

 

Finding local content can be challenging.  Local bloggers or vloggers that I find impressive in terms of local content are the following:

1.) Raise the Hammer (blog/website)

In terms of original content, variety, and currency, Raise the Hammer now rivals traditional media outlets.  If you are interested in Hamilton issues, then you cannot be fully informed if you are not reading this blog/website.

http://raisethehammer.org

 

2.) Joey Coleman’s Youtube channel

Joey’s provides live and archived video coverage of Hamilton city hall.  Without his coverage of council and the various committee meetings, it would be impossible to know what is happening.  Before Joey’s you were lucky to get one article summarizing a meeting or decision at City Hall.  Now, you can follow the whole debate and understanding why a decision was or was not reached.  Joey’s depth of coverage is unequal and his crowd-source funding is revolutionary in terms of local news coverage.  P.S., Joey is currently fund raising and could really use your support.

 

3.) My 905 Hamilton (Youtube)

This youtuber is extremely quick and dirty, but he or she?? provides regular video updates on almost anything happening in Hamilton.  If you want to see the visuals of what is going on in Hamilton then you must view this Youtube channel.  Don’t expect polish, but this channel may be the closest thing to CNN for Hamilton that we have.

 

4.) Lou Cipher (Youtube)

James Street North deserve more local coverage by CBC Hamilton and the Hamilton Spectator.  However, even local artists and gallery owners have been lacking in social media outlet.  Lou Cipher fills this void with his monthly reviews of Hamilton’s art crawls.  It appears that Lou has been around for some time, but I only discovered him last week. The quality of his output is impressive and a must see for anyone interested in the James Street North art scene.

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hamilton Artist Update 16: Hermitage Ruins

Sorry for the poor sound quality.  First attempt at syncing sound and video.  Racing to put together the video, so lacking text.  Please contact the Heritage Permits Sub-committee and demand that the Hermitage Ruins be fully restored.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Call to Action: Gore Park

On Monday, May 5th, 2014 – the Property Standards for Gore Park will be meeting at 9:30 am in room 264 at Hamilton City Hall.  My understanding this that the Gore Park Buildings will be on the agenda, possibility with the developer.  It is really important to show that the community cares about the Gore Park Buildings.  I know this is short notice and the time of day will be a challenge for most of us, but if anyone can attend the meeting that would be great.

 

Again, call to action for the Gore Park Buildings:

The Property Standards for Gore Park

Hamilton City Hall, Room 264

Monday, May 5th at 9:30 am

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Save the Hermitage Ruins

On May 27, 2014 – the Heritage Permits Sub-Committee will be deciding the future of the Hermitage Ruins located in Ancaster.  The Hamilton Conservation Authority wants to demolish the ruins to a height of 3 feet.

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec