Great Public Art

Most public art gets lost in the environment, but every so often, one leaves an impression. Case in point, The Merchant Mariner Monument in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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ABOVE: Merchant Mariner Monument, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Unveiled in 2016, the Merchant Mariner Monument is a great addition to the waterfront of Sydney, Nova Scotia, and an impactful memorial to the 12,000 men and women who served in Canada’s Merchant Navy during WWII.

Set against the harbor, the sculpture blends well with its environment, and does a good job of conveying the dangers of serving your country – even as a civilian. One in seven merchant mariners lost their lives during the war, but, if you were left stranded like the sailors above, your chances of survival were much less than that. Looking at the sculpture and realizing the men in it were likely doomed, really hits home. Some of Canada’s biggest sacrifices occurred off the battlefield.

Although they suffered a casualty rate greater than the Canadian Navy, Army or Air Force, veterans of the Merchant Marine were denied benefits and official recognition until the 1990’s; memorials like this came even later. Fortunately, their sacrifices are now being recognized. If you’re ever in the Sydney area, you should pay a visit.

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My Social Media Accounts

I’m feeling lazy today, so I thought I’d include some links to a few of my social media accounts. I’m not as active as I used to be, but I do post semi-regularly.

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Instagram

Probably where I’m most active. All pics are my own unless otherwise noted.

Facebook

I enjoy going through my feed, but rarely post about myself. I share things of interest, and my weekly blog post.

Twitter

Same as above.

Google Plus

Same as above.

Pinterest

I rarely create a new board. I mostly share images from my Instagram account and my weekly blog post.

Linkedin

I used to get involved in group discussions. Now, I just share my weekly blog post.

Art Galleries I’ve Visited this Summer

Whenever I travel, I make every effort to visit all the art galleries a city has to offer. Here is a quick review of the spaces I’ve visited so far this summer.

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ABOVE: Josiah McElheny, Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism, 2007, hand-blown mirrored glass, low iron and transparent mirror, metal, wood, electric lighting, 94.5 x 92.2 x 92.2 inches (as seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

BELOW: The courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

After spending countless hours in larger galleries, it’s nice to enter a small space, look at some cool art, then go on with your day. This place, although small, contains a tightly curated collection of Canadian art (no big names, but lot’s of good stuff ) and is located right in the heart of the city. If you’re ever in Charlottetown, and have less than an hour to kill, I highly suggest you go.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Although not as small as the Confederation Centre of the Arts, this centrally located art gallery is also easy to see in a short period of time. It has a great selection of Canadian art in it’s permanent collection, and the space for a few temporary exhibitions as well. There aren’t a lot of big name artists on display, but, as is often the case, that’s actually a good thing.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

This space is huge and it’s collection is expansive. Be prepared to spend the better part of a day roaming its many galleries. Whether it be contemporary art, or the work of the ancients, this museum has something for everyone. Some big name artists as well.

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts

One of the coolest galleries you’ll ever visit. The museums courtyard (pictured above) is absolutely stunning, but the rest of the building is creepy as shit. Believe me, you’ll feel like you just stepped onto the set of a horror movie when you enter this place (in a good way though). The art could be better labelled, but it is exceptional, and the non-traditional way in which it is presented is a big part of the experience. Like the MFA above, there are some big name artists here. Unlike the MFA, it’s easy to navigate.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts

I love contemporary art, so I was super excited to visit the ICA. I’m really glad I did because the art in it’s temporary and permanent galleries is awesome. Many of the institutes recent acquisitions are by female artists, or artists of colour.

Things I’ve Learned

By no means do I have all the answers, or even my fair share of them. That said, here are a few things I’ve figured out since I began taking the production and marketing of my art seriously.

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ON MONEY

You may have to pay to show your work.

You may have to pay someone to sell it.

Even though most artists don’t make much money, there are people who make money off of artists.

ON VALIDATION

Rejection letters come with the territory. Try not to take it personally, because it really isn’t.

It’s okay to never win an award or grant.

It’s okay to sell very little, or nothing at all.

Don’t be jealous of others success. Be happy for them, and focus on your own work.

ON CRITICISM

Be open to it.

People will offer it whether you ask for it or not.

Don’t take offense. Think about it, then decide if you’d like to implement it or not.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

ON BEING GENUINE

Your art should be a reflection of you and your personality, not a current trend.

People who know you should be able to see ‘you’ in your work.

Make the work you want to make even if it means you’ll never be represented by a gallery, or able to make a living off of it.

You can’t control how your work will be received, so stay true to yourself, and let the chips fall where they may.

Theft at the Museum

In less than two weeks, I’ll be heading to Boston, and once there, I’ll be sure to stop by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, site of one of the world’s biggest art thefts.

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ABOVE: Johannes Vermeer, The Concert, circa 1664, oil on canvas, 28.5 x 25.5 inches

BELOW: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633, oil on canvas, 63 x 50.4 inces

Established in 1903, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a must see for anyone visiting Boston. In addition to works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Titian, the museum is perhaps best known for a theft that occurred on March 18, 1990. On that day, thieves made off with an estimated $500 million worth of art.

In total, thirteen pieces were stolen, among them Vermeer’s The Concert, and Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (both can be seen in the photos above). It is believed that the stolen artworks were specifically targeted as some of the museums more expensive pieces were left untouched. Who stole the work, and their motive for doing so, remains unknown.

Despite a reward of $10 million, no one has been apprehended, nor any of the artwork returned. In place of the stolen masterpieces, hang thirteen empty frames. Hopefully, some day, they will be filled.