Four Boats, a Bird, and a Red Chair

Sometimes it’s just easier to post pictures than it is to write. This is one of those times.

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Nuit Blanche 2017

This past weekend, I hopped on the subway and headed downtown to take in the latest edition of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. Here is a short review, along with my thoughts.

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ABOVE: Crowds swarm the ‘Toronto’ sign at Nathan Phillips Square

BELOW: The Hendrick’s L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E hot air balloon

Nuit Blanche isn’t for everyone. If, like me, you’re unable to stay up late, you’re going to have to deal with large crowds. If, unlike me, you’re a night owl, you’ll likely have to deal with drunks and miscreants (or so I’ve heard. I’m in bed by 12).

Whatever your sleeping habits, Nuit Blanche can be an interesting way to spend the night, so long as you temper your expectations. This year’s event was a little too heavy on venues requiring long ass line ups, but the corporate art of previous editions was a little less prevalent (one exception being the floating gin ad in Nathan Phillips Square).

One thing this year’s edition had more of was political statements. This should come as no surprise, given the buffoon currently denigrating the office of President of the United States, and the heated political divisions he continues to sow (just had to get that in there). Sigh!

All told, I did enjoy looking at some semi-cool stuff on a beautiful fall night in Toronto. Nuit Blanche isn’t the be all and end all of cultural events, but it can be a nice way to spend an evening (weather permitting).

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.

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.