VoCA Loves…The Audio Dome at NSCAD

The Audio Dome at NSCAD. Image courtesy NSCAD.

The Audio Dome is a glass, bell-shaped venue for sound art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. It’s located at the north-facing entrance of the Port Campus in the Loggia and is situated approximately 8 feet from the ground allowing the speaker to focus the sound downward for a single listener.

Selected works will be played on a continuous loop for one week. New work will be presented every Monday to correspond with the exhibition schedule at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Works selected for the Audio Dome will be promoted through the gallery’s newsletter.

They are calling for submissions - open to all NSCAD students, faculty and staff, on an ongoing basis. Audio must be submitted on a CD in AIFF or WAV format. Either a hardcopy or digital Word document must accompany the submission and include the name of the artist, title, duration, and short paragraph (100 words max) describing the work.

To submit, please contact cleonard@nscad.ca.

Toronto: Recession Art Show - The Artists Flea Market

Saturday, January 17th and Saturday, January 24th, 10 am - 6 pm.
Board of Directors, Toronto

A ‘real’ flea market in Amsterdam. Image: z.about.com

At a time when everyone - surely - is tiring of the never ending art fairs popping up around the globe, and there is an excess of mediocre contemporary art being produced, it seems the timing is right for galleries to address the situation - and what more perfect way than with a flea market?

This community-based project will involve 10 ‘vendors’ at a time will set up selling art, collectibles, craft, second-hand goods and food items.

Just like a real flea market, you never know what you might find.

Incidentally, “In Relational Art, the audience is envisaged as a community. Rather than the artwork being an encounter between a viewer and an object, relational art produces intersubjective encounters. Through these encounters, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.”

More on the concept of Relational Aesthetics HERE.

It reminds us of Martha Rosler’s fantastic piece, Garage Sale, which was staged in 1973, and which we saw at its re-installation at the ICA London in 2005.

Martha Rosler’s London Garage Sale, 2005. Image: londontown.com



2. KATHARINE MULHERIN: Art, books, toys, furnishings, flowers…

3. JONNY PETERSON: Books, drawings, wood carvings


5. JOHANNA REYNOLDS + SUTTON EAVES: Jewellery, second hand goods, body butter

6. KAREN FRIIS: Hand made neck ruffle accessories

7. SETH SCRIVER: Miniature cell phones, zines, comics, a beautiful overhead projector from the 50’s


9. NEAL KUELLMER: Borosilicate hand blown glass, oil lamps, earring, pendants, beads, necklaces, incense holders

10. HEATHER GOODCHILD: Baked goods



2. ROSS STUART: Maple wood carvings, metal-bodied reso-phonic ukeleles

3. JAMES WILLIAM: Paintings, art books, inkjet printer, homemade fridge magnets

4. CALANTHA MAK: Pottery, photographs

5. HOLLIE DZAMA + DRUE LANGLOIS: Dolls, jewellery, drawings

6. FELISA SHIZGAL: Art, books, toys, furnishings…




10: LAURA McCOY: Zines, oversized buttons to cover half your torso, colourful teeth masks, figurines

For more information, please click HERE.

VoCA Recommends…Puppets for Canada

VoCA would love to see a Canadian cultural institution bring The Puppet Show, on view from Saturday at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, here.

It originated at the ICA at the University of Pennsylvania and will travel next to the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington (May 16 – September 13, 2009). See it if you can!

The Puppet Show poses a larger cultural question: Why do puppets matter now?

Hand puppets made by Paul Klee; in the collection of Felix Klee. The centre puppet is a self-portrait. Image: britannica.com/felix klee

The exhibition takes as a point of departure one of the first episodes of avante-garde art history: Alfred Jarry’s 1896 play Ubu Roi that was conceived as a puppet show. Ubu’s reign continues with the work of the South African artist William Kentridge in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company.

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The Prado Masterpeices: Up Close and Personal

From Art Daily: The Museo del Prado and Google are today presenting the project “Masterpieces from the Prado on Google Earth”, which will allow users to see details invisible to the naked eye of 14 of the Museum’s masterpieces. Las Meninas, Gentleman with his Hand on his Breast and The Three Graces are among the paintings that have been photographed and which can now be seen on Google Earth by activating the buildings layer in 3d and clicking on Prado.

An upclose image of “Descent of Christ from the Cross” by Dutch Renaissance painter Rogier van der Weyden. Image: nationalpost.com

Check it out HERE

VoCA Wonders…Jeffrey Spalding Mysteriously Leaves the Glenbow Museum

Why would curator Jeffrey Spalding, described as “a genius…a guy who actually gets things done and makes things happen” in THIS Globe and Mail article, recently hired to head up Alberta’s Glenbow museum, leave and be replaced so suddenly? With no explanation?

Jeffrey Spalding. He seems a nice enough fellow, no? Image: cbc.ca

It once seemed a perfect fit. Curator extraordinaire hired to revamp one of the country’s largest institutions not currently on the contemporary cultural map (that we know of). The Glenbow comprises a museum, art gallery, library and archives and holds over a million artifacts and some 28,000 works of art in its vast collections.

Also from the Globe: Spalding, 57, came to the Glenbow Museum from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, where he spent five years as director and chief curator. He is well-known across Canada and has been involved in arts and museum circles since the mid-1970s. Last year, he was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada.

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VoCA Recommends…Public Art Interventions in Grande Prairie, Alberta

Here Now or Nowhere
Throughout January 2009
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Presented by the Prairie Art Gallery

Jon Sasaki, The Destination and the Journey, 2007, video still

Here Now or Nowhere and is an exhibition of temporary public interventions taking place throughout downtown Grande Prairie, in Alberta.

Where is Grande Prairie? It’s located 456 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. The population of Grande Prairie is currently over 50,000 people and it’s deemed the second-fasted growing city in the oil and (increasingly culture) -rich province.

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Canadian Artists Abroad: Tim Lee

An exhibition by young Vancouver artist - and 2008 Sobey Art Prize winner - Tim Lee opens at the Hayward Project Space at the Hayward Gallery, London. The show is on from today until Sunday, 8 February 2009.

Comedian Steve Martin. Image: reneeashleybaker.com

In Untitled (Steve Martin), 2008, Lee re-enacts a 1970s stand-up routine by Steve Martin, a comic who once famously informed his audience that his entire act would consist of one joke, repeated over and over until the final curtain.

On Steve Martin’s first comedy album, Let’s Get Small, recorded live at San Francisco’s Boarding House in 1977, Martin says, now famously, “You just can’t play a depressing song on the banjo.”

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Toronto: Mercer Union exhibitions

Street Poets & Visionaries: Selections from the UbuWeb Collection
Craig Leonard: Amusicology
January 09, 2009- February 14, 2009
Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto

January 9, 7 pm: Talk by UbuWeb founder Kenneth Goldsmith.

A work by Henry Darger. Image: cvr.ai.uiuc.edu

This exhibition, billed as “formally striking, emotionally charged and bizarre beyond belief”, includes posters, mad scribblings, political screeds, religious rants, and paranoid raves that expand the notion of the Outsider arts to include the written word.

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VoCA Recommends…Graffitti Art, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, Max Dean and Truck Gallery

1. “Word Up?”: Ghost, Papermonster, Dixon, Omen, Scam and Case.
January 9th - Febuary 1st 2009
Le Gallery, Toronto

A work by Omen. Image: Omen514, Montreal/graffitti.org

LE Gallery and Simon Cole of Show & Tell Gallery are pleased to present this exhibition of work by some of the best - world renown - artists whose primary practice is street based.

For more info, please click HERE.

2. Max Dean
January 8 to 31, 2009
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Reception for the artist: Thursday January 8, 6 to 8pm
Artist talk: 7pm
Saw Box performance: 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 pm

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On Museums…

In light of the recent awarding, to Art Gallery of Ontario Director Matthew Tietelbaum, of the annual MOCCA award - $20,000 that recognizes a Canadian active in the art world for a contribution of “national or international significance”, a blog entry from Time.com seems relevant.

In it, Richard Lacayo writes about the “emergency de-accessioning” (bailouts for museums) that is emerging south of the border, as museums struggle along with the rest of the economy.

Read it HERE and former Whitney Museum curator David Ross’s response HERE.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, designed by Isozaki Arata (1986). It received a bailout by billionaire collector Eli Broad last month. Image: britannica.com/Ken Biggs—Tony Stone Images.

(Come to think of it, how much longer will these corporate-sponsored arts awards be around? The MOCCA award is underwritten by BMO, EllisDon and others…)

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