Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Laundry Room Gallery tides you over

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 3:49 PM

Lucy Marrion Pauker's tapestry work - SUBMITTED
  • Lucy Marrion Pauker's tapestry work
  • submitted


The Laundry Room Gallery is a breath of dryer-fresh air—a small previously unused space, thoughtfully curated, is transformed into a community gathering hub. Featuring a three-day gallery pop up in the new space, located beside the Cochran Bay laundry room at King's College (6350 Coburg Road), and a closing reception April 8 hosted by Emily Lawrence and Kate Walchuk—complete with dryer lint grey cotton candy—you really ought to give this place a spin. We asked some crucial questions about the gallery and organizers Greta Hamilton, Klara Ingersoll, Emily Lawrence answered.

Q: How did you come up with this idea? Did you run into any static from the school about using the space?

A: The idea for the Laundry Room Gallery was born from hanging out a lot in the common space next to the laundry machines. The gallery itself is technically right beside the laundry room, in this sort of limbo space with a sofa and a vending machine. It’s kind of a time vacuum in there, like one of those 10 hour still videos on Youtube, the ones where you can only tell the picture is moving if you stare at the bottom corner of the frame and realize a singular blade of grass is moving in the wind. Anyway, that’s what it feels like to sit in the laundry room, so it only seemed natural to start a gallery in there.

The King’s community has been instrumental in the establishment of the Laundry Room Gallery. The President of King’s, Bill Lahey, donated $2000 from the King's Collegiate Fund. The fund is administered by the President to support initiatives that enhance student life, including those that recognize student innovation or improve the look and function of student spaces. This donation was put towards the renovation of the space by facilities. Facilities plywood backed the walls, painted them white, installed spotlights and added glass panels to the front door.

We also received a donation from the Residence fund that allows us to pay artist fees to every participating artist. Students have also helped with funding and material distribution. Paisley Conrad, a third year student and executive member of SNARC, wrote our funding request. The KSU approved the funding request at a council meeting, which covers installation and opening materials. The KSU also allowed us to use the printer on a modified schedule outside of normal printing hours, which really helped out during this busy time of the school year. And Jacob Baker-Kretzmar, a fourth year student and editor of The Arts Abstract, designed all of our posters.

Q: Who is involved? Have you done any curation before?

A: We collaborated on the curation of the Patchwork exhibition. We have both worked on multiple curatorial projects, including publications and exhibitions. Klara runs a biannual art magazine called Okay Mag that spotlights artists on the East Coast. The mag is currently in its third issue themed around radical love. Klara most recently curated an "Anti-Fascist Valentine's Day" art show and dance party at the Modulating Mansion in February that raised money for Indigenous resistance.

Greta worked as curatorial assistant at the Campbell River Art Gallery in BC, conducting research on Canadian contemporary art with a focus on feminist theory and digital narratives. Greta has curated many collaborative zine projects, founded the King’s zine society, and contributes to The Arts Abstract.

Emily Lawrence and Kate Walchuk will be hosting the closing reception (more info below).

Q: How did the call for art go? Who is showing their work? Did you get a lot of variety in the types of work people wanted to show?

A: We conducted an open call for submissions online through Facebook, as well as by word of mouth through the King’s and NSCAD community. It was a juried submission process. We also reached out to artists we were interested in working with. We had a working list of artists whose work fit our curatorial ambitions and the theme of the exhibition, which is “home.”

Our curatorial ambition was to prioritize femme artists and work that discusses contemporary interpretations of craft. We mostly sought out textiles and ceramics, as well as work that involves a labour intensive material practice. So we ended up with a few print series, drawings and photography. For this exhibition we really wanted to consider notions of labour, craft and our matriarchal lineages in a contemporary setting as a means of understanding “home.” The show is called Patchwork.
A list of participating artists: Shaya Ishaq, Camila Salcedo, Lucy Marrion Pauker, Celeste Cares, Emma Rath, Brianna Dunn, Georgia Sachs, Imogene Broberg-Hull, Klara Ingersoll, Amanda Marie, Sienna Maebe, Lucas McNeely, Gabriel Logan

The following week, Halifax artists Emily Lawrence and Kate Walchuk will also be doing a laundry-themed relational installation and dance party called Missing Sock Hop.

Q: Are you going to have an opening or closing reception?

A: The opening reception is Friday, March 31 from 4-7pm in the Cochran Bay Laundry Room. Juice Girls will be playing at 6pm. We will be stitching a patchwork quilt together with found and used fabrics. There will be free pizza and cake, and we will be selling artist made stickers and zines, as well as a zine with the exhibition statement and photos of the work.

The gallery will be open Saturday to Sunday April 1 and 2 from 10-4pm for viewing. The exhibition will be coming down after the weekend, so it is only a three day pop-up.

On Saturday April 8 at 8pm, the closing reception and project fundraiser will take the form of a rock n’ roll, multisensory dance party hosted by Emily Lawrence and Kate Walchuk. Missing Sock Hop will feature bunting made from thrifted underwear, cotton candy tinted grey to resemble dryer lint, and the distinctively soapy Thrills gum. All proceeds will go back into the project and artist fees ($5 cover).

Q: Do you aim to keep this going throughout the year?

A: Yes. The Laundry Room Gallery will now be used on an ongoing basis for curatorial projects. We’d like to host art making sessions, more structured art/craft workshops and facilitate discussions for our community around art accessibility. We’d like to develop this space into a multi-purpose room for folks who are interested in furthering the values of what this show represents, that is, considering the history of femme labour, considering our familial lineages, and collaborating through material practices to consider our collective material record.

Q: Why do you think galleries in unorthodox places are important?

A: Emily and Kate comment on their project Missing Sock Hop and the use of this unorthodox venue: “Missing Sock Hop was conceived as a relational artwork specific to the site of a laundromat, this project is celebration of a utilitarian, often gendered work space, as well as the profound ability of music and dance to bring together disparate communities. Missing Sock Hop is a response to the decline of traditional dance halls and the growing number of unaffordable, inaccessible gathering spaces in our gentrifying Canadian cities. Our experience hosting events and interest in social practice has led us to consider the potential of ‘alternative venues’, which can be temporarily transformed into vibrant spaces.”

Ceramic basketballs by Lucy Marrion Pauker - SUBMITTED
  • Ceramic basketballs by Lucy Marrion Pauker
  • submitted


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Friday, March 24, 2017

Taking a vacation from capitalism

This art project lets you escape, engage and learn.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Zachary Gough wants you to take a break. - REBECCA DINGWELL
  • Zachary Gough wants you to take a break.
  • Rebecca DIngwell

The Commoners’ Almanac: Spring Break From Capitalism
The Living Room Theatre
2353 Agricola Street
To April 15

While many folks can’t afford a tropical March vacation, plenty of us could stand to take a break from the daily grind of our capitalist society.

That’s the premise behind The Commoners’ Almanac: Spring Break From Capitalism—a project by Zachary Gough. It’s almost a literal a slice of the beach in Halifax, featuring a slushie machine and a patch of sand in The Living Room Theatre. If the sun’s not shining, one can take advantage of the daylight-simulating lights (the kind sometimes used to treat seasonal affective disorder). For an extra dose of sun, some of the slushies contain vitamin D.

“Within this space, we seek to engage with each other in a different way,” says Gough, who teamed up with local organizations such as DaPoPo Theatre and Starfish Group to make the project happen.

“We hope that it can be a little bit of a break from regular activism,” he adds. “Regular activism is often really hard, heavy, never-ending.”

The space, Gough explains, is somewhere activists can be together and relate to each other while also having fun. Dancing and speed friending are part of the exhibition’s events, along with more serious gatherings. Those include a panel discussion on fascism and a discussion about mental health.

Participants can also take part in workshops from theatre and dance to dumpster diving. Esther Fraser is leading the Commoners' Contra Workshop to choreograph, write and develop a "contra dance that depicts cooperative economy."

"So that's taking the form of contra dance and adapting it," says Gough. The workshop followed by a potluck as well as a performance.

The Spring Break events will be capped off with a dry dance party on April 13, with the exhibition ending two days later.

Gough feels “carving out a little space that is devoid of capitalism” gives people the chance to imagine “how our relationships might look in a post-capitalist society.”

“I think it’s a kind of utopia.”

A publication coinciding with the Spring Break From Capitalism theme is forthcoming.

See commonersalmanac.org for full event details.

Update: The Gentrification Walking Tour has been canceled and the article has been edited to reflect that.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Don't miss Dan Hendricken at Yuk Yuk's

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 8:58 AM

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Comedian John Mulaney at the Rebecca Cohn May 11

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:32 PM

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You can thank Just for Laughs for bringing my boyfriend John Mulaney to Halifax with his Kid Gorgeous tour. May 11, 7pm at the Rebecca Cohn you'll be laughing so hard you might think you'll never be able to stop laughing, trust me.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 24 at noon, available online, by phone at 902-494-3820 or 1-800-874-1669 or in person at 6101 University Ave, Monday-Saturday noon to 6pm.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon comes to Halifax

My mom explains why those books are so addictive.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 2:06 PM

The hot Scot
  • The hot Scot


Diana Gabaldon in Halifax
Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30pm
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
$23


Diana Gabaldon is the superstar author of the addictive #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series, the story a mix of historical fiction, romance, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, adventure and general hotness. Gabaldon is coming to Halifax thanks to the Bookmark, and will be at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on May 3 for a reading, Q&A and a book signing.

My very own mother is an Outlander superfan (of both the books and of the TV series) and often laments Droughtlander season (I guess the excruciating time period in between seasons?) loudly and often.

She regularly says “canna” not even ironically.

I got her to make a list of 5 reasons that she loves these books more than she loves me.

1 . Jamie ('nuff said—hot Scot in a kilt).
2. I love the language and the sheer elegance of the scenery, I also love the references to the ways of old—from Claire's work as a healer, and the extraordinary attention to detail that Diana Gabaldon put into each chapter... couldn't put it down!
3. The intricate and compelling work of "time travel" within the writing—you had to pay attention or you'd get lost, but it was a joy to read and kept me invested in all the characters.
4. The mystery of the stones and their subtle magick that only a few could understand, the subtle references to those early days of wise women and the mysteries they knew intimately—the kenning women.
5. The love story that captivates you in spite of yourself and the war that rages in the reader as to which "side" you find yourself on—with Jamie and then again with Frank. It's a brilliantly crafted book of imagery and lots of colour. I found I "couldn'a" wait to read the next.
BONUS: The books also hold a special place for me as I can claim (we can claim) the Mackenzie heritage through my Mum, so it was a real treat to read it.

There you have it. I'm basically an Outlander.

Tickets for the event are available now at the Rebecca Cohn Box Office, at Dalhousie Arts Centre Online www.dal.ca/artscentre/ or at the Bookmark at 5686 Spring Garden Road. For more information, please contact Bookmark at 902-423-0419 or e-mail at halifax@bookmarkreads.ca.

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Things I would ask Cheryl Blossom if I bumped into her getting a smoothie or whatever

I think she'd stand out but I don't know, there are a lot of gingers here.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 12:04 PM

Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom
  • Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom


Actor Madelaine Petsch—AKA Cheryl Blossom from the CW's BRILLIANT (I do not care what any hater has to say on this topic) series Riverdale—is in town, shooting a horror movie at Dartmouth's Prince Andrew High School, called Polaroid (high school weirdo finds old Polaroid camera that mysteriously kills those who appear in its photographs, if it has shades of The Ring and The Grudge that might be because it's produced by Roy Lee and Chris Bender, who have produced the aforementioned movies).

I'm sure that movie will be suspenseful and have lots of flash bulb related jump scares and all, but I have some pressing questions that need answering by Ms. Petsch, should I happen to see her wandering the Halifax streets.

Why does Veronica Lodge, a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, insist on wearing pearl sets? I'd also like your thoughts on the capes.
Is that your real hair? All of it? It's great.
Why is your character the only one with a Twitter account? Also why don't you tweet?
When is your Cover Girl Outlast product placement moment going to happen? Those are kind of shitty, right?
Are those Archie's real abs?
Do you talk to Barb/Ethel? What is she like? Is she cool? She seems cool.
Um, who killed your brother?

OK ENJOY YOUR SMOOTHIE BYE!*

*or maybe it's a Pop's shake? That's what I'm going to pretend, anyway.




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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kinetic Studio's open series

Open Studio Series this weekend boasts artistically diverse dance

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Lydia Zimmer in a work choreographed by Rhonda Baker - KEVIN MACCORMACK
  • Lydia Zimmer in a work choreographed by Rhonda Baker
  • Kevin MacCormack

Open Studio Series
March 18-19, 8pm
DANSpace-on-Grafton
Pre-Show: Lucy M. May 7pm
Performances by
Rhonda Baker (Halifax)
Sarah Wendt (Montréal/Charlottetown)
Ellen Furey (Montréal)
Susan Wolf (Halifax/Toronto)
Lucy M. May (Montréal)

Kinetic Studio is dancing the night away with the final installation of its Open Studio series. Taking place around the city this month and this weekend at DANSpace on Grafton Street, the weekend performance is a culmination of the 2016/17 edition of the popular and artistically diverse series.

The Halifax-based dance company is bringing multidisciplinary performers from across Eastern Canada here. From animation to cinematography, different art forms unite to create a unique experience across a two-day run, bringing together a total of seven different artists.

From Montréal is Ellen Furey, whose piece Total is the latest in a series of one-time performances that studies “meaning through intuitive body utterances.” Furey works with artists including Daniel Léveillé, Dana Michel, Dancemakers, Fred Gravel, and more.

Also from Montréal is a multidisciplinary duo, Sarah Wendt and Pascal Dufaux, a dancer and media artist, respectively. Their piece, Mixing Ghosts, combines elements of flamenco dance with live video delay. Dufaux is the son of cinematographer Guy Dufaux, and incorporates film and photography into his art, creating art from cameras he calls “vision machines”. Wendt, originally from Charlottetown, has worked as nearby as Sappyfest and as far as Melbourne.

Also performing is Rhonda Baker, who, with Lydia Zimmer, is performing Sun Swallower, a piece which was previewed at the January installment of Open Studio. According to a press release, the piece examines the historic and mythological history of wolves. Baker is the recipient of Kinetic Studio’s Explorations Award, meant to promote artists interdisciplinary talents. Zimmer’s most recent performance was in the February edition of Open Spaces, and her piece Bonne Nuit will take the stage of the Sir James Dunn Theatre in April.

Speaking of wolves, animator/dancer Susan Wolf brings her piece Your Body/My Body, exploring generational memory. Wolf is a graduate from NSCAD University, an animator by trade and sculptor and metalsmith by training. “I’m very new to the dance community—I’m not a professional dancer,” she says, having had training “some 18 years ago,” but turned to dance as a way of expressing herself following a brain injury. “My mobility and my cognitive functioning was temporarily impaired and I wasn’t able to look at screens,” she says. “I really had a deep desire to create something.”

Wolf says she values this series and the opportunities it presents emerging choreographers. “I hope it’s not too neat and tidy,” she says with a laugh. “I think a good scenario is it being rough around the edges.”

In addition to the shows performed at DANSpace in this month’s line-up, this weekend's installment includes a site-specific graveyard walk with dancer Lucy M. May, which will begin at 7pm both nights. Describing herself as a “lady looking for magic stuff laying around,” May will lead audience members on a performance experience surrounded by an audience of the dead, titled In and Out (Richesse) Research. May originally hails from New Brunswick, and was trained at Les Ateliers de danse Moderns de Montréal Inc in Quebec, and Codarts Rotterdamse Dansacademie in The Netherlands.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 28
December 5, 2019

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