Last week I started getting excited about my new posting as arts editor, and especially about Dope Show (if not anxious about taking over from my good friend, the dopest of dope, Tara Thorne) and its possibilities as a place to celebrate achievements, spread good news and a wee bit of political venting—it's about the arts, after all. It never occurred to me that on my first week, I would be sharing terrible news.
For those in the arts community and well beyond, the untimely death of artist Sue Klabunde, on September 28, came as a terrible shock. If you walked down Marginal Road to her memorial potluck in the new NSCAD campus's ceramics department on Tuesday night, the scene looked like a pilgrimage as groups of people rounded the bend, carrying generous plates of food. Inside, the atmosphere was appropriately celebratory—more like an opening reception than a wake. Some wore sparkly glitz to celebrate an energetic woman who loved costumes, dressing up and fun.
A slide show of photos, lovingly assembled, drew exclaims of memories. Old photos tacked onto the wall with bright flowery tacks built up as the studio filled with family, friends, artists and colleagues. The taste of clay lingered, mixing with fresh paint and homemade baked goods—a perfect tribute.
A NSCAD grad and AGNS employee (she was always there to send us whatever photos we needed, no matter how frantic we seemed or how little time we provided, even though I'm not sure it was actually her job), Sue epitomized the characteristics of what makes this arts community so special. She was creative, both in her own work as an accomplished ceramicist and in her professional life as a set painter, art director and product developer.
Political: she campaigned for the NDP. Entrepreneurial: she was co-owner of the wonderful ceramics company Spot Pots, and as co-founder and vice president of Silver Leaf Productions, she fearlessly pitched film and television ideas. Community-minded: Sue was involved in local productions of The Vagina Monologues and Titz 'n Glitz, and was one of those familiar faces that makes people feel like they belong to something bigger than their last story, film or painting.
Never easy, Sue balanced a creative life with that of being a wonderful friend to so many, and above all, a mom and wife. Our thoughts are with Sue's family, and if you're looking for ways to help out, there's a CIBC account set up: In memory of Sue Klabunde; transit: 00103; institution: 010; account number: 5203317.
Tara Taylor Cain is on the move. On September 30 she initiated the first Preston Film Festival, in support of establishing a beginners' film production program for the East Preston Recreation Centre. "The festival's a mix of all types—about 20 short films. We're showing music videos, commercials for local black business and documentaries, including one that I worked on about a friend's mom who has cancer."
If you missed the festival, check out another short film by Taylor Cain—who got her start in filmmaking through the Centre For Art Tapes' annual scholarship program and trained as an assistant director on the set of Poor Boy's Game—on Radio Canada International's Digital Diversity online contest. Watch and vote Idol-style for Canada: Diversified Fruit Salad, a short film where "people of different backgrounds celebrate their differences" on the awesomely designed website, rcinet.ca.
Speaking of CFAT, don't forget to check out their exhibition of work by seven artists that explore "relationships of embodiment and technology," In the Flesh, hosted at Anna Leonowens Gallery, with site-specific installations at the new NSCAD waterfront campus (a great excuse to check it out) until October 13.
And while we're talking flesh, Ruby, Sinc Ink's new production of Carol Sinclair's play is touted as a "dirty little musical" about a dancer from Dartmouth. Oh my. Shimmy over to the BusStop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen, from October 5 to 14 (October 5, 11, 12 at 8pm. October 6, 13 at 2pm, 8pm. October 7, 14 at 2pm. 445-3032), $15 or $13 if you're dressed to the nines in your best Minnie the Moocher finery.
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