Luminescence: The Silver of Peru, Showing at the University of Toronto Art Centre

On January 15th, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the lecture and opening reception for Luminescence: The Silver of Peru. This dazzling exhibition traces the long history of silverwork and the human fascination with the divine and luminescent qualities of silver. Luminescence featured an exhibition of more than 140 artifacts assembled form a variety of sources—private and museum collections, drawn from four periods of  history:  Pre-Columbian, colonial, republican and contemporary—including national treasures seldom seen internationally.

Continue reading Luminescence: The Silver of Peru, Showing at the University of Toronto Art Centre

One’s Trash is Another’s Treasure: The works of Ira Mency

Going green, recycling, and upcycling are the affairs of Ira Mency. What is considered trash for most of us is a treasure turned into art for this Baltimore artist. Her story begins at the age of 16, living alone and juggling high school and working two jobs. She was the girl people saw dumpster diving in the apartment complex for broken things that she could fix up and re-use. Neighbors would bring her items as if she was the Goodwill drop off. Continue reading One’s Trash is Another’s Treasure: The works of Ira Mency

Arts and Culture–2012 London Summer Olympics

Wondering how the arts are playing out in the 2012 London Olympics?  In here, I have recapitulated some of the arts activities that are presently taking place in London and on the Web!

Art in the Park

A programme of permanent art commissions have been integrated with the high-quality British architecture, design, construction and engineering of the Olympic Park, ranging from bridges and underpasses designed by artists, to planting schemes, security fences and large-scale facades. Integrating arts and culture into the Park’s public spaces are aimed to attract tourism. There’s a wide range of imaginative and inspiring art and culture installations across the Olympic Park.

Learn more here Download a publication summarising all Art in the Par

Artists Taking the Lead–Cultural Olympiad

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad celebrates the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Since its inception in 2008, the Cultural Olympiad has featured special projects and programmes. See Artists Taking the Lead

Crafts for Children

In the spirit of the Olympics and in sharing the excitement of the games, numerous arts and crafts activities for children (and for some “big” children) are provided online. These activities are diverse such as colouring sheets, designing logos, and playing games. For instance, Art and Design activities include drawing, designing logos, medals, and flags for the London Olympics. In terms of games, my favourite one is Make your own Mascot, try it out!

More art-related Olympic stories:

If I am a Crafter, at What Point do I Become an Artist?

Today “crafts” are most commonly seen as a form of hobby or sometimes art. I have been thinking lately about the difference between arts and crafts. Primarily my question is:  If I am a crafter, at what point do I become an artist?

In general, the term ‘craft’ has been used to refer to the products of artistic creation that require a degree of artistic knowledge and involve manual labour, which are accessible to the general public and are constructed from materials such as ceramics, glass, textiles, metal and wood. These crafts are often produced within a specific community. The Arts and Crafts Movement was a movement which advocated for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, often applying medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. As an international design movement it flourished between 1860 and 1910, continuing its influence until the 1930s.

Dewey (2005) asserts that “art denotes a process of doing and making” (p. 48) and art is an experience. As a crafter, the process of doing and making are based on the experiences of the crafter, the same follows for the artists, where arts and crafts are the confluence of personal accounts and experiences. Also, following Dewey’s view of art as a mode of human experience, crafters and artists make body of art works to form new experiences.

As I ponder these definitions, my related questions are:  Isn’t a crafter someone who puts a little of themselves into every piece, infusing it with their experiences and ideas and opinions? Isn’t a crafter someone who simply loves and creates from love? Ultimately both crafters and artists’ motivation comes down to one primary reason:  he or she wants to create and add creativity to this world. Thus crafters are artists. Perhaps, what sets crafters apart from traditional artists is the choice of materials, but more importantly, the public’s point of view of who an artist is.