odette laroche

Last night was the Hands and Knees art crawl, which I think may have been an impromtu affair hitched onto the real happenings of the night. The Community Arts Council was holding it’s Monday Magazine Photo contest, VISA was fundraising, Incognito, and the Victoria College of Art was celebrating it’s 35th birthday. I didn’t make it to all of last night’s destinations, but since I’m an alumna of the VCA and since I was participating in the show, I was there first and for the longest.

our beautiful negligence by jessica stepushyn

I have taken part in several alumni shows and this is the first that rang true as a group art show. First off it was big, with approximately 60 artists. Second, it was diverse. With so many artists we were finally able to get away from the old girls club that the alumni has somehow become these past few years. Please don’t get me wrong. The “old girls”, as I like to call them, are a formidable team of organizers and a terrific group of fine fine painters. But there’s a hell of a lot more to VCA than competent, responsible lady painters. And last night was proof. Thirdly, the work itself was good. Primarily painting with a few examples of drawing and sculpture, much of the work was spot on, with a great range of styles and subjects. One of my favourites of the show was a lady/woman/girl by the name of Jessica Stepushyn. Look for her when you go. Fourth and last, the show was hung extremely well. Aside from being firmly attached to the walls, the arrangement of work was sensitive and thoughtful and that thanks to the talented Philip Robinson.

bloesem by christine clark

Lastly, lastly (I know I already said that), there was an incredible food table plus wine plus catalogues. It was a wonderful celebration of the VCA, and from what I heard last night it’s just another new beginning for our venerable college. With new ownership the college will once again be an independent fully functioning art school. Remember Bank Street?

fifty fifty gallery

After the alumni show we stopped in at the fifty fifty and it was quiet. It was gloomy. It was nihilistic, I think one person said. It was a show of collage work which seemed to have been xeroxed, large scale. The artist, Andrea Lukic; the show, Worpor. Ms. Lukic was not on site, she had gone out for soup. I imagined her slumped over a bowl of borscht, maybe, looking weary and smoke smudged, but ravishing nevertheless. I’m glad I didn’t meet her. Who knows she may actually be a boy. Haven’t done my research have I? Regardless, regardless. I felt, when I left the show, like I had just visited communist Poland. Somewhere Eastern European, something apocalyptic, maybe the past, maybe now. Definitely someplace dark and lonely.

At Deluge Gallery, things were different. The whole place was rosy. The lady of the gallery was loud and chatty and had gin and tonic up for offer. Only thing, you had to make it yourself. The artist du jour was one Mr. Daniel Laskarin, who is a prof up at UVic and is a damn fine sculptor. Yes indeedy. The work was mysterious, no doubt, but also very solid, very real, like a particularily delightful dream come to life. The man can weld and he can polish and he knows about strange and obscure materials.

…till we embrace by daniel laskarin

My very favourite piece of Daniel’s show, titled by the way, sticks and stones, was a little something called ….till we embrace. How lovely, how romantic. It’s silly I know, to reference the masculine/feminine, but there it was. No, no, maybe not masculine feminine, maybe just love. The disparate coming together of objects and materials and coatings and shapes. The complete but delicate, willing, embrace. The senselessness, the off kiltered angles, the subsuming relating.

Go see that one too.