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NEWS - 2017

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All text, photography and artwork is by GARY SIM unless noted otherwise.

June 19:
June 15:
June 12:
June 05:
May 5:
April 22:
April 18:
March 16:
March 14:
March 13:
March 2:
Feb. 23:
Feb. 22:
Feb. 10:
BURNABY ART GALLERY TO CURATE SOLO SHOW AT McGILL LIBRARY
GALLERY IN SUMMER COMMISSION COMPLETED
THE SUMMER BOOK ARRIVES IN TIME FOR SUMMER
ALCUIN SOCIETY A.G.M. AT HYCROFT MANOR
NEW LIMITED EDITION PRINT BETWEEN TIDES
THE ADVENTURES OF NOMAN - CONTINUED
UNEXPECTED TRIP TO THE YUKON
BURNABY ART GALLERY COMMISSIONS RELIEF PRINT
MOTHER TONGUE TO PUBLISH SIM ARTWORK
POOP FROM THE MARE OF VANADA
TROLLEYS IN THE SNOW
SIM LECTURE AT MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER
BC ARTISTS UPDATE ISSUED
EMPIRE LANDMARK - FOR THE RECORD: No. 1


June 19: BURNABY ART GALLERY TO CURATE SOLO SHOW AT McGILL LIBRARY

A couple of weeks ago, a Curator at the Burnaby Art Gallery proposed to put up a solo exhibition of my artwork at the McGill Library in Burnaby, one of the Gallery's outreach locations. They have previously shown my prints at the Prittie Library. The Curator confirmed today that I will have the exhibition from November 26 2017 to January 29 2018! That was great news, and only four months away. First thing is to provide them with an image for the promotional material, which is required by July 5. Then there's work to be done ... stay tuned ... !


June 15: GALLERY IN SUMMER COMMISSION COMPLETED

The edition of 100 prints was completed and delivered by hand, along with a colour test proof and the lino block itself. We met halfway at Juke Fried Chicken (very tasty) for lunch, then had a tour of the Ian Wallace exhibition at the Rennie Gallery. It was a rainy day, but all went well and we went our separate ways afterwards. Note that I am not showing any images of the actual print until after the Burnaby Art Gallery does.

I took the opportunity to take pictures of some older buildings in the area. The wood-frame building seen below is at the corner of Hastings and Columbia, and was considered some years ago as the second oldest wood-frame structure remaining in Vancouver. Perhaps by now it is number one. The entry stairs up to the second floor are on the right, screened by the tree.


"New Brandiz Fast Food"


June 12: THE SUMMER BOOK ARRIVES IN TIME FOR SUMMER


Front and back cover image for The Summer Book

I was very happy to get copies of this book in the mail, and eager to see how it turned out! The book looks great, the artwork reproduced really well, and the stories that I've read so far are quite interesting.

The Vancouver book launch is this Friday June 23 2017 at the Sylvia Hotel, Pendrell Room, from 4-6 p.m. Refer to MTP for more information.


Pencil drawing "View from Summit, Lighthouse Park"


June 5: ALCUIN SOCIETY A.G.M. AT HYCROFT MANOR


Michael Kluckner lecturing in front of the living room fireplace

The Alcuin Society, of which I am a Patron member, donor, exhibitor, print-making demonstrator, advertiser, and occasional author/illustrator in their journal Amphora, held their 2017 Annual General Meeting at Hycroft Manor, the lovely old mansion near Granville and 16th now owned by the University Women's Club.

It was a perfect evening, and the french doors to the patio were open to allow mingling inside and out. The obligatory functions of the Society were performed promptly, followed by a very interesting lecture by noted historian and artist Michael Kluckner titled "Art, Activism, and the Challenge of the Illustrated Book."

Having not yet received my copies of The Summer Book, I showed around my new print Between Tides and the Burnaby print in progress. Two visitors from Portland, Oregon, Ann and Andre Chaves, presented all attendees with beautifully printed multi-colour letterpress broadsides titled "Hope and Memory" and "The Many Side of William Morris - The Poet" printed at their Clinker Press for the occasion.


May 12: New limited edition print BETWEEN TIDES

This little print (4" x 6") was designed and cut as a warmup exercise for the Burnaby Art Gallery commission. As well, it was done to test an oil-based ink made in Wales that I hadn't used before, on a new block of linoleum, to see how the ink handled and printed. The results were excellent. The ink, Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash Relief ink (this one printed with furnace carbon black) is formulated so that it can easily be cleaned up with soap and water, but dries waterproof, which makes it ideal for my purposes.

The tugboat is the Seaspan Raven, seen loitering in English Bay offshore from Stanley Park, waiting for the next bit of work to do.


April 22: THE ADVENTURES OF NOMAN - CONTINUED



Red Rift / Baptism / Universolman
NomanamoN / Inclination

This has become the longest-running series of artworks done about a single theme and in a single format. More than thirty have been completed, and a number more are in various stages of completion ranging from the initial pencil scribbled-idea up to well-advanced pen & ink work.

Refer also to The Adventures of Noman series and Drawings for additional images.


April 18: UNEXPECTED TRIP TO THE YUKON


A DC-3 at the Whitehorse Airport (swings in the wind)


Driving north from Whitehorse to Carmacks

As is often the case, I was asked at work on Tuesday this week how soon I could get up to the Yukon to do a condition assessment of the Faro Air Terminal Building. Faro is about a 250 mile drive from Whitehorse, which is a 2-1/2 hour flight from Vancouver. I flew up on Thursday and drove to Faro, did the review Friday morning, then drove back to Whitehorse and took the return flight. 3,000 miles in 2 days. It was an interesting trip, but I was sick with a bad cold, so mainly suffered through it as best I could.


Spring breakup in progress on the lakes


Faro airport looking north


March 16: BURNABY ART GALLERY COMMISSIONS RELIEF PRINT

The Director of the Burnaby Art Gallery has commissioned a limited edition relief print for their Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations this summer. It will be a view of the gallery from its front lawn in summer, and will pair with the print commissioned by the Gallery in 2007 (Gallery in Winter).

The edition of 100 is intended to be gifted to supporters and friends of the Gallery, along with copies of the book that is being published to accompany the celebrations. As noted in early news items, I have a short article on Jack Wise in that book, along with a shorter biography of myself.


March 14: MOTHER TONGUE TO PUBLISH SIM ARTWORK

Mona Fertig, Mother Tongue Publishing, asked me if she could use a number of my drawings and prints as illustrations in her pending book titled The Summer Book which is to be "launched" in June this year. Of course I said "yes" and was given a list of fourteen images to provide. Another four were requested as the book design was finalized. Each image has a full page to itself, which is great, and a number are being displayed as two-page spreads.


Front and back cover image for The Summer Book

Mona has selected an all-star cast of BC writers for the book, and after reviewing a proof copy of the book I have to say it is going to be a very nice and well-received publication. For more information please see EVENTS page, and MTP website at MTP.


March 13: POOP FROM THE MARE OF VANADA

I can't stand it any more. The Mare and his sycophants continue to mess up the city of my birth in every way they can. Road closures for no reason, wiping out traffic lanes for bike lanes that aren't used by anyone, wiping out on-street parking wherever possible, putting up brainless projects like the "suicide fence" on Burrard Bridge, and wasting tens of millions of dollars on traffic-enraging measures like roundabouts and curb extensions that do nothing positive or useful. Don't even get me started on all of the upcoming super-towers that will soon wipe out our views of the mountains forever, and grossly densify entire neighbourhoods with thousands of additional cars, all of which will be stuck in traffic.

Accordingly, I have posted a number of commentaries on the sheer absurdity and self-indulgent fatuousness that characterizes this Mare's "rein." Please see:

POOP FROM THE MARE OF VANADA.

Other articles will follow, including lack of street maintenance, the bike lane messes, the total traffic disaster being created at both ends of Burrard Bridge, and commentary on the rows of 80-story towers soon to arrive on Burrard Street (and all over Coal Harbour, etc). p.s. thanks to the horse squad for the official poop.


March 2: TROLLEYS IN THE SNOW

The snow came and went for weeks and weeks this year. Every time it seemed like it was gone, another storm came down from the north and gave us another slippery gooey basting of slimy wet snow. The trolley busses came to a grinding halt for some reason, and sights like this were apparently common all over town. On a day when folks were deciding not to drive, the transit system failed. The skytrain also had difficulties.


Vancouver trolley-busses stuck in the snow on Robson St.


Feb. 23: SIM LECTURE AT MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER


Detail, "Vancouver C.P.R." Waitt's VIEWS BRITISH COLUMBIA & ALASKA

Refer to EARLY ART & ARTISTS IN VANCOUVER page.

Lecture posted on Youtube

Composite video and powerpoint presentation compiled by Elwin Xie.


Feb. 22: BC ARTISTS UPDATE ISSUED

Works continues on the ditigal bibliographic research project BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS. Recent updates have been published as Release 1.7.2. A large amount of information on early artists was added as a result of research done for the Vancouver History Society lecture (see above).

A review of BC Directories (DIR) from 1886 to 1935 resulted in the addition of almost 100 artists not previously listed, expanding the DIR listing from 3 pages to 15 pages (so far, with 1919 to 1931 still to be input). A page by page review was completed for the seven volumes of Macdonald's Dictionary of Canadian Artists, with 480 BC artists noted of whom over 100 were new to BC ARTISTS. A review of Evelyn McMann's Biographical Index of Canadian Artists is underway.

Ongoing on-line searches at the Royal BC Museum & Archives vital statistics web page continue to provide additional information on artists. In particular, although the DEATH certificates are somewhat unhappy to read, they contain an excellent amount of information about the person, their life and family, that is otherwise almost impossible to find so easily.


Feb. 10: EMPIRE LANDMARK - FOR THE RECORD: No. 1


Empire Landmark seen from lane at 1300 Robson St., Feb. 10 2017

Given that the redevelopment signs have gone up around the now-named Empire Landmark (formerly the Sheraton Landmark) Hotel, it's only a matter of time before it gets knocked down. After all, it seems like those signs are just a formality, everything is already figured out.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of this long-time iconic and slender tower while it is still here. After the Sheraton hotel chain sold it to asian interests, a huge display of neon lighting was installed on top of the revolving restaurant, resulting in numerous complaints to city hall from residents of the West End. The lighting was modified but not removed, despite not having been done with a permit in the first place. Money keeps talking around town.

The tower will be replaced with two lower towers, each with larger floor plates, as the hotel's floor size is too small to be practical any more.


Empire Landmark seen from Barclay Park on Haro St., Feb. 28 2017

A view of the hotel from Barclay Park, 1400 Haro St., with a light powder snow falling. The tree trunk visible at lower right is what remains of a large weeping willow tree that just fell over by itself one night a few months ago.


Empire Landmark seen from Nicola St., Feb. 22 2017


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