Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Arty Awards

April 22, 2008 The Abbotsford Arts Council presented the Fifth Annual Arty Awards. People started arriving an hour before the pre-show. By 7:00 the walls of the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium were vibrating with the solid beat of the Blues band Deception; Art Panchisin on lead Guitar and vocals, Gary Huntbatch on drums and vocals, Steve Fultz on bass and vocals and Helen Kahlke on saxophone. With fifty nominations for the ten categories the 360 seat auditorium was close to capacity. I was impressed to see our new Solicitor General John van Dongen among the humble and happy artist's and art lovers.Dana MacMillan Abbotsford Arts Council President opened with an introduction to the Master of Ceremonies, Charles Wiebe, we laughed at all of his jokes even if we were Scottish or politicians. Next on stage were The Bhangra Dancers swirling and stepping with a blast of bright colored costumes and interesting wooden percussion instruments, the smiles on their faces and the enthusiasm in their steps showed the gratification these young men had in their traditional harvest dance. And the winner is; For Outstanding Artist in the Performing Arts-Theater-Sponsored by LINC, David A. Hunt. Outstanding Visual Artist-Sponsored by House of Fine Arts, Myrtle-Anne Rempel. Next up for entertainment was sweet young Country singer Kristal Barrett singing her single "This Time Next Year". And the winner is; Outstanding Artist in the Performing Arts-Music-Sponsored by Web Net Communication Ltd., Sweeny Singers. Outstanding Artist in the Literary Arts-Sponsor Neighborhood Bugel, Robert Martens, "I am from a Mennonite background, I don't deserve this, I'm feeling really guilty." That sums up what has been Abbotsfords attitude for the arts. Outstanding emerging Artist-Sponsor RBC Insurance, The band Good Thief. Karen Lee Batten was back for a second year to wow the crowd venturing from her comfortable country into jazz with "Peel me a Grape". She should venture more. And the winner is; Outstanding artist in the performing Arts-Dance,Yevshan Ukrainian Dancers, three young dancers all dressed in appropriate costume accepted the award. Outstanding Arts Sponsor Award-Sponsor-PCL Construction Westcoast Ltd., Abbotsford Printing Inc.. Last on the program for entertainment were the Abbotsford Children's Theater . They showed great enthusiasm for the fifth birthday of The Arty's and read about famous artists of Canada. They also sat close to the side stage to give the awards as needed and were helpful at the door. And the winner is; Outstanding Arts Instructor or Mentor-Sponsor Q Steak House, the humble Susan Reilly her words of wisdom "practice". Outstanding Arts Volunteer-Sponsor Vancity Credit Union, Liz Carter. And lastly, Outstanding Arts Advocate-Sponsor the MSA Poets Potpourri, Christine Caldwell. "In the past five years we have had more awareness in the arts and culture than we have had in the past twenty years. We are at a cusp of new beginnings with the new arts and cultural center opening soon. Its up to the grass roots to get out and support their kin." Afterwards we all crowded into the foyer for schmoozing and goodies provided by Q Steakhouse. The Arty awards have been instrumental in bringing forth the artists and giving them a face and name, showing Abbotsford we have Art and we are going to grow so look out and step aside the Arts are here!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Twisting your tongue

How many times in a day does your tongue get twisted? I was explaining to April that she should write an acceptances speech for when she wins the Arty award for emerging artist. Instead of saying you should write your speech.. It came out "Spit your bitch" I love it. You never know what a twist of the tongue will bring.
"Spit your bitch"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Alien Art Show Three Years of Photos

When we had the Art gallery we had a few months with theme's and the favorite was Alien Art. Eccentrics of all sorts would come out of the wood work. I wasn't one of them because I was already out. All ages participated, and many mediums were used. On opening night the walls would be weighted with interpretations of what the artist considered Alien, and the display cases would be rearranged to show case the smaller items. I searched hight and low for strange edibles and the artist did their part with blue drinks and more. On Halloween 2007 I realized we hadn't done the Alien Art Show, that made me very distressed. I missed it and so did many others, perhaps I will find a way for 2008.

Monday, April 14, 2008


If a friend puts conditions on your friendship they are not your friend but a control freak, and if you let them they will control your "friendship".

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April Solomon

April was born and raised in Laguna Beach California; she now lives in Abbotsford British Columbia with her husband Branden.
Sitting in our favorite Japanese bistro "Mars" on a Thursday night if April doesn't have her sketchbook she is doodling on a napkin. Napkins are not her medium of choice, heavy colored paper and colored pencils dominate her work. She likes graphite pencil, dabbles with pens, acrylic paint and is interested in oil for the future.
Her boss at the Clearbrook Decorating Center must love her; he is letting her paint a mural on his interior walls, she is learning new techniques as she goes. "Trompe l'oeil" is French for fool the eye, and your eye is fooled by the brickwork going up the column that leads to the fountain and on.
April has been in Abbotsford since 2005 and has five murals painted in both public and private spaces. Besides the one at her work there is "The European Day Spa" and Centennial Pool, the Whalers swim team logo, that can be viewed publicly. Her work is detailed and intricate.
April is inspired by textures in nature, tree bark, bones, fur, and ferns, to name a few. She merges creatures, lions with snakes creating new creature textures along with their anatomy. Her motivation is to be the very best that she can be. To make art that looks so real, to achieve heaven with the perfect art piece.
When asked what her greatest achievement is she carefully thought and described an art class in prospective. Her teacher would put a big red stamp in the middle of your project "Do Over" if he didn't like the way you did the assignment. You could not fix it you had to do it over. The project was on vellum 2'x2' and you had to write out details on how to draw a perfect square and make it all fit inside the square using a T-square with perfection on each letter. It was the first project in that class and she didn't think she could do it, she broke down and cried and stayed up till 5 or 6 in the am. A week later she learned she archived an A plus on her work, in the past she could have walked away from something she didn't think she could do, but this she had to overcome and it strengthened her.
Words of wisdom; "Know what your wants and needs are"

April Solomon's work