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Lotus Land, Architecture & Infrastructure, an upcoming show by Vancouver artist Charles Keillor. Also seen here are Auto Court, No Parking, and Children at Play, representing the famous 2400 Motel on Kingsway and two similar views along E 1st Avenue, near Clinton Park. Charles is having a show at the Artemis Gallery in Deep Cove, North Vancouver in May 10-June 2. The exhibition’s opening is slated for Friday evening, May 10 and the show will be comprised of a series of large scale graphite works depicting local residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure. Charles writes:
Among other things, these drawings reflect my interest in the Lower Mainland “suburban” architecture of the recent past. In this instance, the classic post-war bungalow; which dominated certain neighbourhoods (and still does I suppose), prior to the arrival of the “Vancouver Special” (which will also be represented in the show, along with my personal residential favourite, the mid-century modern “Post and Beamer”).
In 1909, someone thought it might be a good idea to build grain elevators on Deadman’s Island. Park Board turned the idea down.
‘Stratus’ soon fellow cartoonists! Cloudscape’s biggest art show at the Ayden Gallery opens on May 3 at 7:00pm.
If you haven’t signed up yet, do so here! https://www.facebook.com/events/148990701925781/
BK Munn writes about the upcoming show:
Billing it as a “giant show” launching with a signing by all the involved creators, Cloudscape founder Jeff Ellis, reminds us of the origin of the retrospective: “I had a dream that I wanted to boost local comics in Vancouver, The next idea that came… [was] ‘we have all of these artists making comics – rather than spending money to do our own individual works, why don’t we work together and pool our resources to publish something?’”
In the Village T shirt design contest! Shown here are some of the contestants, including Leah Gregg & Kim Ridgewell, Melanie Kimmett, and Jane Koo. Vote here before the end of the month! From the VIAwesome:
We’ve commissioned ten local illustrators and graphic designers to produce designs inspired by the Village on False Creek. The top three voted designs will then be put in front of a jury which includes VANCOUVERISAWESOME’s Bob Kronbauer, Bob Rennie, and one yet-to-be-named judge. We’ll choose one design from those that’ll be printed onto t-shirts which we’ll be giving away.
Lost David Spencer Department Store
Golden Diamond Jubilee Murals Pt 1
This is the epic story of a forgotten art project that dates back to the time of Canada’s
50th 60th birthday celebration of Confederation, July of 1927. Allow me to briefly paint the backdrop to this story. The location: the newly renovated David Spencer department store in Vancouver (now the home of SFU Harbour Centre). The commission: a series of 10 historical paintings by two prominent artists of the day, John Innes and G.H. Southwell. What has become of these murals today? Read on…
The earliest account I have mentioning the murals at Spencer’s is the Tuesday, July 5, 1927 edition of the Vancouver Daily Province (page 22). The article gives notice of the upcoming unveiling of 10 paintings and is illustrated with this Vancouver Archives photo.
It describes how the pictures have been painted as part of Spencer’s commemoration of Canada’s Diamond Jubilee, and that they will remain on display on the main floor of the building as permanent wall decorations after the Jubilee celebrations. It’s my guess that the series of 8 historical paintings John Innes had completed a few years earlier helped to secure this commission.
This article also gives an indication of the scale of these paintings, citing four by eighteen feet (seems to be the dimensions of Captain Vancouver Exploring Burrard Inlet) as well as seven by eight feet (perhaps Simon Fraser’s Canoes Descending the Fraser River).
The day after the paintings were unveiled, another article appeared in the Vancouver Daily Province on Thursday, July 7, 1927 (page 7). This Vancouver Archives photo depicting Simon Fraser is shown hanging on the wall of the store, along with the President of UBC, the artists, and onlookers (page 24).
The Province article on page 7 goes into greater detail, indicating that the paintings hang on the east, west, and south walls of the main floor of the new building and that the 10 commissioned paintings were completed in a span of just 4 weeks! This suggests to me that the entire commission was something of a last minute afterthought, perhaps coming as late as June, 1927 with a deadline for the first week of July? No wonder John Innes recruited his studio mate G.H. Southwell to assist with the project!
About the presentation of the paintings:
Before the unveiling, Mr. Chris Spencer briefly outlined the thought which prompted the execution of the pictures, declaring he hoped they would serve as a pictorial representation to the rising generation of the part which British Columbia has played in the history of the Dominion.
The second president of UBC, Dr. Leonard S. Klinck spoke about the spirit of the gesture, and Rev. J. Williams Ogden, an artist himself, also gave a few words of appreciation in a concluding speech.
Between these two articles, I’ve put together titles for all 10 paintings. The first group includes 3 historical scenes all set in the year 1792:
- Captain Vancouver Exploring Burrard Inlet
- Ships of Spain off Point Grey
- Captain Vancouver’s Ships at Nootka or
Captain Vancouver Saluting the Spanish Fort at Nootka
The second group deals with exploration and trade:
- Mackenzie Menaced by Indians at Bella Coola
- Simon Fraser’s Canoes Descending the Fraser River
- Trading with the Indians at Fort Victoria, 1845
The third group pays homage to British Columbia’s pioneering industries:
- Pioneer Agriculture
- Pioneer Fishing
- Pioneer Logging
- Pioneer Mining
In the absence of showing all 10 murals here, I’ve included 2 drawings from John Innes’ 1926 series of ads for Shelly’s Bread which featured over 50 scenes from British Columbia’s history. These ads ran in newspapers throughout the year, and fortunately, the Vancouver Archives possesses a complete set of these ads in this treasure trove of a scrapbook, donated by the North Shore Museum and Archives in 1987.
Perhaps by now you have an idea how hard it is to piece together the details surrounding this series of murals when the murals themselves no longer appear to exist. With no clear documented chronology, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why I was extraordinarily excited when I found the 1936 Golden Jubilee anniversary brochure, featuring a COLOUR image of Captain Vancouver Exploring Burrard Inlet! The brochure states:
This painting, Captain Vancouver Exploring Burrard Inlet—1792, is one of a series of six, depicting memorable scenes in the early history of British Columbia, specially commissioned by David Spencer Limited, and hangs with its companion pictures in the Vancouver branch of this pioneer British Columbia company.
Having found ONE of the 10 paintings in colour, I was now determined to find more! The hunt was on to track down more evidence of these long lost murals! I started asking everyone I knew! This led me to the All Nations Stamp and Coin store in the Dunbar neighbourhood on the off chance that they might know something. Sure enough, they DID know something—the original solid wooden cabinets from the Spencer’s store have been re-purposed in this very store! (unfortunately, they knew nothing about the murals). Hot on the trail, I was hungry for more, and I was not about to give up! But alas, time is running out! This story will continue with a followup post soon! Stay tuned!
ps: Note to the Vancouver Archives: after close scrutiny, it seems to me that at some point in time, one of the photographs in the archives has been mislabeled. Captain Vancouver’s ship Chatham should in fact be called the Ships of Spain off Point Grey, based on the following:
- There never was a painting called Captain Vancouver’s ship Chatham in this series.
- The large cross on the sail looks characteristically more Spanish than British. While it’s true that both British and Spanish ships were known to use a red cross, the British were more likely to display the cross of St. George, whereas a ship in the Spanish Armada would be more inclined to display a variation of the Templar cross.
- The flag at the top of the mast does not appear to be the Union Jack. Even without seeing the painting in colour, the flag more closely resembles the Spanish flag—two bands of red and a band of yellow in the centre.
- There is one other possible title for this painting; it could be Captain Vancouver’s Ships at Nootka / Captain Vancouver Saluting the Spanish Fort at Nootka. However, looking at the surrounding geography, my educated guess says this scene is depicting the North Shore Mountains and not the landscape at Nootka.
Waterlogged Fundraising Video by CloudscapeComics. Cloudscape is currently having a fundraiser to crowdsource the production of their latest publication. Arrrgh, it’s going to be great! Join the campaign here!
Way to go Safeamp!
Also, this is happening on Saturday! Amazing lineup. All Ages! Get your shit together and come down! https://www.facebook.com/events/138192376353423/
So Many Things cruise ship mural, located at 325 Columbia Street in the DTES, artist unknown. As you can see from Jeremy’s photo a few years ago, this mural has gotten a bit smaller with the removal of those cheering the cruise ships from the shore.
Famous Bus Rides #4
Has anyone spotted it yet? Huh? Well, how much gas does a electric trolley bus carry? Ah-ha. I knew at the time I drew this it wasn’t accurate but I went ahead and did it, mostly beause I really wanted to draw a Brill bus. The Brills had been soldiering on for decades on the streets of Vancouver but they were being retired, probably sold off to Cuba or somewhere, and I wanted to commemorate them. I was on my way to a comic con that day.
Pigement marker on Letraset paper.
Please note that this mini-comic and many others are available from Colin Upton Comics - firstname.lastname@example.org - both individually and in sets at reasonable prices.
East Hastings, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60”
Mark Boyko’s canvasses are forcefully immersive and strikingly beautiful to look at. They are especially successful when seen in person and on a large scale. With elongated brushtrokes bursting from a strong vanishing point, Mark invites the audience into his bleary Vancouver landscapes. Despite their monochromatism, the paintings have an energy which breathe both inwards and outwards, sometimes highlighted by a single stroke or fleck of pale colour.
A student of world-renowned superstar artist Alessandro Papeti, Boyko, fortunately for us, has translated this painting technique to capture his hometown of Vancouver in an aesthetic language that depicts space as emotion rather than description.
A few more closeups of the great Vancouver Paint-in from VanArchives. The last painting here is by prolific folk artist Gordon Kit Thorne; the other works appear to be unsigned. In Gordon’s painting, he has painted a garden scene with flowering cherry trees, with the words “Gone but not FORGOTTEN”. He appears to be lamenting the loss of some cherry trees located in front of the art gallery, before the fountain was installed (you can see the Hotel Georgia in the background). For further reading, see Carol DeFina’s fairly extensive history of Vancouver’s cherry trees for the Vancouver Park Board, posted on the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website.
The Big Paint-In, Thursday 7 April 1966
Source: Photo by Ernie H Reksten, City of Vancouver Archives #2010-006.073
I always like seeing colour images of the Paint-in, and I didn’t realize there was such a big series at the VanArchives. I posted the cover of Vancouver Life magazine to Twitter a little over a year ago, but thought I’d put that on flickr as well.
Jes Odam reported that up to 100 artists were involved painting 130 panels, specifically mentioning Bernhard Thor, Joy Caros and student Linda Hately. In addition, I’ve compiled a list of the names that I can read from the signatures on the paintings themselves. As far as I can tell, they are:
- Bernhard Thor
- Joy Caros
- Linda Hately
- A Longcake
- H Halliday
- G E Brown
- Joan Foster
- K Smith
- Gordon Kit Thorne
- Frank Lewis
- Saunder Gee
- R Smith
- J Dives
- J Wilkinson
- J Burn and Timi S? Courtesy C-FUN
- Peter Hurvik?
- N Seidl & H J Seidl
- Lesley June?
- Mario Fanzone
- Weldors? (sculpture)
Feel free to comment if someone you know painted one of these murals!
The Stampeders Quadraconcert 75, a music poster from the PNE Gardens, via ebay. This poster has been digitally reassembled to produce a simulated facsimile of what the poster might have looked like, circa October 11, 1975. Joining the Stampeders were the Incredible Laughing Band and Thundermug to create a 3 group 12 man rock concert grand finale. Please note that tickets [were] available at the Coggery (130 Water Street in Gastown) or the Woodwards Concert Box Office (or were they the same thing?) This poster is listed on ebay for $49 or best offer. While it may not represent the highest achievement in illustrative art, it does sum up the 70s quite nicely.