PROGRESS... with a little reference to art

Everyday we get closer and closer to that finish line: even it you have to ask yourself have you ever seen a finish line move so many times and this much?.

Bed delivery for Mom’s place has arrived and furniture is coming this week: can we say someone is getting excite? She may not have clothes in her drawers but there are blueberries and kale in her freezer; yes, my family is of that Fellini nature. God love the chaos of “happening and being”.

This month is going to be full on with activity and I’m up for it, “bring on the madness” I say. Here are a few shots of the excited Mama’s place. Reece, general contractor of Terris Lightfoot, is checking out those amazing windows.

This weekend I had the pleasure to attend an exhibition opening at the Equinox gallery highlighting works of an artist I like, B.C. Binnings. The title of the show is “Leave the Window Open” so keeping that in mind artdog Koko and I proceeded to unpack my art collection this weekend. Think you’ll enjoy seeing how that studio space has evolved and Koko has her found her own resting place amongst the wrappings and boxes.

As a collector of art, by talented and what I call “pure” artists, it appears that over the 15 or so years there’s been bit of a collection there. What a joy to unpack these old friends and revisit the joy they bring. Happily there are lots of walls to think about and curatorial decisions to be made — for me that is always the super fun part!! It’s always interesting to see what work, be they photographs, paintings, sculpture etc., talks to each other and makes it’s way to the right space.

Speaking of space, the 2 bedroom is very close to being ready for longterm rental. Have a peek.

It was a good weekend, unpacking art, visiting openings, checking out the “CLOCK” exhibition in North Vancouver and engaging in 5 left’s limited edition event. Nice to reflect on these evening shots as we approach that line of finishing.

ART... ARTDOG KOKO tours the hood after getting coffee at Milano's

Happy Labour day everyone!! Yes it’s true there is someone labouring upstairs on labour day — gotta love this guy’s dedication to work and getting the job done: <3 sending him many hearts of gratitude. This is what he’s working on: (impressive ehe?)

Opps, okay that’s impressive, but not the guy working today. That was the legend of tile setters Randy; the man!! Today’s impressive work of is of the millwork nature. I think you’ll agree:

Pretty cool dat!

Not to digress too much, as this post was to be about Artdog Koko and her recent art discovery, but thought the tile and millwork was worth sharing. Todays walk led Artdog Koko and I into a mural discovery and personally I quite liked the Immortal on the lotus flower, whereas Artdog Koko was definitively in favour of the old man with the golf clubs/sticks. Our immortal preference is of a diverse nature. Have a look and pick your favourite immortal…

As always when walking through Chinatown there are new discoveries to be found. We got lucky finding this one off Georgia St. and here’s to wishing the lottery ticket we bought on Gore St. will be the SUPER lucky one! If an elder Croatian fisherman could win the 60 million maybe it’s time for an in debt fisherman’s daughter to win the 12 million (smile, hehehe). The great Labour Day off!

PEOPLE...100 years strong and that's just the local store!

Benny’s street party brought out hundreds of people to celebrate 100 years of service to the Strathcona Community. In Vancouver, this kind of legacy is equivalent to celebrating something from the 13th century in Europe or Asia. We don’t have a ton of this type of history, that spans 3 generations and going. What a great contribution the Benedetti family has made to this community and the city of Vancouver through their store on Union and Princess. This family has served the community since 1919, the year my dad was born. He would have been 100 years old Nov. 11th; magic numbers 11,11,19,19 — I thought of him as I bought my lottery ticket at todays memorable anniversary bash.

It was a beautiful day and sad that Raymond Sr. passed away just months before this celebration. The family did him proud today serving up a party of joy and excitement; to say nothing of the 725 sausages, 450 scoops of ice cream… There was a band (one of 3) playing while the fire truck and firemen chatted with the 100’s of people floating through the 11-4 pm celebration. There were horses from the police department, Fryebe sausages, ice cream and cake and long tables and chairs for people to sit and enjoy the day. There were also photos of the family’s many years of commitment and passion to each other and the community on display as well as one of the grandchildren’s french/english project of the store’s history. This celebration pulled out all the stops to shine and make this a day to truly remember!! Bravo Benedetti’s Bravo.

COMMUNITY... happenings in the hood

Things are on fire!! No, quite literally arsonists’ have hit the city. Crazy right? Little did I expect to get a text Saturday morning from a neighbour telling me about an artist building which had been hit with a fire. He advised me because of my role as past-chair of the ECCS (Eastside Culture Crawl Society) and felt I should know. Well that led to ARTDOG KOKO and I hitting the scene to discover…

Can you imagine coming to work in your studio and finding this? (…as if it isn’t hard enough being an artist )

That is the studio of an artists who’s work I collect: Carylann Leoppky. I like her work as she’s fearless with the brush and her strokes are genius. Her surreal images are inspired by her fierce nature and honest soul. Take a look at her work and see what I mean. I’m sure there will be a limited edition coming out of this most unfortunate mishap. That’s the kind of person and artist she is, one who will make something positive out of a not so positive situation.

My heart sank as I went into her studio and saw the hole in the wall and called her to let her know. As Artdog Koko and I walked over I hoped her studio wouldn’t be one that was effected, but alas that wasn’t the case. Once on the scene we snooped around to see what we could find out.

We sniffed out that the fire hit around 3 am. It was reported by people who go for early morning walks in that area is often occupied by homeless and derelict types. It was started from the outside by the very thick wooden door. The second floor got it the worst and about 12-13 studios were effected. Management was on site and calling artist while assessing the damage immediately. Later I found out from artists that it appeared to be arson as gasoline was used and one firefighter was hurt.

As the story was shared I also learnt that the Astoria Hotel on Hastings had been hit with fire 4 times within the last month. Also an artist building around Hastings was also hit by arsonists. Hmmmm, could there be a connection? I’m not sure, but it certainly speaks to the need for the City of Vancouver to address this human disaster of homelessness and “bad” behaviour that is taking place presently.

The good news story is that FINALLY Oppenheimer park is getting addressed. Here’s the link to that story https://globalnews.ca/news/5781669/oppenheimer-park-possible-clearance/ . It’s a big hurrrah and it will be a bigger hurrrah if the social housing is spread throughout the city and other suburbs and throughout the province. Who’s to say all these “bad” behaviours throughout the city are connected to the growing camping situation in Oppenheimer? Who knows, but it is odd that one can observe some pretty gross stuff happening in the areas where the city has permitted to become ghettoized.

Here’s to wishing all the best to the community of Artists who are trying to just get to work.