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Freaks and fortune tellers a fun way to raise funds for Trap\Door

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An eclectic collective of unusual characters, including a cyclops and a bearded peeing dwarf, magicians, psychics, aura readers, tarotTroy Nickle’s ghost plays piano. Photo by Richard Amery card readers and fortune tellers roamed beneath the Bowman Arts Centre, Feb.13  during a special fund-raiser for local art collective Trap\Door.

They prowled through tables full of books on witchcraft, tables offering  tarot card reading, aura painting and majick ‘artifacts’ like severed fingers, Kurt Cobain’s hair, bones, a bigfoot footprint and  even a ghost piano player.

Trap\Door is a non-profit-artist run centre formed in 2004 to promote challenging and critical contemporary visual art.

They have no permanent home, so all money raised at this event goes towards artists fees and exhibition expenses plus the direct costs of providing access to visual art.

Charlie the Cyclops blinded by the light. Photo by Richard Amery“I thought it would be fun to dress up as a roaming sideshow freak,” said Charlie the Cyclops, aka artist Aaron Hagan taking off his canvas head.



New studio space and collective opens Friday

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Lethbridge officially welcomes a new art collective/ studio, Friday, Feb. 12. Several local artists including Andy Davies, Mike Maguire, Chad Patterson, Nicolas De Cosson will be opening their new space and officially launching their  as of yet un-named collective at 255 12C st N, Lethbridge, behind GI Jen's on 13th Ave. You will be able to meet the artists and hear several local bands including punk band  Fist City. The event runs from 8-11 p.m. The collective is looking for a name, so bring your ideas.

— Submitted to L.A. Beat


The ‘Power of Art’ explores great artists every Tuesday

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The Southern Alberta Art Gallery is exploring some of the word’s greatest artists through the ”Power of Art” — a series of Simon Schama’s BBC films every Tuesday at noon as part of the  gallery’s Tuesday’s @noon series. The 50 minute long films focus on the work of eight iconic artists.

The series began Feb. 9 with a feature of Caravagio and continues Feb. 16  with Bernini. This series reveals the history of visual imagination through the ages. 

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery describes them as A“ combination of dramatic reconstruction, spectacular photography and Simon Schama’s unique, personal style of storytelling.” They transport the viewer back to the intense moments when great works were conceived and born: the murderous, messianic work of Baroque Rome; opulent, parvenu Amsterdam; paranoid, revolutionary Paris; Victorian England suffocating beneath riches and righteousness; the madhouses and brothels of Provence; the carnage of civil war Spain; 1950s New York, caught between Cold War jitters and Manhattan glitter.

In each place, a great artist is backed into a corner, facing a crisis, given a chance to confound his rivals, enemies and critics one more time.

Tea and coffee are complimentary at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery‘s free weekly film series, which runs annually from September through June to compliment our changing exhibition program and highlight issues of the day. All Tuesdays @ Noon films are screened in the Turcotte Library at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

February 9: Caravagio
February 16: Bernini
February 23: Rembrandt
March 2: David
March 9: Turner
March 16: Van Gogh
March 23: Picasso
March 30: Rothko

— Submitted to L.A, Beat


Performance art comes to life with Dr. Sketchy’s

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The GCBC Lounge was a surreal sight on Jan. 29 for the inaugural Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school session in Lethbridge.
As approximately 60 would be artists clustered around an old fireplace in the GCBC Lounge concArtist and model Corinne Thiessen Hepher shows off some of her Dr. Sketchys work. Photo by Richard Ameryentrating on drawing a couple black leather bondage clad performance artists striking various poses, mellow ukulele music wafted through the air breaking the otherwise dead silence, punctuated only by the call of “Change” after which the models changed poses. You could almost hear the artistic wheels spinning.
“I’m overwhelmed actually. Of course we hoped we’d get that many,” said Loralee Edwards who, along with her friend Kelaine Devine, brought this Brooklyn based international program to Lethbridge — the first time anywhere in Alberta and only the fourth one in Canada. Dr. Sketchy’s is the perfect combination of  performance art and visual art, combined with music. It’s about the process of drawing rather than the work itself, which is why  some of the poses are a short as two minutes  followed by longer poses, to allow artists to stretch their artistic muscles. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a unique drawing program founded in 2005 by artist Molly Crabapple in Brooklyn, New York. This will be the first Alberta branch. In addition to having branches all over the U.S., United Kingdom, Asia, Europe and South America, there are Canadian branches in Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
“ It shows there is a desire for this sort of  thing in Lethbridge,” she said.
Perhaps more apt, someone plugged in a Hank and Lily Show CD as a bed of nails was placed on the floor for the main attraction — Calgary performance artist and fashion designer Demonika, who was bustling around the crowded room checking out the work of those brave enough to show it. When it was her turn on stage, she struck numerous poses on and around the bed of 1,200 solid steel nails. She lay face down, then face down on the nails, and more impressively with the other model sitting on top of her lying on top of the nails.
“It’s very, very exciting to be part of this,” enthused Demonika, who goes by the name Danika Challand when out in the real world and off the stage.
“It’s like a ghetto version of Cirque Du Soleil,” she described adding there is a similar program in Calgary.
“It’s (Dr. Sketchy’s) is performance art, it’s not just still art. It’s a fun night,” said Demonika, who is not afraid to push the boundaries in her own art.
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