Fusion Art Announces the Winners of the 4th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Exhibition

Fusion Art is pleased to announce the opening of the 4th Annual Leaves & Petals International Art Exhibition. The exhibition is now available for viewing on the Fusion Art website and features awards in three categories: Traditional Art, Digital Art & Photography and 3-Dimensional Art.

For this competition, both 2D and 3D artists were encouraged to share their best art and photography depicting flowers, leaves, herbs, plants, shrubs, bushes, hedges and other botanical or floral subjects. All artists, over the age of 18, regardless of location or experience, were encouraged to submit their best figurative art and photography.

The Leaves & Petals Best in Show winners are Hunter Jay for his acrylic on linen, “Exotica”, Kay McBeath for her photograph, “Blue Hydrangeas” and Chelita Riojas for her aluminum sculpture, “Cactus Flower”. Hunter, Kay and Chelita are Fusion Art’s Featured Artists for the month of December 2018 and, as the Best in Show winners, all three artists are invited to participate in Fusion Art’s 3rd Annual Group Show in Palm Springs in February 2019.

Other award winners include Second Place winners, Leah Dockrill for her watercolor, “Canna Among The Weeds”, Shelley Benjamin for her digital photograph, “Into the Sun,” and Gaige Qualmann for his copper sculpture, “The Witchcraft Orchid”. Third Place awards were given to Stephanie Lawing for her acrylic on canvas, “Tulip Fever”, Martha Nance for her photograph, “Swamp Oak Leaf,” and Julia O’Bryan for her ceramic sculpture, “Nature Through the Windows”. Fourth Place awards were given to Dianna Yakobson for her ink pen on paper, “Hibiscus”, Rebecca J. Case for her photograph, “Glorious Morning Glory”, and Clody Cates for her copper sculpture, “Copper Rose”. Fifth Place awards were given to Diane Liguori for her oil on board, “Park Avenue Canna Lilly” and Felice Willat for her photograph, “Sunflower”.

Rounding out the awards for the exhibition are twelve Honorable Mention winners. Honorable Mention awards in the Traditional Art category are given to Cheryl Plautz for her scratchboard, “Daylilies”, Nancie Quah for her colored pencil on paper, “Pink Lotus”, Natalia Astankina for her oil on canvas, “Dahlia”, Brian McClear for his oil on canvas, “Fossil and Lily”, Mark Riley for his watercolor, “Portrait of a Rose,” and Sheila Lamberson for her oil on gallery wrapped canvas, “Dogwood Tranquility”.

Honorable Mention awards in the Digital & Photography category are given to Peter Cucchiara for his digital photograph, “Rose Drops,” Peter Lemiska for his photo on metal, “Graphic Palm”, Dale M. Reid for her silver gelatin print, “Anthurium 2,” Fretta Cravens for her archival inkjet print, “Flower Composition 12,” J. Michael for his digital photo manipulation on canvas, “New Star,” and Ulrike Unterbruner  for her digital photograph, “Dynamic Beauty”.

The remaining finalists in the exhibition all exemplified uniquely creative talents and we are honored to showcase their artwork on the Fusion Art website.

The international competition received a diverse collection of quality artwork from artists all around the world, including the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Estonia, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Brazil, and New Zealand. The exhibition will be featured on the Fusion Art website for the month of December 2018.

Founded by Award winning artist, Chris and Valerie Hoffman, Fusion Art was envisioned and formed out of a passion for art and the artists who create it. The website promotes and connects new, emerging and established artists with collectors and art enthusiasts, while offering the opportunity to participate in art competitions, exhibitions and experiences.

Each month and quarter Fusion Art hosts uniquely themed solo and group art competitions and exhibitions. Both winners and finalists are provided with worldwide exposure, by having their work promoted through Fusion Art’s website, in hundreds of press release announcements, email marketing, online event calendars, art news websites and through the gallery’s social media outlets. The gallery’s objective is to promote the artists, worldwide, to art professionals, gallerists, collectors and buyers.

To view the exhibition and for further information on all the winners and finalists, please visit Fusion Art’s website: fusionartps.com/4th-leaves-petals-art-exhibition-dec-2018/.

Fusion ArtPO Box 4236Palm Springs, Californiainfo@fusionartps.comhttp://fusionartps.com/ About Fusion Art

Fusion Art was envisioned and formed out of a passion for art and the artists who create it. Founded by award winning Fine Artist, Chris Hoffman, Fusion Art’s mission is to create an online gallery seamlessly connected to our brick and mortar gallery and provide the public with uniquely themed monthly exhibitions, while providing artists with worldwide exposure. Fusion Art promotes and connects emerging and established artists with collectors and art enthusiasts, while offering the opportunity to participate in art experiences, art exhibitions, art related education, engage in dialogue with artists, and purchase fine works of art.

Press Contact: Valerie HoffmanFusion Artinfo@fusionartps.com

Famous Turner painting of River Thames bridge at risk of being exported

LONDON, Nov. 30 — A race started Friday to keep a famous painting by celebrated British artist J.M.W.Turner in Britain after it was sold to an overseas buyer for 4.46 million US dollars.

Arts Minister Michael Ellis has slapped an export ban on the work, Walton Bridges, painted by J.M.W. Turner around 1806.

Art experts say they believe it to be the first Turner landscape to be completed in the open air.

The painting, which was sold at auction in July 2018 for almost 3.5 million pounds, shows the double-span bridge that ran across the River Thames between the locks at Sunbury and Shepperton in Surrey. It had been erected in 1788 to replace a wooden structure, depicted by Canaletto, which had fallen into decay.

The piece led to a major series of Thames river scenes during a prolific period where Turner worked in sketchbooks and painted in watercolor and oil, collecting material for exhibited pictures.

It is believed Turner exhibited the painting at his own gallery in London’s Harley Street in 1806, which he USed for personal and specifically English subjects rather than his larger, grand manner pictures which he showed at the Royal Academy.

Ellis said: “Turner is one of Britain’s greatest ever artists, whose studies of British life still resonate with the public today. Walton Bridges’is a wonderful example of his distinctive style and his fascination with the landscapes of 19th century Britain.

“It has so much significance for artistic and historical reasons that it is right that we do all we can to save this masterpiece for the benefit of the nation.”

Art expert Lowell Libso, who serves on a review committee, said: “This beautiful evocation of the unUSual and picturesque double bridge crossing the Thames by the market town of Walton was made at a time when Turner was mostly living at nearby Isleworth rather than in London. At that time, around 1806, Turner was frequently sketching in oil, watercolor or pencil from a boat which he rowed along this stretch of the Thames.

(1 British pound = 1.27 US dollars)

Date set for Avon Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

The 2018 Avon Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show will be headed to Avon once again this upcoming December.

Launched this past spring, this show will feature a variety of handmade artisans and crafters selling their items from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 22, according to a news release.

This year’s winter show, held at Emerald Event Center, 33040 Just Imagine Drive in Avon, will feature a variety of items ranging from woodwork, handmade apparel, bath and body products, rustic home decor, to intricate pieces of jewelry and more, the release said.

Smile for Sophie Forever is an organization whose mission is to to provide financial and emotional support to families burdened by pediatric brain tumors.

Admission is $3 to the public and children under 12 are free.

For more information on the upcoming show and its vendors, visit the company’s Facebook Page, Twitter account, and Instagram. More information can also be at www.avantgardeshows.com or by contacting Becki Silverstein at Becki@ag-shows.com or at 440-227-8794.

Portrait of a struggling artist

Since he served a prison sentence and re-joined society seven years ago, Roderick Brincat has struggled with homelessness, and hunger has been a daily companion. Now, he hopes that his first exhibition will help him take the first step towards having his own home, writes Ramona Depares.

A few months after he served his prison sentence, Roderick Brincat was so hungry that one morning he decided this would be the day he went back to prison, where he would at least be assured of three square meals a day and a roof over his head.

“I was ready to mess things up again, I was so close. I had not had anything to eat in days and I was not sure how this was better than prison,” he tells me.

This would not have been the first time that hunger made him snap – one of his three prison sentences came about after he threw a punch at a priest.

“I had approached him to beg for some small change to buy something to eat. He insulted me and something in me snapped, I punched him,” he says candidly, explaining that the punch landed him a prison sentence due to previous convictions.

Mr Brincat has spent a total of five-and-a-half years in prison. All his crimes, he says, stemmed from the fact that he had no regular employment and no means to feed himself.

He is the first one to say that he is no angel, but it is evident that this is not a man who has had an easy life. A difficult childhood and family problems meant that at 13 years of age he was employed as a manual labourer for 10 Maltese liri a week. A heroin addiction followed, which was to continue in adulthood all the way through prison and later.

“After I left prison I lost my way. I tried many times to find employment, but what I was being offered was not for me. And I had started using heroin again,” Roderick says.

At one point, he was shooting so much drugs that he admits to being surprised that today he still has the use of his legs.

“My foot was one gaping hole,” he describes, referring to the practice of injecting drugs in the foot when one has run out of veins.

Although he had been promised assistance before leaving prison, he says that he quickly found that most of it was “just talk” and that no long-term solutions were in the offing.

“Some of the prison officials did try to help me, but nothing was happening. I started renting at first, but without a very good income it is impossible to keep up payments. Before too long I was sleeping rough, moving from acquaintance to acquaintance, staying with whoever would have me.”

I’m counting on my paintings to buy me a roof on my head

At one point, he wound up sleeping on someone’s roof. At another stage, he was offered ‘free’ accommodation, only for his host to literally snatch out of his hand any meagre amount of money that he made.

“The only people who really offered tangible help were those at Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl. They offered me shelter for a month and did their best to find a long-term plan for me. But it just wasn’t happening. That is how I wound up hoping to go back to prison,” he recalls.

And yet, Mr Brincat is someone who values his freedom. He remembers leaving prison for the last time and the feeling of joy that the simple act of catching the bus brought him.

“The first time I was walking freely in the sunshine again, the fact that I could just hear the conversations happening around me on a bus ride… I just burst out into happy laughter. I wonder what people thought, seeing me laugh on my own.”

Then, the day dawned when he was ready to snap again – until a chance encounter in the street turned his life round on its head. The encounter was with Mark Mallia, an established artist who was in prison at the same time as Mr Brincat. 

“We had struck up a bit of a friendship and, when he saw me in such a bad state, he took me under his wing. He remembered that I used to paint, asked to see my work and from then on, I realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Art.”

During his time in prison, Roderick had already started painting. Now, this aspect of his life flourished – he started seeking advice, structuring his work and developing his style towards a definite end: holding his own exhibition.

“Through Mark I eventually met Claude Camilleri, who helped me realise that this exhibition could hold the key to me breaking the cycle that had made me homeless.”

Mr Camilleri too enjoys a solid reputation within artistic circles, his work as curator and manager at a local art gallery having helped launch many an artist. The two stayed in contact, until Mr Brincat got in touch with the words that Mr Camilleri wanted to hear: he was ready for his first solo exhibition.

“Claude has been instrumental in helping me find a venue, this beautiful house in Valletta that has been kindly lent to me by another artist. Together we have catalogued my work, finalised the collection and devised the best way to show it,” he says.

The exhibition, which opens on Tuesday and runs through December, is the 32-year-old artist’s final bid at leaving a troubled past behind him and becoming a functioning part of society.

“I have worked very hard on this and Claude has spent a lot of time and energy on helping me make it happen. I hope that by the end of the exhibition, I will no longer fall within the category of ‘homeless’.”

The category of homelessness is widening even in Malta, where the traditional perception is that such problems do not exist.

Anthony Camilleri, the CEO of YMCA Malta, says that many circumstances contribute towards a person having to sleep rough. The voluntary organisation runs a shelter for homeless people.

“Currently, the main reason is family issues, such as arguments between couples, between siblings and/or between parents and children,” he says.

The next most common causes seen are financial troubles and migration, i.e. people who arrive in Malta and wind up sleeping rough.

“We have also had cases where people are homeless due to domestic violence, being discharged from hospital, termination from previous sheltered accommodation, and substance abuse.”

The numbers of cases where people leave their home after suffering emotional abuse, as well as stranded foreigners with nowhere to go, have increased to the extent they overcome the previous clusters.

The YMCA figures reflect what appears to be a growing phenomenon. This year, the organisation has dealt with 282 referrals, despite only catering for 30 residents.

“We have had to refuse people due to lack of space,” Mr Camilleri says.

“Up to the end of September, we accepted 102 new cases, which make up a total of 6,780 bed nights. Seven of these cases involved minors, while 33 cases were below the age of 24.”

People are referred to YMCA through various entities. Sometimes, they simply knock on the shelter’s door, holding a black garbage bag filled with some belongings.

“Homeless people in Malta have become like Nomads – they travel from one place to another to find shelter.”

The YMCA’s experience, he adds, does not show the full extent of the problem.

“How many referrals per day are other shelters and service-givers receiving? Society is becoming more liquid and not relationship-based. It is a worrying factor that family issues have become the leading cause of homelessness in 2018,” he concludes.

Meantime, he reminds those who may be in contact with someone who is sleeping rough to refrain from passing judgement and to call the YMCA on 27674278 or national helpline 179 to refer the matter. He also encourages anyone going through relationship problems to call on 9992 8625 for counselling and psychotherapy support.

Roderick Brincat’s exhibition runs between Saturday and December 21 at 138B, St Christopher’s Street, Valletta. Anyone wishing to offer donations or other support is invited to call Claude Camilleri on 99461598.

Coastal Maine atmospheric seascape watercolor by George Hallowell brings $3,125 at Bruneau & Co. auction

CRANSTON, R.I. – An adorable circa 1920 Tiffany & Co. platinum repeater pocket watch sold for $12,500 and a 2003 U.S. $25 Liberty Eagle gold coin climbed to a record $4,688 at an Estate Antiques & Fine Art Auction held Thanksgiving weekend, November 24th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston.

Offered were about 500 lots of fine jewelry, sterling silver, original artworks, furniture, art glass, sculpture, folk art, Asian objects and more. Online bidding was via bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com, and by downloading the mobile app “Bruneau & Co.” on iTunes and GooglePlay. Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted.

“It was a great feeling to start the auction with excitement seven lots in, hammering down the Tiffany repeater watch followed by an unbelievable record for a $25 Gold Eagle just six lots later,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “When two collectors truly want something, you don’t know where it will end. Bidding was spirited throughout the day.”

The Tiffany pocket watch was the sale’s top lot, and no wonder. Made in Switzerland around 1920, the watch boasted a platinum case with silvered Art Deco stylized face, subsidiary second hand dial and 29-jewel C.H. Meylan movement. It was signed on the face. A later chain had been added. The watch exhibited normal wear, but was in overall good working order, ready to use.

The 2003 $25 U.S. Liberty Eagle gold coin, consigned by a Massachusetts gentleman, was encapsulated and graded well at PCGS MS69. It was a new auction record for that type of coin.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers company president and auctioneer Kevin Bruneau remarked, “It was a great auction with a strong crowd right after Thanksgiving, with a lot of in-house buying. New collectors enjoyed themselves the day after a holiday, and jade did well, selling solely in-house.”

Tops in the jade category was a Chinese Qing Dynasty celadon white jade plaque, showing a fine reticulated carving of a phalanx of storks foraging in a marsh in high relief. “You can see the stone is double carved with background and foreground details,” Mr. Bruneau commented. “The jade also tested true with our Presidium gem tester.” The item sold to a happy bidder for $2,812.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

An atmospheric coastal Maine seascape watercolor on paper, done by Boston School avant-garde painter George Hawley Hallowell (Mass., 1871-1926), depicting an evergreen lined coast with white capped waves crashing against rockery in the foreground with a mountainous background, went for $3,125. The work was artist signed and nicely housed in a 36 inch by 29 inch frame.

A circa 1920 Art Deco 14kt yellow gold cigarette case with inscribed Art Deco lineal design and spring-loaded interior clip, monogrammed “JHN” and having untouched patina, fetched $6,875. Also, an early 19th century American-made Chinese Chippendale gilt wood mirror, decorated with shapely reticulated acanthus leaf fretwork surmounted by a Chinese bird having an upturned neck and spread wings, impressive at 57 inches tall by 27 inches wide, gaveled for $3,438.

Persian rugs were a hit with bidders. A circa 1900 palace-size Persian Mahal wool carpet rug, 26 feet 2 inches by 17 feet 3 inches, having a diamond ivory medallion with floral tendrils surrounded by thousands of flowers and lattice work within geometric and floral borders, rose to $5,312; while a Persian Middle Eastern Bidjar carpet rug, also made around 1900, 15 feet 10 inches by 11 feet 6 inches, having a central red field with blue medallions, hammered for $2,250.

On December 1st, Bruneau & Co. held a Toys & Comics Auction, also online and in the Cranston gallery. Up for bid were comics such as DC Flash #105 CBCS 9.0 est. $15,000-$25,000; Marvel Fantastic Four #48 CBCS 8.5 est. $3,000-$5,000; Marvel Incredible Hulk #181 CBCS 9.4 est. $6,000-$9,000; DC Detective Comics #142 CBCS 6.5 est. $2,000-$3,000; and other rarities. A post-sale report will be issued soon. Bruneau has emerged as a leader in pop culture collectibles.

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions, visit www.bruneauandco.com. Updates are posted frequently. To contact the company via e-mail, use info@bruneauandco.com. Or, you can phone them at the gallery, at (401) 533-9980.

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Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers63 Fourth AvenueCranston, Rhode Islandinfo@bruneauandco.com(401) 533-9980http://www.bruneauandco.com About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.

Press Contact: Travis LandryBruneau & Co. AuctioneersP: (401) 533-9980info@bruneauandco.com

Get in the Christmas spirit at the Victoria Art League Gallery

Ah, Christmas – “the most wonderful time of the year,” as I have heard it said and sung, and it really is. As we move from the season of Thanksgiving, we enter a season of giving where we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

We here at the Victoria Art League have prepared a place where you can come in and accomplish your plans for giving in a special way. Our historical building and gallery have been decorated to help you not only get into the Christmas spirit but have a quiet, peaceful and lovely place to shop for unique gifts for your family and friends.

Our opening for our annual Christmas Bazaar was very nice the Saturday before Thanksgiving, where members brought all kinds of creative arts and crafts for you to see and buy. We have all kinds of craft items such as wreaths, along with paintings large and small, watercolors, oils, pastels, drawings, scratchboard, pottery, sculpture and jewelry. We will continue our Bazaar until Dec. 22, so make plans to come enjoy our special atmosphere at the Victoria Art League this Christmas season.

Because of circumstances, I will remain the Artist of the Month through December. My artwork can be seen in the J&J annex gallery just off the main gallery. I did not realize all the various artwork I had to display until I assembled my show last month. I encourage you to come and see. l have lots of pottery along with oil paintings, watercolors, scratchboard, and drawings. Now it is all part of our Bazaar experience so be sure to go through that little door at the back of the gallery when you are there.

There will be no meeting or demonstration this month as we will be preparing and celebrating Christmas. Our Artist of the Month at the airport will be Lee Ann Kunz. Lee Ann is very accomplished in oils with a wide range of subject matter from nature.

It is the Christmas season, and we have classes going on and another starting after the first of the year. This would be a great gift to give to someone you know, maybe your child or maybe a hint for a present for yourself. It would be different and special, that’s for sure.

As for class possibilities, here are some:

  • Richie Vios is teaching watercolor from 6 to 9 p.m Wednesdays. He is very good at what he does and makes the class interesting and fun. Contact him at 361-935-7884.
  • Michael Windberg teaches oil painting 6-9 p.m. Mondays. He is so knowledgeable and can teach about acrylic painting also. If you are a beginner or already experienced in oils, he can help you. Contact him at mrwindberg@gmail.com or 361-649-2833.
  • Alana Sharp teaches our youth and children’s classes. Now this would be a great present for your child for Christmas, and you could get them started after the first of the year! Why not call her and ask about the various classes, times, cost and what they will be doing? Call her at 210-587-5021.
  • A new 10-week class, “Acrylic Painting and Art Fundamentals,” will be offered by Linda Wolff beginning in January. Beginners are welcome as well as those who have some painting experience. The class will include painting with acrylics, drawing exercises and composition, among other art information. Enrollment will be Jan. 2, so you will need to contact her at 361-575-3689 to get more information about the time you will meet and other information about the class. This will be a great time to get started and learn basics of art and painting and expand your knowledge if you already are experienced in this or other media.
  • As always, “Painting the Town” continues to offer an opportunity for you to get away for a time to get with some friends or take some time for yourself and try your hand at painting in acrylics in a social environment. Everyone has a relaxing and fun time and leaves with a painting they created. Contact Eunice Collins at 361-576-4043 for times and information.
  • We do hope you come to visit our Christmas Bazaar soon so you can maybe find something here that you would not find anywhere else that would be that special gift for that special someone.

    Susan and I were in Branson, Mo., for Thanksgiving with our entire family, kids and grandkids and went to Silver Dollar City, which was all decorated with millions of Christmas lights which really put us in the Christmas spirit.

    We hope your visit to our place will have a similar effect on you. Perhaps you won’t have a chance to “smell the roses” this month, but how about the Christmas tree or the cookies baking in the oven?

    Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Bill Bauer is the past president of the Victoria Art League.

    Regional craft beer map launched at Great Australian Beer Festival

    A regional craft beer map has been launched at the Great Australian Beer Festival in the New South Wales town of Albury this weekend.

    The map is a joint project between festival organisers and tourism group Visit Albury Wodonga.

    Both say the map reflects the increasing popularity of craft beers and the growing number of independent breweries operating out of north-east Victoria and the NSW Riverina.

    The map includes 17 breweries with cellar doors.

    It is hoped it will not only promote local breweries but attract tourists to explore and stay longer in the region.

    Festival co-director Michael Ward said they had created a similar map for the Geelong region which had proven popular.

    “It was met with such enthusiasm [and] it enabled visitors coming into town to plan their stay,” he said.

    “It’s not only about visiting the breweries but taking in the tourist attractions along the way.”

    Mr Ward said part of the attraction of craft beer was the various flavours now available to consumers.

    “I had a beer last night with chestnuts in it — a chestnut pilsner,” Mr Ward said.

    “The range of what is being put into craft beers now is incredible.

    “There seems to be no limit as to what flavours adventurous brewers are experimenting with.”

    Mr Ward said he was keen to launch the map at the beer festival because the event attracted craft beer lovers from all over Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

    “It will put [the breweries] on people’s radars while they are in town,” he said.

    “The wine industry in this region has been doing this well over the years and it’s about time the craft beer breweries started promoting themselves and their cellar doors.”

    Andrew Bett from Malt Shed brewery in Wangaratta said the map was “fantastic” and would help put the smaller breweries on the map.

    “It’s great for the lesser-known independent breweries,” he said.

    “It gives people an idea of where we are and what we have for people to try.”

    Albury City Tourism’s Sue Harper said Visit Albury Wodonga was keen to be involved in the project and called it “a great initiative”.

    She said the region was a “rich” tourist destination.

    The map includes a Kelly Country section where people can retrace the steps of Ned Kelly and his gang.

    It includes a visit to Glenrowan, where the Kelly gang had its last stand, and Beechworth, where Kelly appeared in court.

    Ms Harper said there were plenty of other outdoor activities in the area, including walking tracks, mountain biking, golfing, tennis, and depending on the season, a trip to the snow.

    She said the map encouraged extra visitation to the region and hopes that will increase visitors’ time spent there.

    “We are giving them extra reasons to stay longer,” she said.

    The map will be available at Visitor Information Centres and online soon.

    “All of Us” Portraits of Ghent Citizenry by Richard Beaven

    Art workshops to promote mental wellness at new space in Tampines

    SINGAPORE – The increase in the numbers of people seeking help for mental health issues has prompted the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to start an initiative that provides therapy through art.

    The Creative Mindset Hub which officially opened on Saturday (Dec 1) at Our Tampines Hub uses workshops such as storytelling and watercolour painting to promote mental well-being.

    The World Health Organisation reported in October that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

    Global studies have described the positive impact of the arts on mental well-being. And a growing body of evidence suggests that engaging in the visual arts for adults with mental health conditions can reduce depression and anxiety, increase self-respect and encourage re-engagement with the wider world.

    Creative Mindset Hub, which actually began operations in June, joins public service agencies at Our Tampines Hub to provide the art therapy. Its partners include the People’s Association and Tampines GRC Community Arts and Culture Clubs.

    Anyone can sign up for the services, with prices ranging from free to $80 a session.

    Art coordinator Dorothy Lim, who helps run the workshops, said the sessions use art as a form of expression and as a tool to reduce stigmatisation.

    “It is open to anyone from all walks of life. The main purpose is to create a group where people from all walks of life can come together to create art,” she noted.

    “Art becomes a common topic that runs throughout the session. It does not matter what illness you have.”

    President Halimah Yacob told Saturday’s opening ceremony how important it is to have the community working together to help others overcome mental health conditions and the stigma surrounding them.

    “In recent years, Singapore has made progress in lifting the stigma of mental health conditions and strengthening preventive and rehabilitative mental healthcare for all,” she said.

    “The Hub aims to be a key part of our holistic healthcare system, and bring quality mental health care closer to the community.

    “As arts and heritage have the power to connect communities and strengthen social bonds, they also have great potential to break down the barriers of stigma and lead to a profound impact on our mental well-being.”

    Madam Halimah also noted that the focal area for President’s Challenge 2019 will be on mental health given afflictions in this area are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

    SAMH opened a mental health hub in Marsiling in 2017 that offers sports, outdoor and art activities to promote mental health among young people.

    Association president Francis Yeoh said: “In addition to giving an avenue for expression, art therapy enables individuals to use their imagination to create new worlds as well as illustrate new interpretations of the world around them.”

    Madam Halimah also visited Our SG Hawker Culture, a travelling exhibition at Our Tampines Hub, to pledge her support to nominate Singapore’s hawker culture for Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage list.

    Monet vandal back in prison for handling stolen art

    Andrew Shannon (54) of Willans Way, Ongar, Clonsilla, was convicted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possession of a stolen painting valued at €5,000 at his home on January 31, 2014.

    Yesterday, Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Shannon to two years in prison, which she backdated to last February 20, the day he went into custody.

    Sgt Eugene McCarthy told John Berry, prosecuting, that a painting of a desert scene by Frederick Goodall, dating from 1892, was stolen from Bantry House, Seafield, Bantry, Co Cork, in March 2006.

    Sgt McCarthy said gardai obtained a warrant to search Shannon’s home on an unrelated matter in 2014 and noticed various pieces of art hanging on the walls, one of which was the Goodall oil painting.

    Violated

    Shannon was charged in September 2016 and released on bail, but violated his conditions by travelling to the UK.

    He was convicted by a jury on Wednesday following a two-day trial.

    Shannon had 51 convictions, 13 relating to matters in foreign jurisdictions, including for theft, burglary and handling stolen property, many related to the theft of antiques.

    He received a six-year sentence after being convicted of damaging a Claude Monet painting, Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat (1874), at the National Gallery of Ireland, Clare Street, on June 29, 2012.

    Justin McQuade, defending, said his client had health difficulties and had quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2013.

    Judge Ryan said mitigating factors were Shannon’s ill health, age and a favourable governor’s report.

    He had been about to adjourn the case until next week, only for Shannon to say he was under enough stress and ask her to “get it over with now.”

    Harry S. Truman at the center of this wonderfully weird, strangely poignant art show

    Harry S. Truman is an unlikely protagonist for a disorienting video plus a series of mixed-media paintings and sculptures by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley. But he’s an inspired choice.

    It’s the third show at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects for the Kelleys, who are based in upstate New York. The setting of the video centerpiece is a submarine in the Pacific Ocean during the closing days of World War II, with the artists performing as characters in the video and photographs mounted in light-boxes.

    The 33rd president was the bridge between mammoth wars — one hot, the other cold. The terrifying dawn of the nuclear age, when weapons of unprecedented intensity and power were actually used against an enemy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, quickly became the threat of global annihilation, which formed the grinding context of everyday life for the next two generations. These are artists who think big, while employing modest means.

    Stylistically, the work assumes a contemporary form of epic poetry, as if the “Iliad’s” Homer, “Mahabharata’s” Vyasa or the unknown “Beowulf” author were a current feminist equipped with a video camera. (Toss in Woody Guthrie too). Everything is rendered in black, white and gray — a cartoonish emulation of period photographs before color became the norm.

    Charcoal animations by South African William Kentridge, colorless French Cubist paintings and the extreme stylization of German Expressionist cinema are among the visual sources. The distinctive technique, a savvy distancing device, invokes rich and powerful histories. A bug-eyed, tragicomic mask can ricochet between ancient Greek theater, classical Kabuki drama and modern Mexican rituals of Day of the Dead.

    Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley Mary Reid Kelley and Patri ck Kelley, “Strong Poison,” 2018, mixed media. Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, “Gaudy Night,” 2017, photograph transparency on lightbox. Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

    The style is also just wonderfully weird, as when the simple pinstripe of a photographed business suit turns out to be painted on, just like the wood grain of an actual ladder or chair in a couple of the sculptures. No one would mistake the painted president for a faithful likeness of the real person. All the world becomes a stage and Harry Truman, the Everyman President, just another player. (The artists too.) The Kelleys’ epic is humanized.

    Strangely poignant, the video burlesque of life inside the submarine is difficult to follow — I’d guess intentionally so. (P atrick shot the narrative, Mary Reid played all but one of the parts.) Titled “In the Body of the Sturgeon,” the World War II story is set inside an underwater vessel not launched until the 1960s, long after Little Boy and Fat Man were dropped on Japan and the Pacific war ended — but the Cuban missile crisis was fresh.

    The tale is loosely reimagined from “The Song of Hiawatha,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 19th-century Romantic fantasy of Native America. But it seems less about specific details of history than it is the incarnation of a crazed atmosphere of containment, madness and loss. Foundational mythologies deserve no less, and the Kelleys wield their aesthetic scissors to cut them up with rambunctious glee.

    Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Through Dec. 15; closed Sundays and Mondays. (310) 837-2117 www.vielmetter.com

    christopher.knight@latimes.com

    @KnightLAT

    Queen sees new portrait at Windsor Castle

    The latest in a long line of portraits of the Queen has been given the royal seal of approval by the head of state.

    At Windsor Castle the Queen saw for the first time the painting by military artist Stuart Brown, showing the monarch in a room of the famous royal fortress.

    The painting was commissioned by the RAF Regiment to commemorate its 75th anniversary and to honour the Queen who is the regiment’s Air Commodore in Chief.

    With the Queen at the official viewing in the castle’s oak room was Air Commodore Scott Miller and other members of the RAF.

    The painting shows the head of state sat at a desk in the white drawing room at Windsor Castle.

    In the image she is wearing a brooch presented to her by the RAF Regiment which shows the Astral Crown and crossed Lee Enfield rifles.

    After the viewing Mr Brown said: “This was the professional and personal opportunity of a lifetime. I had an overwhelming sense of being in the presence of living history.”

    The painting will be displayed at RAF Honington in Suffolk, home to the RAF Police and the RAF Regiment.

    The Queen recently unveiled another portrait of herself with an RAF association, a painting by award-winning artist Ben Sullivan commissioned by the RAF Club in London to mark its centenary.

    What to Expect at Art Basel Miami Beach This Year

    Art Basel closes out a year of electrifying, creative discovery in grand Miami style.

    art-basel.jpg“Chopped Cheese” (2017, acrylic, watercolor, flash, crayon, colored pencil, oil pastel, pencil, handcolored photocopy, handcolored canvas on canvas), 96 inches by 84 inches, by Tschabalala Self, who showed at Art Basel in Miami Beach last year.

    A tried-and-true adage states that success means not resting on one’s laurels. Art Basel took the sentiment to heart with the launch of Art Basel Cities in Buenos Aires last November. The new program proved a smashing hit, as more than 33,500 local and international visitors attended the Art Basel Cities Week, which included exhibitions, talks and workshops in the Argentine capital. Art Basel was thoughtful and thorough as it worked with the national government, the city and local artists to realize the first iteration of the Art Basel Cities Week in an authentic, substantive way. As a result, Art Basel was able to achieve a new level of hyperlocality and a deep exploration of Buenos Aires’ creative community to complement what it already does so well on a global scale at the iconic art fairs in Basel, Switzerland; Hong Kong; and Miami.

    art-basel-2.jpg“Gender Troll” (2018, acrylic on canvas), 70.87 inches by 70.87 inches, by Mathieu Malouf, who showed at Art Basel in Switzerland this year.

    When Art Basel in Miami Beach opens its 17th edition December 6, the nearly 80,000 expected attendees will feel an extra jolt of energy as the spirit of the Art Basel Cities program and the vitality of Buenos Aires embarks on South Florida. “We returned from Argentina and are extremely excited by the experience,” says Noah Horowitz, director Americas for Art Basel. “It has us all thinking outside the box about how our support changes people’s perception of what we do and how we can continue to encourage the art ecology by connecting artists and galleries to collectors and media.” Visitors will be supercharged by the fresh outlook as they savor outstanding works from more than 4,000 artists and 268 galleries encompassing an astonishing array of paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video and digital art. “There are a lot of great things happening this year, including some interesting crossovers. In the past, older galleries tended to represent older, more established artists, and younger galleries represented mainly young artists. We are now seeing a number of older galleries representing younger artists and vice versa,” Horowitz shares. “Also, many of the trends and themes we’ve seen building over the last several years have become more crystallized and are coming into sharp focus. These include colonialism and post-colonialism, gender politics and identity, immigration, race, feminism, religion, climate change and environment, and war.”

    art-basel-3.jpg“Singers” (2017, oil on canvas), 32 inches by 45 inches, by Francesco Clemente, who showed at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2016.

    In addition to the works themselves, there will be a number of surprise-and-delight moments, both at the fair and around town, including the addition of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, which opened at the end of last year, as well as another much-anticipated unveiling that will set a glamorous stage for both Art Basel and the Magic City. “The biggest news this year is the completion of Miami’s convention center,” Horowitz says. “The state-of-the-art facility was only partially open last year due to Hurricane Irma. It was fully completed this fall and will serve as an unparalleled gathering place for our audience, exhibitors, collectors and partners.” Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018, Private Day Dec. 5, by invitation only; open to the public Dec. 6-9, tickets from $50, Premium+ Card $450; artbasel.com/miami-beach

    Bringing in Innovation and Connecting Broken Lines Through Art

    Painting is an art that is akin to Godliness. Not just a piece of work, but a perspective is created by the strokes of the brushes on the canvas with all the different hues. These beautiful masterpieces are a real dive into exploring the rich culture and heritage of the native at its best. It overwhelmingly brings out the creativity of the artist and leaves us mesmerised.

    Anyone whose muse is art and the ones who speak and understand the language of that quintessential muse, do not always have the access to that old, raw and classical form of art that has been existing since ages. Perfectly put down on canvas, these paintings are sure to fixate your gaze upon them and open up whole new arenas for imagination.

    There are a lot of proficient artists whose talent and skills knows no bound when it comes to their portrayal of the colourful stories on a canvas. Their work pieces speak aloud thousands of words to the one who listens. All these forms of art has not yet been made accessible to everyone around the world very easily. The best talent has been observed to be hidden is some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of the world or under the masks of someone stuck under the responsibility of family and working in a 9 to 5 job.

    Well, PortraitFlip provides a solution to this. When all this was so secluded, these guys came up with a means to make all this very known and common to the masses. Their website, provides a platform for all the art afflatus folks to come together and have the kind of artwork they have been looking for.

    PortraitFlip being a niche gifting website has witnessed a growth of 180% organically. A handpicked selection of the finest forms of art is presented for the people whose muse is art. PortraitFlip was founded in November, 2017 by three students from VIT University, Mr. Lavdeep Chahal, Mr. Sunny Choudhary, and Mr. Shubhanshu Maheshwari. The company has sought ways and means to sustain like a sapling through a rock. With an initial investment of their saved pocket money, these college buddies set out on a venture to make crores out of it.

    To get a portrait painted for someone or self, earlier the person had to themselves it hours in front of the artist to clinch what they wanted. Also, not all the artist of all forms and mediums were present nearby to help them have it made. PortraitFlip gives solution to this. All you have to do is send them the favourite photograph of yourself or your near and dear ones; select the medium of the portrait from the various options available, like oil painting, watercolours, acrylic painting, charcoal or pencil sketch, coloured pencils etc.; and finalize the sizing and the finishing options.

    You are sure to have one of the most definable results of artistry with the utmost emotional value provided by the artist. Each and every detail of the photograph is brought to life by them. The pictures are definitely replicated in the most beautiful way that is dearer to look at. The tinge of the handmade craftsmanship increases to the value of the portrait manifolds.

    The best artists from the world are brought together to meet the customers they would love to work for but could have never been able to contact them had it not been for this platform. Innovation being drawn into this perspective of handiworks helps the targeted customers and the potential artists to have what they have always wanted for.

    Not only a normal portrait, PortraitFlip ensures a bit of jiggle with the artwork as well.

    1. You can provide the face of a person to be painted upon another person’s build up.

    2. You can have a number of separate pictures put into a single frame.

    3. You can let us know some signature styles of your favourite artist and have you photograph painted in the same way. To name a few, Jan Van Eyck was famous for his virtuoso oil painting technique to achieve his characteristic luminous finish; Mantegna and Tiepolo for their foreshortening; Leonardo for his sfumato; Matisse and Jawlensky for their colourism; Michelangelo for his fresco painting technique, anatomical skill and male nudes; Degas for his pastel drawings; etc. Just ask for the style of your favourite and it will be there on your table.

    4. Also, adding some beautiful hues to monochrome or dull images can be done here.

    Each painting defines a type. What one has in store for the visual appealing always comes from the mind, there are varying genres that an artist can focus upon but the one he focus upon is the strongest forte for him since a piece of art is cannot be hideous, as winsome to the eye it can be.

    Two of the most selling products are oil paintings and pet portraits. The oil painting is a classical form of artwork in which the artist take all the pain to meticulously deliver a master piece which is worth all the smiles of the customers. The details brought out in it is the most desired feature. Similarly, the love of pets’ parents cannot be fathomed into words. Although, the harsh truth is that they cannot be with them forever yet their memories certainly will be.

    PortraitFlip is all about setting a new standard of gifting experience to the world by delivering the fastest cheapest and most easily ordered personalised portrait to their customers. One cannot go back in time to experience them again but definitely can express all the emotions involved in that still from the past through colourful masterstrokes of the brushes on a canvas.

    PortraitFlip turns the most special moments that have been captured, into a framed form, to have it given to someone special or kept for self to be reminiscing every now and then. PortraitFlip is dedicated to provide the most intricate and personal experience to their clients. Be it any extravagant pastels, serene monochrome or the classy oil colours, the customer has to name and they will get it done for them. Without leaving any stone unturned to enlighten the minutest detail while painting the customized portrait.

    This item was posted by a contributing reader. To learn more about contributing readers, click here.

    Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival has been canceled for 2019

    After months of radio silence from the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, organizers announced on Thursday afternoon that the 2019 gathering has been canceled, but say it will return in March 2020.

    Festival brass did not give an explanation for the hiatus, writing in a Thursday post on the festival’s social-media accounts that “we have decided to take a fallow year and not hold our annual Okeechobee Fest in 2019.”

    The announcement follows months of speculation about the future of the sprawling music-and-art spectacle that has called the 800-acre Sunshine Grove campground home since 2016. Although Okeechobee’s parent company, Soundslinger LLC, typically announces the festival’s music lineup in September and October, the festival’s social-media pages have remained dormant since Sept. 13.

    After selling out its 2016 and 2017 festivals, drawing more than 30,000 visitors each year to grove north of Lake Okeechobee, the 2018 edition featured performances from Arcade Fire, the Roots, Travis Scott, Bassnectar, Leon Bridges, Snoop Dogg, Chaka Khan and Joey Bada$$.

    pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364