Saturday, August 12, 2017

Is it the smoky bbq, the food booths, the Kimono and handmade clothing and crafts, the Taiko, the procession, the bonsai and Ikebana, the transformation of a city park and the streets around it? It is all of this, truly a celebration of Japanese Art and Culture. This is the 41st Annual Powell Street Festival and the theme, this year is: Re:Generation; Seeds of the Past, Leaves of the Future.  I am always drawn to this festival because historic Japan is there, as well as new interpretations, extensions, collaborations and creations: families, generations celebrating together. Such friendship and welcome to all, here.

Highlights for me, on the Saturday, were George and Noriko, A Japanese blues cowboy and Tsugaru Shamisen player from Melbourne, Australia. Far from home, rocking the audience with the international language of music, compelling us to sing the chorus and dance along, George and Noriko bring an entirely new dimension to traditional Rock N Roll.

Sansho Daiko presented Taiko, Spoken Word and Story. The Masks and dance into the audience, delighted everyone.

The Omikoshi by Vancouvr Rakuichi, is the presentation of the portable shrine, which can be found in festivals throughout Japan. The shaking of the shrine showers attendees with good luck.

Congratulations and arigatou gozaimasu! Thank you!

Photos by Luke the Photographer





Thanks to Luke Tsoukalas for the fabulous photos.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

At the Seattle Art Museum, there are currently many wonderful exhibits but two really stood out for me, this time. The Native Art and Life Along The Northwest Coast, is an outstanding collection of masks, robes and clothing. The button and bead designs are vivid and precise, never anything random or unevenly spaced. The red and black are strong colors, especially on the coat by Dorothy Grant (now in Vancouver) and Robert Davidson, also working close to Vancouver. Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week featured their very statement making, iconic work.

The second exhibit is Infinity Mirrors, featuring the 50 year career by Japanese Artist, Yayoi Kusama. From red and black, from commanding masks, I went into bright pink balloons, multi colored dots, 5 rooms of kaleidoscopic 60's worlds. We entered each room and stayed for only a few seconds, in a small group of 3-4. We were amazed, awed, and a bit disoriented, but everyone took pictures and talked. The range of sculpture, painting and constructed environments, was extraordinary. We left with a small card of colored stickers, some of which were red and black. Connections, all important. ART, where would we be without it.



Wearing Carolyn Bruce Designs necklace, naturally









Curated by Barbara Cohen, this show runs from June 29-August 10th and is well worth seeing. I highly recommend these statement hand made, one of a kind pieces, as well as the rest of the gallery/store: The Craft Council of B.C. at 1386 Cartwright, Granville Island.

Each piece featured the powerful colour, red. My favourites were by Barbara Cohen and Pamela Richie but there were 54 pieces, in total. This exhibit, as Barbara points out, goes beyond ornamentation. ...the ever growing field of contemporary art jewelry pushes those limits with unusual ideas, materials, techniques and concepts and moves jewelry toward the realm of Art. So beyond necklaces, earrings and bracelets to sculptured Art forms.


Everyone dressed up for this event. I wore red coral beads and many 
of the Artists wore their spectacular work. John and Judy wore red hats 
that Judy had created. She's from New Orleans and always dresses!






Loved "Two Women" sculpted by Linda Doherty, too. 
So much to see and wear. I want it all! See more at craftcouncilbc.ca. 
VCAD students always present memorable Grad Portfolio Shows. They presented in the afternoon for Industry and at an evening reception for Parents and the public. We had a look at Game Development and Design, 3D Modelling,Animation Art  and Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Fashion Design, of course.

We were welcomed by Natasha Campbell, Head of Community Engagement and Anne Morris, Director of Education. VCAD staff, very enthusiastic, happy to share the best and dressed for a grand occasion.

Awed by Sara Vachon, Fashion Designer, Anna Vardanyan, Environmental Design and Textile Artist and Anna Morton,  Interior Design.

VCAD - always a vision! Continuous intake and graduations. Lots of opportunity to see a wide variety of programs, accomplished students and wonderful staff.

See previous post here!

Thanks to Dianna Drahanchuk, guest blogger, photographer and fellow fashionista.






Sunday, July 30, 2017

Written by Colleen Tsoukalas
Photos by Dianna Drahanchuk 

This was the Red Dress Showcase, so the runway featured red and attendees were asked to wear red in honor and memory of the lost and murdered indigenous women across Canada. Red, the color of passion, blood, heart and life brought us together on the runway, in the audience and everywhere inside and outside of the Queen Elizabeth Plaza.

Mandy Nahanee is such a powerful emcee, leading us in a celebration of Indigenous culture, its history and resilience. We were compelled, following her example, to sing, to dance, to raise fists, to mourn, to be angry, to be awed, to smile. Lorelei Williams, also an impressive emcee and community leader, especially for youth, led the Butterflies in Spirit Dancers, in a quest that tragically, is ongoing. This dance and the song, "Sisterz". by rappers JB The First Lady and Chief Rock Enter Tribal, truly emphasized loss and grief: "I'm looking for my sister, where did she go..?" An Eagle Dance, also brought families who lost loved ones, to the floor.

We saw 8 designers, this evening, including the jewellery and clothing of Bill Reid (from the Bill Reid Gallery) and many artifacts from The Museum of Anthropology. It was, in so many ways, a night of partnerships, collaborations and immersion.

Dianna did her best to capture the designers after each of their collections:

Derek Packer
Evan Ducharme
Dominique Hanke
Linda Kay
Bill Reid (vest)
Curtis Oland (his models raised their fists as they walked. The audience did too.
Mia Hunt
Dorothy Grant

The designs say it all. For further details and you know you want them, go to VIFW.

Thank you to Dianna Drahanchuk for the photos.



Mandy Nahanee


First up, we met 10 year old Derek Packer, who 
made a special dress for his sister. 


Evan Ducharme's ATAVISM (resiliency and strength) collection, 
a testament to his Metis heritage. This was a collaboration with 3 other 
artisans. The Metis sash belts were woven by his material grandmother, 
Cathy Allard. 


The  straw hats and the 40's portrait style hat are by Dominique Hanke of Hive Mind 
Millinery. Katie Garnham made leather keychains featuring the words: 
RESIST, DECOLONIZE, UNSETTLE. (Thank you, Evan for the brochure containing 
the descriptions, the credits and the photographs. You teach all of us, this way). 






Linda Kay's collection 



Linda Kay and models


Bill Reid vest jacket


Butterflies in Spirit (founded by Lorelei Williams) dancer


Rapper, JB, singing "Sisterz"


The Eagle Dance


Curtis Oland's collection



Designer, Curtis Oland


Mia Hunt's collection 






Designer Mia Hunt and models


Dorothy Grant's collection






Dorothy Grant
 
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