‘The Art Spirit’ by Robert Henri

'Fog at Mt Doug' by D. Herold / Copyright 2013

The following quote by famous American artist and great teacher Robert Henri came to my mind when I was hiking up Mt. Doug at 6 am the other day. It was indeed a start into a day beyond the usual…

“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.”
Robert Henri (1865 – 1929)

Henri’s book ‘The Art Spirit’ embodies the entire system of his teaching, presenting his essential beliefs and theories.  The American painter George Wesley Bellows called it ‘one of the finest voices which express the philosophy of modern men in painting’.  For me, it has been a constant source of inspiration.

Robert Henri was considered one of America’s greatest art teachers, painters, head of The Eight and the style of painting, which was referred to as the Ashcan style of art. The Eight was a loose association of artists who protested the restrictive exhibition practices of the powerful, conservative National Academy of Design. Through the years Henri studied at several institutions and become a renowned artist, art teacher and author (The Art Spirit). Many of his paintings have been acquired by private collectors and museums, amongst them the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art.

Homer, William Innes. Robert Henri and His Circle. Ithaca, 1969.
– Kwiat, Joseph J. “Robert Henri’s Good Theory and Earnest Practice: The Humanistic Values of an American Painter.” Prospects 4 (1979), 389 – 401.
– Perlman, Bennard B. Robert Henri: His Life and Art. New York, 1991.

Photo credit: ‘Fog at Mt Doug’ by D. Herold / copyright 2013


Seen today: ‘Persist’ by Troi Donnelly

by Troi Donnelly

by Canadian Artist Troi Donnelly

‘persist’ is an on-going project committed to constructing new objects from the remnants of an inflatable, vinyl plastic air mattress. The twice constructed word “persist”, as well as an ever-growing pile of fir cones, addresses a state of insistence; a stubbornness that can be interpreted in a negative sense while at the same time implying a sense of optimism.

My colleague Troi Donnelly is showing a sample of her artwork in the Ministry of Casual Living window gallery in downtown Victoria, B.C. until December 31, 2013 (Decade exhibition space on 1407 Government St.)

About the Ministery:

The Ministry of Casual Living in Victoria B.C. is a registered non-profit society and a member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres, exhibiting the works of contemporary emerging and mid-career artists since 2002. Established to provide artists from all disciplines with an accessible venue for experimentation, the MoCL is committed to promoting critical, self-reflective discourse, and integrating the artistic process into all aspects of everyday life.

Exhibition ‘Winter Salon’ at XChanges Gallery

Winter Salon Poster PRINT

Visual & artistic cornucopia

Last night’s opening reception of our Annual Members’ Exhibition, “Winter Salon” at the XChanges Gallery in Victoria, B.C., was a great success! Hung in traditional salon style, the gallery was packed with small works of art creating an experience of visual and artistic cornucopia. 40 studio and non-studio members are participating. Today, all nine of our studios – housing 20 artists – were open to the public.

The  exhibition continues on Dec 8, 14 & 15, 12-4pm or by appointment.

“Xchanges is a member-driven artists’ cooperative operating a gallery and affordable studios for practicing artists”, says Gallery Coordinator Rachel Hellner. “Many of Victoria’s artists in the past 45 years have been involved with Xchanges. Some have had their first solo exhibition here; others have given classes, been active members, and had studios in one of the 4 locations which we have inhabited over the years. Xchanges is currently home to a gallery exhibition space and studios rented to member artists, including the darkroom of Crossgrain Photographic Society. Life Drawing, Portrait, and Sculpture sessions in the main gallery attract an average of 30 or more outside artists per month.”

Over the years, Xchanges has hosted events such as poetry readings, concerts, jam sessions, filmmakers’ nights, film festivals, theatre performances, the Mayday Erotica festival, art workshops for both adults and children, and multicultural events such as a monthly Tango Night, exhibitions by the local Native womens’ group, Wild Women, and exchange exhibitions produced by Ground Zero Printmakers exhibiting works from South Africa, New Zealand, and Quebec. The non-commercial gallery features work by local emerging and established artists.

More information: http://xchangesgallery.org/index.htm


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