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Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,
Up until six weeks ago we hadn't heard the phrase "social distancing" and these days we hear of little else.
It's pretty quiet in the art world we can tell you. Art shows are cancelled, galleries are closed, some galleries are going online to try to stay alive, some are even selling from online exhibits.
One might be tempted to think the arts aren't important in these times but imagine how well we would have coped over the last four weeks without novels, music, movies, poetry, paintings...
Nick Green, a Toronto playwright, was to have had his play open on March 13. His opening was cancelled. Nick got to work and created the online Social Distancing Festival. He invited artists all over the world whose performances/exhibits were cancelled due to the pandemic to submit proposals for inclusion in the Festival. Susan sent a submission on behalf of the artists planning to take part in the 21st annual South Pender Island Easter Art Walk. Nick accepted it and we can now be found on www.socialdistancingfestival.com, click on Visual Arts and scroll down to find us. While you're on the site, check out the numerous presentations from artists all over the world.
Susan received a very welcome email this week from the College of Family Physicians of Canada asking to purchase one time use of one of her nest drawings. They had found this image on the Social Distancing Festival website. Looking forward to seeing the cover of their Journal this time next month!
Frank and Susan each have a piece in the spring show at The Gallery at Hope Bay on Pender Island. The exhibit looks great but The Gallery had to close before anyone could see the show. You can now see the work of many of the Penders' artists in this show online at ptarmiganarts.org/virtualgallery.
The Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery on Granville Island is closed but they've taken their exhibits (and sales) online at www.artists.ca. Susan has work in their Small Works Collection.
Frank has been very busy creating new digital montages, some of them dramatic images reflective of the current pandemic. And he's getting back into paint too!
Finn Slough, digital montage by Frank Ducote
The Big Empty, digital montage by Frank Ducote
Susan was scheduled to exhibit work from her Importance of Plankton series at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver later this month. The conference has been cancelled and is now struggling to go online. With luck, there will be an opportunity to show some of each artist's work on the conference site.
The Importance of Plankton VII, acrylic on panel by Susan Taylor
After a heart-warming experience in which we helped to rescue a mallard family that had jumped from their nest on a sixth floor balcony in downtown Vancouver, we started to create a children's book about the adventure. Susan is writing; Frank is illustrating. We do one chapter a day with a copy deadline of 6:30 pm when we read, electronically, that day's work to our grandchildren. The reviews from our captive audience are pretty good so far.
Baby Cole Catches an Eel drawing by Frank Ducote for chapter 5 of Mama Mallard and Her Ten Ducklings
It feels as if we're all being given a timeout to reflect on the mess we've made of the planet and to collectively change our ways and do better going forward.
Take good care of yourselves, everyone.
our best to you,
Frank and Susan