Category Archives: Art Installation

Art Installation #12 – @intuitivepics documentary – #Monsoon by Sturla Gunnarsson

My friend Dee Hobsbawn-Smith, just sent me a note saying I might like this movie, Monsoon. I quickly looked up the date for Calgary and see that I missed it by a few days. Now, just like the film crew I’ll be chasing a monsoon.

I would have loved this film and I’ll hope to see it yet. It won the People’s Choice award and was in the Top Ten films at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I just experienced my first real monsoon season in India last November. India heightens our awareness of humanity’s oneness. Monsoons manage to magnify that effect. Read on for more about what my initiation into monsoon culture was like and to learn about a special project the director of Monsoon, Sturla Gunnarsson, has started.

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Art Installation #11 – Mustering great choices for @HPRodeo 2015

Calgarians must go out...winter or no winter...thankfully our cultural offerings give us the will to do it - photo - Karen Anderson

Calgarians must go out…winter or no winter…thankfully our cultural offerings give us the will to do it – photo – Karen Anderson

Avenue magazine has done a great job of enticing people to ignore January and get out on the town for some High Performance in this year’s rodeo of the arts. Read High Performance Rodeo 2015 | Avenue Calgary for their picks in this walloping cure for the Arctic Chills we’re all experiencing.

You can check out the whole High Performance Rodeo program here. It runs January 7 to February 1, 2015.

My friend Tonya Lailey works with Theatre Junction and is thrilled with their offering for the festival this year: Untitled Feminist Show by Young Jean Lee.pdf

Read on for the naked truth about this boundary pushing performance.

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Art Installation #10 – making #TheHumanConnection with photographer @jeremyfokkens

making the coffee connection with Jeremy Fokkens - photo - Karen Anderson

making the coffee connection with Jeremy Fokkens – photo – Karen Anderson

Black and white – these photos look you in the eye. Some of smiles and some of question marked faces, but all with subjects caught fully present in the moment with the man on the other end of the lens. Stark, bold – sometimes bare naked and raw. Joy, bliss, pain, despair; nothing shielded; nothing held back. A journey into life and its balancing forces. Life revealed in Nepal and Bangladesh. Powerful stuff.

Read on for a few photos from Jeremy Fokken’s book The Human Connection and a little bit about the man himself.

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Art Installation #9 – Falling into the Guggenheim in Bilbao and coming out looking for more of the architecture of Frank Gehry

Guggenheim Bilbao – Exterior Walkabout – from a distance


If you are traveling to Spain, Bilbao’s Guggenheim is worth adding to your itinerary.

The value of art and architecture, for me, is how they cause me to live completely absorbed in the moment. The moment is all that really exists so it really is the best place to spend your time.

The value of contemporary art and architecture – if they achieve what they set out to do – is to allow each of us to take away our own interpretation and meaning of what we see in its presence. You have to be present in its presence to access that and when you are it can be a powerful experience.

I went to the Guggenheim in Bilbao and lived so in the moment that when four hours had passed it felt like one moment. I was drawn in to the depths of this place, I was amused and engaged by its surroundings and I was raised up in what it held inside. My interpretation was of experiencing life as seamless oneness. Perhaps this is what a fish feels like in water. This giant fish of a building with all its seams, sails and scales ended up feeling seamless to me.

This art installation on my blog will have more photos from Bilbao and more info on architect Frank Gehry – where he’s coming from and what he’s done lately.

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Hey Calgary – Monday, Oct. 20th is your chance to catch #Springhammer – a documentary about the art of Japanese knives by our friends @knifewear and @kevinkossowan – Art Installation #8 (also cool thing #26)

Congratulations to my friend Kevin Kent and all the staff at Knifewear on the release of Springhammer – a documentary about eight Japanese blacksmiths and their dedication to the art of creating handcrafted culinary knives. Here’s the trailer.

If you’re in Calgary and want to see this beautiful film by Edmonton’s Kevin Kossowan here’s what you’ll need to know as follows (from the Knifewear press release):

The Calgary debut of the film will take place on Monday, Oct. 20 at 7 pm at the Plaza Theatre (1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., Calgary.) Tickets are $10 apiece – in advance at Knifewear in Inglewood or at the door as long as they last.

Read on for more info about the documentary and a little bit about my own experience with these knives…

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Let there be light! – Art installation #7 (cool thing #25) – A new central Calgary Public Library for @calgarylibrary

From the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation’s press release today…

“The New Central Library has been a long time coming, and moving forward with this project was a key part of my platform when I was first elected,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “When City Council created the Community Investment Fund in 2011, we also created a mechanism to finalize the funding of a New Central Library that will serve the needs of a growing population now and into the future. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together—The City of Calgary, CMLC, Calgary Public Library, and all citizens. The New Central Library will be a new icon for Calgarians and a jewel of public space and opportunity for all.”

The prime design consultant team, Snøhetta + DIALOG, deeply understand that a library is far more than just a building with books – something that’s evident in every aspect of the final design.

“Since embarking on this project, one of the things we’ve kept reminding ourselves is that we don’t just want to build the best library in the world. We want to build the library that’s best for Calgary.” Craig Dykers of Snøhetta explains, “At this moment in time, with the city conditions that surround us, with the different needs of all of you in the community, we continue to ask ourselves, how we are going to make the right library?”

From me…

The City is laying a bridge with this architectural icon to connect the long neglected East Village to downtown Calgary. City Hall was built with its back to East Calgary. This new building brings the area back into the fold and celebrates it as a beacon for our bright future as a whole with no area left out. That’s Nenshi building a different legacy for the city.

When East Village is completed in 2027 there will be more than 11,000 residents. They will have the RiverWalk, St. Patrick’s Island Park, the National Music Centre and an urban shopping centre to enjoy along with this inspiring gathering place that will be our new Central Calgary Public Library. This isn’t the first time a new library has acted as a beacon of light for our city.

The first library in Calgary at Central Memorial Park was opened in 1912. The Women’s Literacy group of Alberta applied for a building grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. Carnegie had come from nothing in Scotland to become the wealthiest man in the world. He was a firm believer in the ability of learning, books and free libraries in inspiring and lifting humanity to its full potential. He funded over 2500 public libraries in the world and our first library was one of them. That building was built in a feminine Beaux Arts style and raised on a pedestal in honour of the women who got it built. It was Alberta’s first library and brought some balance to our “rough and ready” existence at the time. Central Memorial Library is set in a park, is still open and still very beautiful 100 years later.

It’ll be exciting for our children’s children to see what the next 100 years and this new library inspire. And isn’t it right that all this new light is rising from the East…Village.

I like these two libraries. They are beautiful bookends in our city’s history. Libraries truly shed light and help us savour it all.

Central Memorial Library

Central Memorial Library

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Springtime in #Paris – Art Installation #6 -Giverny – Monet’s true masterpiece

Monet's Garden - viewed from his home photo - Karen Anderson

Monet’s Garden – viewed from his home
photo – Karen Anderson

Are you are gardener like me? Are your green thumb’s itching to scratch the earth each spring as winter thaws and the earth sends its hidden shoots skyward with the melt and thaw?

Well, it’s been an especially long winter where I live and so in this week where I’m sharing memories of my trips to Paris, I find special joy in sharing photos of an excursion I made to one of the most beautiful garden’s on earth: Claude Monet’s home and garden at Giverny.

Giverny is easily reached from Gare Nord in Paris. It’s only a little over an hour’s train ride into Normandie and I spent a magical day there on my own several years ago while my husband was busy attending a conference. The pictures that follow will show just how soft and gentle a land I wondered into when I got off that train. I hope this virtual home and garden tour helps you savour it all and dream of when your own garden comes to life this spring.

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