Kopperscape by Karim Rashid at the Edmonton International Airport

The Edmonton International Airport has unveiled a brand-new public art installation created by internationally recognized Canadian Designer Karim Rashid. The piece is located in the US Departures lounge, which is especially exciting since that was formerly one of the most unexciting places in the airport.

From the EIA Website:

Influenced by Canada’s mountains, snow drifts and rivers, Kopperscape is a signature piece for EIA and a gathering spot for passengers travelling from Canada to the US. Kopperscape is a functional fiberglass sculpture that has seating for passengers and a performance stage for live entertainers.

I’ve been hearing rumours for some time that Rashid was working on something for our airport, but I was expecting wallpaper. This blew me away, although I was a bit disappointed by the color, which ironically was meant to be reminiscent of the Canadian penny, which is going to be phased out over the next six months. Nevertheless, the 10×10 meter installation is substantial and is an exciting piece of art for our city.

In an interview in the Edmonton Sun, Rashid discussed doing more Canadian projects. The interviewer suggets it might be because it’s too expensive for Canadians to hire him. Rashid disagrees:

“I don’t think it’s about affording,” he explains. “I think deep down Canada is still very conservative and they see me as this wild designer.”

Rashid may be on to something – Canadians are quite conservative when it comes to their art (and clothes). Perhaps its the northern climate? Nevertheless, Edmonton has become increasingly bold lately when it comes to public art. The city has been enjoying openness to contemporary art, design and architecture following the enormous popularity of our Gehry-esque Art Gallery of Alberta (designed by Randall Stout).

My husband had a chance to see this piece of art, along with many others during a recent tour of the newly expanded Edmonton International Airport. He was especially taken with Michael Hayden’s sculpture The Raven, which has been constructed out of “holigraphically-embossed acrylic and mirror polished stainless steel.” The piece (shown below) is just one of many exciting new installations that are part of the airport’s art program.

Images via flyeia.com

I’m back!

I’m back! I have been enjoying time with both my lovely daughters (the youngest of whom – shown above – is now just a little over 2 months old). This time I really allowed myself to take a break from blogging, social media etc., and it’s been a wonderful experience. That said, I feel that it’s just about time to return to the virtual world! I definitely have missed you all, and hopefully there are some readers left, since I realize that three months is an eternity in blogging!

I also have to admit that one thing that has kept me from coming back sooner is that I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis over what I would like The Earthly Paradise to be, especially now that I no longer have as much free time to devote to writing more serious Art History stuff (something I realize I haven’t done in a while). Also, I can’t help but notice that my interests have changed quite a bit since I first started this blog back in 2007! So, there might be a few tweaks in the works, which is something that I’ve been debating with myself about for quite a while. I’m still not entirely sure what this will mean, so stay tuned!

Call for Submissions for the August Issue of the Art History Carnival

The August edition of the Art History Carnival  will be posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. You can submit articles for inclusion in the carnival until 48 hours before the issue comes out (Monday, August 1st).

What kind of blog articles will be included?
Posts covering all periods and art mediums are welcome, as are posts discussing art criticism, architecture, design, theory and aesthetics. All submissions will be carefully reviewed, so please, no spam.

What is a Blog Carnival?
According to Wikipedia, a blog carnival is “a type of blog event…similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks links to other blog articles on the particular topic.”

Blog Carnivals are a great way to help your blog reach a new audience and to make new friends in the blogosphere!

Who can submit?
Anyone, as long as you have a blog! And If you don’t blog, you can submit one of your friend’s articles (except they better be good–I’ll be reading them!).

Can I host a carnival?
Absolutely! Please let me know if you’d be interested in hosting the next issue of the carnival.

How to submit articles
You have two options:

1. Use the submission form provided by Blog Carnival (this is easiest!).
2. Send me an email. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are nominating for inclusion in the carnival, along with the name of the blog. Please put “Art History Carnival” in the title of your email to help me recognize it in my inbox!

One final thing to keep in mind:
To keep things current, posts should have been written after the date of the last Carnival. If a post is six months old, I won’t be able to include it in the Carnival, no matter how great it is.

Thank you for your participation! Share the news with other bloggers!

Andy Warhol: Manufactured

Starting May 28th, the Art Gallery of Alberta will be hosting a special exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work. Andy Warhol: Manufactured is an internationally touring exhibition of Warhol’s work, and the AGA is the only gallery in Canada that is offering the exhibition, which will include his early drawings and commercial illustrations, his better known works, and also many of the films he made.

Warhol was certainly larger than life, and his work as an artist is easily eclipsed by his persona and the celebrity world he inhabited – which is a bit of a shame, in my view, since he was very talented! But as an artist he certainly demonstrates that keen observation of a culture is often a far more powerful force than pointed social critique. And his work certainly has enjoyed enduring popularity. I notice that one of his self-portraits just set an auction record for the artist last Wednesday when it sold for a cool $38.4 million.

Pretty nifty for the seller’s estate, since the estimate was $20-30 million. Of course, I’m sure the publicity surrounding this piece didn’t hurt either – CNBC featured the self-portrait last month during it’s Power Lunch program (Christie’s had direct interest in the sale, hence all the extra publicity). I often wonder how differently art auctions would turn out if there was more publicity surrounding recent auctions of, say, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s work.

Andy Warhol: Manufactured will run May 28 – August 21, 2011

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! For those of you that aren’t aware, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican forces over the French at the Battle of Puebla, which occurred on May 5, 1862. It really has nothing to do with Mexican independence (which was declared 52 years before on September 16th), and it’s not really celebrated much in Mexico. I don’t really know how it came to be such a big holiday in the States (maybe because “Cinco de Mayo” is fun to say?), but it’s certainly a great excuse to eat Mexican food and enjoy a margarita.

On an entirely different note, yesterday it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t done an issue of the Art History Carnival for May! I know it sounds a little crazy that something like that could have slipped my mind, but I have been pretty busy lately. Being a stay at home mom certainly keeps me on my toes (my adorable 19 month old is the most active baby on the planet), but I have been forced off my toes for a couple of weeks after I ended up breaking one of them (no fun at all!). Also, my husband and I are expecting another baby in August!

I definitely will be doing an Art History Carnival for June, and my apologies to those of you who were looking forward to submitting posts for the May edition. I will make reminders for myself this time!

Image courtesy wikimedia