Art & artists

#414 Good art and bad habits

Ken Foster’s Vancouver: Life, Art and Alleyways by Sean Nosek and Ken Foster Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2018 $49.95 / 9781926991917 Reviewed by Robert Amos First published November 05, 2018 * I like this book. I like the energetic paintings, I like the way the writer presents the artist’s unique life story, and I admire…
Read more #414 Good art and bad habits

#412 Vancouver jazz scene

Live at the Cellar: Vancouver’s Iconic Jazz Cub and the Canadian Co-operative Jazz Scene in the 1950s and ‘60s by Marian Jago, foreword by Don Thompson Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $29.95 / 9780774837699 Reviewed by Brian Fraser First published November 02, 2018 * Good books on jazz are filled with intriguing stories about the relationships…
Read more #412 Vancouver jazz scene

#409 With Whymper to the Pacific

A Not-so-Savage Land: The Art and Times of Frederick Whymper, 1838-1901 by Peter Johnson, foreword by Robert Amos Victoria: Heritage House, 2018 $24.95 / 9781772032208 Reviewed by Michael Layland First published October 29th, 2018 * The English artist Frederick Whymper (1838-1901) spent the years 1862-66 in colonial Vancouver Island and British Columbia, producing technical and…
Read more #409 With Whymper to the Pacific

#397 B.C. sculptor lost and found

First published October 12, 2018. Rebel Muse: My Life With Peter Paul Ochs by Monika Ullmann Victoria: ProWord Publishing, 2018 $25.00  /  9780992144937 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * Editor’s note: In an email to the Ormsby Review, freelance writer and journalist Monika Ullmann recalled that when the new Provincial Museum of British Columbia (now the Royal…
Read more #397 B.C. sculptor lost and found

#394 Supernatural Haida Columbia

In Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii, Haida artist and activist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson encounters 33 supernatural beings of Haida mythology. Her aim is strongly cultural, as Williams-Davidson told Marsha Lederman of The Globe and Mail (June 16, 2017): “I have grandchildren who talk about Disney princesses and are enthralled with magical powers, but for…
Read more #394 Supernatural Haida Columbia

#385 The carpenter of Koona

Those Born at Koona: The Totem Poles of the Haida Village Skedans, Haida Gwaii by Carolyn and John Smyly Surrey: Hancock House, 2018 (first published 1973) $29.95 / 9780888391018 Reviewed by Dan Savard First published Sept. 27, 2018 * In 1957, John Smyly (1924-2002) was hired as carpenter by the Provincial Museum of British Columbia…
Read more #385 The carpenter of Koona

#371 Burning down the house

Tom Burrows by Scott Watson and Ian Wallace Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2018. Co-published with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery $50 / 9781927958889 Reviewed by Robert Amos First published September 11th, 2018 * Born in Ontario in 1940, Tom Burrows moved to Vancouver in 1960 hoping to study medicine, but instead earned a B.A….
Read more #371 Burning down the house

#363 An Erickson-Massey masterpiece

Smith House II by Michael Prokopow, with photography by Michael Perlmutter and a foreword by Douglas Coupland Novato, California: ORO Editions, 2018 $24.95 (U.S.)  /  9781940743387 Reviewed by Harold Kalman First published Sept. 2, 2018 * Historian of architecture Hal Kalman appreciates Michael Prokopow’s Smith House II, the biography of a house in West Vancouver designed…
Read more #363 An Erickson-Massey masterpiece

#338 Julia, graphically yours

First published Jul. 8, 2018. Julia by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2018. $19.95  /  9781988242200 Reviewed by Yvonne Van Ruskenveld Julia Henshaw is possibly the first woman in B.C. to have published a novel. She remains almost entirely unknown, although she was accorded an extensive entry in Alan Twigg’s Vancouver and Its Writers (Harbour:…
Read more #338 Julia, graphically yours

#336 Gathering Gathie

First published Jul. 3, 2018. Apples, etc.: An Artist’s Memoir by Gathie Falk with Robin Laurence Vancouver: Figure 1, 2018. $22.95  /  9781773270128 Reviewed by Sheryl Salloum * The opportunity to sit down with an eminent artist and have that person share their reminiscences is rare. In Apples, etc. An Artist’s Memoir by Gathie Falk…
Read more #336 Gathering Gathie

#329 From inuksuit to cyberspace

First published June 26, 2018. Sculpture in Canada: A History Maria Tippett Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017. $39.95  /  9781771620932 Reviewed by Catherine Nutting * Maria Tippett’s Sculpture in Canada is, she writes, not an encyclopedia, but an introduction; an eye-opener to some of the greatest Canadian sculpture. The book is an ambitious project. It…
Read more #329 From inuksuit to cyberspace

#326 Up-Island with E.J. Hughes

E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos, with the participation of the estate of E.J. Hughes Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $35  /  9781771512558 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Postscript: On October 9, 2019, E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island was awarded the 2019 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in the non-fiction category — Ed….
Read more #326 Up-Island with E.J. Hughes

#323 Beau Dick’s revolutionary art

First published June 15, 2018. Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit by Darren J. Martens in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum Vancouver: Figure 1, 2018. $40  /   9781773270401 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover * Chief Beau Dick (Walas Gwa’yam) (1955-2017) was a much-honoured artist and activist in the Kwakwaka’wakw community, the wider Indigenous and non-Indigenous arts…
Read more #323 Beau Dick’s revolutionary art

#315 From props to hot properties

First published June 2, 2018. Life and Bronze: A Sculptor’s Journal by Ruth Abernethy Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016. $60  / 9781926991733 Reviewed by Maria Tippett * Born in Lindsay, Ontario, in 1960, Ruth Abernethy started building theatre props at the age of 17. After studying at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo,…
Read more #315 From props to hot properties

#314 E.J. Hughes renewed

First published June 1, 2018. “B.C. is the best place in the world for landscape subject matter.” — E.J. Hughes “One of the main reasons I paint is because I think nature’s so wonderful that I want to try to get my feeling down about that on canvas, if possible. I feel that, when I…
Read more #314 E.J. Hughes renewed