Archives for posts with tag: artists
The Window- photograph, Natasha Henderson

The Window- photograph, Natasha Henderson

Upcoming fun this autumn… We are very excited to announce that we will be part of the official programming for Culture Days / Journées de la culture, September 27-29, 2013.

Photography, painting, and mixed media artists are collaborating to reflect upon the unique 9th storey, Fleurbain view of downtown Montreal. The work in this group exhibition reflects the experience of looking out… as we look out, we look in.

List of artists to be announced mid-September… Stay tuned!
Hours for the exhibition during Culture Days:

Friday Sept 27 12-5pm
Saturday Sept 28 10-5pm, and a vernissage/celebration 6-9pm
Sunday Sept 29 12-6pm

While visiting during daytime hours, as a part of Culture Days, we are offering a chance for you to make your own piece of artwork that is inspired by our view.

The following Saturday (October 5) we will be hosting a poetry reading in collaboration with this exhibition. Stay tuned for that, too!

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, unit 917.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

***JOIN our Facebook Event for the vernissage!***

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Parc Lafontaine. an oasis in one of the hearts of Montreal

I sat at this scene the other day, painting. It happened to be on a crest, and I felt the loveliest breeze lifting off the water. There were some rogue, illegal bathers splashing away down below, but no-one seemed to mind. Their laughter and belly flops filled the air with the sound of children, even though they were well into their forties.

In the comments I’m going to try to write some Haiku about this. I am serious. Please join in the fun if you will…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

painting in progress...

«Barren Ground Caribou» by Joyce Wieland, 1978...

"Barren Ground Caribou" Joyce Wieland, 1978

There are some Canadian women artists whom I personally adore. Over the years they have proven to be an inspiration to me for my painting. These women are: Joanne Tod, Landon MacKenzie, Sandra Meigs, Gathie Falk, and to a lesser degree Mary Pratt and Emily Carr. However, when recently asked to give a presentation about art for Women’s Day, I decided on a different list of Canadian women artists to share. Granted I pulled one from my list of personal faves, but I think that’s allowed.

The list that I suggest everyone look up is: Joyce Wieland, Rebecca Belmore, Lisa Steele, Anne Savage, Gathie Falk (yes she’s one of my faves), Betty Goodwin, Janet Cardiff, and Jin-me Yoon.

All of these women’s works are pertinent and intriguing, their lives and experiences are (or were) expressed in some way within their works. I would argue they are feminist artists, even when that’s not obvious. The examination of “Self” in a particular space or situation is linked to feminism and feminist art. These artists’ work speaks of the times they live (or lived) in, and it speaks about equality.

I used to think that it was enough to just be a woman artist that produces. I have begun to realise, however, that I need to know more about this society in order to understand my own questions, and quests.

I said it before, and I have to say it again: I recommend the book Women, Art, and Society by Whitney Chadwick.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Fleurbain is proud to announce that we will feature a different artist in our online space every month. Our first artist is one of the women behind Fleurbain, Natasha Henderson. Artists who are interested in being featured are welcome to email:

– three to five jpegs of their work (no larger than 1200 pixels on their longest side, at least 300 pixels on their shortest side)

short descriptions of each piece (Title, Medium, Size, Date)

a link to their personal website

 and an artistic statement/short biography (about 200-500 words) to: fleurbain@gmail.com.

We can’t guarantee that everyone will be featured, but why not give it a shot!

snow painting in herbal pigments

A friend of mine remarked to me a couple of months ago that Arcade Fire’s music is very marchy.  Sometimes when I am listening to them on my Ipod, I test this comment and try to march a little.  Unfortunately, I can usually march along to their music.  This does not really matter to me.  I still like them, even if I am marching to it!  I think this a positive thing to do in March, I have a hunch that there is an Arcade Fire song for any day in March, no matter the weather.  So, get out there and try it!

Coming up in March (the month) in fleurbain:

Resto reviews of three places you really shouldn’t miss in three very different Montreal neighbourhoods (Downtown, St Henri, and The Village).

Herbalism, recipes, photography, cartoons, an art review…

Felted DIY Nesting Bowls and Slippers (it’s still cold outside, baby!)

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, a three-part feature on Canadian Women in The Arts.

Simple herbs for cats… this isn’t your Grandcat’s catnip!

A new web feature: Online Featured Artist. Every Month we will share a new artist with you in this online Gallery, with images of their work, links to their websites, and other cool info about them. Submission requirements will be announced shortly…

A heart-wrenching, mind-boggling, gut-churning anecdotal tale about Professionalism In The Arts.

A Snow Painting and book-making creativity spa workshop! Bringing the web to real life, yet again. Also, we will officially announce our new service: Customised Workshops.

March looks like both a lion and lamb month, so join us as we gear up for Spring!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Part of an exhibition in a Public Art Gallery, 2004

Galleries can be intimidating for artists to approach. Knowledge is power, so it is important to understand a bit about galleries before you approach them. Most galleries have websites so you don’t have to go pummel the person working there with questions, and you can research many different galleries from the comfort of your computer-screen. I do recommend walking into your chosen gallery a few times before submitting your portfolio, if possible. On-line, a gallery (like any other business or organisation) will present themselves in their best light. Get to know the reputation of the gallery and staff who work there. It’s good, too, to get a feel for the “fit” of your work with the work they currently show.

There are a few different types of galleries. Please note that I am located in Canada, and other countries have slightly different legal and practical models for galleries. These Canadian types of galleries are Public Galleries (in the USA these are closest to Art Museums), Artist-Run Centres, Co-Ops, and Commercial Galleries.

There are many sizes of Public Gallery. Often a larger city will have a larger Public art Gallery, but this isn’t always the case. A lot of towns and cities have a very minor art gallery, while others have several types of Public art galleries. A lot depends on the funding situation in a given city or province. Some cities and towns have colleges and universities; these tend to have good and better-funded (due to better attendance) art galleries. Many of the smaller art galleries have “submission” sections in their websites. However, as is often the case with other sorts of galleries, sometimes the “submissions” section isn’t exactly in bold type. Check out the “contact” and “information” pages, and if you still don’t see anything, don’t be shy to send a polite, short email to see if they accept artist submissions, and if there are any specifications for them. Larger institutions normally do not accept submissions from artists, however, it can’t hurt to acquaint their curators with your work.

Another type of gallery whose purpose is to advance art and culture, and not to make money, is the Artist Run Centre. It is important to note that a lot of Co-Op style galleries call themselves this, even though they do not really fit in this category. In Canada, an Artist-Run Centre is one that pays artists to show. This is similar to the Public Galleries, in that they adhere to the CARFAC fee schedule. These galleries have a mandate, a board of governors, and are distinctly non-profit. There are many hoops that a gallery must fit through before they are a true Artist-Run-Centre in Canada, and thus they are highly respected galleries, much like the Public galleries. Normally they have a range of cultural services and events outside of exhibitions, like publications, installation and integration into the larger community, and public events. This is a good link to lists of these galleries, as well as other nifty Canadian things.

Co-Op style galleries usually are run by artists, but they do not adhere to the “artist-run” rules. These galleries offer a range of exhibition and other opportunities. In my experience, they are great for local artists to obtain studio space, socialize with one another, and to have more informal exhibitions. As a self-supporting artist I am turned off by many of these galleries, though, because not only do they not pay artists to show, but ask for artists to pay for their exhibition space. Personally, I do not want to be a part of that. Other artists claim some success with this, though, if they have highly marketable work that just needs to be seen to be purchased. Galleries-For-Hire are good for commercially successful artists who want to circumvent the Commercial Gallery system.

Commercial Galleries are there to sell art. There are, indeed, Commercial Galleries that have a mandate to advance art and propose to support culture with events, concerts, publications, and other goodies. A really good Commercial Gallery will integrate itself into the world, and not just pander to the lowest common denominator. These galleries, generally, take about 40-50% of the retail price of works. In my experience, this can be a good way to reach an audience who would otherwise never see your work. A good gallerist works hard, and is worth every cent of their commission. A bad gallerist can do any number of bad things, from not being friendly and professional to people entering the gallery, to not paying the artists in good time, to not promoting well… to outright theft of artworks. It can get ugly. Listen to the rumour-mill about galleries’ reputations in your town before submitting your portfolio.

Most application packages (with many exceptions) require some basic stuff: A dvd of between 10 and 20 works, a co-responding Image List, an Artist Statement, and a CV. Sometimes the gallery requires a Project Proposal (especially the Artist-Run and Public Galleries) to know what specifically you would like to exhibit there, and what is your academic or theoretical bent. From time to time, you will find a gallery that accepts submissions on-line. This can be a challenge because normally they only want a scant few images of your work. However, it costs nothing to email. Sometimes the gallery lists a request for a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) to return your materials. I would suggest doing so, as it appears that you care about your work, and your information is precious to you. Personally, I need to take my own advice in this regard. Normally I don’t supply the SASE, as I know that in the three to six months that it will take for them to get back to me, my portfolio and CV will have changed. But… I will try to take my own advice from now on.

A Final Word of Support: As with any venture, as long as you cross your ‘”t”s and dot your “i”s, you should expect about a 10% (or less) success rate. Keep those packages flying out the door. When they are sent back with a polite (or not-so polite, or non-existent) rejection letter, do not fret. We all go through this, it is part of the game. If you are an organised-type, take notes of when submission packages are called for by galleries. Note it in your calendar, and you can produce a few submission packages at a time. This saves you time and effort. I usually settle into this about three times a year, and get out about a dozen within a day or two. That being said, it’s a good idea to keep checking in case special calls to artists should come up. Also, try not to re-submit the same proposal to a gallery. Gallery Committees and Curators have good memories.

Best of luck, and see you in the galleries!

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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