Friday, March 26, 2010

Garbage of NYC

Oh, we've all heard the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure". This project by NYC artist Justin Gignac is making me ask, "Can one man's treasure be another man's art?"

"What is art?" Ask 100 people and you will get 100 answers. Some people have their mind's made up on the topic and are unwavering in their opinions; others, like me, have yet to figure it out yet, or are unwilling to commit to an answer. As I write this, I am leaning towards the notion of "art is in the eye of the beholder". How's that for vague? My one caveat, though, is that in order for it to be art it has to evoke a reaction in the viewer. And something more than "oh, that's a pencil".

That's why the "Garbage of New York City" project had me scratching my head; is it art or is it just, well...garbage? On one hand, you could say "oh, that's a beer can". On the other hand, however, you start to see the beauty in the presentation. Removed from it's environment and placed in a protective casing, it becomes a charming little tableau; intreguing in its simplicity, really.

Or, maybe I'm overthinking it. Either way, if you can get people to pay $50 for a beer can and a plastic spoon, you are an artist. Con or otherwise. ;-)

x-posted to Everything is Ticketyboo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ag in the City

Here in Winnipeg (and throughout the prairies), we are completely surrounded by farmland and yet many of us forget the impact that farming has on our lives. Agriculture in the City is looking to change that.

"Ag in the City" is a family-friendly event on now at the Forks that celebrates agriculture and allows us "city folk" to reconnect with the people who grow our food through activities, displays, cooking demos and more. Like any event worth its salt, they've got lots of "big stuff", too - from a giant yellow combine to a mammoth bowl of oatmeal. You definitely don't want to miss that!

"Ag in the City" runs all weekend and all are invited.

From the Ag in the City website:
Once upon a time most Canadians lived on farms. But now, we buy most of our food from the store. You can narrow the gap between the farm and your fork … at the Forks!
Kids can spy on a live honey factory, see where milk comes from, and check out the big yellow combine. Adults can meet local farmers, find new recipes or learn about food safety.
Agriculture isn’t only about food. Crayons, toothpaste and linoleum all have links to the farm. Find out what innovations are happening now, and how much we depend on a clean, healthy environment for our future.
Canada’s most vibrant industry is open for you to discover, March 19-21 at the Forks Market. See, touch and taste what’s new in agriculture. There’s nothing else like it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Project: mascot

The mascot has been working on a project for school and needed a backboard to display it on, but the idea of forking over $15 for one at Michaels sent me into a cold sweat.

a) When I was in school, we always made our own out of scrap wood or cardboard boxes.
b) fifteen bucks? Seriously?

I gave him the option of either spending his allowance on a backboard (as if) or looking for something suitable in the house. Doubtful that he would find anything, he went downstairs...and returned 5 minutes later with a huge grin on his face the box from our flat-screen tv. I was happy that his search was a success, but even happier when he said, "Mom, can I upcycle this for my project?"

5 minutes and some clever Xacto-ing later, the boy had a project that cost $0 and made him feel a whole lot prouder than if he had just grabbed one off the shelf. Looks like we can put that $15 in our trip-jar!

Pics of the project to follow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Strong Body = Strong Mind

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. - Buddha

Buddah, I could not agree more.

That thinking, I suppose, is one of the things that gets me out of bed and into my gym clothes at 5:30am a couple days a week, and makes me late for dinner the rest of the time (save for my weekend workouts, which happen at a more civilized hour). I find that if I go to the gym on a regular basis, I am way better equipped to handle everything that gets thrown at me. Not only does it give me a chance to (literally) work out my problems, but I am left with an enormous sense of pride and self-esteeem when I push myself a little further or complete an especially challenging class.

The sore legs and arms that follow serve as little reminders that I *am* strong and I will get through. Knowing that my body can handle a little punishment and come out stronger gives me faith that my heart and mind and soul can, too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

One of my favourite places to scavenge for art/craft/decor materials in the city is the ReStore at 60 Archibald Street. Run by the fine folks at Habitat for Humanity, the ReStore is a tresure trove of new, used, reclaimed and salvaged building materials and hardware. They have everything in there. You need a lilac-coloured toilet? They got 'em. A bi-fold door? A can of paint? Cabinet knobs? Ceramic tiles? Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Like visiting any place of its type, though, sometimes you luck out and can fill a cart and sometimes you leave empty-handed. (Ok, the latter hasn't happened to me yet.) My one, piece of advice...make that TWO pieces of to be prepared - come armed with measurements if you are looking for something specific (like a drawer pull or a window), and don't forget to bring your imagination. That discarded cabinet door might just be the memo board of your dreams. Like this one.

Whether you are a ReStore regular or haven't been there (yet!), be sure to check out this special event: Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg's ReStore is excited to announce the launch of its innovative 1st Annual ReCreate: A ReStore Art Sale on March 11th.
An event that utilizes the creativity and generosity of local Winnipeg artists, recycles items in imaginative and inspiring ways, and is going to be an event not to miss.
ReCreate is open to public silent auction bids from Thursday, March 11th & 12th 8 am – 8pm and Saturday, March 13th 9am - 6pm. Bidding will close at 6pm on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's raining!

I don't want to jump the gun, but is it too soon to say that Spring has Sprung? Hmmm...maybe I should rephrase that. Spring is poised to, well...spring. It's been drizzling for the past couple of days, but, unlike the women at the gym this morning, you won't hear me complaining. I will be beyond happy to see the end of the snow, and if the forecast is correct, that might be as soon as this weekend. According to the Weather Network, it's supposed to go up to 9 degrees, which ought to do the trick. And, if not, it should at least be enough to melt the snow off the BBQ!

I do have to say, though, it was a really, really easy winter. I think we went through a couple good weeks at -30, but it was beautiful at Christmas and there was relatively little snow, compared to other years. In fact, the red hats on my little Gnomes in the front garden were still visible all season long, as were the solar garden lights in the back yard. Fingers crossed for a quick melt!

That said, it makes me wonder if it was just a fluke, or a result of climate change. I mean, while we were giving our shovels a rest, areas of the US that never get snow got dumped on. Weird, right?

Monday, March 1, 2010

I win!

Hi Rebecca,

Congrats! You are a winner in ECO Canada's Olympic Contest. You have won your own Olympic water bottle.

Eco Canada

Yay me! I will carry it and use it with pride!