NEWS - 2013
NEWS ARCHIVES -
All text, photography and artwork is by GARY SIM unless noted otherwise.
May 14: BC ARTISTS RECEIVES CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
Conference poster with Sim Publishing logo (bronze sponsor).
Sheryl Salloum nominated me for the Certificate of Merit, and then I
found out that it was being awarded to me. So, I thought about going
to Kamloops to receive the award. After I decided to do that, I thought
that I should sign up for the whole conference, and make it more
worthwhile attending, so I did. Then, I thought about becoming a
sponsor of the event, even though it was relatively last minute, and
signed up as a bronze sponsor. This entitled me to such perks as having
my logo on the conference posters, programmes, and web site. The
photo above shows my logo on one of the large display boards.
Nicola Lake, driving up the old 5A from Merrit to Kamloops.
The weather turned good just as I was starting the week off, and it
continued to be hot (30 to 35 degrees C.) and sunny from Wednesday
to Friday. Saturday dawned cloudy and a few degrees cooler, which was
somewhat of a relief.
Receiving the Certificate from Federation President Barb Hynek
Photo: Derek Hayes, courtesy
B.C. Historical Federation
A happy Sim receives the B.C.
Historical Federation CERTIFICATE OF MERIT for his
BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS project. I gave a
very short acceptance speech, along the lines of "Thank you very much
for this award. I've been researching the project for fifteen years,
writing it for ten years, have had six award nominations along
the way, and received one award. Thank you."
Meeting The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Photo: Derek Hayes, courtesy
B.C. Historical Federation
The Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia is the Honorary Patron of
the Historical Federation. As it happens, her Honour is from Kamloops,
and attended the conference on Saturday. She gave a talk on the history
of the Guichon Ranch in the Nicola Valley, toured the book room, and
attended the Awards Banquet. In the photo above she's been going around
the room greeting attendees at the banquet, this was the third time we'd
spoken that day so it was a bit of "hello again" which we both
thought was funny.
The Lieutenant Governor and her military escort in the book room.
Photographer Derek Hayes on the left.
Two buildings at Tranquille, one of the conference field trips.
Antique car show at Tranquille, derelict building beyond.
Part of the CN Rail yard in Kamloops, for the railway buffs.
Thompson River valley west of Kamloops.
This reminds me of the song about "little boxes
on the hillside" ... the boxes are much bigger now.
The drive back home on Sunday was relatively uneventful. I stopped
a number of times to take photographs, but ploughed straight through
once I passed Merrit. There were some showers going over the Coquihalla,
then dry from Hope onward. The changing clouds made for some
interesting pictures. In the photo below, the center span of the
"old" Port Mann bridge is visible on the right. The bridge has been
taken out of service and is actively being demolished. This is probably
the last time I'll see it.
Driving home over the new Port Mann bridge, the old bridge on the right
is being demolished.
May 1: TWO-TONE BUILDING STARTS TO GET A MAKE-OVER
A major building restoration project is in progress on a well-known -
dare I say "landmark" - high-rise building in downtown Vancouver. The
photo above shows a suspended scaffold structure that will be
lowered down the face of the building as each level's windows are
replaced. Window seals on many of the glazing units have failed,
according to news reports, so the entire glazing system on the top
half of the building will be renewed. When complete, the entire building
will apparently have only one colour of glass (and it won't look
April 26: NEW PENCIL DRAWINGS NEARING COMPLETION
Snippets of two large new pencil drawings, one of Sombrio Point,
Vancouver Island & the other of Queen Charlotte Harbour, Haida Gwaii.
The waves smashing into the shoreline at Sombrio Point were the largest
I had ever seen. The drawing is composited from a number of 35mm film
photographs taken at the time, sometime around winter 1975-76.
The drawing of Queen Charlotte (City) harbour is based on a 14
megapixel digital picture taken October 27, 2012, the day of the
7.7 magnitude earthquake. Refer to news 2012
for stories about that.
April 25: HMCS VICTORIA ARRIVES IN VANCOUVER HARBOUR
April 25: HMCS Victoria and attendant ships
I haven't seen a submarine in the harbour for quite a while, although
I'm sure they have been around. This submarine is a "hunter-killer"
class, covered in rubber anechoic tiles to help keep it undetectable
underwater. It was purchased "used" from the British navy, and spent
an unfortunately long amount of time in drydock being refitted
and updated for Canadian service. The vessel is here taking part in a
joint naval exercise that includes British and American ships.
April 5: An unusual heavy-lift vessel at anchor in Vancouver Harbour.
April 5: BC ARTISTS REVIEWED IN OPUS NEWSLETTER
Chris Tyrell-Loranger, long-time writer in the
Opus Art Supplies
Visual Arts Newsletter, added a short review of BC Artists
to his latest article in the April 2013 newsletter issue #291. The
article on page 6 is titled "Artists Must Multi-Task" and I
agree whole-heartedly with that.
Readers of these NEWS pages will remember my news items about
Chris writing a chapter about me in his most recent book on
art marketing titled "Making It! Case Studies of Successful
Canadian Visual Artists." He is currently in final rehearsals
for his latest venture, a live musical play titled KNOCK, KNOCK that
he has not only written, but is performing in ... the play has a short
run booked at the PAL Studio Theatre from April 18 to April 21
(the April 18 performance is already sold out).
The Theatre is at 581 Cardero Street (just off Cardero & Georgia),
and tickets for Friday night, Saturday night, and the Sunday
matinee may still be available from Brown Paper Tickets. The play
is also being used as a successful fundraiser for the adjacent
Performing Arts Lodge.
March 28: BC ARTISTS TO RECEIVE AWARD FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORICAL FEDERATION
A letter has been received, informing us that the
Sim Publishing project BRITISH COLUMBIA
ARTISTS will be awarded the B.C.
Historical Federation CERTIFICATE OF MERIT. The award will
be presented at the Federation's annual conference in Kamloops on
May 11. Thank you to the Selection Committee for this honour. Thanks
again to Sheryl Salloum for the nomination (see news item below). A
photograph of the award (and a happy publisher) will be posted
March 25: SIM PUBLISHING ARTICLE IN B.C. HISTORICAL FEDERATION NEWSLETTER
The March newsletter from the
B.C. Historical Federation
has arrived, containing the first Sim Publishing
advertisement placed with the Federation, as well as a short article on
Sim Publishing. The article is an introduction of a new corporate
member of the Federation (Sim Publishing) to the existing members,
and is a new little "bonus" to receive.
March 24: SIM PUBLISHING INVITED TO 2013 ALCUIN WAYZGOOSE
Sim Publishing has been invited to present at the Alcuin Society
Wayzgoose event this fall. A printing demonstration will be given,
and original relief-printed keepsakes will be given away to attendees.
Further details (date, time, location) will be posted when available. We
hope to see you there!
March 22: VISIT TO HMCS DISCOVERY TO SEE R.S. ALEXANDER MURAL
Some time ago I met Renee Alexander, a calligrapher, and the daughter
of R.S. Alexander, an early Vancouver artist. Renee showed me photographs
of her father painting a mural during WWII at HMCS Discovery, the
reserve naval base on Deadman's Island in Coal Harbour, Stanley Park.
The original main building, harbour beyond.
I finally got around to getting in touch with the naval base to see if
the mural was still there, and if I would be able to visit to see it. The
answer was yes on both counts, so I arranged for a visit with Renee.
In all my life in Vancouver I had never stepped foot on
Deadman's Island, so it was an interesting visit in a number of ways.
The original main building, front entrance.
I caught a taxi from the office, and got out at the seawall. The
Commissionaire was waiting at the guard house, and gave me permission
to come aboard. I walked over the bridge and stepped foot on the
island for the first time. Master Seaman Brendan Richardson, the
ship's Information Systems Administrator, met Renee and I at the front
door and gave us a tour of the main building.
The mural is upstairs in a lobby just outside the Officer's Mess.
It is in wonderful condition given not only its age (completed
1945) but also the fact that HMCS Discovery is on an island completely
surrounded by a moist, salty, marine environment. The mural's colours
are still rich and vibrant, possibly because the mural was painted
in a location where it does not receive any direct sunlight.
Mural detail, right side.
Mural detail, center.
Mural detail, left side.
Robert Alexander painting the mural 1944 - 1945.
Photograph courtesy Renee Alexander
It was great to see this piece of art history at last. I had
printed out copies of my R.S. Alexander biography from
BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS, which includes
the b&w photograph above, and gave copies to Master Seaman Richardson
and Renee for their records. Apparently there were no records on board
related to the creation of the mural, so they were happy to have a lot
more information available on the artist and his work.
The Officer's Mess. Model of HMCS Ontario in foreground.
We completed the visit with a tour of the Officer's Mess, which is
quite a magnificent club room, where one can easily imagine the
hundreds of naval stories that have been told there over the years. There
are numerous naval paintings on display, including a magnificent large
oil on canvas of the British battleship HMS Hood in First Narrows during
its visit to Vancouver in the 1930s. Many thanks to HMCS Discovery for
permission to visit.
The bridge to Deadman's Island, downtown and West End beyond.
There was an arctic front blowing from the northwest, and large dark
clouds were moving around dumping isolated snow showers on selected
parts of Vancouver including English Bay. It cleared up and I walked
back to the office, a bit of a brighter view below.
Downtown and West End from Coal Harbour.
Mar. 9: DAMIAN MOPPETT INSTALLATION AT "OFFSITE"
One of the ongoing series of installations by various artists at the
Vancouver Art Gallery's satellite outdoor gallery space in the 1100
block Georgia Street.
Feb. 23: BEATRICE LENNIE SCULPTURAL WALK
I am very fond of the sculptural work by early Vancouver artist
Beatrice Lennie. There are a number of her works available for viewing
around Vancouver, although they are typically hard to find if you
don't know where to look.
In 1940 she was commissioned to do two sculptural panels flanking the
main entrance of the new Shaughnessey Hospital's main entrance. That
entry is now enclosed in an interior courtyard where it is not easy
View of original hospital main entry with Lennie sculptures to the left
and right of the doors.
Detail, panel to right of the doors (Doctor and soldier).
Detail, panel to left of the doors (Nurse and soldier).
Heritage plaque added as part of Vancouver's 125th anniversary.
St. John Anglican church on Granville St. - Lennie reliefs.
St. John Anglican church - Lennie relief over door (detail).
St. John Anglican church - Lennie baptismal font.
Feb. 23: VAN DUSEN GARDENS EDUCATION CENTRE "ART MOB"
Education Centre viewed from across the pond.
Following the opening of Van Dusen Garden's new visitor centre on Oak
Street, the Parks Board announced plans to demolish the 7,000 square
foot "Education Centre" that is nestled into a hillside at the back
of the park. It is currently used as an administration office.
View of interior.
Heritage Vancouver would like to retain the building, and is working
to see if it can be saved and re-purposed. An "ART MOB" event was held
on Saturday for those interested in the building. As luck would have it,
we were able to tour the inside of the building. It is quite an amazing
structure, and it would be a great pity if it were to be demolished. It
is in excellent condition, despite a general lack of maintenance on the
Looking out from inside.
Feb. 20: LE GAVROCHE RESTAURANT PUTS SIM ARTWORK IN PRIVATE SALON
View of Le Gavroche private dining salon. Artwork from left to right:
Nine O'clock Gun,
Mt. Waddington & Scimitar Icefall,
The relocation of my artwork took me by surprise a little. The owners
had mentioned that they were going to redecorate but didn't say when. I
went over for lunch last Monday only to find the restaurant closed for
renovations. However, the new location of the artwork in the private
dining salon gives a much closer and more intimate view of the artwork
than in the former upstairs location. Refer also to
Le Gavroche for additional information.
Feb. 16: SCULPTURE SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA EXHIBITION OPENING
The exhibition by the SSBC titled "CELEBRATION OF NATURE - FLORA AND FAUNA"
opened today at the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. The
show runs until March 17, 2013.
Patinated bronze sculpture by Alexander Schick
Sculpture by Claire Murgatroyd
I found out a week later that the Conservatory was recently in danger
of being demolished, but has apparently been "saved" from that fate. It
seems that the current Vancouver Parks Board doesn't have much respect
for the unique buildings in their portfolio (see also Van Dusen Education
Centre news item above). Perhaps they wanted to put up an 80 storey
tower to "punctuate the skyline" of the park and help "make ends meet" ... ?
View of the geodesic dome.
Feb. 8: BC ARTISTS NOMINATED FOR B.C. HISTORICAL FEDERATION AWARD
BC ARTISTS has once again been nominated for an award. Vancouver
author Sheryl Salloum has submitted a nomination for the
B.C. Historical Federation
Certificate of Merit. The Certificate is
awarded to a "group or individual who has made a significant contribution
to the study, project, or promotion of British Columbia's history."
Firstly, I would like to thank Sheryl for making this nomination, and
for spending the time to put together the nomination letter and
supporting material. We both hope that the effort is not in vain!
Sheryl Salloum is the author of UNDERLYING VIBRATIONS: The Photography
and Life of John Vanderpant, published by Horsdal & Schubart
Publishers, Victoria, BC in 1995. In 2011 she wrote THE LIFE & ART OF
MILDRED VALLEY THORNTON, published by Mother Tongue Publishing,
Salt Spring Island, BC. This was the "fourth book in The Unheralded
Artist of BC series." Sheryl is currently working on a biography of
BC Artist Sonia Cornwall, who lived at the Onward Ranch in 150 Mile
I purchased a copy of UNDERLYING VIBRATIONS a number of years
ago, as Vanderpant is one of my favorite historic Vancouver photographers.
I got to know Mona Fertig, owner of
Mother Tongue Publishing, when they
were starting their series of "unheralded artists" books. I was able to
help with research on the first book on sculptor David Marshall, who
I knew, and
have helped out as much as I can with the subsequent books in the series.
This included the book on Mildred Valley Thornton, on whom I had
compiled a fair bit of information. Mona, Sheryl, and I became friends,
and we frequently use each other as resources for our diverse projects.
I greatly appreciate their friendship and support, and highly recommend
their publications to readers interested in the art history of British
Feb. 1: BC ARTISTS REVIEWED IN TIMES-COLONIST, VICTORIA BC
Long-time Victoria arts columnist Robert Amos has written a positive
review of Sim
Publishing's project BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS.
The review was published in the TIMES-COLONIST newspaper February
1st. An on-line version of the review is available at the following link:
CD of BC Artists is a Labour of Love
Mr. Amos is himself an artist and BC art historian, and is included in
the BC ARTISTS project for his exhibitions of artwork on Vancouver Island,
as well as for writing the book Artists in Their Studios. He
is currently artist-in-residence at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria,
and is in the midst of digitizing and transferring some of his
collection of art ephemera to the University of Victoria Library and
Archives. For more information please refer to his home page:
Robert Amos home page
Jan. 21: BIG POODLE ON MAIN STREET
A new public art poodle by artist Gisele Amantea has been getting
a fair bit of press since its installation on Main Street this winter.
Above and below are two views of it, seen from across the street on
a foggy day. It looks a bit lonely more than anything ...
Jan. 5: Vancouver Historical Society Lecture on Vancouver's art history
My friend Michael
Kluckner is a Director of the
Society (VHS), and he suggested that I put forward a proposal to give a
lecture on the history of art in Vancouver. I wrote an outline of my
proposed talk and forwarded it to the VHS for their deliberation. I
found out this week that the proposal is accepted, and that I have
been booked to give my talk on the 4th Thursday of April, 2014.
The talk will be at the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street, at
7:30 p.m. Admission is free. I'll post more information in a year or
so when the date approaches. The VHS lecture series is very popular
and usually has a full house, so mark your calendar and get
Jan. 4: A belated farewell to Lynn Brown (1939 - 2012)
I dropped by my friend's store Salmagundi West to say hello,
but it wasn't open yet. I was looking in the window and noticed this
photograph of her in the window, which I thought was a little weird ...
a closer look provided the unfortunate news that she passed away
last fall, and the photo was part of a memorial display. I hate it
when friends die without telling you.
I got to know Lynn 10 or 12 years ago, we kept running into each other
at Westcoast Estates auctions. Over the years we had a lot of fun as
we bid on various auction items, usually trying to get them for the
lowest price possible. The auctioneer started ribbing us about our
bidding, and she and I started referring to ourselves as "bottom
feeders." Luckily the things that I was bidding on were usually
not the things that she was bidding on, so we weren't competing.
Although she was single when I first met her, she later started a
relationship with Gerald Giampa, the noted (and notorious) letterpress
printer. They seemed to get on well together, although Lynn would
occasionally refer to him as a "rogue." Unfortunately Gerald
passed away June 24, 2009. A memorial article about him by Jim Rimmer
was published in the Summer 2009 issue of Amphora, the journal
of the Alcuin Society. I got to know Gerald during the time he and
Lynn were together, and we had some interesting conversations about
Hopefully Lynn and Gerald are together again, still looking for
bargains and unusual items wherever they might be. Farewell, friends.
Jan. 4: Early morning fog in the harbour.
Jan.1: 2012 Christmas card original (work in progress)
This is the original artwork for my 2012 Christmas card FIRST
WINTER. The drawing, when complete, was scanned and then
made into a negative image. Thus, the black snow became white snow.
In the end I erased the stars and snowflakes, leaving only the deer
standing in the snow.