We held our last event of the 2015-2016 WASM year the weekend of May 28th and 29th with our annual art show. It was a great success with many in attendance and a great gathering of artists and society members. The prize winners and three honourable mentions of this year’s vernissage were:
1st Prize: Roxanne Dyer for “Cracked” (oil on canvas)
2nd Prize: Diane Robinson for “Winter Tracks” (textile)
3rd Prize: Deena Dlusy Apel for “Orphan Black” (mixed media)
Honourable Mention: Heather Dubreuil for “Open Window- Cesis” (fibre)
Honourable Mention: Michèle Breuel for “A Winter Windy Walk” (mixed media)
Honourable Mention: Jackie Rae Wloski for “Toad Hiding” (oil on canvas)
Check out and Like our Facebook page for more photos and news over the summer as we plan the next wonderful WASM year!
Diane Robinson, “Winter tracks” (2nd prize)
Michèle Breuel, “A Winter Windy Walk” (Honourable mention)
On March 15 2016, landscape artist Deborah Margo presented at the McCord Museum with her theme “Tending Asphalt Oasis”. She transformed several blah areas into very natural and organic environments. She enjoys showing the whole cycle of plantlife from blossom to decay. “There is beauty in decay,” she says. It was a very inspiring presentation.
Below is an account of the cultural outing that took place on March 17th, 2016 to a rare book collection, written by WASM member Elaine Bacal:
On March 17th, 2016, 13 members of WASM attended a wonderful guided tour of D’Or et D’Azur, an exhibit of very old books and illuminated manuscripts dating from medieval to early renaissance. The exhibit was in the Bibliothèque des livres rares et collections spéciales (BLRCS), located in the Samuel Bronfman Pavilion on the campus of Université de Montréal. Our guide, Nicholas Herman, PhD student in art history and curator, expertly explained the exhibit and showed his passion for this ancient art form.
Upon entering the exhibit space, there was a collection of old books belonging to the BLRCS with intricately carved covers, all hand-lettered and illuminated on vellum pages. Opposite this cabinet was a display of writing tools, including feather quills, ground lapis and cobalt for pigments, saffron, gold-leaf and eggs, the whites of which were used as binders for the pigments.
The next section of the exhibit contained beautiful reproductions of liturgical books which were used by clergy for mass, as well as examples from the Lindisfarne Gospels and Book of Hours, which also contained prayers. Nicholas explained that there are many versions of the Book of Hours for they were customized for each wealthy and literate owner, often including portraits of the owners themselves. Very small books, no larger than the palm of the hand, were made for women so that they could read the prayers any time they wished throughout the day. An interesting fact regarding these replicas is that they are very valuable, sometimes ranging in the tens-of-thousands of dollars as opposed to millions for the originals.
The following part of the exhibit included single pages from old books, for at some time in the past, the pages of the books were separated and sold or given away as gifts. Some of the pages were musical scores. Nicholas has done some research on trying to find pages from a single book, but because these pages are scattered in museums, universities and estates throughout the world, finding more than two or three pages from one book is a difficult task indeed.
We then moved on to the final section which included printed pages, on paper. Examples from Albrecht Durer were on view here as well as a small collection of old, finely scripted documents found in various departments of the Université de Montréal, including an order for oatmeal!
All-in-all, we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and learned very much about this ancient and very beautiful art form. We thank Nicholas Herman and the BLRCS for D’Or et D’Azur.
On April 12, 2016 well-known sculptor Susan Stromberg presented, “Living in 3 Dimensions” at McCord Museum.
On April 19th 2016, a cultural outing, organized by Josette Wecsu, was made to the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec. Avy Loftus greeted the group of 12 WASM members at the Musée des maîtres et artisans that afternoon. She was pleased to guide us through her exhibition on Indonesian batik in which are displayed her beautiful batik dresses and shawl creations. Avy took time to explain the ancient origins of these intricate batiks and how they are part of the national soul of Indonesia and tied to its cultural identity. She instructed us on the batik technique and all the processes involved in the creation of batik artistry. It was a most enjoyable afternoon and a good learning experience.
Live judging took place on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 2700 Rufus Rockhead, to select works for the upcoming art exhibition. Artists who wished to submit works brought them in and were judged by Jean-Michel Pollak and Peggy Ann Turner. Jean-Michel is a former gallery owner, curator and publisher of fine art, and Peggy Ann is a well known Montreal artist. They did a very conscientious and devoted judging of our members’ artworks.
On March 29th 2016, Louis Babin, composer and speaker, joined us at the McCord Museum to present his orchestral music dedicated to Antoine de St. Exupery, the author of several books, including the famous “Le Petit Prince”. He then explained to us how the piece was created. For more information on Babin, visit his website at louisbabin.com.
Kicking off the spring portion of this year’s WASM’s events was Deanne Habeeb, presenting “My Montreal – fantasy in collage”. On March 1 2016 at McCord Museum, Deanne Hall-Habeeb presented a slide show featuring her fabric collages. Deanne showed more than 90 slides of fabric collages which depicted street scenes of Montreal and environments. She spoke of her love of Montreal and its eclectic architecture. Her works depicted Montreal as a visually exciting world verging on fantasy and a city of unbelievable colours.
To all of you 72 members and friends who added to our WASM holiday celebration on Wednesday, December 9 at le Nouvel Hotel, thank you for your participation, good spirits and vibrant energy which lit up the Dorchester Room last week. We had over 50 door prizes all generously donated by many of you. Those on lucky Table 9 had a special reason to celebrate !
We are grateful to Barbara Lewis who entertained us with her beautiful solos and singalongs and of course to the Nouvel Hotel administration who provided really excellent food at such short notice.
New member and photographer Elaine Bacal, (firstname.lastname@example.org) went out of her way to take pictures during the event and very graciously put together this collage souvenir for you. (She apologizes if not everyone is in the photo but did her best to include everyone.)
Lots to be grateful for in this 123rd year of WASM. At this special time, as artists and art lovers, we know we don’t need more ‘stuff’, but we do crave for things that can’t always be bought like new ideas, flashes of inspiration, special friendships, momentous memories, good health – precious things that we can cherish and carry with us into the new year and beyond.
In that spirit, the Board of the Women’s Art Society of Montreal wishes you, our members a happy holiday season as we look forward to seeing you ‘replenished’ in the new year…….. March 1st 2016 precisely.
On November 10th 2015, Jaber Lutfi joined WASM at the McCord Museum. Lutfi is a thought-provoking artist and creator who came to discuss several of his paintings and sources of influences. Photos were taken by his friend Jean Tremblay, a dear friend of Lutfi.
On November 24th 2015, Allyna Harris, painter, photographer, musician and composer, came to McCord to speak about her art. She discussed how nature heavily influenced her. Having always grown up around nature, it is reflected in the paintings and music that Allyna creates. Her intricate video productions incorporate natural sounds like rushing water and birds to enhance her themes of nature and music.
On October 25th 2015, a group of WASM members went to a free organ concert at the Grand Seminaire; free concerts for the public are held every Sunday at 3pm in October every year. Those who attended felt the power of the grand organ of the seminary and we recommend that next year, people check this out.
On October 30th 2015, Cathy and Deanne went to see Les Fantomes du Vieux Montreal. Deanne reports, “A very scary time was had. Some of the ‘ghosts’ were really intimidating and truly frightening. However, we did survive to tell our tale.”
On November 4th 2015, a group of 19 WASM members and friends gathered at the Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel Dieu de Montréal at 201 Pine Avenue West to enjoy a one and a half hour guided tour in English conducted by Caroline Grant. They were warmly welcomed by Museum staff and their guide was very well-informed and attentive. During the tour they learned a lot about the beginnings of Montreal and the important role the European French, the Catholic Church, Founder of the Hospital, Jeanne Mance, and the arrival in 1659 of The Hospitallers of St. Joseph, an order of nursing sisters who played such a crucial role in caring for the first settlers. They learned about their struggles, the daily lives of the nuns and about the early evolution of medicine and nursing, which made them all very thankful for modern medical discoveries and treatments!
Afterwards, some members made their way to a nearby cafe for coffee, making it all in all a lovely day. This Museum is definitely worth a visit! They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: We encourage you to attend our Holiday Lunch on December 9. If you don’t know anyone in WASM yet, you will be invited to sit on a table headed by a Board member who will be happy to introduce you around and make you feel welcome. In the early days, women joined WASM for friendship, kinship and support. We hope we can continue that tradition now. (Mention you are a new member when you buy your ticket or you may respond to this email.)
HOLIDAY LUNCH DOOR PRIZES: We are looking for donations for door prizes for our Holiday Lunch – wine, chocolates, art-cards etc. anything over $12 – $15 and up to $50 would be much appreciated. If you can offer a gift, please let us know. It’s fun when almost everyone goes home with a prize !
TREE DECORATIONS: The Tree decoration initiative at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which we have been invited to participate in for many years, has sadly been cancelled this year as they are doing major renovations. It’s a bit late already, but if any of our members know of a tree in a public area ( library, school, community center, atrium, lobby) which WASM could offer to decorate (we have left-over decorations), let us know as this would be a creative way to publicize our Society.
MEMBER EXHIBITS NOW: Many of our members are represented in the Stewart Hall Art Gallery Rentals – the vernissage is today, Sunday November 1st, from 2 – 4.30.
The Square Affair exhibit and sale at the Visual Arts Center, Westmount is open now until November 11th with the GALA on November 5th. You will see artwork done on wooden squares 12×12 or 24×24 given freely to the artists by Avenue des Arts on Victoria. Over 400 very creative and unusual pieces on display and again done by many WASM members and some of our previous presenters at the McCord. Well worth a visit especially if you are looking for a nice holiday gift.
SUGGESTION BOX: Starting next week at the McCord Reception desk, there will be a Suggestion Box for members to offer comments and ideas to improve your experience at WASM. Please participate.
On October 27th 2015, WASM held another event at the McCord Museum where Dr. Mary Hunter, Associate Professor of Art History and Communications at McGill University, discussed Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec‘s painting, Rue des Moulins, 1894.
Although Dr. Hunter focused on that particular painting, she also discussed his other fascinations and depictions with Parisian prostitutes and their relationships with STIs, particularly syphilis. She explored the troubled ties between bodily and painterly surfaces, medical penetration and artistic encounters, as well as the tensions between the ‘slow time’ of waiting and the desire for speed and efficiency in modern medical life. The lecture was fascinating and Dr. Hunter’s in depth knowledge of the topic facilitated interesting discussion.
Some reviews on the event:
“Thoroughly enjoyed Mary Hunter and her lecture. One can never learn too much about the relevance of visual art in society. I wish every meeting would focus on artists in our field. Thank you for a well spent afternoon.”
“I give this an A+ and I am looking forward to reading Dr. Hunter’s book which is coming out in December. The lecture was fascinating, especially so for me because I worked in gynaecologic pathology for many years at McGill and Jewish General Hospital. As a matter of fact, I have enjoyed all the lectures so far; inspiring, informative and thought-provoking. Thank you !”
“Very interesting. The art/medicine angle intriguing.”
“Thank you for a wonderful lecture by Dr. Mary Hunter, a very interesting topic and so well presented. I give this a 10 out of 10.”
On October 12th 2015, Sandra Wong of Ensemble-Karel joined us at the McCord Museum to demonstrate and explain Balinese dancing. In addition to dancing, she also brought and discussed traditional dance clothing and head dresses.
On October 22nd 2015, some WASM members attended a screening of the film Suffragette, a movie portraying working class feminists fighting for equality in the early days of the feminist movement. Although the film focuses on the initial fights for equality, it implies the continued fight that exists to this day.
The above picture was taken with the Suffragette phone app. At fightsnotover.com there’s more information on how to get involved with the current day fight of women for equality.
On Tuesday October 6th 2015 WASM had our annual Meet and Greet & Art Exhibit at 2700 Rufus Rockhead right beside the Atwater market which was a great success. Dozens of new and returning members attended, bringing their art for sale and getting to know each other. Additionally, decorations from last year’s tree ornament activity (which we will be doing again this year with the Museum of Fine Arts) were available for members to take home with them.
Members and prospective members mingled, enjoying tea/coffee and chips and dip.
A delicious lunch was prepared by Board member Bonnie Hill, including but not limited to: chicken satay skewers; egg and tuna salad sandwiches; cheese and crackers; and spring rolls.
Following lunch, every member briefly introduced themselves and mentioned what their passion was. This allowed WASM members to become better acquainted with each other, creating a closeness that other events are not always able to. In response to the event, many members contacted WASM to mention how much they appreciated this aspect of the Meet and Greet.
All in all, the day was a great success and we’re already looking forward to next year’s. Visit our Facebook page to see the rest of the pictures from the event and for reminders/follow ups of future events. If you weren’t able to make it to this event, we hope you can make the next one!
Thank-you for your gracious welcome! I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Meet and Greet. So many lovely interesting women who all have a special talent and a story to tell. I look forward to participating in the group’s events.
Last Friday September 25th 2015 a small group of WASM members got together to visit “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” at the Palais de Congres. While the audio tour lasted an hour and a half, many members stayed for almost three hours. Since people stayed at the exhibit for varying durations, they did not meet for coffee afterwards, but did enjoy the time together as they admired the intricate replicates of Michelangelo’s famous frescoes. The exhibition is in Montreal until October 24th and is definitely worth a visit!
This past Tuesday September 29th 2015 was our second event held at McCord Museum: Shari Blaukopf, a water colour artist of Montreal. She discussed Urban Sketchers Montreal, a non-profit organization that aims to foster a community of artists who appreciate and participate in on-location sketching. Their mission is to promote the value of on-location sketching and to connect those within its community. Urban Sketching Montreal meets on the fourth Sunday to draw and welcomes everybody to join. Urban Sketching Montreal has taken places in locations such as Atwater market, Little Italy, and Mont Royal.
On September 15th 2015 WASM held their first event with a viewing of the documentary, Celesta Found, at the McCord Museum. Marco Fraticelli discussed his involvement with the film, having found the original diaries that prompted the exploration into Celesta’s life, as well as the creation of the documentary. David’s Tea offered samples of tea before and after the film, pairing well with the multitude of snacks brought in by board members. Dozens of new and returning members were at this event, kicking off WASM’s 2015 – 2016 year to a great start.
The following Tuesday on September 22nd 2015 was our first cultural outing to the Château Ramezay, a historic site and museum of Montréal. 15 members went on a guided tour and afterwards had lunch together in one of the many cafes of Old Montreal. The Museum is a rare remaining building going back to New France and is a classified historic monument. Their exhibit spans 500 years and included first settlers, their pottery, paintings, mahogany furniture, ovens, costumes as well as the Governor’s Gardens.
Photos of the vernissage of June 6, 2015 and the art show at Galérie E.K. Voland, 4710 St. Ambroise.
Photo credits: Sharron Gallagher, Aurelia Istinah, Deanne Habeeb
lst Prize winner: Jackie Wloski for MMFA Staircase
2nd Prize winner: Roxanne Dyer for Body Imagined
3rd Prize winner: Deanne Hall-Habeeb for Stargazer – Hovey Manor
Honorable Mention: Lynton Martin for Kitchen Still life
Member Annette Wolfstein-Joseph kindly arranged a private visit in Old Montreal to the AVMOR Collection, a wonderful exhibit of paintings and other creative endeavours by mainly local artists all housed in this century old building at 445 St. Helene street. There were about 20 of us, some who had been there before and others for the first. Marie De Claw was our guide who gave us historical background on many of the works exhibited, including the eclectic tie display. Avi Morrow began the collection many years ago and is President of the Avmor Art and Cultural Foundation.
You may contact Marie De Claw at 514-282-3301 to arrange a visit by appointment.
WASM members enjoyed an afternoon of an introduction to Bollywood and classical Indian dancing with Amrita Choudhury held at the MAI on Jeanne Mance.
Lovely and talented dancer, Amrita Choudhury has been teaching various forms of Indian classical and folklorique dancing for years; she also is a dance therapist and choreographer. She told us that people of all ages, from first steps to death, dance in India. For them dancing is an expression of joy, peace, and harmony with nature and a way to tell stories with their bodies. She cheerfully showed us some arm movements including picking flowers, which we followed with music, then leg movements, and soon we were dancing; it was fun and energizing!
Amrita also organizes a 3-day retreat in the Laurentians in May (8-10) which we are considering as an activity. For more information regarding her classes and retreat her website address and telephone number are:
ananda-amrita.com Tel: 514-768-9711
Submitted by member, Judith Blin.
Organized by Cathy Keays.
The NFB documentary workshop was a great experience for our WASM members.
There were 12 of us which brought the cost to $9.50 each.
Anne Koizumi, our instructor, started off the workshop with a very interesting presentation.
Then she gave us a quick tutorial on how to use iMovie. Finally we were on our way in groups to make our own documentaries on several themes which they provided for us. We gathered our photos, music and sound effects from the NFB‘s database and put in our own voiceovers.
It was great fun and a lot was learned. – Cathy Keays
The tour of the ARSENAL gallery on William Street was organized by Deanne Habeeb. Here are two photos, one with the guide who took WASM members around. Detailed report will follow.
As you know, it rained yesterday for our outing to the Botanical. Nevertheless, several brave souls did outsmart the weather, including me, said Josette Wecsu, member-at-large, and organizer of the event.
The rainy weather posed no obstacle as our adventurous group of WASM members huddled together to share conversation, a glass of wine and a light dinner at the Garden Café.
At the fall of darkness, we entered the Chinese Gardens of Light to explore the exhibition called: Zheng-He: A Voyage of Discovery. We were absolutely enchanted by the brilliant colors and magical luminescence of these sculptural lanterns.
Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science & Society kept us engaged in a very spirited and entertaining session on Tuesday, November 26th at the McCord providing magic tricks (in the style of Houdini !) to boot.
Some of the tidbits I learned: that when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, the shape of God as it appears turns out to be the shape of the human brain.
: that the Pieta has Christ with bulging veins which does not happen when a person is dead, reaching the conclusion that Michelangelo was in fact projecting the resurrection.
: that Da Vinci’s Last Supper is questionable because of the condition in which it was found and later restored, leading us to wonder how accurate the restorations actually are.
: El Greco. It was surmised that his elongated faces and animals were due to his having severe astigmatism. In fact, this was not the case. Sketches and drawings show that his faces were realistic and that he deliberately extended them upwards, symbolizing the union between man and heaven !
: Goya’s Reclining Maya and Reclining Nude were the same woman, his wife, but the clothed figure was for public display while the nude stayed safely in the confines of his bedroom. As Goya aged, it seemed that the use of lead carbonate in the white he used was so toxic that it affected his later paintings, which took on a troubled stance.
: Van Gogh was a smoker, drinker, womanizer. His early paintings were sombre (The Potato Eaters) but strangely when he moved to France, the colors lightened and changed to yellows. We have learned that this was due to his intake of digitalis, an extract of the foxglove flower, which can cause serious side-effects, one of them being seeing yellow haloes. Van Gogh sold only one sunflower painting in his lifetime leaving the conclusion “that if you are an artist, it pays to die”. A recent sunflower painting sold for 95 million dollars. Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin also ingested the green beverage absinthe, obtained from the wormwood tree, which they would enjoy with the sugar ritual. It also contains thujone which causes hallucinations. One of their quotes was “Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder ……”
: Edvard Munsch was apparently cured of mental illness and his paintings changed greatly in style as he got older.
: De Kooning too changed his style towards the end of his life He had Alzeimers disease but continued to paint until he died.
Dr. Schwarz stressed that there is inherent toxicity in the art world and that reasonable precautions must be taken. Seems that the colors that are the prettiest are the ones that are the most dangerous, lead white, cobalt and cadmium. Care must be especially taken with solvent vapours.
He concluded with a story about Houdini’s last lecture given at the McCord while it was still the McGill Student’s Union and he served up some magical tricks with ropes, a deck of giant cards and some colored CDs.
All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon.
- Cheryl Braganza
L’Opéra de Montréal is bringing PORGY & BESS, the musical to the stage and we will be there. You will go home humming “Summertime”, “I loves you Porgy” and “Bess, you is my woman now”……….guaranteed.
Here are the details:
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28TH, 2014
TIME: 7.30 PM Meet between 6.30 and 6.45 pm in the main lobby. RED SCARVES !
PLACE DES ARTS: SALLE WILFRED PELLETIER
DURATION: 3 HOURS - 2 INTERMISSIONS
TICKETS: $24 ( $20 PLUS SERVICE FEES of $4 ), WASM WILL BOOK ON DECEMBER 1, 2013 WHEN THE DISCOUNTED TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE.
SEATS: BALCONY – YOU WILL NEED TO BORROW, BRING OR STEAL OPERA GLASSES/ BINOCULARS
INDOOR PARKING AVAILABLE TO BOOK IN ADVANCE: $13 Call 514-985-2222 to book this directly.
CO-ORDINATOR: CHERYL BRAGANZA email: email@example.com
Make your $24 cheque (no cash please) payable to Cheryl Braganza. Hand over or mail to Cheryl Braganza, 1070 St. Mathieu, Suite 1101, Montreal H3H-2S8 as soon as possible.
36 people have signed up as listed below.
GOING: Maria Roussakis, Sylvia Ruby, Diane Cannuli, Birte Paul, Chantal Beauregard, Matilda Cheung, Heather Dubreuil, Karen Kennedy, Reine Goodrow, Mr. Goodrow, Joy MacKay, Judith Blin, Pauline Shapiro, Teri Druick, Josette Wecsu, Sharron Gallagher, Deanne Habeeb, Jane Barlow, Martha Barrington, Cheryl Braganza, Moira Edwards, Jocelyn Watson, Linda Miller Eubank, Huston Eubank, Jackie Rae Wloski, Brenda Parsons, Susan Mott, Celestine Segers, Maura McKeon, Francine Jutras, Lorie Jutras, Michel Martel, Odrie Coté, Chantal Coté, René Coté, Nicole Leconte
TICKETS HAVE BEEN RESERVED, BOUGHT AND RECEIVED .
Check the website: PORGY & BESS AT PDA.