Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hintonburg Arts Quad - bye bye

Five Years ago I moved to Hintonburg. - Arts Quad.

I moved here for a few reasons:

-  Don Monet had a gallery near the Parkdale Market.

- There was Parkdale Gallery run by James Robertson.  .

I moved in and set up a gallery out of my home.  And built the first and only sculpture garden in Ottawa.

Later for a short time CA Gallery opened.

Five years

Cube Gallery moved up to Wellington Street.

Parkdale Gallery closed

CA Gallery closed.

And the City of Ottawa basically forced me to close.

But now there is Orange Art Gallery that opened. But the building they are in is at some point going to be turned into Condo's.  So in time they will move from their location.

So much for the Hintonburg Arts Quad.  What is Hintonburg now really known for.... Some nice affordable trendy restaurants.

Love Live Art... or ...  Live Die Art.

Dear Unknown Cowards


Deep breathe.

It has been a pretty emotional time.  I have had a lot of positive comments, gifts, help, love, support, encouragement.  Many things have flooded my heart, my world, and life.

For five years I worked very hard to develop the gallery.  And now I have been working on moving forward.

There are unknown individuals who are happy to see me get closed.  It is very clear that I upset more than a few individuals with my activities.

My current location is now closed.  Yes.  One step back... two steps forward.

I will continue to move forward. This is a set back. Life is like chess sometimes. Black and White movements.  Black and White Posters.

Moving Forward:

Stage One: Convert the gallery my home Hinchey property into a duplex (currently working on this). That way I can generate some income from this 3700 square foot house. So my monthly expenses are greatly lowered. And later it will become a duplex rental income property.

Stage Two: The gallery / home property is a double lot. It is lot 144 and lot 145.
So one of the two lots is already listed on MLS.  When it sells... I will have the some funds to invest in a new location. 

Stage Three:  Once the renovations on the gallery are complete... it is already rented for September 1st.  I just have to finish a few weeks of renovations...Then  I will take some time to relax. Focus on life, my daughter, my painting, and focus on calm.   Isabelle and I will continue to live upstairs in the Hinchey Property.  So that she can have some stability. Stay in her school.  

Stage Four: I have over a thousand paintings in storage. For ten years I have only approached two art galleries. So it is time to approach some galleries in other cities. For such a long time all my energy was directed on developing the gallery. Now it is time to develop relationships with galleries to show my work.  I am excited about this.  After all I have a massive body of work to show and sell. 

Stage Five:  When the Lot 145 sells. All properties sell... it is just a question of time.  I will have some money to explore options.  See what is available.  If I need more funds. I will consider selling the other property I own down the street. The crack house I renovated / triplex investment property.  I would wish to hold back on this...And keep this investment property.  But if needed I will consider selling it.  

Another Option:  Isabelle and I could move out of our current home and rent another location. Then I would have 5 rental incomes.  I do not have to purchase the next location.

Stage Six:  In the Fall... start doing research. Brain storming locations, options, business models, churches.  Sustainable options to operating a new art space.  Get help from skilled, helpful individuals to gain protection... to avoid future problems.

Stage Seven: always keep painting.  Loving, Living Art.

Inshort.... Things are moving forward.  And in the future I will have another location. A better location. I have the resources, funds, friends, relationships, artists, marketing, branding, successful format of events to make the future a dream.  It will take some time. Dream Dreams.

I look at the last five years as a gift. I was able to push things forward in a creative, real, true vision. I did not have to worry about money / commercial taxes / it was fun. An experiment. A cheap way to learn how to develop a business. And ultimately the success of the vision... too many people participating in the dream is why I was forced to close by the City.  I do not know very many art galleries that can say that they were forced to close because they were too successful.  Smile.

So for a while the Unknown Cowards that are happy I am currently closed... Eat Sleep Shit Live breathe cry Love Fuck dream Kiss ART....

Live, Love ART.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why We Need Artists

A rather lengthy article entitled, How To Think,  by activist, Chris Hedges, which appeared in Common Dreams earlier this week.


Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clichés we use to describe the nation—the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty—to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation.

Please read entire article here: .

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gallery Closed... but still Smiling. A Push Forward... Live LOVE ART

Two weeks ago today I found out that The City of Ottawa - Zoning closed my gallery.

Well they did not entirely close me.  But they restrict my operations to one individual at a time. One person at a time. Well that seems pointless to me. No art openings. No meet the artists. Cage.  So I decided it would be best to move on.

I never thought that The City of Ottawa had such power.  Feels like Big Brother ByLaw.

This is particularly hard news. I lost my source of income.  I now have a 3700 square foot house to live in that I can not afford. And it seems pointless to have such a massive property that does not service my needs.

So rather than sit around.  Time to move forward.

My home / gallery / property is a double lot.  Lot 144 & Lot 145.  I have decided to sell one of the lots.

The lot is 33 x 100 feet.  I will have to remove part of the building.  And move the electrical panels.

When the lot sells I will use the funds to put a deposit on another property and find a new location for a gallery.  It was my hope and intention to live in this property for another ten years. I wanted my daughter Isabelle to grow up in this neighborhood. Have her friends, live close to her school.  

For the past five years I have worked very hard to develop the gallery.  A lot of renovations were done. The 103 ton Sculpture Garden.... Feels wrong.  Just feels wrong that three people (unknown) can complain and I am forced to one person at a time.  Too many people came to my events and openings... so I am forced to close.  Unreal.

Well here I am.  Time to move forward. Time to turn lemons into lemonade.

This week I started to convert the house into a duplex rental property.  So time to break out the power tools.

The first thing I did was remove the custom made sink I made with the rocks I collected along the Ottawa River with my mother.  It was important to me to cut the heart out of the space first... so I could move forward to do the job as a task.  

Jack Stekelenburg (friend and sculptor) was so kind. He came to help me. He or we framed the walls / space for a bathroom.  

While taking out the contractor bags of garbage my neighbor smiled... And before I even really started construction. The gallery rented for September 1st. Now I just have to do all the work to get it ready. But that should not be a problem.  I have done such work before.  And I have two months to build a bathroom and a kitchen.  

If everything goes as planned. I will sell half the lot. Get enough funds to put a deposit on a property downtown in the market (better location). I will have turned my current home into a duplex rental property, and I already have a triplex down the street. 

So I have to look at all these events as a bump / push.  A lot of work...but in the future I feel confident that everything will be even better.

Live Love Art


Carmel Art Gallery on Bank Street has over 20 paintings available.

A Modern Space has ten new new works (delivered last week - some paintings still soft / wet) 
1116 Wellington Street West. 613 295 4256.

Orange Art Gallery will be showing my paintings.  Will be walking over some paintings to their gallery this week.