ROUNDHOUSE BLOG

A Window on Vancouver Artists: Trish Shwart

Photo of Trish Shwart

Artist Trish Shwart.

What is your artistic medium?
Until recently I made 2 dimensional work using collage, painting, drawing etc. However in the last year or so I have started to make small installations, dioramas that tell a story or parts of a story. The birds and the dancers in the Roundhouse vitrine are the first time that I used an element that projected into space. Those dancers created a shift in my thinking about the kind of art I make.

How long have you been a practicing artist? Please talk briefly about your career.
I cannot recall a time when I haven’t wanted to be a practicing artist. However my family strongly encouraged me to take a more “practical” approach to my career. In the end I did both. I got a degree in Design from University of Manitoba and then a few years later graduated with a degree in Painting from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. I worked for a number of commercial design firms, had my own business and worked in industry. In the meantime, I continued to work regularly in my studio and show my work. I think my first real understanding of how I could merge these two seemingly different aspects of my life came together when I did an artist residency in Perth, Australia. Not long after that I did a series of drawings called “In Pursuit of Success” in which I asked what is success (as an artist, as a professional, as a human being) and what were individuals prepared to do, or give up, to be successful. That work was shown in two public galleries in BC and a few magazine articles were published about it. Over the last few years I have shown steadily in Victoria, but now that all my time is spent on my art practice, I am finding opportunities, like this one, to show in other parts of Canada. Nine complex dioramas that will have evolved from the Roundhouse vitrine will be shown at the St. Albert Art Gallery in March 2015.

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Mahjong: A Brief History of the Game

Mah Jong is popular among people of all ages and backgrounds. Photograph by Eric Chan.

Mah Jong is popular among people of all ages and backgrounds. Photograph by Eric Chan.

Even if you have never played Mahjong, chances are you’ve heard the familiar shuffling of tiles at the beginning of the game coming from behind many Vancouver doors. This shuffling is referred to as the ‘twittering of the sparrows’. The name Mahjong loosely translates as “sparrow” but most Vancouverites know the game by its initials: MJ.

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Beerlesque IV: A Night of Seductive Drinking

Beerlesque burlesque dancer

Saucy routines, from some of Vancouver’s finest burlesque dancers, spice up the evening. Photo by Carman Kwan, 2013.

Are you interested in intimately experiencing quintessential pieces of Vancouver’s culture? This October, the Roundhouse presents a fundraiser that is a unique mix of two of the city’s most popular pastimes: beer and burlesque. Billed as an “adult carnival for the senses”, Beerlesque IV brings together BC’s best burlesque performers and craft beer breweries for one special night of old-time fun. It will be the perfect introduction to an integral and consistently changing aspect of the city, and a night definitely not to be missed.

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Ethical Investing: What it means and why it’s important

Photo Source: Matthew Black, Flickr

Simon Fraser University is currently debating the implications of ethical investing initiatives such as the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investing and Fossil Free Funds. Photo Source: Matthew Black, Flickr

In this age of digital media, information is shared at a lightning pace. Individuals and companies alike are more aware than ever about the environment, human rights, diversity and other issues concerning citizens around the world.

More than simply aligning their own practices with their beliefs, people are turning to their investments to return more than just a dollar value. Simply put, we are looking to put our money where our values are.

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A Window on Vancouver Artists: Pierre Leichner

Artist Pierre Leichner is exhibiting his altered books in the Window in Seotember.

Artist Pierre Leichner is exhibiting his altered books in the Window in September.

During the months of September and October, you can see Pierre Leichner‘s artworks on display in the Window, an exhibition space at the Roundhouse where Vancouver artists are asked to explore the link between community and creativity.

How long have you been a practicing artist?

I was a psychiatrist and I stopped working in 2010. I went to Emily Carr to get my bachelor’s degree then I went to Concordia University in Montreal to get my master’s degree in Fine Arts. Since 2011 essentially, I’ve switched to full-time art practice.

What is your artistic medium?

I am an interdisciplinary artist. I use a variety of media depending on the topic of research. For the exhibition in the window, the medium is altered books.

 

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Bringing the Vancouver Hip Hop Community Together

Tarik Tune aka DJ Drop Jaw shows off his amazing talent on the turntables. Photograph by Carm Kwan. Roundhouse Documentation Team.

Tarik Tune aka DJ Drop Jaw shows off his amazing talent on the turntables. Photograph by Carm Kwan, Roundhouse Documentation Team.

What does a Hip Hop community look like? According to the Universal Zulu Nation, a hip hop community is based on the sharing of ideas and resources, while providing service to the broader community through outreach programs. The aim of the organization is to promote peace, equality and humanitarianism through the four elements of hip hop: aerosol art (graffiti), MCing, turntablism, and bboying. At a public forum at the Roundhouse on June 14th, Vancouver Hip Hop artists came together to discuss the formation of a local chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation.
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Explosion of Talent at the Queer Arts Festival

Dare being challenged. Risk being changed at this year’s Queer Arts Festival at the Roundhouse. From July 23 to August 9, the festival will highlight cutting-edge performance art, music, visual arts, literature and more by artists of all ages at this year’s festival under the theme “ReGenerations.”

RH14_eventslide_QueerArtsFestival1

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Be in Step with Dance Walking

NBC reporter Ben Aaron with Joe (previously known as The Nameless Dance Walk Guru Master)

NBC reporter Ben Aaron doing the shimmy shake with The Nameless Dance Walk Guru Master (later revealed to be a man named Joseph)

Workload, hectic schedules, deadlines, busy times…when it comes to life, we’re used to dancing to its tune! Now you can ‘dance walk’ your way into staying in great shape too.

Back in 2012, Emmy award-winning NBC reporter Ben Aaron introduced a workout routine called Dance Walking. It was an idea inspired during one of Aaron’s usual hilarious reports from the streets when he saw a man taking a rhythmic stroll as he cruised down 5th Avenue in New York City. Surprised yet intrigued, Aaron joined him for a minute in the dancing and then watched the man continue on his way – still ‘dance walking’.

Aaron realized that this was the right workout for him, combining his love for three things: interacting with people, seeing the city and dancing. Taking inspiration from what he saw, Aaron created an entire segment on dance walking in which New Yorkers danced down the sidewalks in the Big Apple with him. Thereafter, people around the world responded. Mass hysteria for dance walking swept across the globe, including in Canada (namely in Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler).

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Sounds of Summer at the Roundhouse

Summer in Vancouver is awesome! One of my favorite activities is outdoor concerts.

symphony

Music from the big screen on the Roundhouse Plaza Turntable. Photo by Karen Clare, 2014


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Express Yourself: Freestyle Painting

Ming believes passing on the tradition of free style Chinese painting as her duty. Photo by Ming Yeung.

Ming believes passing on the tradition of free style Chinese painting as her duty. Photo by Ming Yeung.

Imagine telling your young ones about one ultimate rule: that there is no rule. Then watch, as their minds do wonders. Create the unimagined, go beyond the standard. What you need is Chinese freestyle painting.

Let them paint it red! Or even blue, or orange, because it’s free style and it’s colourful. They can forget tools and techniques, this is all about driving the passion to draw.

Chinese free style painting doesn’t need any prior experience or groundwork. It is done with a brush dipped in black or coloured ink. No drawn pictures or landscapes. It is one of the oldest artistic traditions in the world, and continues to inspire artists to be involved in painting by pouring out their mind.

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