Before and After: Adding Art Work

before and after bette's housePainting of Siwash Rock,  by Graham Smith.

To fully articulate a space beyond colour, finishes and furnishings, there are two key framed compositional elements that come into play; Windows and Art.

Of these, one is the window into your surrounding landscape, carefully edited to accentuate or conceal its strengths and weakness.  The other, your art selection is a window into your tastes and even your inner self.  Few interior choices say more about the inhabitant than their art collection.  As such, the ‘painting to match the couch’ phenomenon is to be strongly avoided.  Naturally, what qualifies as art extends to include sculpture, textile pieces, glass and ceramic artwork, prints and fine crafts.

Artwork provides an unequaled opportunity to create interiors with a unique and personal feel. Art chosen for a space dramatically affects the overall mood and ambiance and can ‘make or break’ the impression you are trying to create.  There’s are many talented artists in almost every community, pleased to find appreciative buyers. So, purchasing original artwork is always an option, even with a limited budget.  In addition, buying locally will often add a contextual regional flavor to your composition giving it a grounded and authentic presence.

And please….don’t dismiss the decoration of a space as insignificant to the overall design.  Indeed it is often this “layer,” that is most impactful and remembered.  Done properly the décor is an extension of the overall design and should integrate seamlessly with the massing, layout and materials of the base building.

What Peace looks like. Ask an Artist.

Today’s post is about ART inspired by engaged global citizens. Before I tell you about the art I want to tell you about these engaged citizens.

Our family has been involved with CISV (Children’s International Summer Villages), a wonderful organization, for over 12 years.  I feel fortunate to have found it when my children were young enough to benefit from its incredible leadership and peace education programs. CISV educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.

CISV creates opportunities for all ages to experience the excitement and enrichment of cultural diversity through educational programs. It is founded on the belief that peace is possible through friendship – and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.

CISV has been around for over 60 years and has a presence in over 60 different countries worldwide. CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, non-sectarian, volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship and is a sub-organization under UNESCO.

I encourage those of you with children to find out more and give your kids this incredible opportunity to gain confidence, and become a global citizens and leaders. To learn more about CISV click here.

“We are the Roots of Peace,” by Artist Graham Smith.

Now back to the ART. We asked our CISV youth, called the JB (Junior Branch), to describe “what peace looks like” at a mini-camp this year. We then distributed these youth generated peace statements to emerging and established local artists. The only restriction was that the artwork had to be done on 10” x 10” cradle boards or deep canvases.

CISV is a peace education organization so it made great sense to call the art show, Peace by Piece (PxP). The pieces of art will be on display till April 30, 2012 at the Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. (5970 University Boulevard) on UBC’s Point Grey Campus in Vancouver. You can also find out more on the PxP website.

The sale of paintings, will enable CISV Vancouver to host an international camp this summer, and more importantly, will draw community attention to CISV and our Peace Education programs.

Here are a few pieces of the art works and peace statements. Again, to see more art pieces, and read about the PxP peace project click here.

1. “Piles of smiles will take you miles,” artist: Norm Shearing; 2. Peace is a dance with the rest of the world,” artist: Helena Carter-Huffman; 3. “Life is messy and life is beautiful,” artist: Victor Mironenko; 4. “Peace is never being afraid to step outside,” artist: Graham Smith.  

“Peace will be accomplished when everyone understands its real value,” artist: Constance Leung