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May 20, 2012

Artists in our Midst

Thanks to Colleen's suggestion, I took in some of the Artists in our Midst festival today. It's always interesting to meet artists and chat, not to mention getting the voyeuristic groove on for a peek into other people's west side houses. Yes, they had granite counter tops but alas the gnome doors, cob house crookedness and soulfulness which is so often the byproduct of eccentricity were missing. Pity!

We started off at The Lion's Den on Fraser near Kingsway for breakfast with a very boisterous restaurateur.
"Good Evening Ladies. Got a reservation?"
Well, good, take a seat, any seat.
It was 11 am.
I'll have whatever he's smoking.

He insisted on yelling across the tiny space to tell us how the place got its name. On a ledge up high, there's a full-sized stuffed lion looking as if it's wondering where to get its next prey.  I expected the dread locked-sporting owner to have a story about an African safari.  It came direct from a wildlife park in Cambridge, Ontario.
"My friend brought it in one day and I figured out my branding."
The place has survived for 12 years. Check it out if you haven't already.

Next we stopped into the garage/studio of Oscar Valero Saez visiting for a year from Spain.   His card says architecture and visual arts.  His lithographs are so unique and detailed.We chatted for a while and I told him about the Architectural Institute of BC which I'm convinced would be the perfect place for him to hold an exhibition because they have a great little space that's perfect for exhibits off their reception on the main floor. Then, he told us about Agnes Martin and he wondered why Canadians seem not to have heard about her. How could this be he wondered. We had to explain to him that a lack of notoriety at home was typical.
"If you're not a hockey player, you're nothin."
We were doing what we could to be good cultural ambassadors. (Sarcasm).

We also met Janet Strayer. Not only did I like her art but as a human being she is very warm and engaged which, if you're going to interact with the unwashed masses, comes in handy.

It was a decent choice of entertainment on this rainy, rainy day in May. I wonder what you got up to?

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