White: Postcards from 2016
I am not sure why but I have always loved postcards. I have spent the past few weeks looking at all the photos I have taken in 2016 to see which ones might make good postcards.
I thought I'd try to choose one for each month, but that didn't work out as some months were better than others. Then I thought maybe 16, given it was 2016 - so sixteen it is.
These are not necessarily the best photos or the year, nor are they your typical postcards. I hope you find them insightful and intriguing. In many cases I have added a link to a blog that relates to the postcard if you would like more information or see more photos.
Happy Holidays and all the best in 2017!
If you have a chance to go to Buffalo, NY - GO! We loved the early 20th century architecture, especially the mansions and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin house. But the highlight for me was the abandoned Grain Silos that you can tour. I loved the way the City has used the facade to create a wonderful light show and inside they have allowed artists to create installations. These paper gears that float at the top of one of the silos were created by Daniel Seiders, a landscape architect, for the City of the Night public art project in 2013. Link: Postcards From Buffalo The Bold
It is always best to take the road less travelled. We found about 20 of these children's rocking horses on a farmer's fence post along Highway #845 as we headed north from Picture Butte back to Calgary from a fun weekend in Lethbridge. We really must take more road trips in 2017.
Austin was too much fun. We went back to the HOPE Outdoor Gallery several times as was such a playful place where everybody seemed to have great time. I even bought some cans of spray paint to add my signature to the Gallery. It brought back memories of Gleichen, Alberta in the early '80s when I organized the Street Art For Gleichen project. Link: Austin's Weird and Wonderful Outdoor Gallery.
Everybody loves a parade! While Caglary is probably best known for the Calgary Stampede Parade, the Parade of Wonders (POW) that takes place as part of Calgary Expo (cosplay) allows spectators to get up close and personal with the parade participants. Link: Everyday Tourist Visits Calgary Expo
In May, I discovered Hamilton's monthly Art Crawl along James Street North. It is possibly North America's best kept art and festival secret. It combines the best elements of an art walk with a night market. In September every year is the Super Crawl when the street is closed for the weekend for a huge street/music festival. It should be on every Canadian's list of festivals to see. Link: Hamilton's Art Crawl is indeed super!
2016 was the year of the playground for me. I developed a whole new appreciation for the importance of playgrounds in community building. We installed a new playground at the Grand Trunk Park across the street from our house and it is true "if you build it they will come." In the 20+ years we have lived in our house we have never seen so many kids at the playground. Link: The End Of The Grand Trunkers' Playground Envy!
While at the Calgary Stampede this year I noticed that this public artwork "By The Banks Of The Bow" functioned like a playground for people of all ages and backgrounds. This got me to thinking wouldn't it be great if all public artworks engaged the public like this one does. I wish I was rich and could commission a piece like this for Grand Trunk Park. Link: Stampede Park: Calgary's best children's playground?
The Calgary International Folk Festival on Prince's Island in the middle of the Bow River on the edge of Calgary's skyscraper downtown is a special place. This year I was able to sit just a few feet away from Canadian music legend Ian Tyson for what seemed like backyard concert. Link: Postcards from 2016 Calgary International Folk Festival
A trip to Kelowna BC was enlightening. Not only did we get to see the Kelowna Art Gallery's retrospective of John Hall's work, but we also got an appreciation for the wonderful transformation of their downtown and waterfront. I chose this painting as it reminded me of Mexico City (one of my best trips ever) and the Lucha Libre wrestlers.Link: John Hall: The Everyday Experience Bond
I have always loved this two-storey high Untitled artwork by Cliff Eyland in the lobby of Winnipeg's downtown Millennium Library. It is composed of 1,000 miniature paintings, most of them 3"x5" the size of library catalogue card. From a distance, it looks like huge pixilated TV screen, but up close they are fun landscape, figurative and abstract painting. Guess I am not the only one who loves it, the new Halifax Library commissioned him to do one that has 5,000 miniature paintings in the lobby and another 1,000 on the 5th floor. Perhaps Calgary will get one for their new library! It would be fun to get Eyland to work with local children to make the paintings and see what happens.
Montreal was amazing - especially with their use of light both inside and outside. This postcard captures the synergy of the coloured glass facade of the Palais des congres by Jean-Francis Cantin with The Constellation of Great Montrealers (the blue figure wall with name plates of individuals who have contributed to making Montreal a great city). It was magical.
This is the Crew Collective & Cafe on a Sunday afternoon. What a great reuse of the 1928 former headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. It is not just a cafe, but a co-working space, meeting and event space. The ceiling is spectacular and note how they have incorporated the teller windows into the new space. Brillant!
2016 was the year of the Knox Walk, we enjoyed hours of fun exploring our immediate neighbourhood, always finding something new. I think it captures the essence of being both a flaneur and an everyday tourist. Link: Flaneuring Fun in Montreal!
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