Friday, 28 June 2013

Last week of Tall Tales


A reminder that Deb Klein's wonderful exhibition 'Tall Tales' is in its last week at Hand Held.

Pop in from Tuesday - Saturday 12-5pm. Along with the beautiful exhibition we also stock Deb's range of zines and small books.

Deb will be in the gallery on the final day, Saturday afternoon, from about 2.30pm if you'd like to say hi.

As this is our last exhibition it's worth dropping in to pick up any books you've had your eye on before it's too late!

Over the next few weeks, and whilst we organise our next project, Hand Held will open from time to time - feel free to email me if you'd like to drop in for a look at our collection.

Keep an eye on the blog for info on pop ups, temporary spaces, street trading and other events in the next few months...


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Franco's AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO Restored!

Thanks to Stéphane Derdérian, I've been able to screen the newly restored version of Jess Franco's 1973 film AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO ("The Other Side of the Mirror") starring Emma Cohen, Robert Woods and Howard Vernon. The work on it was only recently completed, and work is now about to begin on the restoration of its considerably different French version, the hardcore LE MIROIR OBSCENE ("The Obscene Mirror"), which adds Lina Romay to the mix in a significant added role.

Among the most dedicated and knowledgeable of Franco collectors, AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO has acquired the well-deserved reputation of being among Franco's most unique and ambitious films, and one of the finest productions of his most fertile period. I've long been familiar with the Spanish version thanks to a copy I obtained many years ago from European Trash Cinema, which ran 78:52. To my amazement, the restored version runs 95:24, which adds something close to 15 minutes of previously unseen footage even with the PAL>NTSC conversion of the VHS factored in.

The most noticeable restored footage involves nudity, which was forbidden in Spanish films during this period, but some dramatic and music scenes are also extended. This is, along with VENUS IN FURS (1969), Franco's most musical dramatic film; indeed, one unusual aspect of the film is that it follows the evolution of a song ("Madeira Love") from the moment its melody is first picked out on piano to its composition and first live performance, and further on to its becoming the theme of a group of friends and performed by other artists. I had to watch the film without subtitles, which haven't yet been added, but the music lends the film such continuity that it suffices as narrative on its own level, ending the story on an impactful note of operatic grand tragedy. The newly restored audio restoration gives the jazz soundtrack real presence.

Though it's another sex-and-death story full of jazz, dream state violence, and an apparition of a hanged father that's reminiscent of Paul Muller's scenes in A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD (1971), AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO has the peculiar feel of a unique genus in Franco's filmography. A big part of this is the principal casting of  Emma Cohen as the protagonist Ana. This was Cohen's only starring role for Franco (she had previously played one of Dracula's brides in COUNT DRACULA, 1970, starring Christopher Lee) and she gives a performance unlike any other in Franco's filmography. Might she have been his only method actress? I can only explain her unique quality by saying that she comes across as absolutely real and quirky (she wears an androgynous tuxedo to a party in one scene), not in the least stylized or unnatural, and also completely present, vulnerable and haunting. It was also startling to finally see her in such enhanced resolution, which revealed a fascinating natural mottling in her green-gray eyes, an iris flaw, to which Franco's camera is most attentive. When she's onscreen, you can't look away from her.

Actor Robert Woods, who plays her first love interest in the film, shared this with me about the experience of working with her: "Emma was, as you said, immersed in the role...she actually won the Spanish equivalent of the 'Oscar' for it... She is truly special and a pleasure to work with... and Jess got the best from her... A truly gifted talent."

Likewise, this film depicts human relationships with a directness and realism, even a warmth, that I think may not be found elsewhere in Franco's work outside of BAHIA BLANCA (1984). Franco shows us the moments when Ana's various suitors fall for her, and he closely attends the tenderness, the tentativeness, that precedes making those feelings known, which makes the direction taken by the story feel all the more tragic and the film, as a whole, all the more brave. On the other hand, this is the only Franco film I can remember seeing where a special effect is employed to magically transform one object into another, which seems at odds with his surrealist sensibilities. Working from a script by his then-wife Nicole Guettard, who also wrote LORNA... THE EXORCIST and CELESTINE, AN ALL ROUND MAID, Franco can be seen experimenting with his own forms almost to the point of becoming a more mainstream artist.

The restoration, supervised by Peter Blumenstock and Derdérian, also brings to the surface a kind of "all the colors of the dark" motif where Ana is concerned, expressed through her rainbow-colored clothes and caftans and even the stage lighting accompanying her jazz band's stage act. Even such a simple shot as one of Françoise Brion gazing out at a swimming pool becomes a deeply appealing study in the primary contrast of red, yellow and blue.

AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO and LE MIROIR OBSCENE are now available for worldwide Blu-ray/DVD licensing, and I hope to bring you news soon about its much-anticipated release.

Monday, 24 June 2013

To Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Dear Richard Matheson,
Thank you for pointing the way to my life. I was very fortunate to find you. I pray that your next adventure will be at least as fortunate.
Sincerely yours,
Tim Lucas

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Tall Tales of Shadow women...

Deborah Klein's stunning exhibition 'Tall Tales' opened last Thursday night with the lovely crowd present keen to see Deb's most recent of works - an exciting new direction for this well established and well loved artist.
Deb has been working in small scale artist books and zines for some time however this is her first exhibition of this style of work. The exhibition is comprised of thirteen hand painted concertina style artist books on Khadi paper, each measures 80 x 15cm when open. They are bound simply with embossed black covers.
Along side the artist books is a collection of 25 miniature paintings, some that worked as studies for the artist books - all complete works in their own right.
Depicted are Deb's 'shadow women'... Each one evocative of an emotion, a narrative, a mystery...








Join us at Hand Held before July 6th to enjoy this exhibition in person.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Opening reception for Modern Oak this Friday at 7pm!

Modern Oak
Simon Frank
June 14-June 28, 2013
Opening reception & Artist Talk: Friday, June 21st @7pm

The new exhibition at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery is called Modern Oak by Hamilton artist Simon Frank. This exhibition features ten different pieces (ranging from an actual tree displayed in the gallery to a video loop showing the creation and planting of trees) that refer to the tradition of Landscape painting. Modern Oak highlights human interactions with nature and how the landscape tradition has impacted our awareness of the natural world.

One major piece, Mount Analogue, is a huge floor to ceiling painting. This piece references traditional landscapes and is made of numerous individual paintings assembled together. It was created by stamping the plywood surface with a log marking hammer, a traditional logging tool. The log marking hammer is used in the logging industry for identification purposes; the hammer is slammed into the cut end of the tree, branding trees that are headed to the sawmill, so that they can be identified as belonging to a particular company prior to processing. In Mount Analogue, Frank has used a tool that is part of an industry that destroys the natural landscape to create an image of the natural landscape, symbolically reversing the process.

Prior to Modern Oak, Frank along with Tor Lukasic-Foss, created a collaborative installation called Naturivia along the 40 Mile Creek Trail in Grimsby. This piece was installed in the fall of 2012 and features interpretive trail signs that relate to the natural heritage and the important human history of the area. This ongoing exhibition is open to the public along the trail that links the Grimsby waterfront to the Niagara Escapement.

We invite you to visit the GPAG, experience both of these exhibitions and explore the relationship Canadian culture has with its own art history and to the land that continues to define it.

Find out more about our current exhibition: Modern Oak on The Source, Cogeco:

- Meagan Bourdeau, GPAG Co-op student 2013

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Expo: Extreme Paint-Off - Rescheduled!

Sometime getting your rain date rained on turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
After a morning of sad feelings about the weather, we decided to see unfortunate circumstances as opportunity so we've moved The Expo: Extreme Paint- Off to Friday September 27 from 6:00- 8:30 pm to kick off Culture Days in Grimsby!
Culture Days, (held this year on September 27, 28 & 29) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration each September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free interactive and “behind the scenes” activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion. 
As a leading national voice for the active and engaged cultural life of all Canadians, Culture Days provides support, tools and resources to a wide variety of artists and cultural organizations to help them unite the country through engagement in culture.
Please help us distribute this date change!

Join us in Grimsby in the FORT Parking Lot on the corner of Ontario and Adelaide streets for The Expo: Extreme Paint Off on September 27th, 2013!

This event is a community outreach initiative organized by the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, the FORT, and West Niagara Second Stage Housing and Counseling as a way for local youth to show off their skills through a community–conscious outdoor art project. With the invaluable help of the Mayor’s Youth Action Committee, teams have been assembled to create large-scale art murals that will go on to be displayed in our Sculpture Garden over the Summer! The team members will have only a couple of hours to wow the crowds in a friendly art competition focused on teamwork. Prizes will be awarded, food and music will be enjoyed, fun will be had by all!
We apologize for any inconvenience!
Thank you for understanding and supporting the Arts and community projects in Grimsby!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Workshop date corrections and changes!

Hi everyone! We goofed!

Please check out our revised Summer 2013 Courses and Workshops brochure for some minor corrections on dates and times. To be precise, Crystal Zettel's highly anticipated Earring and Necklace Workshop actually has a date now (July 21st) and isn't just on "Sunday". Sorry Crystal! Please visit our Classes Page on this Blog for details!

Thank you, and we apologize for any inconvenience!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

SHIPS: new work by Kyle Ranson

Sky High Gallery is very pleased to be hosting the first Milwaukee exhibit by San Francisco based artist Kyle Ranson. He will be spending the week in the gallery painting a site specific mural for his show "Ships". In addition to the mural he will be installing paintings and performing a special set of music at the opening event.

Please join us to celebrate at the opening reception: June 14th, 7-10pm 

Exhibit runs: June 14- July 21, 2013
Media Contact: Faythe Levine,

Artist Statement
With an encouraging hippie mother, Kyle Ranson began to draw and paint in early childhood and by the time he was in high school he was taking life-drawing classes at the Lyme Academy in Connecticut. He attended three semesters at the Maryland institute, College of Art and then dropped out to immerse himself in the arts and music scene in Baltimore. In 1994 he moved to San Francisco and became a part of the underground punk scene in the mission and has slowly become a pillar of the San Francisco art world.

Past interviews with Kyle Ranson on Juxtapoz & FecalFace

Friday, 7 June 2013

Upcoming exhibition: Modern Oak by Simon Frank

Modern Oak
Simon Frank
June 14– July 28, 2013
Opening reception
& Artist Talk: Friday, June 21st at 7pm

The (new and recent) works in “Modern Oak” continue a larger body of work that plays directly on the landscape idiom, and attempts to redefine human culture within the context of nature. Generally, these works examine or explore the ways in which the history and conventions of the Landscape tradition in Canada have shaped our perceptions of the natural world. 

This new body of work began in 2005 with the installation piece - “Brush (the land paints a picture of itself)” - where I set up a canvas on the Niagara Escarpment, near my home in Hamilton and struggled to paint a landscape, using a 12-foot cedar tree as my paintbrush.  “Brush” humourously subverts the epic/heroic notions that are so central to the ‘plein-air’ tradition – placing nature back in a more central position in the artistic process – and reducing the stature of the artist at the same time.  By doing this, the work can be understood as an invocation of a more critical reevaluation of the nature/culture dichotomy. 
 The works in “Modern Oak” represent my own response (with contemporary themes, concerns, materials and approaches) to the same Canadian landscape that has historically inspired innumerable artists. They are intended to be a (timely) investigation of the relationship Canadian culture has with its own Art history and to the land that continues to define it.
                      - Simon Frank, Artist’s Statement May 2013

Simon Frank is a Hamilton based multidisciplinary artist and recipient of the 2013 Hamilton Arts Award for Visual Arts. Be sure to also enjoy Frank’s other Grimsby installation, Naturivia, a collaborative installation by Frank and Tor Lukasic-Foss installed in fall 2012 along the 40 Mile Creek Trail.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

*UPDATE*- The Expo: Extreme Paint-Off - Date change

Due to inclement weather the competition has be rescheduled for Thursday June 13th, 2013 from 6:00-8:30pm.
Please help us distribute this date change!

On June 13 from 6:00– 8:30pm join us in the FORT Parking Lot on the corner of Ontario and Adelaide streets for The Expo: Extreme Paint Off!

This event is a community outreach initiative organized by the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, the FORT, and West Niagara Second Stage Housing and Counseling as a way for local youth to show off their skills through a community–conscious outdoor art project. With the invaluable help of the Mayor’s Youth Action Committee, teams have been assembled to create large-scale art murals that will go on to be displayed in our Sculpture Garden over the Summer! The team members will have only a couple of hours to wow the crowds in a friendly art competition focused on teamwork. Prizes will be awarded, food and music will be enjoyed, fun will be had by all!

Summer 2013 Courses and Workshops at the GPAG


Painting, printmaking, clay, collage, sculpture, book arts, mixed media, found object art and so much more! Children will learn important skills while exploring a new fun and educational theme each week. These exciting projects are sure to challenge and entertain students all Summer long!

Mini Makers Mornings
For ages 5-8 years; 9:30 am-12:00 pm

Avid Artists Afternoons
For ages 8-12 years;1:30 pm- 4:00 pm

*please note the All Day Arts & Letters camp has different times

Week 1: July 15 - 19
Circus Week: Under The Big Top!
Regular 1/2 day:
Members $80 / Non-members $96
Calling all little ringmasters! Clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and stunt artists are all waiting to come to life through a variety of spectacular art projects you will make during this fun-filled-week!

Week 2:July 22 – 26
Space Invaders!
Regular 1/2 day:
Members $80 / Non-members $96
Kids in spaaace! This is the week for all the little space cadets out there who love looking up at the night sky, counting stars, finding constellations and dreaming about the Milky Way. Learn about the cosmos through art, and maybe run into an alien or two along the way!

Week 3: July 29 – August 2
Wild Animal Safari
Regular 1/2 day:
Members $80 / Non-members $96
What kid doesn’t love animals? For those students with an equal love of wildlife and the Arts, this week will explore the captivating world of zoology through works of art inspired by their favourite beasts!

*Week 4: August 6 - 9 (no class Monday)
Arts & Letters
For Ages 5 - 8 years
9:00am - 3:30pm
Extended care is available for an additional $30 
Extended care begins at 8:30am and ends at 5:00pm
The Grimsby Public Art Gallery and the Grimsby Public Library invite your little Book Worms to come explore the wonderful world of books and book-related arts. Through an exciting combination of literacy and creativity, students will create artworks and stories to share!

Week 5: August 12 - 16
Earth Week: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!
Members $80 / Non-members $96
Don’t throw it out, make it into Art! Students will be amazed to discover the infinite creative     possibilities of every day objects, all you need is imagination and a love of nature! Be Green and grow through the Arts!

Week 6: August 19 - 23
Fantasy Art Week
Regular 1/2 day:
Members $80 / Non-members $96
In a land far, far away, on a street named Carnegie Lane, brave heroes and crafty villains will gather to  create wondrous works inspired by legends and myths of old. This is the perfect week for Fantasy-loving students!

Week 7: August 26 - 30
Deep Sea Adventures
Regular 1/2 day:
Members $80 / Non-members $96
Yarrr mateys! What fascinating creatures and lost treasures lie at the bottom of the ocean? Students will explore the watery depths through art projects inspired by sea life, ship wrecks, mythological creatures and much more!


From Words to Image to Music
With George Brasovan
Sunday July 7 from 2 - 4 pm
Ages 14 +
This course takes the participants through a creative process starting with a sentence (statement) leading to a story  to poetry/lyrics to images (graphics/video) and music. The final product will consists of a multimedia project assembled and edited on computer to be taken home at the end of the course in the DVD format. The course aims to provide a creative environment in which the participants can feel free to express themselves as a group or individually and learn how to create content and links in various media and how to use available user-friendly technology to bring it all together. The full course was recently part of a project involving students, teachers and parents in Toronto. Titled "Project Discovery" it received a number of awards including the 'Prime Minister Award for Teaching Excellence".  
Free Information Session.
Please call 905-945-3246 to reserve a seat.


Summer Painting in a Grimsby Garden
With Jan Yates
Sunday, August 18 from 1:30 - 4:30pm
Join us as we revel in the heady scent, sound and colour of a summer garden. This afternoon workshop is enjoyable for those with minimal art-making experience as well as more seasoned artists. We will paint on location Monet style -‘en plein-air’. In inclement weather work will progress in the studio with fresh flowers as inspiration. Sessions are in oil or acrylic and a materials list will be provided upon registration.
Jan Yates is an award winning Canadian artist whose primary focus is to work directly from the land. As a seasoned educator, participants find her workshops to be informative, inspiring, stimulating and rewarding.
$25 members / $35 non–members

Necklace and Earring Set Workshop
With Crystal Zettel
Sunday  (1 session)
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm  
Using basic wirework techniques, participants will make a beautiful Y drop necklace and      earring set. Perfect for the beginner or students interested in  furthering their skills. A materials fee of $20 payable to the  instructor at the start of class will cover a personal kit containing Chinese crystals and fresh   water pearls and your choice of gold plated or silver plated tone findings (please notify your preference upon registration). Students must bring: scissors, flat nose and round nose flush cutters.
$25 members / $35 non–members

Hardcover Japanese Stab Book
BeetleBarrow Books
Saturday, July 27 from 9:30am - 4:30pm
This style of bookbinding comes from Japan and features a both decorative and functional binding stitch that is exposed on the front cover.  It binds together sheets of unfolded 8.5” x 11” paper that are either blank or already have something on them: pages of photographs, poets can bind their writing for loved ones; Maids of Honour can create a personalized guest book; moms can bind together their child's artwork. Walk away with a beautiful book with a touch of the east. All the materials are included in the cost of the workshop and all the tools are provided. You can visit and view the gallery and workshops link (on the right).
Members $80/ Non-members $90

Please register early to avoid disappointment! Spaces are limited.

All gallery programs are subject to minimum and maximum registration. Payment is required 7 days after the date of registration to ensure a spot. Classes are subject to change. Cancellations require 7 days notice to receive a full refund. The gallery is not responsible for missed classes, and does not pro-rate classes. 

Thank you for supporting the Arts in your community!