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All I Want For Christmas

by The Concordian November 29, 2011
All I Want For Christmas
Montreal’s new garb announces the holiday season: snow and ice, bright lights and decorations.
With final exams to write and celebrations to plan, the task of finding the perfect present for that
special someone on your list becomes especially daunting.
For those among you with an artistic giftee, you’re in luck: just in time for the gift-giving season comes the second annual Rover Art Fair, featuring works from 14 local and international artists.
Hosted by online arts review Rover, known for their quality features on theatre, the arts,
literature and film, the Rover Art Fair offers Montrealers the chance to meet with artists,
discuss and purchase one-of-a-kind or limited-edition pieces at very fair prices, and attend open
public lectures on arts-related topics.
It’s an event that Rover founder and fair coordinator Marianne Ackerman says is a positive opportunity for Rover, the artists it promotes and features, as well as potential customers.
“Events like these are our way of sustaining ourselves and developing a sustainable business model,” Ackerman explained, “and also allow us to maintain our mandate to stimulate
discussion of the arts and to bridge the gap between artists and their public.”
“Our fair [is] organized differently from many other fund-raising events, which often have the artists donate the works,” Ackerman continued. “We split the profits 50-50 with the artists, and they get to come and speak to customers and show their pieces personally and in a gallery setting, which customers also enjoy.”
The fair’s catalogue, available on the Rover website, showcases the variety and high calibre of the participating artists.
Linda Rutenberg’s night-time floral photography, produced by holding a flashlight over flowers to capture the ‘dawn’ effect, is eerie and beautiful; internationally-successful, her work is available as prints and high-quality photography books.
Chelsea School of Art in London graduate and Montrealer Isa Dawson marks her debut as a visual artist with her series of drawings of exotic mushrooms entitled “Boletus.” Rover’s
description of her art “drawn with fine strands of copper and silver on painted birch panels”
intimates that Dawson’s fascinating work is to be seen in person at all costs.
Ackerman emphasized the reasonable prices and friendliness to students for which the Rover Art Fair is known.
“Our prices for original art and limited prints are very reasonable, and there are also smaller pieces and books for sale,” explained Ackerman.
“We are also opening on Thursday, the day before the sales start,” she continued, “to allow people to come by between 6 and 9 p.m. and preview the works they’d like to get the next day.”
Arts students and aspiring artists will also be treated to a free series of public talks sponsored by Rover and moderated by Isa Tousignant, a writer for Canadian Art and Border Crossing and former Hour writer.
“It’s a public lecture environment, and the best time during the Rover Art Fair for participants to find out about art and hear from people who are professionals in the field,” said Ackerman. “It’s a rare chance for many people, and we hope that students interested in the arts take advantage of it.”
Concordia’s finest talents also get a chance to shine at the Rover Art Fair: Jane Stewart, a professor emeritus of psychology at Concordia, will be exhibiting her ethereal and dream-like
paintings and giving a talk Saturday about her journey from a career in science to
the vocation of an artist.
Other talks given on Saturday include Linda Rutenberg speaking about entrepreneurship
and art, a subject of much interest to aspiring art students, and painter Fiona Ackerman and multidisciplinary artist Luc Paradis speaking on the future of painting.
There’s little that the Rover Art Fair doesn’t offer: the chance to discover and purchase new art, meet with reputable artists, attend informative and rare public lectures, and mix with other art lovers. Ackerman also hopes the fair can bring the public to a new experience of the consumer experience of art.
“We think the art should sell itself,” she explained, “and that’s why we hope that people will feel comfortable, see something they like, and fall in love with it.”
The Rover Art Fair opens Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. and is ongoing through Saturday and Sunday (1 to 6 p.m.) at 135 Van Horne, second floor. The preview is Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. Suggested donation is $10. For more information and the lecture schedule, visit www.roverarts.com/artfair2011/.

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