Sunday, 25 January 2015

Arty Party: Portraiture Opening

Hello pals, my first show as the Gray Gallery Co-ordinator went off without a hitch! From the submissions, to the art jury process, to the party, I can't believe how smoothly it all went and how much fun I had!!! SO MANY PEOPLE CAME! Co-workers, classmates, friends, random student stragglers. Some of my co-workers told me this was the best Gray Gallery party the Students' Association has ever thrown, and the artists all were positive and receptive as well. The S.U presidents said all S.A.M.U events should be this good. For my first show and considering I have no idea what I am doing really, I feel positively radiant at how well it all turned out. It's silly, but considering how much negative backlash I had to put up with when I got this job, the fact that it exceeded everyone's expectations, including my own, feels pretty damn good. Here are some snaps from the party! The retro tunes were pumping and the wine a-flowin'. 

Becca and myself!
SAMU (Students' Association at MacEwan University) pals. 
My classmate Rain trying to look serious. 

Showing Becca some of the work. 
The student gallery is a small space and this time around we had fifteen works from twelve artists. 

Jodi getting his caricature done. 


My caricature! 

My classmates. 
Tim, our only volunteer of the night. 

My boss Metta, a Finnish princess with her husband Nick, who DJed our event! 

My favourite piece of the show, by a friend of mine, Evan! 


Oh my, I had so much fun and can't believe how well my first ever show and opening party went. Kinda feeling like I can actually do the job I've dreamed of since I was 21. Dreams coming true! 

Charmaine x 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Winter Winds Litter London With Lonely Hearts

Sigh, here's a smattering of my last photos from my trip overseas. A handful of London shots, from before I went to the continent, and from a few days after Hungary and Serbia but before I flew home. My time in London mostly consisted of: going for dinner with friends and visiting museums. I can't believe how many exhibitions we saw! Disobedient Objects, an exhibition about protests and social movements at the V&A, as well as a Horst photography exhibition, a Gothic exhibition at the British Library, one about witches at the British Museum, Sigmar Polke at the Tate Modern, the William Morris Museum, the Punk/Blondie exhibition at Somerset House, Constructing Worlds at the Barbican, and a Glen Friendman counter culture pop up exhibition in Covent Garden which was amazing! This trip was exactly the type of holiday I needed after a busy semester. My heart is full. So great to see old friends and favourite places! And to see how much we've all grown since I first met so many of my friends here. People have kids and careers, mortgages. Some are now proper doctors and others completing doctorates. Nice that despite what paths we're all on, we've managed to stay friends for so long.

 Now for some photos. 
Posing outside the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Cheeky photos in the V&A
The V&A cafe. Such a dreamy space. 
Guerilla girls!!! 

The Barbican centre. 
The Witch exhibition at the British Museum. 

Somerset house 
Book of Mormon! After YEARS, I finally got to see it! Really great show. Now, I liked Book of Mormon, but I LOVED Matilda. I left the theatre wanting to click my heels together and shout how much I loved the world. Damn, those kids can sing and dance. Tim Minchin did such an amazing job adapting Matilda for stage!

Xola and I! I am sad I only got to see Laura and the kiddos once on this trip. But I hope to be back again sooner than 2.5 years from now. 
Oh my, if there's anything I am missing it is the weather over in England. Yes! I know, the English gasp. We were blessed with mild temperatures and no rain except for the day before I left! 

Hanging with my friends Joe and Navta! Joe is an Italian-American, harpsichord playing yogi with a PhD in cardiovascular studies. A true renaissance man! Navta is from Kent and now lives in Birmingham where she works as a pediatrician. You may remember from these posts back in 20111 when Charlie and I went to visit Navta up in the Scottish Highlands, where she was completing her residency. I am so proud of these pals! I am SO happy I got to see as much of them as I did. Joe and I have the same sense of humour and I never have a bad time with him. 

High tea with Navta and Charlie. 

Jane and her new baby, lady M! It was really great to get to meet this little lady and spend some time chatting with Jane and her mother. I always appreciate Jane's insights and her sense of humour! 

And that's a wrap on my vacation photos on this blog for now. I am back home now and in the midst of work, school, and two volunteer commitments. Trying my best to stay afloat! Feeling energized from my travels. So happy I made it back to London after what feels like a million years and after some big life changes. Moving to Toronto, moving back to Edmonton, starting school, and many jobs in between. One thing is for sure: London will always be a home and I am grateful I got to spend some years of my life living there. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

White City

Belgrade, or "White City" in Serbian, took me by complete surprise on my most recent European travels. Budapest is beautiful, but Belgrade has soul. I loved it. The cafe culture and chic cocktail bars contrasted with graffitied streets and decaying soviet buildings made for an memorable experience and a very fun time. We visited the Nikola Tesla museum, the fortress which is a UNESCO world heritage site and left over from the Ottoman empire, and wandered around many of Belgrade's best neighbourhoods such as the city centre, Dorcal, and Skadarlija. I cannot rave enough about the food!!! Seriously; gourmet quality food for a pittance (in Canadian dollars). A particular culinary highlight was eating at Supermarket - so good we went back twice. I ate a steak a top PUMPKIN PUREE. 
I think I also particularly enjoyed Belgrade since Charlie speaks Serbian quite well as she's doing a PhD about the region, had many friends there, and a U of A friend of mine is Serbian-Canadian and provided me with several suggestions. We drank Rakija in a Tito themed pub, went to see local bands play in the basement of an abandoned shopping centre, and ate all the cheese-filled pastries we could handle. Here are some photos of the trip.
Supermarket cocktails and aforementioned STEAK OF MY DREAMS. 
The Belgrade Fortress. 


Views from the fortress in Kalemegdan Park and of the citadel. 


Belgrade left me wanting more, and I will DEFINITELY be back sooner than later. Maybe next summer? My two Big Travel Plans for this summer are a visit to India to see my friend's Tori and Rakesh, and if not that then a visit to Bosnia and Croatia as Charlie will be completing her field work in Banja Luka (in Bosnia) next summer. We'll see what happens and where I end up! Thanks for reading. 

Charmaine