Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Fine Art of Schmoozy

Long time no talk! I am currently in the midst of end of term deadlines hence the absence on this space. Currently writing about the economic benefits and impact on society, and revising for a fundraising final. In the mean time, here are some photos of the event I helped organize! I have newly joined the Latitude 53 special events committee, just in time to help plan the gallery's biggest fundraisers of the year  - The Fine Art of Schmoozy. All of our planning paid off as the event went off without a hitch! It was absolute madness but all-in-all a stellar evening! Sadly I was too busy to take any photos, but here are a few from the event taken from the gallery Facebook page. Everyone dressed to the nines. Colour me impressed! 
My outfit, a dress with watercolour nudes in Klein blue by Spanish designer Heinui. I LOVE it. Sadly didn't get any photos in it - more to come when I have time. 
Some of the art up for auction. This light was my favourite piece! 
My classmate Sheridan who volunteered at the event. SO much love for my classmates who came out to support us! 
My friend Chaka engrossed in conversation. He had a painting at the event! It was nice running into so many people I rarely get to see. 
My awesome pal Nicole and her man Brad! Nicole is on this blog a whole lot, because she's the bomb. I loved her dress she made! Nicole is a mod maven and I love it. She's currently designing her own 60s inspired line plans to show this spring! 
Photos by Karen Hamel and lifted with love from the Latitude 53 Facebook Page

And these by Jack Bawden, also from from the L53 Facebook page. 
Me taking a break for all of two minutes to chat with Sarah and Elizabeth. 
The lady on the right is my pal Morgan, who also had a piece in the silent auction. 

And lastly, our dreamy mayor and his wife. 

Great night! Can't wait to get planning for Parka Patio in January.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Hanging Around

Aloha! How time flies when you are busy! Sadly I have no fun outfits or adventures to share with you; it snowed, and all I've done over the past ten days is work or study. There is an insane amount of deadlines and events I am involved with before term ends and before I jet off to Europe for the holidays. On top of London, I am also visiting Budapest and Belgrade with my friend Charlie. I've mentioned it several times, but Charlie is doing her PhD at UCL about art movements in the former Yugoslavian countries, focusing on Serbia and Bosnia, so she's got lots of friends in the region and speaks the language quite well. We'll be meeting up with some of her friends in Belgrade and I am extremely excited! Both Budapest and Belgrade have lingered atop my European list for ages, so I am looking forward to finally visiting both! Everything is booked, all I need to do is pick up some currency and I am good to go. In just over a month I depart! 

Anyhow, this week most of my free time was taken up by helping out at Latitude 53, where I am currently the secretary of the special events committee (the SEC). The main and most important fundraiser of the year is tomorrow, so we've been hanging the art, painting, setting up, generally preparing as best we can. I am really looking forward to the event even though it will be on long day for me! There will be 3a.m Chinese food to finish off the evening. For those that think the art gallery world is all galas, glitz and glamour: you're wrong. Gallery life is wearing clothes you can get dirty and spending lots of time lifting, hammering and nailing. I was grateful for the hanging practice as I'll be setting up the student gallery's first exhibition in the new year! 
A few photos of the set-up: 
Hammer, nails and beer. 

Natalie and her levelling app - how fitting! Funnily enough, Natalie and I have a mutual friend from Toronto! Small world indeed. 

A few art auction items waiting to be put up. 

Our SEC chair and her feature in Avenue Mag. Zohreh was named top 40 under 40 in the province! 

My respirator. Promptly after this I had to go outside in sub-zero temperatures and spray paint mirrors. 
Karen painting the photo wall. 

Until next week, pals! 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

Alright, let's get the mundane out of the way: the weather right now is AMAZING! It's November in Northern Alberta and there is NO SNOW. And still in the double digits! WHAT IS THIS MAGIC? It's crazy how much of a difference the weather can make on one's mood. It's supposed to be almost +15C tomorrow!! 

Man, I feel like lately things in my life, the news, the world in general have been so crazy. There are so many things I wish to share and opine about, from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, the Ottawa shootings, media spin... But I guess I shall save those for another day. On a personal note, October was incredibly eventful. Socially a lot happened, but really school related happenings are the most notable. I am loving my courses and my instructors. I am so glad I chose to go back to school! I can't believe how seamless the transition back to student life has been for me. I have gelled with some lovely people! The program has already paid for itself just two months in, through the connection the program provides. In the past month, a LOT has happened! I was accepted to the special events committee of a popular gallery, where I was appointed secretary. We are currently organizing THIS fundraiser. It's going to be amazing! If you're a local, come check it out! I am also doing an internship through SCIP with a major charity in their events and fundraising department as their silent auction co-ordinator for an event happening in February. I am really appreciating all the events experience I am getting! I am most excited about a position I got at my university as the student gallery co-ordinator and curator. It sounds a lot fancier than it is, since the gallery is teeny tiny and will show exclusively MacEwan student art, but nonetheless I am over the moon about the experience it will provide. It will be a challenge, but one I am SO ready for. I am coordinating volunteers, writing up calls for submissions, deciding on exhibition themes, organizing an art jury, maintaing the space, and hanging/installing all the art. I have not one, but TWO work emails right now. WHO AM I? I've worked really hard and logged a lot of volunteer hours over the years. It's rewarding and reaffirming to finally be getting these types of roles and responsibilities. It also means I'll be saying a fond farewell to my social life. Between school and all these commitments, this winter isn't going to be super social I am anticipating. 

Getting the gallery role was not without its drama. A lot of people from my program applied, and the role was far more coveted than I anticipated. I honestly did not think I had a chance at getting it, but lo and behold, I did. There was a lot of resentment and begrudging of my success that reminded me a lot of high school. People complained to my supervisors about how the role should have gone to a second year and not a first year. At the end of the day, the interviewers were impressed with my work and volunteer experience. They also appreciated my academic background in Art History versus a formal studio background. It is often favourable for curators to not be practicing artists, as that can create a bias when choosing art. It was a huge, HUGE compliment to have my new boss say I had a certain "je ne sais quoi" they felt I'd bring to the role and to the Students' Union. Wow! What a confidence boost after a few years working retail and customer service jobs. Clearly moving back to Alberta was the right decision professionally. I am getting unparalleled resume building experience that I just wouldn't be getting in a city that's bigger, more competitive and where the economy isn't as good. A year and a half from now when I am finished the course, I think I am going to have one kick-ass resume. Good things come to those who hustle. 

And on that note, a shout out to my fellow flailing millenials. Don't worry about having your shit figured out just yet, or feel like you aren't good enough because if you're not getting called back for the jobs you want. Stick it out! Don't give up on your goals! Do some volunteering! Working those dead end jobs will pay off down the road as you build up your CVs. Travel, enjoy life without mortgages and deadlines. Take this time to figure out who you are and what you want. I know far too many people who went straight from undergrad to their masters, law school, or to teaching degrees because they felt they should. While they may have on-paper credentials, they aren't necessarily that happy or that self-actualized. A little struggle is a good thing. It toughens you up and teaches you the value of hard work, builds character. Things didn't go as I planned the last few years, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons and got a whole bunch of experience I may not have had otherwise. I feel my post-university-lost-girl phase spent in Toronto with tons of other millenials who were also broke and not doing what they wanted, actually made me feel a lot more connected to my generation. Collective struggles are certainly unifying! 

 Anyway, I really don't mean to gloat! I am just proud of the years of hard work finally translating into real life results. Feels so good! Here's an outfit from the weekend. I took these photos before brunch with Chelsea on a glorious day. Views of downtown before the snow comes... How dreamy are those multi-million dollar homes on Saskatchewan Drive?

Stay cool, comrades!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Happy Halloweekend!

Hey gang!
 Here are some photos of my halloween. I went as Frida Kahlo, the most famous Mexican painter, known for her surrealist imagery, self reflexive subject matter, flowered hair and her iconic unibrow. I've always wanted to be Frida, so I finally got around to putting a costume together! I only had to buy the wig and flowers from the dollar store. I purchased a Wednesday Addams wig and pinned the braids atop my head with the flowers. For Halloween, my friends Megana and Lauren threw a house party, and converted their apartment into a full on haunted house. It was so detailed! I had a genuine scare. I also love the effort some of my pals put into their costumes. Yesterday was full of so many small reminders my friends in Edmonton are the best a girl could ask for. Grateful for them! Here are some photos of the night!
Frida selfie. 
Darth Maul, a taco, and Frida. 
Price is right contestants, and a skeleton. 
Frida and MIA. 
Hannah's costume was the BEST  of the night for sure. She made a volcano costume out of a bed sheet and tissue paper! So impressed. 
Castro, Frida and Che. What can I say, Frida loved her communists. In case you didn't know, she had a notorious affair with Leon Trotsky! 
The frisky power rangers...
Darth Maul. 
Darth and Frida. 

I have one more costume and one more event tonight! Goodness, I love Halloween! I can't wait to see all your costumes. 

Charmaine x

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


You've Cat to Be Kitten Me! Seeing as it is National Cat Day I felt it appropriate to share photos from my visit to the Edmonton Cat Show last weekend. Oh, what a purrrfect fun. 
First place winner! How could this pretty lady not win? Her owner was SO happy. 

Maine Coon... 

Scottish fold. 

Hairless cats...


Bengal kittens. 

Boy George, king of all Persians! 

Dress by Mrs. Pomeranz via sample sale, heels by Fluevog at the Gravity Pope sale last winter. 

Here's a photo of my fur ball, Gus! Gosh, I love that little guy:

Black cat lady fur-ever!