18 Sep


Good taste / Bad Taste – postcard by Valerie LeBlanc 1986 (see below for description)

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Questions to consider regarding the structuring of artsnb / perceived problems within the system:
Text submitted to the governement of New Brunswick for the Cultural Policy Renewal process

While the artsnb is known for doing a good job in supporting and promoting arts in New Brunswick, there are elements in the basic structure that I perceive as problematic and in need of consideration.

There is a tendency in any political discussion to think that those who speak out to change a system are the ones that the system is not working for.

I have recently been the fortunate recipient of both an artsnb creation grant in writing and an arts by invitation grant in the Media Arts to assist in travel and accommodation during participation in the World Portable Gallery Convention in Halifax.

As artists, we want to see the system work fairly for all.

1. QUALIFICATION: RESIDENCY / WAITING TIME

Elections New Brunswick Website

A person is qualified to vote in a provincial election if they are:
an ordinarily resident in the province for 40 days immediately preceding the date of the election.

Why should an artist have to wait 1 full year before applying for an artsb grant?

2. PEER ASSESSMENT
A person must have received a grant before they become eligible for nomination to serve on a peer jury.

Proposed: That any person who has graduated from a recognized degree granting institution should be automatically considered to be eligible for nomination to serve on a peer jury.

Kinds of problems that can arise under the present system in which nomination for a peer jury can only be considered if the person has themselves been successful in obtaining an artsnb grant:

Artists new to the province, regardless of their education, experience, or reputation will not be eligible to serve on peer juries.

Under the present system, new voices, the new generations will not have influence in the system, and in the development of the arts in New Brunswick.

The system is in danger of becoming self-serving, vulnerable to a system of cliques arising.

The growth of art in New Brunswick is in danger of being stunted. It will not change and evolve with the culture of art within Canada and outside: the bigger picture.

Historically, the most recognized avant-garde work of the early 20th century was Russian. When the doors of cultural exchange closed, the work was locked into the past and into a more slowly developing aesthetic restricted by authority.

Problems / perceived dangers if current criteria continues:
hierarchy, ghetto culture

This presents the problems associated with not permitting other voices to be heard.

3. WHO GETS GRANTS?

While this might apply to only a few individuals, I believe it is time to consider this option:

While there are many qualified and meritous artists throughout the province, it would be useful if there were a system in place for individuals receiving grants to contribute a portion of the grant amounts to a special foundation for the arts.

This would allow for someone to receive the honour of a grant through merit, but to donate the monetary amount (in their name) to a foundation for the arts, if they felt that they were less needy of the actual monetary amount.

This might apply to persons whose previous year(s) income denotes a lack of perceived monetary need.

The individual could receive the merit, the recognition, and have the option of voluntarily turning the money over to the foundation. The foundation would be able to perpetuate itself and it could be used to offer prizes to aspiring individuals, as well as to well-qualified artists in perceived-to-be greater need of financial assistance.

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Good taste / Bad Taste – postcard by Valerie LeBlanc 1986

In 1983, the image was found blowing around with other trash in a school yard.  At the time I was working with an industrial painting crew and painting the roof of the school.  The original date of publication is missing.

The image appears to be a lesson on art appreciation:  The man, bearing a resemblance to Marcel Duchamp is showing the boy a painting of Edouard Manet’s 1866 Young Flautist. Various of Manet’s works caused a scandal in their time but are now highly prizes artifacts of culture.  In the process of this moment of artistic contemplation, the man and the boy have turned their backs on other works displayed in the gallery. Among them are a seascape painting and a modern ‘Alexander Calder – like’ sculpture.

As viewers we choose our point of departure on the evaluation of fine art and contemporary culture. All visitors to this gallery should take care not to back into that pointy sculpture and become bitten by the virus of modernity now past.

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About Valerie LeBlanc


Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device.

L’artiste pluridisciplinaire Valerie LeBlanc est vidéaste, poète, performeuse et essayiste. Son travail oscille entre le remarquable et le quotidien. Elle a exposé ses œuvres en Europe, en Australie et au Brésil. Elle crée des vidéopoèmes depuis le milieu des années 1980 et a inventé le MediaPackBoard (MPB), un appareil de projection mobile pour la performance.

Date : April 2020
Genre : Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry
Français/English

Small Walker Press

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