Arts·Hi, Art

For Art 101 extra credit: Check out even more art inspired by animals

Class is finally in session, and your first lesson with Professor Lise is the definition of wild.

Class is finally in session, and your first lesson with Professor Lise is the definition of wild

(CBC Arts)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy, hand-picked by our small and mighty team. Here's what we've been talking about this week.

Quick review! Who remembers that email from a few weeks back where we teased a new video project called Art 101? Well, it made its debut on Friday's episode of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists, so we're happy to say that we can finally share it with you here. The host is Lise Hosein, one of the producers here on the CBC Arts team, and you can look forward to more quick "explainer" videos like it in the next few weeks. Despite the title, what you're going to see on Art 101 might or might not be the kind of thing you'd find in an art history textbook. (Most likely not.) But expect deep dives into subject matter that's occasionally inexplicable, or as Lise would say, "just plain weird." And her first lesson is the definition of wild.

Why are artists — all the way back to the beginning of history — so fascinated with animals? That's the question driving the first episode of Art 101. Watch and learn. Then, because there are way too many examples to ever fit into a three-minute video, make your way through this petting zoo (clicking zoo?) of bonus links. Your weekly shot of inspiration is all about the animal kingdom.


Nature's incredible, but it's not invincible. That's why Montreal's Laurence Vallières makes her larger-than-life animal sculptures out of something as fragile and flimsy as cardboard. (In case you missed it, we dropped in on her last year.)


Every kid has tried making a paper crane at some point, but none of them looked like these. After finishing a project devoted to those classic origami cranes, artist Cristian Marianciuc decided to evolve the species, so to speak. Just look at those finely cut details. You're going to want to zoom in on everything on his Instagram.

(Courtesy of Jennie Suddick)

More birdwatching for you. Toronto's Jennie Suddick sent us these photos of an installation of hers that recently appeared at Critical Mass in Port Hope, Ont. A collaboration with Chrissy Poitras and Kyle Topping of Spark Box Studio, the piece is all about migration. What you're looking at is a collection of block-printed birds and paper feathers which were hung in the town's train station. (Wondering why the walls are different colours in the GIF? The lighting scheme changed in the space, depending on whether it was day or night.)


Do you look like your dog? Because they sure do. And this series of photos by Gerrard Gethings is now a memory-style card game, too.


And finally, these animals are like nothing you could find in nature, but they appeared throughout the pages of medieval manuscripts. Now, artist Robert Benavidez has turned these beasts into supersized "Illuminated Piñatas."

You've got to see this

(CBC Arts)

Dear Santa, please send the following items to CBC Arts… - It's back, and just in time for the most last-minute of last-minute shoppers. Like your very own virtual craft fair, the CBC Arts holiday gift guide is packed with totally unique presents made by the creative folks we've featured this year.

(Courtesy of Calvin Nicholls)

'Is that bone? Is that clay?' - It's paper, pals. And as artist Calvin Nicholls tells us in this video, he's used to people rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Calvin invited us to his studio in Lindsay, Ont., for a first-hand look at how he does it. (Bonus: the opening scene doubles as some seriously satisfying ASMR content.)

(CBC Arts)

What it feels like to have an illness that lasts a lifetime - This fall, Brad Necyk was in Toronto to stage Stormshelter, an immersive play that puts you in the mind of a woman living with bipolar disorder — something he experiences himself. The multidisciplinary artist invited us inside rehearsals. Go behind the scenes of the show.

Follow this artist


Kris Knight (@krisknight) - Soft, sensual, sweet...masculine. We were happy to showcase some of Kris Knight's paintings earlier this week. As he says in the interview: "I wanted to create images that I wish I saw growing up."

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Until next week!



Leah Collins

Senior Writer

Since 2015, Leah Collins has been senior writer at CBC Arts, covering Canadian visual art and digital culture in addition to producing CBC Arts’ weekly newsletter (Hi, Art!), which was nominated for a Digital Publishing Award in 2021. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's journalism school (formerly Ryerson), Leah covered music and celebrity for Postmedia before arriving at CBC.


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