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Yes, those are incredibly tiny Obama figurines. Yes, they are standing in the eye of a needle. (Willard Wigan/Courtesy of CBC Docs)

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.

Hi, art lovers!

Come December, CBC Gem's going to be hit with the usual deluge of holiday programming — but there'll be a couple of (non-festive) arts-related titles hiding in all that Christmas-ish content, so consider this your official heads-up. Maudie arrives on Dec. 6. (It's the Maud Lewis biopic that came out in 2016, the one starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.) Before queuing it up, though, I'd check out these old CBC Arts stories. Here's what happened when we sent a Maud Lewis expert to the movie's TIFF premiere. (Spoiler: he, uh, didn't love it.) And to further sharpen your critical thinking, hear from Nova Scotia artists Laura Kenney and Steven Rhude. Their work's majorly inspired by Maud's life story — and how it's sometimes been warped for the sake of a buck.

Also coming to Gem, a quirky documentary from the U.K.'s Channel 4. World's Tiniest Masterpieces follows the creation of one particular tiny wonder. In 2013, Willard Wigan earned the Guinness World Record for crafting the smallest handmade sculpture in the world, and in the doc, he sets out to beat...himself. No bigger than 20 microns, the final piece is carved into a strand of human hair. How does he do it? The answer is, well, agonizing to watch. (Occupational hazards include literally inhaling three weeks of work.)

Bonus links: A couple more "micro-artists" get extremely brief mentions in the film, and it turns out they've starred in their own little videos. Jonty Hurwitz makes sculptures even tinier than Wigan's. (I suppose they don't share the distinction of being "handmade.") The "nano" art featured in this video can only be seen through an electron microscope. And in this short doc, The Diatomist, you'll meet Klaus Kemp, an artist who can make kaleidoscopic collages with single-celled algae. (His stuff is especially pretty.)

And because we promised you eye candy

(Vimeo/Matthew Killip)

See what I was saying about Klaus Kemp?


#OOTD goals courtesy of Mimi Haddon. (Did you catch our story about Katie Green this week? Mimi and Katie are old collaborators.)


Unsettling? Sure. But artist Daisy Collingridge's eye for colour is just so delicious.

(Facebook/Gardiner Museum)

Dream team! This is what happens when Shary Boyle, Jillian Tamaki, Lido Pimienta and Rajni Perera get together. (If you're reading this, it might be too late to make it to Toronto's Gardiner Museum in time, but these collaborative sculptures are on display as part of the International Ceramic Art Fair. The three-day event wraps at the Gardiner Nov. 24.)

You've got to see this

Waves: Amanda Parris talks with the film's creative team - Last week, Waves star Kelvin Harrison Jr. and director Trey Edward Shults were in Toronto for a special screening. Amanda hosted the post-show Q&A and interviewed the duo about bringing the family drama to life. Read the best bits of their conversation, but so you know: serious spoilers ahead.

Calgary, is that you? - Calgary's East Village neighbourhood is plastered with masked portraits, and Katie Green is the local artist who masterminded the project. To make it happen, she involved area residents from all walks of life. How did they all work together? Watch and see.

'Tis the season for craft fairs - That's why we were curious about A Handmade Assembly, an annual conference in Sackville, N.B. that attracts artists who double as master crafters. The programming is a mix of exhibitions, artist talks, practical workshops — and yes, even a holiday craft market.

Follow this artist


Lucas Morneau (@thequeermummer) - Lucas taught a crochet workshop at A Handmade Assembly last week, and he did it in character as his drag alter ego, The Queer Mummer. (Missed it? There's always YouTube.) 

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Until next week!


About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.