Arts·Hi Art

In the newsletter: no 'butts' about it, these are the year's most popular stories

Try before you subscribe! Read the latest edition of Hi Art. A fresh email is sent out every Sunday morning.

Try before you subscribe! Read the latest edition of Hi Art

From 1001 Fesses, a photo project by Émilie Mercier and Frédérique Marseille. (Courtesy of the artists)

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!

Happy 2020, folks. New year, same old cozy routine. It's time to get back to our regularly scheduled business of skimming through a pile of random links, and I just received the data on the top CBC Arts stories of the year. If there's an extremely broad and recklessly generalized conclusion to be made from our clicking habits, it's that 2019 was the year of tattoos, pop culture … and butts. Don't tell the censors, but this is your No. 1 story.

Fittingly, the No. 2 slot goes to a Schitt's Creek video: Annie Murphy talking about her tattoo. (Re: other tattoo-related content, this episode of Art Hurts was a smash.) Art 101 shows up all over the year's top rankings, and coming in at No. 3, here's the biggest of the bunch. (There are some fresh episodes on the way actually, so raise your hand … and then send in a question for Prof. Lise.)

More hits! More! And they're all listed in descending order! Kristan Klimczak's "devastating photos from the dying days of Honest Ed's." Drag king Duke Carson "slides into the hearts (and pants)" of fans. Peter Knegt raves about Rocketman (by ranting about Bohemian Rhapsody). This is what happens when Lise and I try grading the Camp-iest looks at the Met Gala.

Even more hits! Alicia Elliott reflects on the new wave of Indigenous horror fiction. Take a trip to the starchiest place on Earth: the home of the world's biggest perogy. Read the story of standup comics, er, standing up to Just for Laughs. Plus, glass artists review Blown Away, that Netflix show about glass artists. (Any series you'd love to see fact-checked the same way?)

And because we promised you eye candy


Not quite ready to face a fresh new year? Wallow in some overwhelmingly fluoro nostalgia. (Painting by Michael Page.)


I've heard of darning socks ... but trees? (Embroidery by Diana Yevtukh.)


Sometimes you just want to scroll through endless watercolour sketches of the same fluffy kitty, and that time is now.

You've got to see this

10 architectural wonders that put Canada on the map

Part of our best of the 2010s project, this list's the most popular story of the week — and if it convinces you to book a last-minute trip to Calgary, you're welcome. Gawk at some spectacular new structures earning international acclaim.

He really, really, really likes Tatiana Maslany - Ben Lewis is a Toronto actor who appears on TV's Arrow. He is also a longtime friend, colleague and superfan of Tatiana Maslany. Did her Emmy-winning work on Orphan Black spark international interest in Canadian TV? That's Ben's argument, but mostly he just has a lot of very nice things to say about his old pal.

You could've tried a little harder, Little Women - Muslin and book smarts are so hot right now, and it doesn't get hotter — in a you-accidentally-sat-too-close-to-the-fireplace kind of way — than Little Women and Anne with an E. The former is now in theatres; the latter is all over Twitter because of its recent cancellation. And Amanda Parris is tapping into the old-timey zeitgeist with this review. According to her, Anne with an E set a new standard for literary adaptations, especially where representation is concerned. And on that front, Little Women has a lot of room for improvement.

Follow this artist


Nelson Wu (@instant_onion) - Thanks to this Toronto-based pixel artist, we're going into 2020 with a bang! Follow him for more 16-bit fun.

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Until next week!


About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.