Arts·Hi, Art

In this week's newsletter: World Cup fever plus a gamer's guide to Montreal art

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Because sportsball... World Cup posters by UK designer Tom Anders Watkins are in this week's round-up of links. (Behance/Tom Anders Watkins)

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.

Hi, art lovers!

Who got up early to watch the World Cup final? 

Us? Frankly, this particular office features maybe 2.5 die-hard fans, tops. The rest of us call soccer "sportsball." (The same goes for pretty much anything involving athletes in matching outfits, really, so guess which side this writer is on.)

But there's no denying just how big a deal it is to the billion+ fans out there, and thankfully for our cochleae, there are more ways to express all those football feelings than punching a car horn while cruising down Yonge Street.

Belgium vs. Japan. Lee Kan Kyo, Japan. (Courtesy of Fritz Park)

For instance, we started this past week by checking out a World Cup poster exhibition that's taking over Toronto's OCAD U Continuing Studies gallery through the end of the month. For every match, a different artist would crank out a totally original design, and the last one debuted Sunday with the final game.

Here are a few more soccer-inspired links we stumbled across while putting together that story, all as weird and glorious as nations being united through a shared love of balls...being kicked through metal posts.


These portraits of World Cup players are made out of toothpaste. So strange. So fresh.

(Baboon Creative)

Montreal design firm Baboon Creation made these folk art-inspired mock-ups for team soccer balls. It's a veritable Epcot of sports equipment, all in honour of the World Cup.

(Behance/Tom Anders Watkins)

And because the fans are usually a bigger spectacle than the game itself...check out this project from U.K. designer Tom Anders Watkins. He made posters based on the team chants that get hollered in the stands...and the streets and the bars and the subways and the apartments that share walls with us and oh for the love of Pelé make it stop.

I He(art) my City

But enough about soccer...unless it's the kind you can play on Xbox. Shoutout to newsletter subscriber Courtney Clinton, who gets the spotlight this week with her hometown picks for the best in arts and culture. Courtney's a painter from Montreal. "So much cool art here," she writes, "but the ultimate hidden artistic gem of our city is the video game industry."

Take it away, Courtney...

Sketch by reader Courtney Clinton. "View from my studio! I love all of the old churches that decorate the neighbourhoods of Montreal." (Instagram/@clinton.courtney)

What's the most magical spot in your hometown?

"The most magical place in the city is Charles Vihn's digital character painting class at Syn Studio. Each week the class paints from a live model decked out in a video game-inspired costume. Think atelier meets Assassin's Creed."

"I'm a traditional painter, but I studied at Syn Studio and learned all about the amazing digital art coming out of the city. Because of companies like Ubisoft and Warner Brothers Games (who both have headquarters here), Montreal is a heavy hitter in the world of video games. The artists who design the characters, environments and props are some pretty amazing artists."

Who's your favourite local artist?

"My top Montreal game and illustration artists are Charles VinhRaphael Lacoste and Samantha Youssef."

What's the best place to see art?

"The best place to see digital art is the SAT on St. Laurent. They have a dome where they project immersive digital art." (Get your programming info here.)

What's going on in your hometown? Just answer the questions above and send us an email. All summer, we'll be featuring readers' tips in Hi, Art as a companion to our travel series, I He(art) My City. You could be next.

You've got to see this

(CBC Arts)

First, the art world. Then, kindergarten - Like most 4-year-old kids, Advait Kolarkar loves to paint. Unlike most 4-year-olds, he sells those paintings. Also, he just happens to be the youngest person to ever have a solo exhibition at the Saint John Art Centre. No biggie.

(CBC Arts)

Who said art is for the young? - Dorothy Gordon, 92, dances like nobody's watching, which is why the Torontonian became an inspiration to 250 of her fellow dancers when she joined a massive outdoor performance at this year's Luminato festival. Go inside rehearsals and maybe, just maybe, you'll figure out her secret for busting moves after 85...or 45...or 25.

This series is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S - If you love the original Office and/or anything about showbiz, get watching our latest web series, Off Kilter. (Binge it all here!) The mockumentary's cast features IRL dancers, who've also been making mythbusting bonus videos like this one. For example, dancers do, in fact, eat. They eat bananas. Loads of them. Just watch.

Follow this artist

Sandeep Johal (@sandeepjohalart) - The artist's colourful murals have been popping up all over Vancouver, but she recently talked to us about her ongoing series, "Rest in Power," for this CBC Arts short doc.


Got questions? Story tips? Extra game-day nachos?

We're always around. Hit us up over email and we'll do our best to get back to you.

And if someone forwarded you this message, and you like what you've read, here's where to subscribe for more.

Until next time!


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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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