Arts·Hi Art

TikTok artists, PEN15 and other things you missed while watching the new Star Wars trailer

What is TikTok? Congratulations, you are old.

All that plus fresh eye candy and the very best of CBC Arts

Toronto artist Callen Schaub is blowing up on TikTok. (TikTok/@callenschaub)

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!

What are we reading?

What is TikTok? If you've asked that question recently, congratulations, you are old. (Also, this is what TikTok is.) The app's been on my mind this week because Callen Schaub, a guy you might remember from this CBC Arts video ("No paintbrush? No problem!") seems to be killing it on TikTok (like he already is on Instagram).

A few of us in the office downloaded the app while Googling all the think pieces you can humanly read in a lunch break. This analysis from Artsy is the article that stuck with me most, especially the bits talking about how the app is part of a movement toward "post-selfie culture." So if you're a TikTok user — and you're also an artist — I'd be curious to hear how you're using it, and if you're reaching anywhere near as many kids as Callen is right now. (Also, if you're on TikTok — and you're a musician — this news could be game-changing.)

Because youth: I could waste the rest of mine browsing these slideshows and articles about youth culture through the ages (the feature's also via Artsy). There's a seemingly massive art/technology exhibition coming to Edmonton later this month that sounds super intriguing and not just because it involves a bunch of folks we've covered in the recent past (Marilène Oliver! Brad Necyk! aAron Munson!). It's called Dyscorpia and it launches April 23. Peek at the programming here.

(TikTok (@callenschaub)/CBC/Instagram (@dyscorpia, @lilmiquela)/Disney)

What are we watching?

I know this is going to sound like a shameless corporate plug, but I have been waiting to (legally!) binge this Hulu series since I read this interview with the creators, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle. PEN15 is now streaming on CBC Gem: a Y2K-era coming-of-age comedy about seventh grade girls (as played by 30-somethings) that has enormous intelligence and heart for a show named after a dink joke. Watch the AIM episode, if nothing else. Also, here's a link to The Rise of Skywalker trailer because the entire time I've been writing this, our senior producer has been making Wookiee noises (because he's streaming a Star Wars: Episode IX panel).

And because we promised you eye candy


Digital inkblots. Pencil inkblots. They all look like aliens to me.


Golf balls: geodes of the sporting goods aisle! Seriously, though, check out these photos of their unusually surprising (and colourful!) insides. The series, by James Friedman, is called Interior Design.


Follow Afghan-Canadian artist Bashir Sultani, then resist the urge to buy 5,000 pencils.

You've got to see this

Massey Hall field trip with Amanda Parris! The host of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists got to spend the day with the restoration team that's bringing Massey Hall's antique stained glass windows back to life. What stained glass windows? Yeah, that's a fair question — especially if you're under 80. They've been hidden since the '50s, but the building features 93 of these colourful masterpieces. Now, as part of Massey Hall's $145 million renovation project, they'll be returned to their former glory.

Did you say biennale? - What is that word and what does it mean? (It's Italian, and it just means "every other year.") Why is it a big deal? That one's a question for Professor Lise. And on this week's episode of Art 101, she'll show you why events like the Venice Biennale matter, even if we won't be jet skiing in the canals with Marina Abramović next month or whatever it is that happens there.

Mmm... art noodles - Remember Marigold Santos from Art Hurts? She spends her winters teaching in Edmonton, and one of her all-time favourite places in the city is the Art Gallery of Alberta, a building she fondly describes as a big helping of "metal noodles." Who doesn't love noodles? Or art, for that matter? Marigold has plenty of tips for spending a perfect day at the AGA, and you'll want to click for the photos. Once you see the interior, you'll understand why it occasionally pops up in rankings of the world's most beautiful museums.

Follow this artist


David Trautrimas (@trautrimas) - If you remember this headline about an Avro Arrow test model being discovered in Lake Ontario, David's recent series of screen prints should capture your imagination. The story behind that project is on the site.

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Until next week!


About the Author

Leah Collins

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.