Archive for September 2012

WotS: Round 3

It's been a crazy blur of people, food, hanging out, catching up, meetings, readings and of course class since getting back. To be honest, it's been a little odd trying to settle back into the routine of school. This past summer seems almost like a surreal dream. Every so often, when someone asks, "hey, you went to Germany this summer, right?" it takes a second before recalling, "yeah, I did, didn't I?" If it weren't for all the amazing memories, the awesome photos and the amusing fact that Chrome and my Facebook ads seem perpetually stuck in German, the reality of the past few months would feel even more elusive. 
But anyway - this past Sunday (Sept. 23rd) was the annual Word on the Street national book & magazine festival. Went with J, of course - this was our third year going together, so it's become a bit of a tradition now. We started out the packed afternoon at the Giller Prize Stage. The physical layout of the festival was different this year, and we both agreed that it was a little harder to navigate (i.e. booths were more spread out, the main stage was off to the side/end and kind of obscured, instead of central, etc.)
We got to listen to John Ralston Saul speak, which was super cool. He's a very engaging speaker, really witty and slightly sardonic at times, considering the subject matter. Dr. Saul has awesome stage presence - just really exudes intelligence and charisma. An excellent start to the afternoon!
Then we wandered around, picked up some swag, and headed over to hear Adrienne Clarkson, the 26th Governor General of Canada, speak. (How awesome are those metallic silver Oxfords, by the way?) I definitely have a lot of respect for Adrienne Clarkson and her accomplishments, so it was great to have the opportunity to catch her speech. Her wit definitely complements that of her husband. It was also a really engaging and moving speech - almost got teary-eyed at one point!
And immediately afterwards, we ran back over to the Giller tent to catch David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin. The two addresses really played off of each other very well. The place was completely packed, it was pretty insane.
The top image is a linocut printing I did in the tenth grade for art class. David Suzuki! I think the concept we were given was to do the profile of someone we found inspiring. If you haven't tried carving linoleum before, let me tell you - it's not easy material to cut through with precision.
^ He's a very animated speaker. J and I finished the day off with grabbing food and checking out the rest of the booths (couldn't resist buying a couple of books as well. No idea when I'm going to read them though!) All in all, a successful third round of Word on the Street!

art on brick & mortar

Street art, done well, can be highly fascinating. Saw some pretty epic pieces of art (and yeah, some graffiti too) this summer, so I figured I'd share some of those discoveries here:  
Spotted this one on my first night in Paris, not long after arriving. It was pouring rain, nearing eleven o'clock and a little sketchy in the dark as I got my first exposure to Paris (& France, for that matter), but I had to snap a photo (huddled under an umbrella, trying to keep my iPhone dry) when I saw this. 
Found this one in London, England with S & A. The Beatles! The Queen! A red double decker bus! Very British. Banksy
This, too, was spotted in London. This is located beside a tunnel/walkway; saw it on my last day in London on my way to the Tate Modern.
Also London. Found this one while I was just wandering around; can't remember the exact location, but I think it's near Tavistock Square.
Karate tofu! No ideas about the context for this, but hey, tofu is delicious! Bonn, Germany.
What is the plan? Encountered this one with C, J, K & M after a picnic.
Bonn really plays up the whole Beethoven thing (seeing as how it's his birthplace and all - although rumor has it the guy wasn't exactly fond of the place...)
This one's from last year, actually, spotted in Toronto while on an art store/bubble tea expedition with A, E, N & S.

It's actually kind of insane the amount of art there is near train tracks and the U-bahn. Some of the stuff on the barricades looks like it might've been fairly dangerous to put up, really. And there are a lot of really cool pieces near train stations that I wasn't able to snap photos of from the moving train. I've heard that there are some pretty awesome works in Berlin, but alas, wasn't able to make it out to east Germany this time around. Hopefully next time!

Have you spotted any really awesome street art recently? Where?

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