Drop by ARC for dog portraits, monsters, tea

Vancouverites who enjoy science fiction and fantasy figures, dog portraits and a nice cup of tea might want to check out Uncommon Vision at the ARC, June 8 to 10.

"It's a celebration, fundamentally, of our building because this has been one of the main artist buildings in Vancouver for over 18 years, and it's also just like, hey, look at all these artists in your midst," said event coorganizer and multidisciplinary artist, Karen Moe. "Also, we're one of the main destinations of the Eastside Culture Crawl, so this is halfway in between the culture crawl where we have our special Uncommon group show."

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Uncommon Vision will animate the ARC at the foot of Commercial Drive with gallery parties Friday and Saturday nights and daytime artist studio openings Saturday and Sunday.

The evening parties will hum with DJs, Zhumba dancing, live bands, a pirate magician and a participatory art installation that's complemented by an exhibition work from some of the building's nearly 80 tenants.

Moe will exhibit what she calls a "more controversial" multimedia installation about addiction and codependence at the evening events. She'll also host dog portrait sittings and a tea party in her studio by day.

Moe, an art photographer, multimedia performance artist and singer, has been focusing on fine art dog photography since the fall. She captures canine images that are artful enough to deck a dog lover's walls, she says, and takes head shots of dogs vying for careers in film.

For $30, she'll host 15-minute sittings between 1 and 5 p.m. on Saturday. Owners can choose a five-by-seven-inch print from one of five shots and one of four animal protection agencies they'd like to see $5 of the $30 fee directed.

Vancouver Makeup Effects, a traditional and digital special FX studio, will fashion live models as science fiction and fantasy figures in its studio from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and will kit out models Friday and Saturday nights.

"It's either going to be two girls done up with M16s and full army riot gear with lacerations and all dirtied up, or we're going to be doing full fantasy characters [for the evening parties]," said business owner and operator Dallas Harvey.

Zombies are another possibility. Harvey, who's the head of makeup design at Blanche Macdonald Centre, says participating in Uncommon Vision provides publicity for his business and exposure for his students.

"People don't really know what we do, often. They see it in the movies and they don't know what is traditional FX and what is 3D FX," he said. "We want to show the public what we do- People like to see these really elaborate characters walking around and talking. We do full contact, dental acrylic teeth- and full costumes, so it's not just makeup FX, it's the whole gamut of the character creation, so we do nails and claws and sometimes even full creature suits."

Visitors can learn how to hand tint black and white photos using pictures provided in a demonstration with photographer Janet Sadel at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Classical concert pianist Sarah Hagen will invite visitors into her home at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for recitals.

Uncommon Vision builds community with visitors and among busy resident artists, Moe notes, adding residents of the ARC often lend each other a helping hand.

"I have a piece called Princess Vulva and I deal with labiaplasty, so Harvey made me some blood going down my leg," she said.

To further community building, the Uncommon event donates half of its $5 suggested donation at the door to the Eastside Cultural Crawl's Studio 101 program. The initiative invites school children into artists' studios to create their own art. Students subsequently choose a work for their school to purchase with money provided by the program.

"It's raising awareness for young children that art is a wonderful thing and the whole idea of purchasing art is something you can do that enriches your life, adds beauty to your home and makes you think about things in a different way, potentially," Moe said.

The Uncommon event raised $300 for Studio 101 last year.

Studios are open noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1701 Powell St. The Friday and Saturday evening gallery events run 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, phone 604787-1806.


Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi

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