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VISUAL ARTIST

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My portrait of Norman Bethune from 2008 is now being seen around Montreal. The image is being used for promotional material to commemorate the 75th aniversary of Norman Bethunes death. I had been approached for permission to use my image by McGill Universary professor Aziz S. Fall who is also President of the Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin. Professor Fall also invited me to attend the activities. I really wish I could, I've never been to Montreal. One day I shall visit.

As I reported earlier, my portrait is also being used at this time for promotional materials by Bethune Collage at York University in Toronto as part of their planned activities. It's great to see my portrait appearing in both of Canada's largest cities at this time

The City of Montreal and its partners (Concordia University, the McCord Museum, Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, and Tourisme Montréal has organized several events around Montreal and Gravenhusrt Ontario where Bethune was born. "In the Footsteps of Norman Bethune" will be held over several days from November 12 - 15.

"Bethune", acrylic and collage on canvas, 36"x 36", 2008

From my CIRFA invitation to participate:

"The present is to officially invite you, on behalf of the Bethune International Steering Committee, to participate in the series of events that will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the death of Dr. Norman Bethune, his entire internationalist endeavor and the launch of the project In the Footsteps of Norman Bethune. The project aims to bring to attention the role played by Norman Bethune and all the Canadians, Spaniards, Chinese and other international volunteers who joined the struggle against fascism in defense of democracy, freedom and international solidarity in Spain and China. Reveered for decades by a billion Chinese, while he was practically forgotten in his own country, Bethune remains today the best known Canadian abroad.

The events programmed for this coming November 12 to 15 are as follows:

~ Wednesday, Nov. 12, 12:00 : Commemorative ceremony and launch of the project with the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, at Montreal, City Hall featuring a unique Bethune-Mao photo as the centrepiece

~ Wednesday, Nov. 12, 13:30-16:30 : Montreal Bethune itinerary; visit to several historic sites following rendezvous at the park in front of Montreal City Hall, 275 Notre-Dame Street East, Montreal;

~ Thursday, Nov. 13, 8:00-22:00 : Round trip by bus to a commemorative ceremony at Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst, Ontario; rendezvous at Place Émilie-Gamelin, corner of Berri Street and Sainte-Catherine Street East, Montreal;

~ Friday, Nov 14, 14:00 : Roundtable on Social medicine and the relevance of internationalist medicine today, with Dr. Amir Khadir, Ignace Adah, James Orbinsky, Andrew Beckett and Dominique Shum -Tim, at the Glen Salon, CUSM McGill University Health Centre, 5100 De Maisonneuve Street West, Montreal;

~ Friday, Nov 14, 18:00 : Political roundtable on Bethune and internationalist solidarity, at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), Hubert-Aquin Building, 400 Sainte-Catherine Street East, Room A1785, Montreal;

~ Saturday, Nov. 15, 14:00-18:00 : Screening of films on Norman Bethune, including one by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, at de Seve Cinema at Concordia University, McConnell Library Building, 1400 De Maisonneuve Street West, Room LB-125, Montreal;

~ Saturday, Nov. 15, 19:00 : Solidarity evening at the Centre Internationaliste Ryerson / Fondation Aubin, 160 Saint-Viateur Street East, Suite 707, Montreal.

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"Local food , local music and great vibes."

It's really cool to have some of my paintings and prints hanging in the newly opened "Tractorgrease Cafe" located in the heart of the wild and beautiful Chilliwack Valley. I like to hang my work in venues where music and art are celebrated. I love it when I can be a fly on the wall and listen to people talk about the artwork.

My friends and operators of the cafe, Jeff Bonner and Jodie Augustine, have put a lot of hard work into renovating the space. Jodie's talented handiwork is everywhere and though they are still adding some finishing touches, the Cafe is now open. The menu includes "everyone's favourite breakfast items and a great selection of healthy wraps, salads and burgers."

Jodie Augustine and Jeff Bonner in the Tractorgrease Cafe kitchen.

Weekends will feature live music. Every Friday at 7PM is Acoustic Open Mic night. Special event Saturdays will include a meal and entertainment by guest artists.

Tractorgrease image

Local talent Kyle Schick performing his original songs at the very first Friday night open mic last week.

Winter hours are:

Thursday 8am - 7pm
Friday 8am - 9:30pm
Saturday 8am - 6pm Saturday events go from 7pm - 10pm
Sunday 8am - 4pm
Monday 8am - 3pm
Tuesday and Wednesday - closed

For more info and to find out about the Saturday Night feature artist click here for the Tractorgrease website.

About Tractorgrease

Jeff Bonner, long time multimedia designer and music fanatic, established Tractorgrease in 2001 "as a loose collective of like minded individuals with a passion for music, video and media in all its forms."

"Our Years of experience in Multimedia and a vision for our own production studio led to the creation of Tractorgrease Multimedia. Our new creative space that combines the components of a live venue with the equipment and layout of a production studio. The goal of Tractorgrease is to enhance the artistry of musicians through audio and video. Creating CD/DVD's, internet marketing and EPK's are some of the additional services we offer."

The Tractorgrease Multimedia studio is located right beside the new Tractorgrease Cafe at 48710 Chilliwack Lake Rd, Chilliwack, BC.

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"The Great Round" is now being featured on the new solo album "Lotusland " by master musician and friend Rick Genge.

I'm proud to have my work associated with such an amazing musician, gifted guitar instructor, and all around nice guy. The music on Ricks new album "conjures up early Carlos Santana virtuosity with a jazz-influenced, smooth Latin feel that is primarily acoustic and utterly irresistible."

To read more about this album, to hear previews of the songs, to purchase downloads or buy the CD check out the link www.cdbaby.com/cd/rickgenge

To celebrate the launch of Ricks new solo album, I am offering a 20% discount to anyone who purchases a Lotusland CD.

Limited edition Giclee prints will be offered on canvas and paper.

Giclee Canvas Prints of "The Great Round": Limited Edition of 1000

-----Stretched canvas - 36" x 36" - $600. ... -20% = $480.
-----Stretched canvas - 24" x 24" - $400. ... -20% = $320.

- take off 35 dollars for unstretched canvas prints.

Giclee Paper Prints of "The Great Round": Limited Edition of 1000

-----Paper - 24" x 24" - $150. ... -20% = $120.

All prices are subject to 12% tax and don't include shipping.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these special offer prints please use the Contact Page to inquire.

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I have been approached by the Master of Norman Bethune College at York University in Toronto who has asked to use my image of the Norman Bethune portrait which I painted in 2008, as part of the promotional material for an upcoming symposium on Bethune. The symposium being held at the College this coming November, will mark the 75th aniversary of Norman Bethune's death. I am proud that my image will be part of this important event at a College named after this famous Canadian. I will post any interesting updates to this news story as they develope.

This developement continues to add to the interesting history this portrait of Norman Bethune is aquiring. It has travelled to China and shown at the National Museum in Beijing. It has shown at the Chinese Cultural center in Vancouver. It was featured in an online article about a Bethune exhibit at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa in 2013, and now it is set to be part of a symposium at a Canadian College named after him. I'm interested to see where the portrait goes next. Stay tuned.

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I am having a 3 day show of paintings at WaterWealth in Chilliwack. This is a collection of paintings, (a retrospective in a sense) from three decades of my career. The show will be open for the next three Fridays only - November 29, December 6, and December 13. The openings will take place from 4-7pm and I will be in attendance for all three. If you are in the Chilliwack area come on down, say hello and check out the artwork.

"The WaterWealth Project is about empowering community residents to regain control over decisions that affect their home waters - the rivers, lakes and aquifers that are the arteries of our towns, cities and regions."

I will be donating 30% of all sales (19 pieces from the last three decades) to this wonderful project.

The WaterWealth office is located at Unit 4 - 45668 Storey Avenue, just off Vedder Rd in Chilliwack. Here is a link to the WaterWealth website to get a google map of their location.

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Yes, the Sunnyside Series is showing on Sunnyside Boulevard. A small selection of prints from the Sunnyside Series is currently being displayed at the "Lakeside Beach Club" restaurant at Cultus Lake. Update - The restaurant is closed for the winter.

This newly opened eatery is located on Sunnyside Boulevard next to the Cultus lake plaza and across the street from the water park. The show has been up for about a week now and already two pieces have sold, one print and also the latest and only Sunnyside original in the show - #29.

Thanks go out to Co-proprietors Jeff Massey and Alicia Bodaly for the invite to show my work inside their wonderful new restaurant. This is looking like a great venue to introduce the "Sunnyside Series" to both locals and visitors at Cultus lake. It is a treat to have the Sunnyside Series displayed for the first time in the community that inspired it.

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The largest painting that I have created so far in my career was just hung this morning high on the tall walls of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. I was surprised at how small it looked up there. The painting will hang for six months along side other large pieces from area artists. I am pleased that it is being seen at this time, as I think it's relevance has never been greater than at this moment, as our country grapples with vital issues. I hope that it can provide patrons of the Cultural Centre with a springboard to reflection, discussion and debate on the pressing issues the painting hints at. The painting is 20 years old now and never would I have imagined that it would so accurately describe my feelings about the current relationship between native and non-native Canadians and the debate over pipelines and bitumen sands expansion takening place in BC and indeed across the country.

"In the Rainforest", acrylic on canvas, 82"x104", 1993.

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Prints from the Sunnyside Series are now available for purchase from Smudges Art Shoppe in the heart of old downtown Chilliwack B.C.

Artist Marko Jalava who runs Smudges also displays his own wonderful paintings and provides Giclee printing services for others. He's a friendly and interesting guy and great to deal with. Several framed prints from the Sunnyside Series are currently on display there in his beatiful new gallery on Mill Street.

Heres a link to my page on Smudges website

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I was recently asked by Paul Gessel who writes the "Artful Blogger" column for the online "Ottawa Magazine" if he could have permission to use a reproduction of my 2008 portrait of Norman Bethune for a piece he was writing about upcoming Bethune exhibitions set to appear to Ottawa and other venues in Canada. I agreed. Here is a link to the article.

It's great to see Bethune once again stirring up things in Ottawa. I think he would be amused.


"Bethune", acrylic and collage on canvas, 36"x 36", 2008

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A collection of my paintings and prints is now on display at Restaurant 62 in Abbotsford. " Where rural meets urban, Restaurant 62 is Abbotsford's award winning destination for elegant regional cuisine. Named one of the Top 40 Foodies Under 40, Chef Jeff Massey creates seasonal menus that reflect the richness and diversity of local flavours from the Fraser Valley. Wine cellar boasts an award winning selection." The show will be on display for about three months.

Thanks go out to Co-owner Eric Ferris for the invite to show my work. The "Sunnyside Series" pieces in particular really look great in the restaurant.

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