Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Art Gallery of Hamilton: 'Made in Canada' Gala 2017 - UPDATE

Always fun to find out - after the fact - that one of my works has been included in a Fund-Raising Gala Auction!

The Art Gallery of Hamilton recently hosted a 'MADE IN CANADA' Gala. Apparently, a pinhole photograph of mine that I donated several years ago was 'in'.

Unhappily, the event on May 27th came and went, with me none the wiser ... Still, here are the seeming highlights >

Silent & live auction. Tickets: $350 per person. Dinner & Dancing.
(Proceeds to support programming at the AGH.)

...  Maybe one day I'll find out who actually bought my donated work, and for how much ... 
Artists' do like to know what happens to their generously donated 'freebies' ... HA!

FRIDAY, June 2nd, 2017 - Vox Humana Chamber Choir Present 'the national anthems' - with all-Canadian poem, 'Bush Chord'

So thrilled to be a part of this amazing choral event in British Colombia. 
Canadian composer Tobin Stokes has imaginatively re-interpreted my poem, 'Bush Chord', 
to create an astounding musical medley of 'sun-struck lyres' ... 

FRIDAY, JUNE 2nd - 7:30pm -

REHEARSAL of 'BUSH CHORD' - Photo by Tobin Stokes, May 29th, 2017

My poem, Bush Chord, on which new choral work, by Tobin, is based - 


pine poplar willow and punk wood
spit and spark
while bone hard elm birch apple and oak
hum harmonious
fine hard woods - good wood to burn

these wonder instruments pressure whistle
chattering, cheering, cackling
crackling within a hesitant cyclone of light
flickering flames
of sublime delight, warming slow, they give us life

parse this minor miracle of mega bio-physics
of holy fire drawn down
from primal sun
through leaves to rugged root shoots far flung
look here now

to this instant, brilliant burn
an intense unrehearsed liquid fire
a sound symphony of sun struck lyres
complete and sacred
a rare but common gift

the honey musk smell of jumbled bush wood
burns deep into primal memory

(remember those crisp sun-filled fall days
of cutting, gathering, splitting, stacking,
carrying, piling, drying, and cursing
those back breaking loads?)

to get to this
this calm clear moment

to these bush chords

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Canada 150 Tulips - GLORIOUS!

Canada 150 Tulip - Copyright - M.L.Holton, Canada

Canada 150 Tulips2 - Copyright MLHolton, Canada

Zapped Tulip with 'painting' app ... Copyright, M.L.Holton, Canada
Ok, call me corny, but I love how these look. White with 'ribbon' red thorough out. Planted last fall, and gratifying to see them come up healthy and hardy this spring ... 'Canada', as a nation state (only 150 years young), may have a ways to go yet - but with Good Will, GOOD things remain possible ...

Friday, May 12, 2017

The K.W.Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year', M.L.Holton

The K.W.Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year' Trophy, photo, & presented, by Ellen Irmisch, in memory of her parents.
Wow. Very humbled and honoured to receive
 The K.W. Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year' award - and trophy!
Awards  celebration was held at the Royal Botanical Gardens on May 11th, 2017,
hosted and organized by the City of Burlington.  

When I was notified that I was 'in the running', and knowing too that I would not be able to attend that night, I prepared a little 'speech' ... just in case .... because you never know ....  
I was asked to have a 'stand in', and asked local arts champion, Kim Varrell, to act on my behalf. 
Little did we both know that I would WIN!!! 

'Art Person of the Year in 2016' - Margaret Lindsay Holton
Here's my speech, delivered with great grace & aplomb, by Kim - (THANK YOU Kim!!!)

"I am very sorry I could not be with you all tonight. I am humbled and truly honored by this award, especially as everyone else in this category is so deserving.

I grew up in the rural North-end of the City on a sheep farm, up on top of the Escarpment, far from the lakeside downtown core. .... As a child, Burlington, as a City, was miles away! - Our family roots are deep in this area: first, as pre-Confederation farmers, then, post-Confederation, as Loyalist manufacturers, who fanned out, building and contributing, to the well-being of this region. Today, I stand as the sole professional artist from a large extended family that is now spread across much of Southern Ontario. - We are Canadians.

I do consider it my role - and responsibility - as a mature artist - to be a cultural witness of our Times - to interpret the issues of our day - through my pencil, pen and paint brush. Photography and film-making are newer additions to my work, but, fundamentally, my work is what I DO - as a multi-disciplined Canadian artist - rooted to this land - HERE - on this amazing planet.

Burlington, as a City, is now a rapidly evolving collection of diverse neighbourhoods. We are perched between one of the greatest of Lakes in North America, Lake Ontario, and the ancient primordial rock of the Niagara Escarpment. Our little patch of turf stands as a beacon of civility and safety in a larger war-torn and increasingly troubled world. To my mind, we all have a responsibility to maintain that civility through our words and neighbourly deeds. It is how we create "community" amongst ourselves.

Art, in whatever form, is a neuron bridge. It shares IDEAS. Some may be critical and unsettling, Others can be super positive and celebratory. All together, art expresses WHO we are to each other. Art makes us human.

I am very happy to receive this honour.  Thank you."

Burlington’s Best Awards are managed by a citizen’s committee that was established in 1965 with the mandate of recognizing local residents who bring honour to the city and make a significant difference in the community.

p.s. Highlighted in the nomination video was one of my more recent art projects, The Frozen Goose (about a rural family coping in the aftermath of WW1.). It is the ONLY Canadian film, as far as I know, that includes two outstanding local locations in Burlington, Ontario, Canada - Mount Nemo & Rattlesnake Point. Both are timeless landscapes. See it here.


Plus a few shots of the event, courtesy of the City of Burlington -
Burlington BEST AWARD winners - without me :)

Nominees & BEST Awards Committee at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring at the City BEST Awards Gala

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CD Launch & 'Brunch on the Beach' with Canadian Artist & Poet - Margaret Lindsay Holton

Opps! - ERRORS all MINE. Caesar DRINKS, not SALADS, are $5!- Includes an EGG!

It's a happenin'!
- Come for 'Brunch on the Beach' - with me :)
SUNDAY - June 11th, at 11am 

At HARRY'S PUB on the Hamilton Beach Strip
721 Beach Blvd - with easy access to Lake Ontario beach front & boardwalk... 
BLTs, Eggs & Bacon, Home Fries & Toast, etc. Fully Licensed. - Parking on Side Streets.
Conveniently located SMACK in the MIDDLE of the Beach Strip, Harry's Pub.
CANADADA:TAKE TWO - Spoken Word & Garageband Antics CD, by MLHolton