Let’s Continue To Discuss Remai Modern’s Role

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There are more rocks in play in today’s curling than eve before. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)

In the newspaper business, it has been said for every person who sends a letter to the editor, there are many, many more with the same view. 

These views come from people on both sides of an issue.

Last week, two readers took the time to share their feelings on Remai Modern and the nature of its exhibitions. 

My theory is we got hoodwinked. Many of us didn’t think the gallery would be exclusively — or certainly almost exclusively — for modern art. I suppose the name should have been a giveaway.

“As I wandered around in bewilderment last Sunday, I was reminded of the emperor with no clothes,” one reader wrote. “Will it take a child to point out that this is Saskatchewan and we generally are hardworking, practical folks and this art gallery, in its current state, is pretentious and wasteful? And what’s with all the continuous loop videos being displayed? I shake my head that this is art.”

Overall, I shook my head as well, given the overall lack of art and the lack of diversity. People are going to shake their heads right off their foundations when I say this: I find the art at the Saskatoon Exhibition more interesting than what I saw at Remai. There, I said it.

Another reader expressed her dismay.

“I don’t remember how many rooms of ‘art’ there were, but I do know that about 90 per cent were filled with ‘modern’ art. Perhaps one room would be sufficient for the modern art.

“Also we were amazed at all the empty hallways and walls as being cold and unappealing — no sculptures or statues or anything; just white walls and windows. 

“Saskatchewan has produced many fine artists. Where are Joe Fafard, Joni Mitchell, Nonie Mulcaster, and Allen Sapp? Surely we could display some of our local talent. Where is all the art from the Mendel collection?  

“I think the reason attendance was high last year was because people wanted to see for themselves what all the hoopla was about (and what we taxpayers are paying for). I doubt the figures will remain high unless they start to show some real art.”

Let’s keep the discussion going.

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The strangest thing has happened to my car radio. It only plays FM channels. When I put it on AM, it crackles and screeches to the point of being annoying and unlistenable. My listening habits have changed, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Like an art gallery, I need diversity in my life.

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It is great to see lines being painted between lanes on our streets. I found Circle Drive to be a scary place when I drove it on a recent night. As I have aged, I dislike night-driving more and more. I am trying really to avoid being an old guy hunched over the steering wheel. 

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During last week’s Humpty’s Champions Cup curling event, I saw firsthand what a great facility Merlis Belsher Place is. We are fortunate to have a venue of its size — almost 3,000 seats — in our city. 

I noticed again that curling fans tend to be in the over-60 set. Maybe it’s been that way forever and new generations of us seasoned people will continue to carry the torch. 

Curling has done so much over the past couple of decades to make it more exciting for fans. There are more rocks in play than ever before. With that comes an emphasis on strategy and the ability to make precision shots. 

It is a great sport to watch both live and on television. 

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Remember, the Saskatchewan Rattlers play their first game on May 9. The quality of basketball will be great, and topnotch people are running the league. Let’s get out and support this new addition to our sports calendar.

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I enjoy following Saskatoon’s Ted Spurgeon on Twitter. Here is another one of his observations:

“Shirley is taking our granddaughters shopping tomorrow. If the stars align properly, she may be able to find them jeans that have actual knees in them.”

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Congratulations to Don Atchison, Doug Cuthand, and Dr. Andrew Potter, who were among those named recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit last week. 

Lt.-Gov. W. Thomas Molloy said recipients “have made extraordinary contributions to our province. I congratulate each of them on this well-deserved honour and I thank them for their outstanding leadership.”

Atchison holds the title of being Saskatoon’s longest-serving mayor. Cuthand is a journalist and filmmaker, while Dr. Potter is the former director and CEO of VIDO-Intervac, a research organization of the University of Saskatchewan.

The three will be honoured at a ceremony in June.