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‘Immersive’ 3-day event to fundraise for drought-impacted towns

‘Immersive’ 3-day event to fundraise for drought-impacted towns

Collingwood-based charity Elephant Thoughts will be hosting Freedom Fest 2022 at their Riverstone campus in Durham, Ont.

If you’re looking for a unique experience that’s family-friendly to round out your summer, a festival running in Durham on Labour Day weekend might be just the ticket.

Collingwood-based charity Elephant Thoughts is hosting its first-ever Freedom Fest from Sept. 2-4 at their Riverstone campus in Durham, Ont. The three-day festival is planned to be fun for the whole family with music, camping options, workshops and activities to help connect participants with nature and well-being.

Sam Pollock, director of international programs with Elephant Thoughts, is one of the organizers of the event, which she says follows other, more smaller-scale events put on by the organization to help raise funds for various causes.

“Our festivals are always related to our core values: sustainability, diversity, education and global citizenship,” said Pollock. The Freedom Fest will be raising money specifically for communities impacted by the current drought in Somolia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

“Elephant Thoughts has amazing resources, and one of them happens to be beautiful spaces where we can gather and celebrate,” said Pollock. “We want to be able to share that with as many people as possible.”

The Riverstone Campus is located on a 136-acre property with diverse forests, hiking trails, agricultural lands and several indoor and outdoor facilities for events, overnight accommodations, retreats and educational experiences.

“It’s a really stunning property and anyone who comes for the day or weekend has access to all of it,” she said.

The musical lineup for the festival includes acts with Collingwood links such as The Ontarians and Queen M, who will play alongside Juno-winning and nominated artists Donné Roberts and Alysha Brilla.

Workshops and activities geared to adults and children include an Indigenous Sweat Lodge, beekeeping and candlemaking, drumming circles, African dance, Acupuncture in the Forest, gardening, yoga, cooking classes and fly fishing.

“It’s an entire cultural, immersive (experience). There’s so much going on,” said Pollock.

Pollock says the Collingwood Youth Centre will also be participating in the festival, with artistic work by Collingwood youth being featured at the festival while others run some of the workshops.

Three-day camping passes are available, as well as day passes and prices range from $85 to $175. Children under 13 years old are free to attend. Tickets are limited to between 300 and 500 to be sold in total, depending on how many weekend passes are sold.

For more information on Freedom Fest 2022 or to purchase tickets, click here.

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Editors’ Picks: 13 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From Paola Pivi’s Immersive Denim Tunnel to a Fountain Sculpture at Rock Center | Artnet News

Editors’ Picks: 13 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From Paola Pivi's Immersive Denim Tunnel to a Fountain Sculpture at Rock Center | Artnet News

Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events, both digitally and in-person in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all ET unless otherwise noted.)

Jeppe Hein calls his water-based fountain sculptures “liquid architecture.” His latest interactive water pavilion work at Rockefeller Center will feature four concentric circles of sprinkler “walls” which rise and fall at random, the water creating an ever-changing artwork that doubles as a respite from the summer heat.

Location: Rockefeller Center, Center Plaza, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
Price: Free
Time: On view daily at all times

2. “M.A.L.E.H.: Messages About the Landscapes of the End of the History, Never Again Edition” at Elma, Brooklyn

For two years, the Ukrainian artist Anton Varga painted apocalyptic landscapes and failed utopias, often using the imagery of Socialist Realism. The works were a way of communicating what he saw as the beginning of the “End of History,” he has written, “and its arrival is expressed in the painful disappearance of utopian will from our societies.” Then Russia invaded Ukraine and similarly dystopian imagery began appearing everywhere. So he stopped the series, darkly pronouncing to himself, “never again.” Proceeds from the sale of works will be donated to Ukrainian aid group Come Back Alive.

Location: Elma, 216 Plymouth St., Brooklyn
Price: Free
Time: Saturday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. or by appointment

—Rachel Corbett


Wednesday, June 22–May 2023

Meriem Bennani, <em>Windy</em>. Photo courtesy of High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

Meriem Bennani, Windy. Photo courtesy of High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

3. “Meriem Bennani: Windy” at the High Line, New York

High Line Art unveils its latest work, a co-commission with Audemars Piguet Contemporary that is the first kinetic sculpture by Meriem Bennani, as well as her first sculpture that doesn’t incorporate any video.

Location: High Line, West 24th Street and 10th Avenue, New York
Price: Free
Time: On view daily at all times

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, June 23–Friday, July 15

Honor Titus, <em>Thy Margent Green</em> (2021). Courtesy of Timothy Taylor, New York and London.

Honor Titus, Thy Margent Green (2021). Courtesy of Timothy Taylor, New York and London.

4. “Spotlight: Honor Titus” at the Flag Art Foundation, New York

Flag’s Spotlight series pairs a new or previously unseen work of art with a commissioned text. This time around, it’s writer and editor Derek Blasberg with Honor Titus’s 2022 painting Thy Margent Green.

Location: The Flag Art Foundation, 545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, New York
Price: Free
Time: Wednesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, June 23–Friday, July 29

Paola Pivi, <eM>Free Land Scape</em>. Photo courtesy of Perrotin, New York.

Paola Pivi, Free Land Scape. Photo courtesy of Perrotin, New York.

5. “Paola Pivi: Free Land Scape” at the Perrotin, New York

At last month’s Frieze New York, Paola Pivi was behind one of the art fair’s most talked-about works, a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty with an emoji-like mask, inspired by her adopted son’s extended immigration battle. A larger version, titled You know who I am, is on view on view at the High Line through next spring, and the artist also has a solo show at Perrotin featuring an immersive installation. Pivi takes over the gallery’s third floor with Free Land Scape, an 80-foot-long denim tunnel.

Location: Perrotin, 130 Orchard Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, June 23–Friday, August 5

Misheck Masamvu, <em>Pink Gorillas in Hell are Gods</em> (2019), detail. Courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.

Misheck Masamvu, Pink Gorillas in Hell are Gods (2019), detail. Courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.

6. “Marianne Boesky Gallery x Goodman Gallery: Fragile Crossings” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

This two-part show opens this week at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, and on July 21 at Goodman Gallery in London. It features sculpture, installation, film, and painting by artists from both dealers, including Ghada Amer, Sanford Biggers, Kapwani Kiwanga, and Misheck Masamvu. The overarching theme is about global instability and the fragility of the human condition, with art responding to issues such as global warming, the African diaspora, and the slave trade.

Location: Marianne Boesky Gallery, 507 West 24th Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Untitled (2015). Courtesy of James Cohan, New York.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Untitled (2015). Courtesy of James Cohan, New York.

7. “Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: The Language of Symbols” at James Cohan, New York

Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian achieved late-in-life fame for her cut-glass mosaic technique. But the same geometric forms that appear in her sculptures are also the basis for her far less recognized drawing practice. James Cohan looks to celebrate this important aspect of Farmanfarmaian’s career with a show featuring early works on paper as well as later geometric drawings, demonstrating her long-term engagement with spacial thinking.

Location: James Cohan, 48 Walker Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Friday, June 24-Monday, August 1

Blair Borthwick, Starkeepers. Image courtesy the artist and Matriark.

Blair Borthwick, Starkeepers. Courtesy of the artist and Matriark.

8. “Blair Borthwick: The Way You Embrace the Stars and the Moon” at Matriark, Sag Harbor

This solo art show featuring a new body of work from Shelter Island-based artist Blair Borthwick, who left a corporate finance career to study at the Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League in New York. Her works in painting, drawing, and collage, which recall Abstract Expressionism, are deeply rooted in the exploration of self. The show is located inside Matriark, a retail space founded by Brazilian-born entrepreneur Patricia Assui Reed that looks to celebrate women designers and artisans.

Location: Matriark, 133 Main Street, Sag Harbor, New York
Price: Free
Time: Opening reception, 5 p.m.–7 p.m.; 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Friday, June 24

Jan Steven van Calcar, Muscle figure, (detail) from Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543), page. 170–171. Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute.

Jan Steven van Calcar, Muscle figure, (detail) from Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543), page. 170–171. Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute.

9. “The Polykleitos Problem: Illusions of the Ideal in European Anatomical Images” at the Getty Center, Los Angeles

This virtual talk by University of California at Irvine professor Lyle Massey will explore some of the problems confronting early modern anatomists as they tried to define and grasp the human body. For instance, in De humani corporis fabrica (1543), a foundational volume for modern anatomy, writer Andreas Vesalius instructs his readers to find and dissect a human body that looks like an ancient Greek sculpture by Polykleitos. Although almost none of the bodies he himself dissected looked that way, the illustrations in his influential publication rely heavily on tropes of antique male muscularity and direct references to Greek statues. Many anatomical treatises portray the human body as more permeable, abstract, and resistant to Vesalian norms.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 3 p.m.–4 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Saturday, June 25–Friday, August 12

Joshua Petker, <em>Pink Promenade</em> (2022). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner, New York.

Joshua Petker, Pink Promenade (2022). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner, New York.

10. “Joshua Petker’s Serenade” at Rachel Uffner, New York

In his first solo show at the gallery, Los Angeles painter Joshua Petker draws on a wide range of influences to create kaleidoscope-colored canvases with overlapping layers of images that recall the work of Francis Picabia. The result, which is something of a cross between psychedelic rock posters and traditional stained-glass windows, contains references to everything from historical European paintings to cartoon-like, mid-century fairy tale illustrations to tarot cards.

Location: Rachel Uffner, 170 Suffolk Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Saturday, June 25–Sunday, September 25

Portia Munson, <em>Reflecting Pool</em> (2013). Photo by JSP Photography, courtesy of Portia Munson.

Portia Munson, Reflecting Pool (2013). Photo by JSP Photography, courtesy of Portia Munson.

11. “Portia Munson: Flood” at Art Omi, Ghent, New York

You might know Portia Munson for her monochromatic installations of all manner of pink objects, from dolls to dildos. Her monumental sculpture Reflecting Pool does the same thing for the color blue, filling a 15-foot-wide above-ground swimming pool with a profusion of mass-produced blue plastic objects. Arranged in a pleasing gradient from dark to light, the display is at once visually appealing and depressing in that it illustrates the waste and disposability of commodification. If you haven’t seen this work in person—it appeared at the 2019 invitational exhibition at New York’s Academy of Arts and Letters—it’s really not to be missed. The exhibition features two additional sculptural installations, including a new work, Blue Altar, with blue plastic items displayed on a shrine-like bedroom vanity, and a dozen small paintings, all on the theme of water.

Location: Art Omi, Newmark Gallery, 1405 Co Rte 22, Ghent, New York
Price: $10 suggested donation
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Sunday, June 26

Photo by JJ Shulin, Courtesy of Children's Museum of the Arts.

Photo by JJ Shulin, Courtesy of Children’s Museum of the Arts.

12. “Children’s Museum of the Arts Beach Block Party” at Spring Street Park, New York

This outdoor festival will feature a wide range of projects with artists in residence at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, from spin art and plastic bag weaving to crustacean mosaics and “mer-made” costumes. There will be music courtesy of Duneska Suannette Michel, also known as DJ Luni, as well as popular beach activities including sand castles and volleyball.

Location: Spring Street Park, 6th Avenue, New York
Price: Free
Time: 12 p.m.–3 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Friday, July 1

Clementine Keith-Roach, <em>New Mourning</em> (2022). Photo courtesy of P.P.O.W., New York.

Clementine Keith-Roach, New Mourning (2022). Photo courtesy of P.P.O.W., New York.

13. “Clementine Keith-Roach and Christopher Page: Knots” at P.P.O.W., New York

Artist couple Clementine Keith-Roach and Christopher Page share a home and two kids, but this is the first time they’ve had a gallery show together. The exhibition pairs Page’s trompe l’oeil paintings mimicking windows with Keith-Roach’s powerful feminist take on terracotta vessels, which feature casts of her own body.

Location: P.P.O.W., 392 Broadway, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

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Global Edmonton supports: Imagine Monet The Immersive Exhibition – GlobalNews Events

Global Edmonton supports: Imagine Monet The Immersive Exhibition - GlobalNews Events

Claude Monet is considered to be the leading artist of Impressionism, a movement that was called after his now-famous painting Impression Soleil Levant (1872). With his unique artistic approach, Monet is the father of Impressionism, the pioneer of Abstraction and one of the most famous, beloved and admired painters of all time. Imagine Monet is an immersive exhibit that will take you through all the major periods that have marked Monet’s work.

Tickets available now at

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Event firms join metaverse bandwagon to offer immersive experience

File photo: An attendee wearing a VR headset during a concert experience in the metaverse at the Mobile World Congess in Barcelona. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Instead, it purchased digital real estate in Decentraland, a blockchain-based game that allows players to interact with each other through virtual avatars in a 3D virtual world and buy land within this virtual world, and even sell or rent it to other brands or individuals.

The virtual space Atom bought is now the company’s metaverse office, which it hopes to use to reach out to global clients and use as a place for ‘metaverse’ events and interactions too in the near future.

Yash Kulshreshtha, the national creative head of Mumbai-based firm, says those in their early 30s are already too old for today’s internet. He believes that much like how the older generation found the shift from newspapers to online articles drastic, the ‘90s generation is today content with what the present internet, or Web 2.0, already offers.

While the company has four virtual avatars to cater to this virtual space right now, Kulshreshtha says that one day, this facility could become just as valuable as the agency’s physical office – and in fact help the company expand its footprint beyond India. “The thing with the metaverse is that the young generation growing up today will find it completely natural,” he insists.

The ‘metaverse’, as of today, remains a vaguely defined and understood area of technology. While some, such as Meta (erstwhile Facebook), Nvidia, Microsoft and the likes have showcased virtual worlds with avatars that resemble the real person, items scaled to the real world, replication of actual areas, roads and much more, others have often used the ‘metaverse’ as a catch phrase given all the hype and attention around it.

In the distant future, the metaverse is supposed to be a single virtual world which runs parallel to our physical world, akin to worlds imagined in movies like Ready Player One.

Atom is just one among the many event management companies that are exploring this space.

In January 2022, Punjab-based events agency, Cryptic Entertainments, hosted what they claimed to be ‘India’s first metaverse concert’ on Ethereum-based 3D virtual platform, Somnium Space. About 30 individuals ‘attended’ the concert by 23-year-old Indian singer, Sparsh Dangwal. Since then, India has also seen its first ‘metaverse wedding’.

Such events show a rising trend of curiosity among individuals and organisers alike in terms of exploring a new technology. As Gautam Seth, co-founder and director of virtual event company Dreamcast Global, said, “Over the past year or so, there are many event companies in India that are trying to understand how the metaverse can apply to events. Some of the early movers are looking at ready metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and Spatial, and use their non-fungible token (NFT) avatars for their characters to design an event.”

Dinesh Dulhani, founder of Immersive Realities, a firm that develops immersive virtual experiences, adds a similar narrative. Over the past decade, Dulhani has offered virtual reality (VR)-based experiences in events that involve product showcases, or converted an audio-visual clip into a VR one. Today, Dulhani says that there is an increasing volume of attention in this space, for sure. “I have received enquiries and interest from the Singapore-based Publicis Group regarding hosting a metaverse event, and I have pitched such ideas to many of my clients as well,” he said.

Atom’s Kulshreshtha said that as of now, he has received queries from an Indian e-commerce platform regarding creating a metaverse platform, and has also pitched a metaverse concept to an FMCG brand regarding one of their promotional activities. Such plans, though, are still in early-stage conversations – showcasing the flipside of the ‘metaverse’ buzzword.

“Numerous brands are looking at a slightly toned-down solution, or more of a VR experience rather than the full-scale metaverse experience that platforms such as Decentraland provide. These brands typically want more control over what an attendee in their virtual event can do,” said Seth.

Alongside brands being conscious of what these experiences can bring to the table, Seth further said the technology is also a hindrance. “Today, the basic cardboard-like VR headsets are not good enough for metaverse events, because they are not really interactive. As an organizer, I cannot expect all individuals attending a metaverse event to have an Oculus Rift or similar VR headsets, along with a powerful computer, at home,” he added.

Dulhani, in fact, believes that even over the next couple of years, even as more companies express interest in ‘metaverse’ events, the experience will largely remain a non-VR one. “Back when Facebook acquired Oculus, everyone thought VR has arrived. But it still failed to get large-scale adoption from consumers, because of the issues with the headset. Over the past 4-5 years, VR has seen increasing adoption in enterprise use cases and gaming, but for it to become truly mainstream, the hardware has to evolve a lot,” he said.

To sum up, Kulshreshtha believes it is obviously a nascent phase for agencies and companies exploring the metaverse. “It may seem like a small augmentation of the virtual interaction experience that we have today, but for the generation that will follow us, interacting through a metaverse workplace will feel more natural. Such opportunities will let us advertise our products well beyond our present market, and take our agency global,” Kulshreshtha said.

“Look at Nike’s investment in RTFKT. If such big brands are making a push for NFTs and the metaverse, there’s definitely a big scope in the industry,” he added.

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