Where to see extraordinary creativity

Some of our favourite artists and architects

We jubilados (Spanish for retirees) are constantly on the lookout for art: in galleries, on the street and in the wild


Donald Judd in Marfa

Readers, you know we love Marfa, the quirky town in West Texas sixty miles from the Mexican border, Marfa, where artists and ranchers, shopkeepers and railroaders are anything but square.

Today, March 1, a retrospective of the art of Donald Judd—who made Marfa his home, studio and gallery for the last seventeen years of his life—opens at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It will explore

…the remarkable vision of an artist who revolutionized the history of sculpture…and emphasize the radicality of his approach to art-making and the visual complexity of his work.

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George Johnston “Creator of portraits, keeper of culture”

I know, it’s a new word to us, too.

 A combo of indigenous and ingenuity—indigenuity is the perfect description given to a remarkable Inland Tlingit man named George Johnston.

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To be astonished by art is surely one of the most satisfying delights of travel, of life, yes?

For our first blog of the new decade Magellan and I were wavering: Norway’s Edvard Munch (The Scream) or Altamira (“The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory”)? A cartoon in The New Yorker swayed us to the latter, the first discovery of art from the Upper Palaeolithic—carbon-dated to 35,600 years ago—unique for its high quality and magnificent conservation.

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The Snøhetta Pavilion

“Why did you love Norway so much?” friends ask. I’ve been wondering myself, searching for a simple answer, for the finest example of Norway’s transcendence. In Calgary’s new public library, it came to me.

The awesomeness of Norway can be found in a single place, the Snøhetta Pavilion, the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre.

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Leaving Las Vegas you might, like us, miss the turnoff sign for Seven Magic Mountains. But you can’t miss seeing them—ginormous, 30-35-foot-tall neon-painted totems towering in the barren desert looking like massive stacks of florescent marshmallows.  One of the largest land-based art installations in the US in the last forty years. Worth the U-turn for Rove-Inn.

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Ninstints Mortuary poles

I’ve wanted to see them for decades.

Ever since I saw their photos back in the 70s, mystical figures of ghostly grey imparting a powerful, compelling presence.

The totem poles at Ninstints on Haida Gwaii.

It’s the only place on Haida Gwaii where they still stand. A dozen of them, disciples of the supernatural, silently keeping watch.

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