Interview with Motor City Stories Artist Dani Crosby

“Hot Topics” blog posts come from the desk of Sam Mogelonsky, our Communications & Social Media Coordinator. Sam caught up with Motor City Stories artist Dani Crosby to discuss her project in the upcoming exhibition. 

In partnership with the Motor City Boxing Club, the RMG has invited regional artists to produce new works inspired by the sport of boxing. Selected artists were invited to visit the Motor City Boxing Club (Oshawa), observe athletes in training, work in situ at the club and produce new work based on their observations. The exhibition runs from July 14 – August 2 in gallery A.

RMG: Why were you interested in the Motor City Stories project?

Dani Crosby: I love drawing from life, I find Boxing to be beautiful and brutal, and I could not resist the challenge of capturing that duality on site at the Motor City Boxing Club.

dani1
RMG: What have you been doing at Motor City Boxing Club?

DC: A lot of quick gesture drawings. I am treating my visits to Motor City Boxing Club like great big life drawing sessions. I try to scurry around the space and capture as many interesting poses and expressions as possible within the time frame of each visit. I have also been taking some video clips so that I can work from my studio in a similar manner. I’m going to be sad when this project comes to an end. As a big fan of drawing from life I would love to keep drawing at Motor City Boxing Club indefinitely.

RMG: What has been the most interesting part of the project so far?

DC: The close proximity to the action and the people. Motor City Boxing Club members range from children to seniors and all members seem so supportive and respectful of one another. Everyone has been very friendly and often inquisitive. I have had the pleasure of listening to stories from several individuals describing their reasons for training, their interest and involvement in the Visual arts. I have been made very comfortable on the premises and I am thrilled to have made Motor City Boxing members comfortable enough to approach and converse.

dani2

RMG: What are the next steps for your project before the exhibition?

DC: I will continue to crank out as many drawings as possible. My contribution to this exhibition consists of many small pieces, each piece illustrating a different state of training, to be arranged in Gallery A in a pattern representative of The Square Circle. All of my work for this exhibition will focus on a blend of frantic mark making and deliberate ink work, reflecting the cycle of energy ongoing within the Motor City Boxing training space.

A side from that I am working with local vinyl artist Gant Cole who will be printing a number of vinyl wall decal ‘photo corners’ I have designed in order to securely and inconspicuously mount each small piece directly onto the gallery wall. Oh and talking. I will continue sharing my own excitement in regards to this exhibition and the other artists my work will be neighbor to, through word of mouth and social media.

dani3

Dani Crosby is an Illustrator, Fine Artist, and Art Instructor. With a body of work ranging from observational studies to imagined interpretive conceptual projects Dani works to capture personality and develop thoughtful narratives in her diverse fine art work. As an Illustrator Dani brings a highly organized, consistent, and punctual working style to her clients. Her goal is to visually captivate and emotionally involve her audience. Dani’s main areas of focus as a visual artist have been: fine art, editorial, art for albums, merchandise, images for web and devices, posters, logos and icons.

Dani is always looking forward to exploring new subject matter, experiencing with new media, challenging concepts, meeting new clients, nurturing on-going professional relationships, taking on new commissions, and creative adventures in general. Graduate of the Sheridan College BA Illustration Program, Dani believes visual art is powerful enough to change anything from a person’s perception of a brand to a person’s perception of the world at large.

All images courtesy of Dani Crosby and the Motor City Boxing Club.

Advertisements

Boxing: The Sweet Science

Entering the ring at the RMG just in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is an exhibit that is sure to be a knockout.

Boxing is a metaphor for life, filled with battles lost and won. In Boxing: The Sweet Science, curator Linda Jansma captures this expression through pieces that convey the movement, power and elegancy of the sport.

Oshawa named as the host of the boxing events for the Pan Am Games served as the catalyst for the exhibit based around the sport commonly referred to as The Sweet Science (a term coined by the British journalist and sportswriter Pierce Egan in the early 1800s). The city has a rich history in the sport as home to three-time Canadian featherweight champion Grant O’Reilly who operated two boxing clubs here in Oshawa. The dramatic nature of this heavy-hitting sport has ignited a passion among artists throughout history, dating back to the Mesopotamian era that includes literature, art and drama.

A knowledge as vast as the Rocky series is not need in order to appreciate the works in Boxing: The Sweet Science. The exhibit features 12 artists whose works, spanning over 100 years, align with the centralized theme of the art and spirit of boxing.

In British photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s work Boxing, open hand printed in November 1887, the physical intensity and athleticism of boxing is captured in 16 separate frames. While this piece is more of a literal interpretation of the sport, John J. A. Murphy’s Shadowboxing, 1924 adorns an abstract vision of boxing.

In addition to history works, Boxing: The Sweet Science features contemporary pieces that capture the essence of the sport.

In Stop Beating Yourself Up, Montreal-based performance artist Coral Short addresses the stigma that boxing is a man’s game. For the video, created in 2013, Short is donned in a boxer’s uniform while beating herself unconscious using “semi-believable” moves she learned while training with boxers. The graphic nature of this video is hard to watch but contains a message with a powerful punch.

short

Coral Short, Stop Beating Yourself Up, 2013, Video still

“I think [the work] is about learning to love ourselves more as women and queers. To bring awareness to the negative and damaging thought patterns that exist within us. Women often tend to make a sport of self-deprecation internally,” says Short. “I wanted to briefly jolt and re-hardwire our neutral pathways so they become less automatic habits. I want us all to move into a place of peace, self-acceptance and love.”

Similar to Short, Toronto photographer Pete Doherty uses boxing as a way to depict the war inside the artist. A part of the boxing scene for several decades now, the sport and its community helped lift Doherty out of years of depression. He began to photograph what he was experiencing as both the artist and the subject, giving viewers a look on the inside of boxing. The black-and-white photographs in Boxing: The Sweet Science depict a ringside and in the ring view including images of trainers and boxers alike, capturing the key moments of the sport.

Pete Doherty, The Docks Nightclub, Toronto, Ontario, Gelatin Silver Print, 2005. Photo credit: Pete Doherty.

Whether it is as an exercising method in World War I as depicted in an anonymous photograph or cubist depictions of pugilists, boxing depicts the exterior and interior battle we fight as humans.

CWM-400x317

Anonymous, Boxing competition at Shorncliffe, Brigadier-General MacDonald, D.S.O. and Lieutenant-Colonel Mayes, inspecting classes, April 1918. Photograph.

 

Boxing: The Sweet Science is on from May 30 to September 13 with an opening at RMG Fridays, June 5 at 7-10 pm and a Talk and Tour on Sunday, June 28 at 1-3 pm.

 

By Raechel Bonomo

Vol ‘n’ Tell is an ongoing series of blog posts written by RMG Volunteers. Raechel Bonomo is an art enthusiast and writer from Oshawa, Ont.

 

Image at top: George Bellows, American (1882-1925), The White Hope (detail), 1921, Lithograph on paper, 48.5 x 60.8 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Hamilton; gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. McCuaig, 1965, Photo credit: Michael Lalich.

Call for Submissions: Motor City Stories

Submission Deadline: 6 April 2015

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In conjunction with the Toronto 2015 Pan /Parapan American Games, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in partnership with the Motor City Boxing Club, invite regional artists to produce new works inspired by the sport of boxing. Selected artists will be invited to visit the Motor City Boxing Club (Oshawa), observe athletes in training, work in situ at the club and produce new work based on their observations.

Artists are encouraged to work in a wide variety of visual media including drawing, painting, photography, media and integrated art forms. The resulting work will be displayed in a group exhibition in Gallery A @the RMG in conjunction with other PAN AM exhibition programming

ARTIST FEE

Selected artists are provided a fee of $250.00

TIMELINE

Notification: by 10 April
Drop off work (ready to display): Monday 13 July, 1pm
Exhibition duration: 14 July – 2 August
Opening Reception: Sunday 19 July 1-3pm
Pick up artwork: Tuesday 4 August, 9am
ELIGIBILITY

Open to all professional artists and collectives residing in the Durham Region

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Letter of intent (maximum 1 page)
3-5 digital images or other relevant work
A current artist CV and biography in PDF format

SUBMIT at http://www.rmg.on.ca/gallery-a-motor-city-stories.php

 

Images courtesy of Motor City Boxing.

Sneak Peaks: Pan Am Games!

“Hot Topics” blog posts come from the desk of Sarah Felgemacher, our
Communications & Social Media Co-ordinator.

In 2015, Toronto will be host to the Pan American/Parapan American Games, the third largest international multi-sport tournament behind the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. Six thousand athletes from 41 participating countries will compete in 36 sporting events at over 30 venues across 16 municipalities.

That’s a wonderfully wide scope, and the General Motors Centre (GM Centre), Oshawa, will be a host venue for a one month period over July and August, 2015. The stadium at the heart of the City will be the competition grounds for the boxing and weightlifting events. This means the next 15 months will be a thrilling time of preparation, and the RMG is excited to be involved in such a momentous event!

Be sure to save Friday, 11 July on your calendar! The City will be hosting a one-year countdown event at the GM Centre – children’s activities, boxing and weightlifting activation stations and live musical performances are just a few of the events scheduled for the evening. Join us as we countdown to the festivities! The event kicks off at 5pm.

Beginning in May 2015, the RMG presents an exhibition featuring contemporary works focusing on the theme of boxing. What better way to get in the spirit of the games than to see a creative view of athletics?

Pete Doherty, Niagara Falls Memorial Arena, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 2003.

Pete Doherty, Niagara Falls Memorial Arena, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 2003.

The next year will be in inspirational time in Oshawa. This is an opportunity to showcase what our City and community is about and we are excited to be a part of it all!

For more information about the One-Year Countdown and future events: http://www.oshawa.ca/panam/default.asp

For more information on the Pan American/Parapan American Games in Toronto 2015: http://www.toronto2015.org/

For volunteer information: http://www.oshawa.ca/panam/join.asp