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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: tenth anniversary issue

Roditi, Edouard
[West coast art--Canada],   pp. [71]-78 PDF (10.0 MB)

Page 78

78      Canada's Pacific Coast has not yet
developed, however, the same kind of
status-seeking elite of collectors of modern
or primitive art as New York or Los Angeles.
Much of Vancouver's wealthier citizenry
consists of relatively recent immigrants from
Eastern Canada or from Europe who are
still anxious to consolidate their positions by
investing in income-producing equities.
Outdoor sports also enjoy, in this
unbelievably beautiful landscape, more
prestige than elsewhere, especially winter
sports and water sports. Vancouver's
middle class therefore tends to display its
wealth in yachts and sky cabins rather than
in Op or Pop art.
of conversation for future parties, or to
track down a run-away teen-age daughter.
Vancouver's Hippy community seems indeed
to be ready to go one step further in the
direction of solving immediate material
and practical problems in the life
of the non-conformist who rejects all the
Establishment's present involvements.
But British Columbia's booming economy
may very soon make Vancouver a major
West Coast art center, gradually acquiring a
character of its own. While the Hippy
poster designers of San Francisco's
Haight-Ashbury are only now discovering
the basic designs of Kwakiutl art as a
source of inspiration after having exhausted
their scant and superficial knowledge of
Mucha, Beardsley and Dante Gabriel
Rossetti, a growing colony of refugees
from Californian draftboards is drifting to
Vancouver's Fourth Avenue, where the
Diggers already look after them, providing
pads and feed-ins for the needy, a more
practical version of the be-in, the love-in or
the sleep-in of San Francisco and
Los Angeles.
Vancouver's Hippy colony seems moreover
to be less addicted to Timothy Leary's
explorations of inner space, more
concerned with what Allen Ginsberg has
aptly called "kitchen yoga." San Francisco
and Vancouver may thus offer us soon, in
Hippy terms, a new illustration of the
contrary virtues symbolized in the Gospels
by Martha and Mary. In a way,
dish-washing and kitchen yoga can be
expected to provide, for truly creative
artists, a richer topsoil than the somewhat
restricted inner space to which the readers
of San Francisco's Oracle limit themselves
in their sedentary sessions of meditation
and discussion. Much of the Los Angeles
Hippy community has already distinguished
itself from the San Francisco "bubble-heads"
by being more directly concerned with
social or intellectual issues, less content
with merely shocking or exploiting the
week-end tourist who comes from the
suburbs to buy beads and collect subjects

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