Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Drawing Landscape

On saturday. One of the projects I purposed took place: Lanscape drawing! or...

Zīmē ziemas ainavas!

...in latvian.

Teaching people the beautifulness of the ordinary and normal things we see everyday and having some appreciation about our nature, our cold and snowy lansdcape. Yes, it was a cold morning but everything was in its point to be represented.
Snow surrounded the area and the forest, everything was good to portrait, but the problem was the cold outside.
Anyway, at the end 7 brave persons came willing to learn some curious facts, tricks and secrets about translate the details of the background and the nature to paper with a pencil, a pen, crayons and oil pastels.
As one article about this event says, it was also important in this event to gather and meet some people sharing a same activity and hobby which is drawing (something I master...well...err...well, yes!...not as much as I wish.         But I persist).
The most hideous setback was the freezing temperatures, which made that not many people wanted to risk their health going throught a park with -20/-15 degrees. This rages you even more when four days later then you find 0/5 celsius (which is WARM temperature here) and that temperatures now are softer and better to stay outside, but yeah, the event was set before.
Anyway, here goes a summary about the day:

All the crew gathered! levels differed from art school students to persons who didn't ever draw.

The "teacher" explains a little bit the steps to each pupil. (I think I really need to change the fashion because I look like a bowed fisherman in economical crysis).

The fisherman teacher explaining more details of landscapes and talking about the next task and desperately selling his few North Sea sardines.

Pupils tried to do their best despite all those temperatures and with the gloves put on them.
One of the first sketches made by one of the assistants. First we focused on pencil style to go then to more complex techniques to end making a macedoine of oil pastels.

International Open Space

Last friday on the neighbor city of Rūjiena it was organized by the EVS volunteers there the "International Open Space" to show in the town's high school our labour as european volunteers, what we are doing, what are our duties and to show some facts and things about each of our countries. Volunteers from France, Romania, Italy and Poland (and me, the spanish) showed to the students the world of the european volunteer and how useful and interesting can be for the person itself and the society in general.
A nice time spent with other fellow volunteers and teaching students. It was a nice day to share in company, actually:

Activities from each of our countries! me (the guy in white shirt) showed some comics from Spain and played with students some card games (with a spansich card set: where the drawings are coins, cups, swords and clubs, instead of the simple forms from the french card game).

Promo (that tree drawing).

Television from Vidzeme came to interview the volunteers and some students as well to know what is this of EVS project in Latvia.

A picture which shows the general ambient of the event.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Mirage Jazz Orchestra

"Mirage Jazz Orchestra" it´s probably the most well know jazz group orchetra in Latvia, formed in 2004 in Riga as idea of a visionary. This friday Valmiera´s Culture Centre hosted two members who played several instruments (string instruments) :
First piano.

With french vocal in-between.

Also playing violin and at this, making several comments. In a very comedic way, actually, things went very fun (such using the violin to imitate some noises such a Formula 1 engine or making dialogues in different tone of voice)...

...or playing the violin as an ukelele.

And then a second component came. This one playing the spanish guitar role and making a duo of musicians but of humorists as well.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Children´s theatre "Baltais Lācis-Superzvaigzne"

The story about a polar bear who wants to be a Hollywood superstar and his penguin sidekick who supports him anyhow.
Today in the cultural centre there was this theatre for children. A bit of fun and entertainment against the heavy and ordinary classes in the school! Jā.

The scenary simple. After all is an extra event for the kids. They are usual in Spain too, but often the theatre and other events which require to move kids from their classrooms are at the end of the academic year or right before Christmas or Easter (not after).

Showing that, as usual in children´s things, the direct participation of the public is essential.

And some bubbles, I hear several kids being delighted by this.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Acumirklis Temporal Exhibition

Two local artists, Sabīnes Pitura & Kristīnes Rubloska, host the temporal exhibition of january in the cultural centre. Since today, they are open during the month in cultural centre´s ground level:

There my personal favourites and with more quality:

The shadows and dark contrast against light make them good. Keep like it!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Reports: "Ledus pagrabs" gallery

We go back with a new report in another cultural building on Valmiera!
This time is the turn of "Leduspagrab", which unbeknown for me, it´s Gymnasium´s art gallery.
Heading to the coordinates I received to locate the place I found the first and only sign that indicates where the gallery is. It´s not a very precisse road sign, actually; because, I don´t know it was because it was snowing and you couldn´t see the road or that I´m not very clever but I wasn´t able to find the building thanks to that road sign...and the surprise it was that the gallery was just at the other sidewalk.
The only place where you will see "Leduspagrabs" aside in the gallery itself....
...and the thing is that it´s the building at the other side of the street.

Supposedly the gallery was open from 9:00 to 14:00 but I got another suprise (or maybe I got wrong information): it was closed. No, I wasn´t late, it was 12:00.
What was this? I was looking for the place, after walking and finding out in every building following the arrow that road sign pointed but nothing. Then, I finally realised that that yellow building which looks like a modern-day-civilian-adapted bunker was actually the gallery I was looking for. How I was able to find it out? getting close, veeery close:
And I say "veeery close" because its main sign plate (this you see in the photo) was small, hided due the protection ceiling in the entrance and, worst of all, it was a bit gaunt (or probably it was frozen and the scratchs were actually traces of ice).
But then, as I said, it was closed:
The door is closed. And reinforced with chairs on the other side.
But, luckily, I found another door, which actually was the main door, not the previous one. The thing I want to point here is that the "other" door (the first one I tried and you can see in the photo) was the closest to street and the easiest to access while the other one was the closest to access if you come from the gymnasium. Anyway, it wasn´t anything aesthetic as both doors were equal in size and style. But I think the first door would be better to be open as people who comes from street realise easily that the gallery is open. 
But doors are not important when you find the next surprise which is that actually the gallery HAS NOT opening hours. Probably it had in the past and that was why I had wrong information. I entered then in the gymnasium as probably I would find out the answer of all this, then I went to the gymnasium´s janitor asking about the gallery and he, kindly and in good english, told me that they don´t leave open the gallery and I´ve got to ask them if I want to visit it. 
The reason why the gallery was closed is that not many people come to visit the gallery so they keep it locked.
This was curious, indeed, I thought that probably was also to prevent vandalism as well (the gallery is part of a high school after all) aside of the low public receiving. Anyway, it´s actually fuzzy as if you want to visit the gallery without knowing very clearly how to access you will probably give-up and leave it for another time.
However, I thought that probably on opening exhibitions the gallery reamins open for some event like that. But as I entered in the gallery thanks to a teacher who didn´t speak english I found myself with works which were even 5 years old:

This age of works could mean that they don´t put too often art works. Anyway, this gallery made the purpose to show the art works of some of the gymnasium´s students. The infrastructure and the interior of the building was gorgeous, I liked the stone wall and the circular passage where the works were. This was the best part of the gallery, I could say: the installation was good and enough attractive.
But sadly, to enter there you first find this part of the building:
The lobby room (the first place you find when you enter in a building) was split in two rooms which probably were used for activities too, who knows, but it differed from the rock wall part of the building; this one was more simple.
But the interior of the building wasn´t bad at all actually!...well, except for...

...the book visits (book in the right part of the photo)! No, not that but actually if you check this photo carefully you will see that the gas and water installations are completely at sight of anyone in the middle of the corridor part of the gallery. Not a very good thing for having guests around and gives the impression of a storage rather than a gallery. It would be better to have these installations in that other corner empty room I saw or, better, keep them hided thanks to some kind of stairs wall. This was the improvable part of the inner side of the building...oh! and that someone forgot to close the tap!

And this was "Leduspagrabs". The inside was good, small and simple but good if we consider that it´s a gallery from a gymnasium...with its own building!
But the problem was to find out the place in all the gymnasium´s structure and, in general, reach the gallery. I could say that a good solution would be to put the entrance title name bigger or clearer, or put another sign like the road sing one in the entry or stick to the building which says "Leduspagrabs galerija". The worst part however was entering there without being part of the gymnasium stuff, how you could enter there seeing that everything is closed and there´s no indications about what to do nor timetable avaliable? I think that the solution (a very simple one) would be sticking some simple papers in the entrance glass´ with the description, like "on the other door" (with a right narrow, this would go for the door I found locked and with chairs in the other side) and in the main entrance with another simple paper with would say something like "to enter ask the gymnasium´s janitor or art teacher" and the timetable...and even some events calendar if they organize something. And then the access would be much easier I think. Because otherwise, a visitor will find him/herself with everything closed and thinking that he/she came in the wrong time, giving back to the building.
This would be the solution for everyone. Now for foreign would be just adding translated version of those writtings.

PS. Looks like the spanish culture it´s more in the mind of people that I expected. That´s very good for me.