About Saturday Night

A few hours after seeing Dr. Seddon, I attended the concert held for Space Camp Alumni Weekend. It featured a group called the Yacht Rock Revue, an excellent comedy band that performs the best of 70s soft rock; and the concert was held under the Pathfinder space shuttle, which is a shuttle mockup that was used for testing in the 70s.

As I was fulfilling my lifelong dream of singing along to Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins underneath a giant piece of NASA hardware, I thought the night could not get any better. I was wrong.

The band had just launched into Toto’s “Rosanna” when one of my friends suddenly let out a scream and started running. We looked up and saw that she had run up to none other than Bobak Ferdowski, of JPL/Mars Lander fame. He had been inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame a few hours earlier. He had changed, and was now wearing a bow tie, a dress shirt, and some very 80s Space Camp shorts that a manager had dug out of a closet. Naturally, my other friend and I ran to join them.

He was so nice. He didn’t have to be; he was headed somewhere and had surely been accosted by strangers like us all day. But he stood and chatted with us as if he’d known us forever. He was very laid-back and unassuming. I don’t know exactly how long we talked, but I know that when he took a picture with us and then said goodbye, the band was playing the final notes of “Rosanna.” So to use mathematical units of time, it was about 0.95 Totos.

I’m still not sure that this weekend actually happened.

What’s in the BAG? August Edition

Pack up your swimsuits because we’re headed to the beach! In celebration of B.C. Day, this month’s In the BAG Collection’s Feature is Vancouver-born artist Molly Lamb Bobak’s lithograph* British Columbia Beach (1993). 

Molly Lamb Bobak (née Lamb) was born in the Lower Mainland in 1922 and grew up at Burnaby Lake. She was the daughter of Harold Mortimer-Lamb—who was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Provincial Mining Association of B.C., as well as an avid art collector, artist, and champion of Canadian Art—and Mary Williams, Mortimer-Lamb’s housekeeper while his wife was ill. Bobak and her mother eventually moved in with Mortimer-Lamb, along with his wife and six children, and they formed a somewhat unconventional extended family. Bobak’s childhood home was an artistic place, visited often by artists such as A.Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, Lawren Harris, Samuel Maclure and others, and she was encouraged to pursue art from a young age.

In 1938, Bobak attended the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art and Design), but she nearly quit after her first year because of her teachers’ negative response to her work. Her mother forced her to return her second year, and it was then that she met her new teacher, Jack Shadbolt. From their initial meeting, he encouraged her to keep practicing and inspired in her a new appreciation and understanding of art.

After completing her fine arts degree and one year of graduate studies under artists such as Jack Shadbolt and Charles H. Scott, Bobak joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1942 as a draughtswoman, and in 1945, after three years of trying, she became the first woman to be officially designated as a Canadian War Artist, joining fellow artists Alex Colville, George Campbell Tinning, Paul Goranson and others. Bobak was sent overseas to England to document the aftermath and celebrations of the end of the war. (You can see the pages of Bobak’s war diary here.) While abroad, Bobak met fellow war artist Bruno Bobak, whom she married at the end of 1945. 

After the war, the Bobaks moved with their newborn son to Vancouver, where they set out to make a living as artists. To make ends meet, Molly taught at the Vancouver School of Art between 1947 and 1950 and periodically between 1952 and 1960. She also taught at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1954-58) and the University of British Columbia (1958-60). In 1960, she moved with her family to Fredericton, where she taught at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre (1960-1977). In 1973, she became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in 1993, the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina organized a major touring retrospective of her work. As one of the first Canadian women to establish herself as a full-time professional artist, Bobak was a trailblazer for a new generation of female artists. In 1995, she received the Order of Canada, and in 2002, she was awarded the Order of New Brunswick.

Throughout her career, the two major subjects of Bobak’s work were crowds ​and floral compositions. She became known for her ability to depict the vitality of her subject matter. As she explains in a video interview with the CBC at the time of her retrospective:

[Flowers,] like crowds, they move in the wind; you don’t organize them; you don’t settle them into something; you paint them as they are, blowing or moving or dying or coming to birth or whatever […]. I see something that’s spontaneous and it’s moving, and it’s about the movement of something, like crowds and colour or flowers and colour. (See the full interview here.)

Bobak returned over and over to scenes of crowds with dashes of bright colour, similar to that seen in her British Columbia Beach. Now and again, she provides geographical clues in these works, such as a small building in the background or a familiar landscape, but more often the locale could be interchangeable. In British Columbia Beach, the mountain range in the distance offers viewers a vague topographical indication of the setting.

Although there is a uniformity to Bobak’s crowd, whose Caucasian figures are indistinct in feature, each individual member—orangey pink and sunburnt—bears a distinct characteristic of gesture, lending an undeniably human quality to the image. The loosely drawn figures create a sense of lively interaction, and Bobak’s use of a warm colour palette evokes the heat of a summer’s day. Within the crowd, one can pull out varying scenes of leisure—for example, a man reads a newspaper while friends picnic; a woman herds her children towards the shore; and men play in the sand.

Even after Bobak moved to New Brunswick, she returned regularly to British Columbia to visit her mother on Galiano Island and later her daughter Anny on Vancouver Island, and the province remained important to her. Bobak passed away on March 2, 2014 in Fredericton and was the last surviving member of the official Canadian War Artists.

The Burnaby Art Gallery purchased Bobak’s five-colour lithograph British Columbia Beach for the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection in 2005 from the Gordon Smith Gallery’s Printshop, the proceeds of which support their Artists for Kids art education program.

*Lithography works with the natural repellency of oil and water. An oil-based medium such as a crayon or tusche (an oily liquid wash) is used to draw an image on a flat ground stone (like lime stone) or a metal plate. The surface of the stone is then flooded with water, which is repelled by the greasy areas and sticks only where the drawing isn’t. Printer’s ink (which is oily) is then applied to the stone with a roller, and it sticks only to the greasy sections as the wet surface repels it elsewhere.

Image credit: Molly Lamb Bobak, British Columbia Beach, 1993, edition 68/160, lithograph on paper, 57.2 x 38.1 cm. From the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection, BAG AN 2005.37. Photography by Harry Booth.

گونه شناسی نقاشی توسط بابک اطمینانی

بابک اطمینانی مدرس و نقاش باسابقه کشور سخنرانی با عنوان گونه شناسی نقاشی مدرن و چگونگی تشکیل ژن های جدید را در ساری برگزار میکند. این برنامه به همت انجمن هنرهای تجسمی ساری ؛ گالری هفت آینه باهمکاری و مساعدت شهرداری ساری و شورای اسلامی شهرساری واداره فرهنگ ارشاد اسلامی ساری برگزار میشود .در ادامه برنامه جلسه پرسش و پاسخ با حضور اهالی رسانه و هنرمندان نیز برگزار خواهد شد. این برنامه  امروز چهارشنبه ۳۱ تیر۹۴ ساعت۱۷ در  مجتمع فرهنگی وهنری ارشاد اسلامی سالن سلمان هراتی شهر ساری برپاست و از عموم علاقه مندان برای شرکت در این سخنرانی دعوت میشود.

Balloons Are The Future of Space Tourism

Cliff Ransom, Editor-In-Chief

A few months ago, I found myself backstage with Bobak Ferdowsi. If you recall the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, then you probably remember him. Ferdowsi is a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and because he happened to sit near the TV cameras—and because he wears a pretty serious mohawk—he unintentionally became the face of the most successful space mission in decades. President Obama dubbed him the “Mohawk Guy,” and then invited him to take part in his inauguration parade.

Ferdowsi and I had agreed to speak at the Pioneers Festival—a startup gathering in Europe—on the topic of private space. While we chatted backstage, I lamented that it had been almost eight years since the first of Virgin Galactic’s many promised space-tourism launches. “And we’re still waiting,” I said.

Ferdowsi nodded his head. The stars can seem out of reach, he said. “But I still see tourism as one of the greatest near-term opportunities in private space.” Then he began to tell me about balloons.

For most of us, the dream of getting to space typically involves rockets. And by and large, that’s a correct assumption. To truly escape Earth’s atmosphere requires tremendous power (along with a healthy dose of strain, suffering, and corporeal risk).

Balloons offer a pretty compelling alternative. As we discuss in our August 2015 cover story, they are a proven technology: Scientists have used them for years, and this past October, Google executive Alan Eustace rode one to 135,890 feet without incident. Balloons are also more affordable than rockets, and they are altogether more pleasant: a gentle ride up and a gentle ride down. There are no G-forces to contend with and no pressure suits to squeeze into.

Passengers will find themselves nearly 20 miles up, drink in hand, staring out at the curvature of Earth.

Three high-altitude balloon startups have formed and are already pre-selling tickets for future flights. As imagined, the ride will entail sailing for a few hours at 100,000 feet in a pressurized capsule. At least one company plans to offer bar service because, why not?

As with anything, this type of tourism will come with a few strings attached. Rides will not be cheap: between $75K and $125K. And technically they won’t reach space. Close readers know that 100,000 feet is still well within the stratosphere; the boundary to space is about 330,000 feet. But passengers will still find themselves nearly 20 miles up, drink in hand, staring out at the curvature of Earth. So there’s that. And then this: The first trips might launch as soon as 2017. Better start saving now.

This article was originally published in the August 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The Stars Within Reach.”

from Popular Science - Space

“Se você não está disposto a arriscar, esteja disposto a uma vida comum.” – Jim Rohn

“Há dois tipos de pessoa que vão te dizer que você não pode fazer a diferença neste mundo: as que têm medo de tentar e as que têm medo de que você se dê bem.” – Ray Goforth

“Todo progresso acontece fora da zona de conforto.” – Michael John Bobak

“Nosso maior medo não deve ser o fracasso, mas ser bem-sucedidos em algo que não importa.” – Francis Chan

“Coragem é a resistência ao medo, o domínio do medo – não a ausência do medo.” – Mark Twain

“Apenas deixe para amanhã o que você está disposto a morrer tendo deixado de fazer.” – Pablo Picasso

“Se você não tiver seu próprio plano de vida, é provável que caia no plano de alguma outra pessoa. E adivinha o que eles planejaram para você? Não muito.” – Jim Rohn