All posts by Edward Staskus

Edward Staskus is a free-lance writer from Sudbury, Ontario. He lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Emerging Island Artists Shine

‘New Positions’ Places Emerging Island Artists in the Limelight

Call them ‘the next wave’. Opening this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a group exhibition of recent work from four of P.E.I.’s up and coming visual artists. Supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Program, New Positions represents a cross-section of developing local practices.


The exhibition includes new work from Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, and Alexandra O’Sullivan. The exhibition will be celebrated with an opening reception on January 28 at 7 p.m. at the Gallery. This event will also mark the opening of the historic watercolours exhibition, Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly. All are welcome for a fun gathering, including live music and cash bar.

New Positions: Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, and Alexandra O’Sullivan is the result of a selection process that took place over the course of a year, including interviews and studio visits with over a dozen emerging artists. “I’ve been back on the Island for six years, and I’ve had a chance to follow the careers of a number of young artists here,” says Curator Pan Wendt. “This exhibition is a chance to show the work of some of the most promising, each of whom will present a recent body of work in the gallery.”

A NSCAD grad and a regular Art in the Open participant, Alexis Bulman is a multi-disciplinary artist who works with both performative drawings and temporary installations and sculptures that, according to her, “indulge her curiosities of intergenerational play, seasonal rituals, and the everyday anomalies of life in Atlantic Canada.” Her work has been shown in galleries across the Maritimes, in Toronto, and various visual art festivals, including Lumiere. The intent of her new project, Slowly, is to “combine my two veins of artmaking into one project that speaks broadly to the almost comical severity of Maritime winters,” she offers, “while also addressing my fascination with a season that forces the population to slow down to meet my slower, more cautious way of navigating sidewalks.”

Originally from Montague, Andrew Cairns has become increasingly visible as a maker of hard-edged, abstract paintings that produce strong optical effects. Having studied at both NSCAD and King’s College, Cairns recently exhibited at Art in the Open, afterimage (CCAG), Receiver Coffee Company, and The Hive on PE.I, and at various Halifax galleries. His work has also been featured as a backdrop for poetry-based performances. His latest paintings focus on actualizing memory idols. “This is accomplished through the repetition of lines, shapes, and colours, which can be purely aesthetic or alternatively representative of the problem solving carried out by the mind in sleep and conscious memory,” states Cairns. “The larger focus of this series is the assimilation of my persistent memories, or memory behaviors, into concrete images.”

Monica Lacey is a multidisciplinary artist based in Charlottetown. Her current work explores ideas of house and home, altered memory and nostalgia, privacy, and interactions with the natural world through photography, video, and installation. Since completing her Diploma at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, she has completed residencies in Canada and the U.S. and her work can be found in collections across North America. Her latest work, Domestics is a photo collection examining the loss of identity women often experience in domestic settings. “This series delves deeper into investigations begun in my previous series, Couples on Couches, examining domestic space and the roles we play within it,” says Lacey. Couples on Couches has been featured at the Craig Gallery, UPEI, and as part of the 2016 group exhibition Holding the Pose: Portraits from the Collection (CCAG).

Alexandra O’Sullivan, who recently entered Concordia University’s Fine Art program in Montreal, has become known on the Island as a maker of video projections that are often presented in collaboration with musicians and DJ’s. The multidisciplinary artist works primarily in performance, video, and electronics; often combining all three. Much of her work focuses on the intersections of science-fiction, fantasy, and escapism. Her most recent video, QUENCH, is a compilation of video vignettes that use greenscreen effects to insert the artist and other objects from the ‘real’ world into an alternate, fantasy landscape. Her work has been presented at Halifax’s You’re Welcome Gallery, Art in the Open, afterimage, The Guild, and will be presented as part of an upcoming group performance piece in Montreal, entitled RELI EF.

New Positions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery opens January 28 and will be on exhibition until April 23, 2017.

Sidelong Glance Glancing Away

A Sidelong Glance: Painting is a selection of paintings that treat the expansive gestures and optics of modern painting as a system of signs to be reused, rearranged and ironized.

By 1970, painting had been relieved of its duties as the dominant medium of visual art. Artists experimented with many new mediums and new ways to conceive an artwork in the 1960s. Painting, especially abstract painting, no longer occupied centre stage.


Freed of the search for pictorial purity, painters have nonetheless continued to explore the medium, while at the same time incorporating what they have learned from the new practices and preoccupations that have followed the heyday of Modernism. If painting is now perpetually “in doubt,” it seems nonetheless to flourish, to continue to hold our attention, to be an avenue for invention and experimentation.

A Sidelong Glance illustrates this shift in the terrain as it has played out in Canada. Abstraction, form, gesture, colour, the physical characteristics of the materials involved—all continue to preoccupy painters. But they no longer represent a totalizing distillation of the medium into a private language of self-expression on the one hand, or its reduction to the purely optical, on the other.

On the contrary, painters now tend to treat such obsessions as ingredients, part of an inventory of shared signs and procedures, sometimes to be parodied, or put to unexpected service, or simply to be exploited for shameless pleasure.

A Sidelong Glance at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery closes on January 22

Bright Red Mud Comes to The Guild

Have you ever wondered what you can do to nurture musical growth in your child?

Bright Red Mud is proud to bring the internationally recognized Music Together program to Island families in Charlottetown. During our weekly classes, babies, toddlers, preschoolers—and their grownups!—joyfully sing, dance, clap, hop, wiggle, play instruments, and create lasting memories.


Music Together gathers the entire family to make music a natural part of your family life. Parents, brothers, sisters, nannies, and grandparents all join in the fun as the music spreads to your everyday activities. Musical development supports all child development – watch your children bud and bloom in a nurturing, free and fun environment.

Discover the joy of family music for yourself! For more information visit or to register, email or phone 902-314-9924

Experience Music Together® with us and find out how important – and fun – your role can be. Weekly classes for 0-5 year olds and the grownups who love them, give your little ones the musical confidence they will need to enjoy a lifetime of being able to sing, dance and forever make music together!

Music Together starts at The Guild january 14 at 11 AM.

New Caroline Louisa Daly Watercolours Discovered

A two year research project delving into the work of Caroline Louisa Daly has resulted in a new exhibition of historic watercolours opening January 14, as well as the revised attribution of the works themselves.

Caroline Louisa Daly (1836-1893) was the daughter of former P.E.I. Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Dominick Daly (L.G. 1854-1859). The younger Daly travelled around the world with her father on his various appointments in the British colonial administration. Born in Lower Canada in 1832, she travelled to England, P.E.I., and Australia – trips that inspired her work – before marrying and settling in Bournemouth, Dorset, where she spent the remainder of her life.


Presented by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly is the result of two years of research conducted by Paige Matthie, gallery registrar and exhibition curator. Matthie’s exploration confirmed that the previously held attribution of art works to both Charles L. Daly, a Clerk for the City of Toronto and art instructor, and John Corry Wilson Daly, a merchant and politician of Stratford, Ontario – neither of any relation – were both incorrect, and that the true artist is Caroline Louisa Daly.

Matthie’s research around the works in question focused on two areas: biographical examination of the persons related to the study to place them in geography at specific times in history, and an inspection of the works themselves for signatures, inscriptions, and the general style of the work. “Once you sit down and look at the works and compare them to the works in other collections – both the family’s and those held by Library and Archives Canada – it becomes clear that we’ve been in error for quite some time,” remarks Matthie.

The exhibition features six works from the Gallery’s permanent collection; samples from Library and Archives Canada and the Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I.; as well as six previously unseen works recently donated to the collection by Richard Jenkins, the great grandson of Caroline Louisa Daly.

“Caroline Louisa Daly was not a professional artist in the way we understand today, yet she upheld a consistent artistic practice throughout her life, sketching and painting the subjects of her daily life, as well as looking to other artists for inspiration,” offers Matthie.

“Though she was privileged to travel the world with her family, as a Victorian woman, she would have still been limited in her access to different landscapes and subjects,” she continues. “It is wonderful that Daly seized opportunities to try new things with her work, painting the interior of her ship’s cabin on the voyage to Australia, or copying the work of male artists who were able to go into the wilderness to capture the sublime beauty of Canada.”

Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly opens January 14 in the Young People’s Gallery and will be on exhibit until May 7, 2017. The Gallery’s winter hours for visitation are Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Abbamania Sound and Showboat

The world famous Abbamania returns with Night Fever: The Bee Gees.

Hear the hits performed exactly as the original records, note for note, chord for chord, in the only production in the world that has the amazing look, vocals and sound as the real artists.


Special guests, The David Bowie and Paul McCartney Show.

Go back in time when ABBA, The Bee Gees, David Bowie and Paul McCartney & Wings ruled the pop charts.

Don’t miss this great show, featuring a cast of 14 studio musicians and singers.

Boston Herald “Best stage production ever.”

Globe & Mail “Incredible sound and show.”

Abbamania is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30 PM.