Category Archives: State of the Art

New Art at the Art Gallery

CCAG Celebrating Fall Exhibitions with Opening Events Over Two Days!

-Public invited for Centre events Oct. 23-24 exploring three new exhibitions-

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is getting set to host their first opening events since early 2020 and is inviting the public to celebrate three new exhibitions this weekend.

The events are focused around three new exhibitions at the CCAG, including St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White, whose portrait series Tukien (Awaken) celebrates indigenous artists and activists. This project is a collaboration with the Grenfell Art Gallery (Corner Brook) and co-curated by Mathew Hills and Pan Wendt. 

The two other new shows being recognized include Give Me Shelter, which features 13 artists from St. John’s, and Alexis Bellavance: ốps, a video installation looking at the constant and regular breathing of the sea and sky by the Montreal-based artist.

The CCAG has scheduled a two-day opening, including a ticketed sit-down event on Friday, October 23 and an afternoon of public tours on October 24. Both events require pre-booking and spaces are limited. The Friday October 23 opening is an evening gathering from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Patrons can meet the artists, view the new works, hear live music and enjoy delicious appetizers and drinks, all included in a $25.00 ticket. Tables of two or four are available; tickets can be purchased in person at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or by calling 902.566.1267. 

The second event—the October 24 Guided Tours of the new exhibitions—are free-of-charge and will each run for 45 minutes, with a maximum of 10 people per tour. Pre-registration is required for one of four timeslots: 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. Interested patrons should RSVP to Evan Furness at 902.628.6112 or efurness@confederationcentre.com.

>>13 Emerging Artists from St. John’s

Culminating several years of studio visits and research, the CCAG is presenting Give Me Shelter, a two-gallery survey of emerging artists based in the city of St. John’s, NL.

The exhibition features a variety of mediums, ranging from painting and drawing, to video and photography, to sculpture and textile work, including several artists working with hooked rugs. “The show will provide an important platform for St. John’s artists to showcase their work outside their home province, and the publication that will accompany the exhibition is a key part of this exposure,” offers Gallery Director Kevin Rice.  

The exhibition is part of CCAG’s Studio Watch Series and is supported by the RBC Foundation.  “I really enjoyed getting to know the artistic scene in St. John’s,” says exhibition Curator Pan Wendt, “and while this is a broad survey, it also pinpoints some aspects of the culture of St. John’s that I didn’t expect to encounter.” 

Wendt continues, adding that the capital is an international city, with a richness that goes beyond a lot of the stereotypes around Newfoundland culture. “Most of the artists [there] are not actually from the city, which shelters many subcultures and guests from around the world. This became a theme for a show—St. John’s as a sort of safe harbour, a place one can carve out a unique identity.” 

Give Me Shelter displays a complex variety of artistic projects, many of which refer to history and tradition, while at the same time demonstrating the modernity of St. John’s today. The show includes artists: Nicholas Aiden, Greg Bennett, Pepa Chan, Hazel Eckert, Jose Gonzalez, Ashley Hemmings, John McDonald, Jason Penney, Emily Pittman, Daniel Rumbolt, Mimi Stockland, April White, and Olivia Wong. 

Give Me Shelter has received research and logistical support from Eastern Edge Gallery, the Rooms Art Gallery, Emma Butler Gallery, and Christina Parker Gallery. The Centre would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Barbosa Goes Collage

The Gallery at the Guild is now displaying artwork by Raquel Barbosa!This collective work of mixed media collages, titled “Foreclosure: All of me wants all of you,” explores the psychological and symbolic storyline of desire and longing. The work reflects complex relationships that include the distorted, toxic, and tender dynamics of love, belonging, and power.Our gallery is open ’til 5pm today! Come check it out!

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Waking Up Nelson White

CCAG Set to Unveil Nelson White Portrait Exhibition ‘Tukien (Awaken)’

New exhibition of Pop Art-style portraits one of three new featured show

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Nelson White. Tukien (Awaken): Nelson White, is on display from October 10 to January 13, 2021. The exhibition features 18 painted portraits of an extended network of indigenous artists, creatives, and activists, who, for White represent contemporary cultural leaders, what he calls his “kin.”

St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw artist Nelson White has become something of a local celebrity recently, following news of his artwork being placed on permanent display at the Museum of the American Indian in The Smithsonian

Yet even as his work is now being seen internationally, White remains an artist devoted to the familiar, the accessible, and to his extended circle of friends, a group of creative indigenous artists and workers who are together helping to bring about a cultural renaissance, what White calls “a collective raising of consciousness.” 

The title of his new show, Tukien, is a Mi’kmaq word meaning “awaken,” a reference to this collective enterprise of creating a new sense of contemporary indigenous life. An exhibition organized by the CCAG and The Grenfell Art Gallery in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the show will tour coast to coast and will include a publication in three languages (English, French, and Mi’kmaq).

Born on the west coast of Newfoundland (Taqamkuk), in the community of Flat Bay, Nelson is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He attended the visual arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College, before graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). His paintings are included in public and private collections across North America. 

The new exhibition is one of three new exhibitions opening this fall at the CCAG, including Give Me Shelter. That exhibition introduces the work of 13 emerging artists, also based in St. John’s, NL. All new fall exhibitions will be celebrated with an official opening weekend of activities, October 23-24. Stay tuned to confederationcentre.com for more announcements.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

The Great Inflatable Has Arrived

Giant Inflatable Sculpture Set To Transform Sobey Gallery at the CCAG

‘Pop-up’ work from Alexis Bellavance: Compression-depression on view for one week only

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) in partnership with Art in the Open, is excited to present, Compression/Decompression, a sculptural installation by Montreal artist Alexis Bellavance for the coming week. 

The giant inflatable work, which will be on display for the week of September 29 to October 4, was originally meant to feature in this year’s Art in the Open festival, however weather conditions made its display too dangerous. 

“It seemed like a disaster at the time. The wind and rain made a house-sized inflatable piece impossible,” says CCAG Curator Pan Wendt, “but in the end it works out really well for everyone. By good fortune, there is a five-day gap in the exhibition schedule; a space is available, and the public will get to see this work over an extended period. With its scale, it will look amazing in the Sobey Gallery.”

Also showing in the Young People’s Gallery this week is an audiovisual installation from the Quebecois artist: Alexis Bellavance: ốps. This video work is based on footage captured by a floating camera that looks at the regular breathing of the ocean and the sky.

Multidisciplinary artist Alexis Bellavance is the co-founder of the Montreal performance event VIVA! Art Action and an active member of the artist-run centre Perte de Signal. His work has been presented in numerous events, festivals, and galleries in North America, Europe, and Asia. This is his first project on P.E.I.

Patrons might blink and miss these two unique exhibits, so Centre staff invite everyone to visit during regular hours this week to these works. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Experience Compression/Decompression, on display in the CCAG’s Sobey Gallery until October 4.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Making a Manuscript

Major Digital Exhibition of Anne Manuscript Announced

Original ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Manuscript to be exhibited virtually; Presented by the CCAG, L.M. Montgomery Institute, and UPEI’s Robertson Library

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For the first time ever, L.M. Montgomery’s famed Anne of Green Gables manuscript will be made widely accessible as the central feature of an upcoming online exhibition. Announced today, the ambitious new exhibition, Exploring a National Treasure: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Manuscript, will be developed through a partnership between the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG), and the L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) and the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI).

Launching in 2022, Exploring a National Treasure is envisioned as a rich digital experience for readers and fans around the world, showcasing the writing of the famous novel in an unprecedented digital manner. The virtual exhibition will be curated by Montgomery scholar, Dr. Emily Woster. Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, founder of the LMMI, will be a consultant on the exhibition. The online project will be developed with an investment by the Virtual Museum of Canada. 

Key themes in the exhibition include Montgomery’s creativity, writing, and editing processes; the story of Anne and her origins in Cavendish, P.E.I. in the early 20th century; the novel’s international success; and creative adaptations of the Anne story.

Viewers will be invited to rediscover this famous literary work and its rich legacy. The exhibition will increase accessibility to the manuscript while the digital version will help preserve the original pen and ink on paper manuscript, acquired for the CCAG’s permanent collection in 1967.

“I have certainly observed Montgomery scholars visiting the Island to conduct research on the manuscripts here at the CCAG,” shares Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “I have also witnessed international visitors being mesmerized at seeing the handwritten Anne manuscript on exhibition. This upcoming new virtual exhibition is an opportunity to make this rare artifact widely accessible to readers and scholars.”

“It is a very exciting opportunity to create this exhibition, and we are extremely appreciative of the investment in this project by the Virtual Museum of Canada,” Rice continues, adding that the CCAG is pleased to be collaborating with the Robertson Library and the LMMI on this initiative, which speaks to the organizations’ shared mandate to preserve works of cultural value and foster educational outreach.

“The LMMI exists to promote research into, and informed celebration of, Montgomery’s life and works, and so we could not be more excited about partnering in this project,” offers Dr. Philip Smith, chair of the LMMI Management Committee. “Making the handwritten manuscript of Montgomery’s most famous novel—complete with editing marks and strike-throughs—available for scholars and fans across the world will generate new understanding and appreciation of the book and author. Added features, such as a 360-degree animation of the Macneill Homestead’s kitchen in Cavendish, where the novel was written, will enrich our connection with Montgomery’s beloved home, her community, and her times.”

“A leader in digitization and a steward of physical and digital collections by and about Montgomery, the Robertson Library at UPEI welcomes the opportunity to partner with the CCAG and the LMMI on this project,” remarks University Librarian Donald Moses. “By digitizing Montgomery’s original manuscript for Anne of Green Gables, we will be able to display, navigate, and visualize the novel and the writer’s creative process in new ways. Through interactive experiences, Canadians and the international Montgomery community will be reintroduced to this literary treasure.”

Visitors to the bilingual exhibition, Exploring a National Treasure, will have digital access to all 853 pages of the manuscript, including the interesting material—notes and short snippets of work—that exists on the backs of pages. With the manuscript as the exhibition’s central pillar, visitors, whether new to Montgomery’s works or researchers familiar with the author, will be able to engage with new research, watch animations and videos of places and moments vital to the book, and hear expert commentary and dramatic retellings of Anne’s important place in Canadian history.

For information on current exhibitions on display at the CCAG in Charlottetown, please visit Confederation Centre’s website.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Creative Obsessions on Tap

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Fine craft is equal parts tradition and innovation, passion and obsession, filtered through the skills and the sensibilities of artisans. Making craft is a form of thinking, a communication across generations.

In a new exhibition opening August 8 at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG), Island artisans respond to the theme of ‘creative obsessions’ with innovative works drawing on craft traditions to mark Craft Year 2020. Creative Obsessions is organized by the CCAG in collaboration with the PEI Crafts Council, and is guest curated by Ray Cronin and Sarah Maloney. 

Fine craft has always demanded an element of obsession: the artist has to master varied techniques, often difficult materials, and do so in a manner that keeps them engaged in the long hours from conception to production, all the while striving to make something that viewers will find equally compelling. Success is never a given—failure is an all too familiar studio companion for every artist and craftsperson. Of course, it is often through failure that artists learn the most.

Participating craftspeople in this new exhibition include: Jim Aquilani, Nancy Cole, Jamie Germaine, Arlene MacAusland, Rilla Marshall, Melissa Peter Paul, Jody Racicot, Ayelet Stewart, Isako Suzuki, Jane Whitten, and Bette Young.

The 11 artists in Creative Obsessions have also been challenged by our times, with the increased isolation brought on by COVID-19, interruptions in their supply chains for materials, and the disruption of their normal routines. Some artists have chosen to respond directly to the issues of our day, while others have redoubled their focus on their materials and the specific technical and historical processes in which they practice.

“Every artist, like every person, has been affected by COVID,” states Sarah Maloney, co-curator. “It has been remarkable to hear from the artists how they have risen to the challenges set for them in these difficult times. You can really see how their passion drives them.”

There is no one right answer of course, acknowledges Co-curator Ray Cronin: “art is more about questions, anyway.” Creative Obsessions highlights the probing questioning— of techniques and materials, of local and global issues, of historical and cultural contexts— that define the work of 10 of the Island’s most accomplished fine craftspeople.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Earth to You

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eARTh
A group exhibit of work by PEI women artists reflecting on climate change, environment, and the beauty of the natural world.

Featuring
Millefiore Clarkes
Nancy Cole
Mari Basiletti
Ashley Anne Clark
Jane Affleck

This is presented by The Guild and TTIS with support from Innovation PEI

June 23rd-July 19th

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Art in the Open

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The Guild says, tune in tonight at 7 PM @aitoPEI for Movie Night in partnership with Film PEI!!!

Joignez-vous à nous ce soir à 19 h @aitoPEI pour une Soirée Cinéma en partenariat avec Film PEI !!!

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

New Works On and Off Line

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Today, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is rolling out its second contribution to Canada’s new visual arts platform, FIELD TRIP: Art Across Canada<https://www.fieldtrip.art/>. Also coming soon to the Gallery’s glass entranceway is a series of neon works from Sandi Hartling–the first physical art installed at the Centre since the pandemic began.

FIELDTRIP 2.0
FIELDTRIP is a direct response to the challenges of gallery access posed by COVID-19 and offers a daily web release on FIELDTRIP.art<https://www.fieldtrip.art/>, profiling digital work from a network of more than 30 major galleries and museums from across the nation. Now available online, the CCAG’s latest contribution is a curated video work from Halifax artists Mitchell Wiebe and Tim Tracey entitled Group of Steven—painting the invisible.

Wiebe is somewhat of a cult artist in Canada, whose ‘space activations’ combine performance and painting-based installation. This duality was celebrated in Wiebe’s VampSites, a national touring exhibition organized by the CCAG and curated by Pan Wendt, which is exhibiting at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford, B.C. in 2021.

Wiebe’s Halifax studio–located above a navy surplus store and crammed with paintings, props, and found accessories–is the setting for this new FIELDTRIP project, an extended “video feedback” reflection<https://www.fieldtrip.art/field-trips/group-of-steven-painting-the-invisible> on Wiebe’s process and paintings from animator/filmmaker Tim Tracey, created while isolating during the pandemic.

In a tribute to early music video formats and Bob Ross-esque instructional shows, the artist provides commentary in the absurd, inept, and convoluted persona of ‘Steven’. Tracey’s assortment of forms and colours are reshaped to merge kaleidoscopically with the music and lyrics of fellow Halifax musicians, Fantasy Eye. Patrons are encouraged to explore this new satirical work today via the Centre’s social media or at FIELDTRIP.art<https://www.fieldtrip.art/>, as well as other projects from across the country.

SANDI HARTLING INSTALLATION
Sandi Hartling is an interdisciplinary artist residing in Avondale, P.E.I. Her series of neon text works, which combine ambiguous messages with direct, bright colour, will be installed in the Grafton Street Entrance at the CCAG over the next week.

Entitled anything at all; just cause; and sense first reflect later, the three works are mixed medium neon forms that present like handwritten text.

The pieces will be installed inside the Gallery’s glass entranceway, opposite The Holman Grand and will be illuminated at night. As Phase-3 begins across P.E.I., patrons are encouraged to enjoy these beacon-like works from Grafton Street and surrounding areas while maintaining social distancing.

A graduate of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Newfoundland, Hartling’s recent work includes the CCAG solo exhibition Things We Can Agree On and Other Works of Fiction; Set Design for Unrealized Production (Nature) with Third Shift in Saint John; and Paradise Mirage with Supercrawl in Hamilton.

Stay tuned for more updates on the reopening of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery for public visitation and the roll out of select arts education programs.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

More Art Classes From Home

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Check out Episode 6 of ‘Art Class from Home’! 🎨🏠

This week, Visual Arts Educator Evan Furness creates a minimalist landscape image where the subject has been reduced to its basics: colour and shape, inspired by the 1965 painting ‘Black Sun’ by Toni Onley. Watch the demo below, and try these techniques out yourself.

Get the instructional PDF here: https://confederationcentre.com/…/No.-6-Shapes-in-the-Lands…

🎨🏠🎨🏠🎨🏠🎨🏠

CCAG Art Class from Home presents a weekly activity inspired by artworks in the Confederation Centre Art Gallery Permanent Collection. These activities are for all ages and skill levels, and can be completed with materials that people usually have in their homes.⁣

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse