Category Archives: State of the Art

Coming to Life

Canada 150 Exhibition set to take over the CCAG; official opening this Saturday June 17 at 7 p.m.

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is transforming this month as one of the Centre’s largest ever art exhibitions, RE:collection, comes to life.

Taking over the entire 1,000 square meters of gallery space as well as the concourse cases and the public sculptures around the Centre, the exhibition explores the building of a Canadian art collection in Charlottetown, as both an optimistic mission and a reflection on the evolving country, its history, geography, people, and communities.

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Featured are L.M. Montgomery’s novel manuscript for Anne of Green Gables; selections from the Robert Harris collection; and the Expo 67 craft collection. Also showcased are the large-scale commissioned Confederation Murals series, which include Jack Shadbolt’s Flag Mural (pictured below) and Wanda Koop’s Native Fires, along with a new commission in this series entitled O-ween du muh waum, by Anishinabe artist Robert Houle, which will be installed alongside the other murals later this week

RE: collection and the exhibition Gretzky is Everywhere will be celebrated with an official Summer Opening Gala this Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. in the gallery. All are welcome for this festive kick off to the busy season which will include live music from P.E.I,’s own Mark Haines, remarks from a number of featured artists including Houle, and a cash bar.

The diverse visions, observations, and ideas of artists represented within the Gallery’s 17,000 piece collection allow us to mark the 150th anniversary with one of our largest exhibitions and publication projects,” remarks Kevin Rice, gallery director. “Collectively, we hope visitors will be delighted and engaged as they are linked to a century and a half of Canadian art and as they envision Canada’s future.”        

“We have commissioned artist Robert Houle to make a new painting which he has titled in Saulteaux, O-ween du muh waum, which translates to We Were Told,” explains Rice.  “This new commission will be installed this week and is a further rumination on the Indigenous figure in Benjamin West’s painting Death of Wolfe. Houle focuses on the Delaware warrior on the Plains of Abraham to underscore the long First Nations history in this land.”

A significant array of other historic, modern, and contemporary works of art-touchstones, signals, images that connect, challenge, and enrich people’s lives-will round out the exhibition.

RE: collection opens on June 17, 2017 and will be on exhibit through the remainder of 2017.

Gretzky is Everywhere

Andy Warhol and Wayne Gretzky — while not naturally congruous icons to utter in the same breath, both are considered pop culture giants of the 20th century who are forever linked by a famous print, Wayne Gretzky #99

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In 1983, the Canadian hockey prodigy visited Warhol’s New York studio to sit for a portrait arranged by Frans Wynans, an associate of Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington. “He’s more than a hockey player, he’s an entertainer. An entertaining hockey player,” Warhol famously remarked. The artist created screen prints based on Polaroids taken at the sitting. Many of these prints ended up in gallery collections across Canada, including at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG).

Gretzky is Everywhere presents Warhol’s famous print at multiple sites simultaneously via livestream: in Charlottetown, at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, and at The Rooms in St. John’s. Gallery patrons can enjoy the artwork in the Young People’s Gallery at the CCAG, while peering in on fellow visitors experiencing Wayne Gretzky 99 and an opposite camera feed in Alberta and Newfoundland — a natural hat trick.

 Three Canadian audiences, artworks and art institutions are linked by a public web feed, brought into a conversation structured by repetitive imagery, the immediacy of the virtual experience, and the “everywhere” of sites connected by the Internet.

 “Collaboration has been an important strategy in engaging the public with visual art, so Gretzky is Everywhere is focused on both the gallery’s collection and the audience experience,” states Gallery Director Kevin Rice.  “We are really looking forward to presenting concurrently with two other public galleries and seeing how audiences respond at each venue.”

 ”We are still living in the age of Warhol, whose dissemination of celebrity images lay at the heart of his prescient practice,” offer the exhibition’s curators, Mireille Eagan with The Rooms and Pan Wendt with the CCAG.. “We now take the pervasiveness of celebrity for granted, as individuals are given heightened status through sheer repetition of their likeness.”

 They continue, “Art institutions seek to respond to these changes in digital technology, with its rapid circulation of images and identities, and an increasing demand for participatory experiences. Warhol’s embrace of repetition and the virtual seems more pertinent than ever.”

 Special thanks are extended to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the other partner institutions.

Time of Our Lives at the Guild

The artwork of more than 20 Seniors College students will be showcased at The Guild, from May 24th to June 4th, with the opening reception on Wednesday May 24th 7-9pm. There will be refreshments and everyone is welcome. This is the fourth year for this group show, with some old favourites exhibiting and lots of new faces as well.

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Participants say they are at “a time in their lives” when work and family commitments are reduced, and they are thrilled to have the time to put into making art.

Seniors attending the art classes have a wide variety of experience. Some are beginners, some have gained experience by attending the classes over the last several years, and some have dabbled in art off and on throughout their lives.

Seniors College is open to anyone over 50. It is a great opportunity to learn something new in a wide variety of topics. The camaraderie among the students adds a lot to the enjoyment.

A full list of Seniors College courses, schedules, and descriptions is available at http://www.seniorscollege.ca

The Guild is located at 111 Queen Street in Charlottetown. The gallery is open from 9:00am – 5:00pm 7 days a week and in the evening during shows held in the theatre.

For more information please contact Marion Copleston at 675-4093 or mcopleston@gmail.com

Illustrators Gather at the Guild

From April 28th to May 20th, Reading Town PEI will present an exhibition of original artwork by Island illustrators.

Prince Edward Island has an abundance of talented illustrators. Although their artwork reproductions are key to the success and the fun found in many books, illustrators don’t often have a chance to present original artwork.

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This exhibition at The Guild provides the opportunity for Island Illustrators / Artists to showcase their original and published artworks. The exhibition will be a presentation of 2D artworks as well as sculptures and a reading nook to explore an Island illustrated library.

There will be an opening networking reception, supported by The Bookmark, in the gallery on April 29th from 8:00 – 9:30pm. The showcase continues through May 20th.

Strike Out to See Something Striking

It’s last call on three winter exhibitions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Comfortable Modernism closes its showing in the concourse cases on April 9; New Positions: Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, Alexandra O’Sullivan closes on April 23; and Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence wraps on May 7.

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Curated by the Gallery’s own Jill MacRae, Comfortable Modernism features a selection of handmade tapestries designed by Canadian sculptors and painters in the mid-1970s, intended to be displayed in public spaces. Toronto’s Fay Loeb initiated the tapestry project in response to the often cold and stark common areas found in public buildings. The idea was to bring visual and physical warmth to these spaces by providing cost effective, large-scale works that could withstand the wear and tear of high-traffic areas. Over the course of the following two years, Loeb commissioned 23 tapestries of designs by sculptors and painters from across the country, such as Michael Snow and Jack Shadbolt.

Trial fabrications were completed by skilled artisans in Mexico using a punch hooking method with a hand-guided, single-needle implement, allowing the artisan to complete approximately one square foot of the tapestry per day. The completed tapestries showcase designs made specifically for this medium, while reflecting the artists’ work in other media. The complete set of 23 artists’ proof wall hangings belonging to the Art Gallery’s permanent collection are a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jules Loeb. Comfortable Modernism is on display in the Centre’s concourse until April 9.

Closing on April 23 is a selection of recent work by four young Prince Edward Island artists who represent a cross-section of developing local practices. Following a year of studio visits and interviews with over a dozen local visual artists, four were selected to represent a wide range of interests and ways of working. Ranging from photography to painting, video to installations, New Positions showcases the continual renewal of an inventive and challenging cultural scene.

The sculptures and two-dimensional works of New York-based Canadian artist Rachel Beach create a dialogue between form and surface, image and material, embracing geometry and clear lines, as well as colour, texture and pattern. While flirting with origins and the possibility of a fundamental formal order, however, the artist undermines such fixations through play, juxtaposition and staging. There is a pleasure in such play, a pleasure enhanced by the artist’s love of colour and texture. And there is also an opening up of meaning, in which the bodily references of Beach’s paper collages and inventive sculptures suggest new outlines, new limits of being, and new forms of being together. Mid-Sentence is curated by Robin Metcalfe and Pan Wendt, and produced in collaboration with Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery.

The Gallery remains open on winter/spring hours until May 14, welcoming the public from Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Opening Reception and Tour On Deck

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery will celebrate the recent launch of Leah Garnett’s installation work, When One Space Meets Another.

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An opening reception and tour with the artist is planned for next Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Gallery. There will be a cash bar and all are welcome for this event. The Leah Garnett tour is offered free of charge and the public is encouraged to ask questions and take advantage of this opportunity for engaging interpretation around visual art.

For future gallery events, including Afterimage art party on Saturday May 13, visit confederationcentre.com/gallery or facebook.com/ccoagallery.

Based in Sackville, New Brunswick, Garnett’s installations explore the shaping of public spaces — how we construct, mold, and contain them. Channeling her experience growing up on construction sites, the artist’s work, in which she creates installations that combine mark-making and building with tape, string, wood, and other materials, has been described as “drawing in space.”

For the Centre’s Art Gallery, Garnett has playfully created a unique piece in which she transposes various sites – woods in Maine, an exhibition space in Sackville, a construction site – into the more traditional exhibition space of the gallery.

Leah Garnett: When One Space Meets Another is on exhibition in the Upper East Gallery until June 4, 2017.