Category Archives: State of the Art

Rocking the Open

Coming Soon to the CCAG – Art in the Open at 10 Years: An Incomplete Archive

-Opening June 19, retrospective exhibition celebrates art festival’s first decade-

It may be hard to believe, but Art in the Open, Charlottetown’s outdoor public art festival, is 10 years old! The first edition, held in August 2011, brought together the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, this town is small, inc., and the City of Charlottetown to collaborate and create a festival that celebrated visual art in the setting of the city’s parks and other public spaces. 

Charlottetown-based artist-archivist Donnalee Downe and Wendt have been sourcing documentation, artifacts, and artworks from artists as well as the general public, all towards a new exhibition, entitled Art in the Open at 10 Years: An Incomplete Archive, that will be open to the public in the Centre’s concourse this summer. theatre

He welcomes visitors to visit the exhibition from June 12 to September 19 at the Centre. “I think audiences would love to see all of the images and records we’re collecting in one place. Donnalee is a master organizer, categorizer, and collector, and she’s bringing an artistic vision to the exhibition as well,” he adds.

Art in the Open at 10 Years: an Incomplete Archive can be seen at Confederation Centre in Charlottetown. Art in the Open 2021 runs from 4 p.m. to midnight, August 28.

Theatre PEI

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Indigenous Art Moving Forward

Indigenous art selected for art bank and grants

PEI Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous artists in PEI are being recognized as the successful applicants for the new Indigenous Art Bank and Indigenous Arts Grants programs.

“In the spirit of friendship and reconciliation, today we celebrate Indigenous artists for their significant contributions to Prince Edward Island. Indigenous art is a powerful form of storytelling. These programs are dedicated to sharing stories and knowledge with Islanders so we can learn more about Indigenous culture in Prince Edward Island, and I extend my congratulations to all the artists.”

– Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Minister Matthew MacKay

The first five pieces of art purchased for the Indigenous Art Bank are:

Artist: Nora Richard
Title: Woven Quiver
Medium: Reed basketry (with beads, bone, feathers and rawhide)

Artist: Melissa Peter-Paul
Title: Me’eyimult’k “We are still here”
Medium: Birch bark, porcupine quills, sweetgrass, spruce root and sinew.

Artist: Francis Jadis
Title: Fancy Mi’kmaq Basket
Medium: Black Ash

Artist: Riley Bernard
Title: The Stick Persons Collection
Medium: Graphic novel

Artist: Levi Cannon
Title: Climbing to the Creator 
Medium: Water-based paint

Also, the following six artists were selected to receive funding through the Indigenous Arts Grants:

Artist: Julie Pellissier-Lush
Writing and publishing, $2,300    
Description: To create a book featuring interviews with elders from Lennox Island First Nation and Abegweit First Nation. 

Artist: Riley Bernard 
Writing and publishing, $1,000
Description: To create a graphic novel inspired by traditional Mi’kmaq Legends.

Artist: Melissa Peter-Paul 
Visual arts, $3,000
Description: Harvesting birch bark, porcupine quills, sweet grass and spruce root with respected knowledge keepers and their family of Mi’kmaki.

Artist: Rosalie Bourque 
Crafts, $700
Description: To create clothing using designs to help through the grieving process of losing their dad and grandfather.

Artist: Val Jadis
Crafts, $700 
Description: To continue beading and creating awareness for Orange Shirt Day for residential schools; Red Dress for murdered missing indigenous women; and increasing autism awareness by making pins, earrings and other items. 

Artist: Shanna Sark
Interdisciplinary, $2,300
Description: Shanna Sark and her sisters will collect knowledge on their father, Gilbert “Tommy” Sark’s legacy with ash splint basket making. A video will document the process of finding people who have been mentored by Sark to recall his basket making techniques.

The successful applicants were selected by a 3-member jury of their Indigenous arts community peers

Media contact:
Hillary MacDonald
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
902-394-6368
hpsmacdonald@gov.pe.ca(link sends e-mail) 


Backgrounder

The PEI Indigenous Art Bank acquires, loans and displays art that was purchased or donated and pieces will be displayed in public spaces. To learn more, visit: The PEI Indigenous Art Bank.

The Indigenous Arts Grants provide funding to assist and encourage the work of the Indigenous arts community in the province. To learn more, visit: The Indigenous Arts Grant Program.

Both programs were developed in partnership with PEI Mi’kmaq artists and artisans and with guidance from best practices across federal and provincial jurisdictions. 

A key item of the PEI Culture Action Plan is for all Islanders to have opportunities to engage with the art forms that derive from Indigenous language, worldviews, practices, and protocols. 

Theatre PEI

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Up Next: A Life’s Work

Coming Soon to the CCAG — A Life’s Work: Canadian Artist Robert Harris (1849-1919)

-New Gallery exhibition highlights Harris’ work as a portrait painter in Canada’s early years-

(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) – A highly-anticipated new Robert Harris exhibition is opening in two stages this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG). Beginning June 5, A Life’s Work surveys Harris’ impressive career as a portrait painter in a young country. 

The exhibition features commissioned portraits of local merchant William Weeks, 1880; Sir Hugh Allan, 1885, founder of the Allan Steamship Line; the artist’s niece, Ruth Harris, 1896; and Anna Leonowens, 1905, co-founder of what is now NSCAD University. Also included are portraits of Harris’ siblings and parents, self-portraits, scenes of everyday life—including The Local Stars, 1888 and A Studio Boy’s Private View, 1886—less known but remarkable landscape paintings from several countries, selected drawings, sketchbooks, and memorabilia such as family photographs and letters.

Ranging from youthful works made in Charlottetown, to those created during his international studies and travels, or in his Montreal studio, this selection of works is drawn primarily from the CCAG’s extensive Robert Harris Collection and Archive—the majority of which was transferred to the Centre in 1965 from the Robert Harris Trust.

Harris was a keen observer and he created a fascinating record of Charlottetown as he practiced drawing and painting. His detailed map of the city (based on a 1863 map by D.J. Lake) related to his early surveying work and his watercolour views of Charlottetown from 1869-1871 are a charming glimpse into this era. However Harris was intent on painting people and his early self-directed training was followed by periods of study in Boston, London, and Paris in the 1870s and early 1880s. His goal of being an artist was set by his later teens and by 1880 he was regarded as one of Canada’s leading painters. 

Harris had the distinction of being named among the 26 charter members of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA) when it was founded in 1880. His growing reputation for portraiture was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the Canadian Government awarding him the 1883 commission to depict the delegates to the Quebec Conference of 1864. Harris’ large, group painting is an iconic image in Canadian history and the commission propelled the artist’s career and solidified his reputation as Canada’s best portrait artist of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Harris’ success has often been attributed to his talent, business acumen, and his ability to connect with people—be it the well-to-do sitters commissioning portraits or the local farmers, fishers, women working in the lobster packing plant, or as a teacher in a one-room school. The range of subjects from everyday life that Harris explored in his works bear this out.

A Life’s Work: Canadian Artist Robert Harris (1849-1919) is planned in two parts. The first will feature many of the early watercolours, drawings of nude models, illustrations, and preliminary sketches for a wide range of portraits and will be presented in the Sobey Gallery and opens on June 5. The majority of the oil paintings in the exhibition—the portraits, genre, and landscapes—will be installed on the second-floor gallery and will be ready for viewing by June 26 and on display until January 2022.

Theatre PEI

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Exploring Visual Arts

Saturday morning art classes are starting up again April 17! 🌞🎨Through fun exercises and lessons, students learn skills that develop their visual literacy and ability. At the end of the course, students will create an artwork in the medium of their choosing using the skills they have learned throughout the class!

Learn more & register:Exploring Visual Arts I (Ages 6-8): https://confederationcentre.com/…/exploring-visual-arts-i/

Exploring Visual Arts II (Ages 9-12): https://confederationcentre.com/…/exploring-visual…/

Theatre PEI

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Art and Appetizers

Don’t miss the feast for your eyes & your tummy at Kings Playhouse OPENING RECEPTION on March 20th @ 11am for JUBILATION ~ A New Beginning.

Showcasing extraordinary pieces by celebrated local artists Geraldine Ysselstein, Helene Larouche, Julia Purcell, and Ann Clow, over brunch!

Tickets: https://2053.na.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/290#KingsPlayhouse#ArtisansOnMain#ArtGallery#ArtExhibition

Theatre PEI

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Ready Set Go

Join us in Memorial Hall for an opening reception to celebrate the Art Gallery’s newest exhibitions then head to the Gallery to explore at your leisure. We’ve got protocols in place to keep you safe while you enjoy an evening of art, music, food and drinks.     

Guests can attend on Friday, February 19 at 7 p.m. or Saturday, February 20 at 7 p.m. Call or visit the box office to book your table at $25 per person. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance at (902) 566-1267.

Our exhibitions include The Drive featuring a major Tom Thomson painting of the same name. The show situates the work of Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their peers with contemporary Indigenous and Canadian artists to highlight the complexity of the representation of landscape.

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land features paintings created in Toronto in the 1960s and 1970s, along with more recent works. In the concourse you’ll find large colourful canvases from Eye Candy: Recent Gifts to the Collection, an exhibition of works by Canadian painters recently donated to our collection.

Saturday Tours

If you can’t make the evening openings, join us in the afternoon on Saturday, February 20, for FREE 45-minute tours. There is a maximum of 10 people per tour so pre-registration is required. Tour times are 1:00, 1:15, 2:00, and 2:15. 

RSVP to Evan at 902-628-6112 or efurness@confederationcentre.com

Theatre PEI

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Logjam at the Gallery

Major Touring Exhibition ‘The Drive’ Pulls Up at the CCAG

-New exhibition centred on famed Tom Thomson painting examines representations of landscape and resource development-

Opening this weekend at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a new touring exhibition from the Art Gallery of Guelph, entitled The Drive

Anchored by Art Gallery of Guelph’s major Tom Thomson canvas of the same title, The Drive situates the work of Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their peers in relation to contemporary Indigenous and Canadian artists in order to highlight the complexity of the representation of landscape – particularly as it relates to the history of resource development.

Based on a sketch produced in the summer of 1916 when Thomson was employed as a fire ranger in the park, the canvas depicts a massive flow of timber emerging from a dam at Grand Lake near Achray in Canada’s oldest provincial park. The logs being guided through a narrow gap in the dam were headed towards the Ottawa River. 

The Drive painting captures the intensity of logging in a park that had already been widely clear-cut in Thomson’s day. The industry was the primary shaper of the landscape the artist painted and made famous, defining this landscape as post-industrial, not the untouched wilderness it is so often described as. 

A.Y. Jackson’s depictions of mining settlements and J.E.H. MacDonald’s agricultural scenes and views made accessible by rail are contextualized within the exhibition. 

Complemented by the work of Indigenous and Canadian artists including Sonny Assu, Christi Belcourt, Bob Boyer, Edward Burtynsky, Bonnie Devine, Robert Houle, Isuma, Sarah Anne Johnson, Daphne Odjig, Kelly Richardson, Don Russell, Frank Shebageget, Peter von Tiesenhausen, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, the exhibition documents the effects of colonization and changing relationships to the land through creative interventions that advance ecological sustainability and environmental justice.

The Drive opens Saturday, January 23one of three new exhibitions opening this month at the CCAG. Curated by Shauna McCabe and Brian Meehan, this circulating exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, and in conjunction with Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Museum London, and Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

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Theatre PEI

Magic Haunted Lands

CCAG Presents Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land

-Gallery exhibiting a selection of enigmatic landscapes from Island-based painter this winter-

Opening this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a new exhibition of dramatic landscapes, dream worlds, and shadowy figures from P.E.I.-based artist, Gerard Clarkes

Born in 1934, Clarkes studied art in his native Winnipeg, as well as Montreal and Toronto. By the early 1960s, he was represented by major galleries in Toronto and Montreal and had solo exhibitions in Toronto and Vancouver. By the mid-60s he was appointed Director of Art at York University, and later Director of the Burnaby Art Gallery.

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land features works that defy easy categorization. His paintings often depict enigmatic casts of characters positioned in allusive landscapes, like actors placed in a tableau.

When reviewing his formative exhibition Gerard Clarkes: transcending, reviewers of the day spoke with uncertainty of his mystifying subject matter and unique style, which had clearly struck a chord with art-lovers and collectors in the 1960s.

Said Manitoba art critic Robert Ayre in 1964, “Clarkes is a peculiar painter who entices us into a dream world of his own and holds us fascinated…” while Dorothy Pfeiffer of the Montreal Gazette wrote “Some of Clarkes’ incongruously garbed figures appear as phantoms from an earlier era; as lost souls wandering through a prairie twilight” before concluding that “time both is, and is not, of the essence” in Clarkes’ paintings.

Says Wendt, of the forthcoming CCAG exhibition: “These works resonate with us today because they captured a sense of up-rootedness and uncertainty in relation to where we find ourselves, which is uncannily familiar at this time.”

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land runs January 16 to May 9, 2021 and was produced by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. An accompanying publication will be launched during the exhibition.

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Theatre PEI