Category Archives: State of the Art

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.

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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.

Creatures Come to Guild Gallery

You may have seen some of Ashley Anne Clark’s work popping up around town over the past few years. She is an island-based Artist with a BFA from Concordia University that works in a variety of mediums and subjects. This time she has taking on the challenge of researching and drawing over 60 species of Nocturnal Animals.

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Creatures of the Night: A Study of Nocturnal Beings is a show exploring the worlds and personalities of these unusual animals. There are over 80 different types of Nocturnal Animals living around the world. Though some of these creatures are quite familiar to us such as a raccoons, lions and bats others are not talked about as regularly like the Ocilla or the Aardvark. Clark says, “By focusing solely on nocturnal animals, I can bring forth species that often-go unseen and are easily over looked or forgotten.”

During this time of year when the days are short and the nights are long, we can all start to see characteristics of these animals within ourselves and understand the vast differences between the light and the night. “I am always aspiring to bring to my audience the nostalgic feeling of discovery. Through my drawings I seek to shed a light on these night dwellers and encourage people to educate themselves on their relationship to nature.”

This show will be up at the Guild Gallery from December 6th to January 2nd.

Illusion and Material in Mid-Sentence

New York-based Canadian artist Rachel Beach is opening her first major exhibition in this country in a decade. A collaboration with Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence will be presented at Confederation Centre Art Gallery from December 10 through April 30, bringing the artist back to the Maritimes, where she was originally trained.

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The show consists almost entirely of new creations, selected from Beach’s studio in Brooklyn, NY, where she has been based since 2001. Educated at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and later Yale University, Beach’s work has been written about in The New York Times, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, among others.

Originally from London, Ontario, the artist works with abstract shapes and a variety of materials to produce colourful sculptures and two-dimensional pieces that play between illusion and material, geometry and surface. Her works typically deploy a vocabulary of shapes in creative interplay; although non-representational, they often evoke the human figure.

The Centre’s Pan Wendt curated the exhibition with Saint Mary’s Robin Metcalfe. “It is impressive to see what Rachel Beach has created over the past few years,” says Wendt. “Her studio, and everything in it, was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, but she hasn’t slowed down at all, and her work has grown even richer.”

Gallery Director Kevin Rice looks forward to seeing the exhibition come to life in the Centre’s lower west gallery. “This exhibition will be like eye-candy, colourful and fascinating objects in dynamic arrangements,” he says. “Rachel’s work is known for its visual appeal and playful use of material and shape. Her sculptures are constructions built out of a variety of shapes that evoke folded paper, masks, the built environment, and the history of the medium. We are excited to bring her work back to the Maritimes.”

Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence opens at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on December 10. The artist will be present for an enriching exhibition tour on Saturday, December 10 at 7 p.m. All are welcome and the tour is presented free of charge.

Bobak is Back

A new exhibition is showing at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, shining light on a collection works by Bruno Bobak (1923-2012). Curated by Donald Andrus, The Bruno Bobak Bequest draws upon a selection of works bequeathed to the Art Gallery collection by the Estate of the artist.

Bobak was a Polish-born Canadian painter and art teacher. An extraordinarily fluent artist, he worked as a ceramicist, jeweler, sculptor and furniture maker. If not busy in his studio each day, or at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre where he was resident artist from 1961 to 1986, then he was outdoors sketching, gathering ‘moosewood’ and wild flowers in the springtime, with his wife, equally renowned artist Molly Lamb. Both were made members of the Order of Canada in 1995 and a small portrait of Lamb is included in The Bruno Bobak Bequest.

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This exhibition primarily showcases examples of Bobak’s printmaking skills and his drawings, together with a few examples of his watercolours and oil paintings. More of his work can be found in the Art Gallery’s collection in the form of oil paintings and drawings.
Curator Donald Andrus will present an art talk focusing on the current exhibition this Sunday November 20 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

“We can talk about Bruno Bobak as a print-maker, painter in oils and watercolour, as well one the pre-eminent draughtsman of his era,” Andrus offers. “Bobak is an artist somewhat neglected now by the ravenous contemporary art scene in Canada but one whose contributions are well worth remembering and much of whose art, created in an atmosphere of humility and human understanding, has stood the test of time.”

As Bobak’s period of work spanned close to seven decades, this bequest and exhibition draws on a slender offering from his long career. States Andrus, “What this selection does hope to achieve is to give some sense of the range of his experiences as an artist—from woodblock prints beginning shortly after his career as Canada’s youngest war artist from 1943 to 1945, through silkscreen prints, drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings during the rest of his career.”

Bobak participated in more than 250 group exhibitions and had more than 80 one-man shows around the world. His works are found in collections across Canada. The Bruno Bobak Bequest shows until January 8 at the Centre.

Inspired at the Guild

This October the Guild will be host to a unique group show showcasing the diverse artistic talent of teachers and staff from the Public Schools Branch on PEI. This group includes several artists who’s work has been shown all over the world and has won significant international art prizes.

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A variety of styles and mediums including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and mixed media will be on display. The opening for ‘Inspire’ will take place Wednesday, October 26th at 7pm with light refreshments.

The exhibition runs from Oct 26th – Nov 5th.

Scottish Tapestry Goes Big

A visual art initiative from more than 30 communities around the world celebrating Scottish heritage has arrived at Confederation Centre, including contributions from several Island stitchers, illustrators, and historical societies.

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One of the world’s largest community art projects, Scottish Diaspora is a large-scale tapestry made up of hundreds of panels, and five of the panels tell stories about Prince Edward Island’s deep Scottish roots through the ages. The exhibition is now open and shows until October 22, sprawling across the five display cases and beyond in the Centre’s concourse.

Scots have migrated all over the world and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled. Organized by Scotland’s Prestourngrange Arts Festival with the support of the P.E.I. Scottish Settlers Historical Society and the Community Cultural Partnership Program, Scottish Diaspora celebrates the influence of Scots worldwide.

The works are presented with support from Bord na Gaidhlig.

According to a representative from the Prestourngrange Arts Festival the result is “a remarkable and heart-felt homage to the determination, courage, and achievement of Scottish migrants and their descendants across the centuries.”

This project brings together stories from more than 30 communities, and 1000 stitchers, including five from P.E.I. These Island stories are: the landing of the Glenalladale Settlers in 1772, the building of a pioneer’s first house; the Scots involved in the Charlottetown Conference and Confederation, A.A. MacDonald and Colonel John Hamilton Gray; ‘Keep The Faith,’ recognizing 300 Catholic Highlanders who arrived in 1772; and a final piece called ‘The Landing.’

Island stitchers Lucille Hogg, Aggi-Rose Reddin, Dr Heather Keizer, Mary J. Gallant, and Anita Gordon started the process of stitching and bringing to life these works in August 2013 while stitchers in two dozen other Scots communities around the world also set to work creating their own images. The tapestry was assembled and unveiled in Scotland before beginning its global tour.

Shared Values at The Guild

“Shared Values” original artwork by Prince Edward Island Nurses is being staged at The Guild from October 11- 22, 2016. The artwork creations of more than 30 island nurses will be showcased.

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The opening reception, entitled “Beverages and Bites” celebration, is Wednesday October 12, 7-9 p.m. There will be refreshments and an opportunity to meet the Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and student nurse participants who bravely have come together for this inspiring and inaugural showing under one roof.

The entries, from aspiring beginners and professional nurse artists, are as varied as the diverse backgrounds where these health professionals have practiced across their careers.

For more information contact Deborah Roberts at gdroberts@pei.sympatico.ca or Leona Macintosh at leonamacintosh@gmail.com. The gallery, on the corner of Queen and Richmond streets, Charlottetown is open noon to 5p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.