Category Archives: State of the Art

Exploring Northwest Coast Art

Whether a longtime resident of P.E.I., a new Islander, or a visitor, you may have spent some time examining the Tsimshian totem pole in the Confederation Centre concourse and wondered about the story behind this impressive object.

Found in the outdoor courtyard, the pole is titled Man and Dogfish, and was carved at New Hazelton, British Columbia by Alfred Joseph of the Ilagwiloit First Nation. A project of the First Citizens’ Fund and the B.C. 1971 Centennial Committee, it was donated by the First Nations people of B.C. to Confederation Centre to mark the centenary of B.C.’s joining Confederation in 1871

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Art historian Ron Hawker, who has relocated to the Island in the past year, will shed new light on the totem pole, and put it in some historical context in a free lecture in the Art Gallery. The talk will introduce the history of Northwest Coast art, identify the key media, genres, styles, and both historic and contemporary artists, with a particular focus on totem poles — his current subject of research. This free event will take place Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. and all are welcome.

Hawker most recently taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design following time spent educating at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the American University of Sharjah, and Zayed University in Dubai. He is the author of Tales of Ghosts: First Nations Art in British Columbia, 1922-1961 (UBC Press 2002), Traditional Architecture in the Arabian Gulf: Building on Desert Tides (Wessex Institute of Technology Press, 2008), and Yakuglas’ Legacy: The Art and Times of Charlie James (University of Toronto Press, 2016).

Eyeballing at the Guild

Pascal Dufaux, visiting artist from Montreal, and local artist Sarah Wendt will be hosting an open studio event in the Guild Gallery and conjoining Guild art studio.

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They will show some of the work they have been making in the past 6 months, including sculpture, video, photography, music, dance etc.

The event will take place between 6 and 8pm on Sunday April 10th.

A Whimsical World at the Guild

Artist Tricia MacNeil Baldwin has created “A Whimsical World”, a quirky, colourful world of imaginary places, inspired by the world around us. This series of paintings is inspired by a friend who had terminal cancer but chose to live every day to the fullest. She was full of life, love, laughter and friendship.

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Tricia explains “One evening I started to paint as I was thinking of her and out came the first painting of the series ‘Happy Town’ full of bright colours, simple but fun structures created to make one happy. I gave her this piece, she loved it and so the series was born.”

Tricia’s hope with this whimsical series, is that everyone who sees it, enjoys the fun, the colours and the simplicity of this world. A world simply created to make one smile and to appreciate the simple things in life, especially when the world around you can get confusing and overwhelming.

“A Whimsical World” is at the Guild in Charlottetown through April 9.

Never Like Always

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery will celebrate its winter and spring exhibitions with a classic evening gala on Saturday, March 5. All are welcome for this engaging and spirited soiree, beginning at 7 p.m.

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Featured exhibitions include Charlottetown artist Sandi Hartling’s Things We Can Agree On, and Other Works of Fiction; Holding the Pose: Portraits From the Collection; Dialogues; From Housebuilder to Architect: C.B. Chappell’s Charlottetown; Curious Objects from the Vault; and the latest addition, touring show David Thauberger: Road Trips & other diversions.

Several featured artists and curators will be in attendance at the opening and live music will be provided by Island songwriters Al Tuck and Mike Dixon. Regina-based sculptor, painter, and printmaker David Thauberger will also give an art talk and tour of Road Trips & other diversions on Sunday March 6 at 2 p.m. in the gallery.

There is no cost to attend either event. For more information, please visit confederationcentre.com.

Gillis House Moves Indoors

ROAD TRIPS & other diversion, the first comprehensive overview of Regina-based artist David Thauberger, opens March 5th at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.

One featured art work in this style that may be of interest to Islanders is Chappell Picture, a portrait view of the handsome Gillis House found at 48 Great George Street, now part of the Great George Hotel. This engaging work is from the Gallery’s permanent collection, and depicts the former Queen Anne-inspired double tenement in bright pastel colours as featured during the painting’s creation in 1993.

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The opening reception for this and other winter exhibitions is on Saturday March 5 at 7 p.m. and the show runs to June 5, 2016. Thauberger will give an art talk and tour of the exhibition on Sunday March 6 at 2 p.m. in the gallery. There is no cost to attend either event. Co-curated by Sandra Fraser and Timothy Long, David Thauberger: ROAD TRIPS & other diversions is funded in part by the Museums Assistance program at Canadian Heritage.

On the Road Right in Town

Regina-based David Thauberger is nationally recognized as a painter, printmaker, and ceramist whose practice employs a firm conviction that the local is as important as the global. Opening March 5 at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, ROAD TRIPS & other diversions is the first comprehensive overview of this remarkable artist.

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Organized by the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon and the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, this installation explores how the idea of place has shaped the artist’s work. The exhibition brings together some 70 paintings, prints, and ceramic works, produced from 1971 to 2009. Clusters of art works ranging from New York pop art to Chicago imagism to Saskatchewan folk painting highlight his process of assimilating visual information through the process of collecting.

Born in Holdfast, Saskatchewan in 1948, Thauberger is one of the most significant artists on the Prairies. Whether in patterned watercolours, flocked prints, ceramics, or taped and stenciled paintings, he has played with the line between industrial and handmade techniques, his work reflecting both his formal art school training and his rejection of the limitations of a strictly fine art approach.

Thauberger is known for his particular approach to painting vernacular architecture, such as legion halls, false-front businesses, churches, and houses, as if they were portraits. Tourist postcards have been another influential source and his work has the ability to transform the imagery of popular culture – both the everyday and the spectacular – into symbolic icons of places in much the same way that postcards can.

Thauberger also made an important impact on the national scene through his work on boards with UNESCO, Canada Council, and the Canada Council Art Bank. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2008, and acknowledged for “his promotion and preservation of Canadian heritage and folk art in Saskatchewan, in addition to his work as a painter, sculptor, and educator.”

A Brush With Nature at The Guild

Robert Milner has a passion for painting and paints every day. He is an eclectic artist painting from nature in all its forms, including wildlife and landscape.

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A Brush With Nature, a collection of paintings in oils, acrylic, and water colour is a partial retrospective exhibit created between 2006 and the present day.

The exhibit was created during, and inspired by, a painting trip to Yellowstone Park, using information from time spent in the conservation area, and of time spent in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario.

Other images were created while living on Prince Edward Island, where Robert and his wife made their home in November 2010.

A Brush With Nature is on display at the Gallery at The Guild in Charlottetown from February 3 – 27th.