Category Archives: State of the Art

Calling All Artists

The Guild is currently seeking submissions for 2022 from, but not limited to: emerging artists; mid-career artists; established and senior artists; artists of diverse backgrounds; artist populations that have been generally underserved; and community groups. As a cultural venue with its mandate for promotion and support for Island artists, the Guild’s Board of Directors have given clear direction for Island artists to be awarded first consideration. All exhibitions will run for approximately 2 weeks from February through June.

Please submit- Up to 5 works- Artist Resume- Statement of Intent / Exhibition ProposalPlease send submissions via e-mail to Alyse Mercey, Gallery and Events Manager at We look forward to viewing your submission.

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Honouring the Missing

New Work Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Now On Display at Confederation Centre Art Gallery

-Newly unveiled mural by Bronson Jacque will be in the gallery until December-

A new work of art on display at Confederation Centre Art Gallery puts a face on people whose lives have been forever altered by family members and friends who have gone missing. 

 “We have unveiled a very precious piece of art that is both substantially moving and memorable,” says Aboriginal Women’s Association of PEI (AWAPEI) President Matilda Ramjattan. “This is not just a project; it is ground-breaking work and sacred art that will help heal those affected by missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. I get tears in my eyes every time I think about this project and the lives that were taken.” 

“It was very important to me to show that these missing and murdered Indigenous women are still here with us, in the hearts and minds of their families and loved ones,” explains Jacque. “That’s why each person in the mural is holding an object that belonged to their loved one, or a photo. But beyond that, I wanted the piece to reverse the colonial gaze…to take the power back, which is why each loved one is looking directly at those who gaze upon them.”

The as-yet-unnamed mural is on display in the gallery entrance stairwell.

“Confederation Centre is honoured to be given the opportunity to prominently display this important work, and to partner with the AWAPEI to create more awareness around MMIWG,” says Art Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “Bronson Jacque’s group portrait of ten women and girls who have experienced these tragedies is very impactful, and will be on display in the gallery until late December.”

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Two Thumbs Up

Confederation Centre Art Gallery to host new work from BGL

-Two Thumbs Up (Arts and Crafts) to feature the artist collective’s final exhibition of new works.

Award-winning Quebec-based artist collective BGL, who have represented Canada at the Venice Biennale, and have won major acclaim around the world, opens an exhibit of new work at the Confederation Centre Gallery (CCAG) on July 17th.

“This is going to be the last time we will be creating new work as a collective, so even if there are some works that seem to reflect on our end – like the replica of a 19th century hearse or the ‘crashed’ motorcycle – we want them to be joyful, fun, and humorous,” explains BGL member Nicolas Laverdière. “The pleasure and freedom in making art for a living was the reason we got together in the first place. Art was always an adventure into fun for us.” 

In Two Thumbs Up (Arts and Crafts), they reprise elements of their Canadassimo project originally presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015, along with a major new body of work. Curated by Pan Wendt, the CCAG exhibition features two galleries of work. One will include the studio installation from Canadassimo, and the other will show BGL’s latest work, including a series of pieces made with birch twigs. 

“Arts and Crafts is a title that makes sense for the new body of work, which really comes out of the poetry of different kinds of manual labour, things you can only say intuitively in the roughness of manual work,” offers Laverdière. “There’s something about the handmade aesthetic that’s true for us.”

“We are truly honoured to host the final exhibition of new work by some of Canada’s most imaginative, brilliant, and playful sculptors, and we have really been impressed by BGL’s work over the years,” shares CCAG Director Kevin Rice. “BGL was a pleasure to work with during Oh, Canada, a 2014 exhibition organized by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and presented in our gallery, and we are very excited to be showing a selection of their latest work, as well as their truly grand-scale Venice installation.”

BGL—Two Thumbs Up (Arts and Crafts) opens on Saturday, July 17 and will be on display until December 2021. Special thanks are extended to the Arts Hotel, the official accommodation sponsor in Charlottetown for BGL artist collective.

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Get to the Gallery

Don’t Miss our Summer Opening!Join us as we celebrate our new exhibitions on Saturday, July 17 at 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Enjoy great food, listen to tunes from piano player Hannah Melanson, and meet the artists, including BGL members whose exhibition, Two Thumbs Up Arts and Crafts, opens July 17. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the Confederation Centre box office. BGL members Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière.
Robert Harris ExhibitionA survey of Robert Harris’ impressive career as a portrait painter fills two of our main galleries with his commissioned and family portraits, self-portraits, genre subjects, as well as landscapes and selected drawings, sketchbooks, family photographs, letters, and memorabilia.  
Bessie in Her Wedding Gown, 1885A Decade of Art in the OpenThis exhibition in the Centre’s concourse commemorates 10 years of Art in the Open,Charlottetown’s outdoor art festival. On display are various relics, souvenirs, photo and video documentation, and a few examples of works created during the festival.                      Art in the Open 2014Click here for a full listing of Gallery exhibitionsGallery Hours:Open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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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.

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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 sends e-mail) 


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. 

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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


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):…/exploring-visual-arts-i/

Exploring Visual Arts II (Ages 9-12):…/exploring-visual…/

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