Art in the Open Returns

Art in the Open returns for its seventh year with an inspiring array of FREE, all ages events and contemporary art works by locally and nationally renowned artists.

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The main event, Saturday August 26 from 4 p.m. until midnight, historic downtown Charlottetown will become an open air gallery presenting ephemeral works of public art. Each year numerous generous sponsors, artists and volunteers, come together to infuse creativity and beauty into the public spaces of the city. In total, there are about 40 artworks, installations and performances for people to discover and interact with.

Since its introduction in 2011, Art in the Open has become a well-loved and inspiring festival that takes pride in transforming many of downtown Charlottetown’s green spaces. “The City’s historic buildings and open green spaces provide the perfect canvas for Art in the Open and we are so proud to host this amazing event each year,” said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “Attending this event is such a unique experience and I encourage residents and visitors to explore the city during this magical evening.”

Formed out of a partnership among the City of Charlottetown, this town is small, inc. and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the annual festival showcases a variety of contemporary art set within historic downtown Charlottetown. Co-curator and festival organizer Becka Viau encourages festival goers to park their preconceptions of contemporary art and take their time strolling through the festival sites, exploring the diverse program.

“To truly Art in the Open, one must be open to making unexpected memories,” said Viau. “You don’t need a set plan, but there will be some scheduled performances that should not be missed, like the Carnavale en Promenade at 4 p.m. on Victoria Row and Lennie MacPherson at the Grafton St. loading dock of Confederation Centre of the Arts as Pelly McGeogeghan – Spoutist, who will have you in stitches every hour on the hour from 6 p.m.- 10 p.m. But overall, my advice for festival goers is to plan for a journey of the imagination, that can take a few hours, and have FUN!”

Again this year, Art in the Open has attracted some extremely high-profile artists. Festival goers can look forward to a variety of new programming as well as a few fan favourites. Artist in residence at this town is small, Rémi Belliveau is a multi-disciplinary Acadian artist who will be joining us from Moncton, N.B. His project, Passe-Pierre, is an outdoor installation and performance that explores the notion of Acadian rurality through the culinary traditions of goose tongue greens and Island potatoes with the local Acadian community while hearing their stories.

Millefiore Clarkes, will present SOFT SNOW, a projection and live performance will present a contemporary classical score in an immersive experience that combines musical performance for three voices, flute, and piano, with a large-screen video projection. Music composed by Gerard L. Clarkes.

Alongside the new programming, organizers say festival goers can expect to see a few fan favourites again this year such as the March of the Crows, an annual parade where hundreds of local residents dress up in handmade crow costumes. On August 16th and August 24th, we invite the community to join our Crow Costume Workshop which will take place at the Schurman Family studio at the Gallery between 5 p.m. – 7p.m. Material will be provided, but we encourage bringing any special sparkly treasures.

The festival is presented by the City of Charlottetown, this town is small, La Fédération culturelle de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Island Media Arts Cooperative, The Architects Association of PEI, Discover Charlottetown and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. With support from many community partners; KENT, Sobeys, Upstreet, Maritime Electric, The Dunes, Stantec, The Ten Spot, PEI Crafts Council, Synergy Screens, Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, Wicked eh?, Bell Aliant, Receiver Coffee Company, Playing with Choir, East Coast Art Party, and Downtown Charlottetown Inc.

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21st Century Tintypes Capture Time and Place

Many visitors to last year’s Art in the Open festival will remember Karen Stentaford‘s travelling photo studio, which was located at Government Pond. The Sackville-based photographer, an instructor at Mount Allison University, spent eight hours demonstrating the 19th century tintype technique and took pictures of dozens of visitors using a now-rare photographic process. The results of this work will feature as part of a survey of Stentaford’s photography at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery entitled Island Types, now open in the Entrance Gallery as part of the RBC Emerging Artist Series.

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“The response to Karen Stentaford’s work was incredibly positive in Charlottetown,” says Gallery Curator Pan Wendt, “and we decided to give her a show that demonstrates the range of her practice. It will not only give insight into the various experiments that the artist is making with photographic techniques, but it will be exciting to now see on the gallery walls what she produced here on P.E.I. last summer.”

Stentaford, originally from Newfoundland but now teaching photography at her alma mater in Sackville, N.B., is interested in using archaic and experimental techniques to capture a sense of place. The work on display in Island Types is culled from her travels to various islands – Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Iceland – and combines portraiture and landscape. Stentaford’s work uses a variety of techniques and materials ranging from archaic tintypes to digital photography to glass-based negatives. She will even be displaying a series of photographs developed in salt water.

The Art Gallery is open Monday-Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.