New Works at the Gallery

Winter 2018 Will Bring New Exhibitions to the Gallery

New works, historical postcards, and visual movements

A young Island artist, a gifted amateur Island photographer, and videos by 11 well-known Quebec artists make up the Gallery’s new winter lineup of exhibitions.

Norma Jean MacLean’s exhibition Accumulated, Positioned, Reflected is a selection of her recent work where she explores the aesthetics of improvised layering, piling, and accumulation. MacLean is a part of the Art Gallery’s Emerging Artist Program that is supported by the RBC Foundation. Curated by the Gallery’s Pan Wendt, the exhibition will be on display from January 13 to April 28.

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William Steele Louson was a gifted amateur photographer from Charlottetown. Wish You Were Here: W.S. Louson’s Picture Postcards of Prince Edward Island showcases his photographs of picturesque Island landscapes that were reproduced on postcards. This historical exhibition captures a period in the 20th century when the public interest in buying and selling postcards was a new mania. Curated by Gallery guest, Harry Holman, the exhibition will be on display from January 20 to April 21.

Motion is a visual anthology that shows the work of 11 Quebec artists. The theme of “motion” is understood in two ways: as movement and as a proposal. This exhibition was organized and circulated by Galerie de I’UQAM and curated by La Fabrique d’exposition, and a collection of Montreal curators: Julie Belisle, Louise Dery and Audrey Genois.

“The new exhibitions will see the art gallery transformed yet again,” says Gallery director Kevin Rice.  “I am looking forward to Norma Jean MacLean’s new paintings and installations; Harry Holman’s research on W. S. Louson’s early 20th century landscape photography (which circulated primarily on postcards); and the videos by 11 well-known contemporary artists based in Quebec. These exhibitions will provide audiences with a wonderful diversity of artworks.”

And this is your last chance to see John Greer: Material and Metaphor exhibition which closes January 14, 2018.

The Gallery winter/spring hours run from January 1 until May 20, welcoming the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

A description of each exhibition can be found on the website at http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/exhibitions.php.

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Hear Some Racket and Symphony

On November 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tapage et Symphonie (Racket and Symphony) featuring poet Dominic Langlois and musician Andrew Creeggan will be performing in the Gallery as part of this year’s Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre program.

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Langlois, who hails from Quebec, spent many years on Prince Edward Island before moving to Moncton, N.B. He is deeply involved in the cultural and musical scene in both provinces. Langlois also has published two books of poetry at Éditions Perce-Neige: Mener du train (2010) and La rue en eaux troubles (2012), and a novel, Le trésor de Memramcook.

Creeggan is a founding member of Barenaked Ladies along with his brother Jim. The pair also released four albums as The Brothers Creeggaan. After being accepted into the Faculty of Music at McGill University, Creeggan went on to pursue instrumental music, focusing on theory and composition, and now lives in Moncton, N.B. Creeggan’s three solo works: AndiworkAndiwork II, and Andiwork III, are largely instrumental pieces that consist of more contemporary classical, with touches of jazz and rock.

 The first part of the evening will consist of a poetry reading accompanied by original piano compositions by Creegan and will be followed by a solo performance by Creegan.

Out of the Chill

Art lovers come out of the chill and into the warmth of the Gallery this November.  Whether it’s learning about the history of Canadian Art or understanding the operation of a CCAG, we have you covered with two series of ArtTalks. Short, noon-hour talks with various gallery staff members providing presentation on their role at the gallery, a current research project, or a work of art in the RE:collection exhibition. Secondly, three evening talks by Art historian, Ron Hawker will delve into Canadian art history.

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Hawker’s series, Understanding Canadian Art, will be presented on November 2 &16 (in the Gallery) and November 30 (in the Centre’s Studio 1) at 7pm and cover the following themes:  From Colony to Confederation; Confederation to World War II; Modern to Post-Modern.

Dr. Hawker relocated to the Island in 2016. He has taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design, 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 (University of British Columbia 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).

The full description of each week’s topic including the staff noon talks, starting November 1, can be found on the website at http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/gallery-events.php

ArtTalk on Tap With John Greer

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is pleased to present Greer View Mirror, a selection of early work by Nova Scotia-born artist John Greer. Please join us for an ArtTalk with John Greer Thursday, October 12 @7pm at the gallery.

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The talk will be followed by a reception and the launch of two recent CCAG publications: New Positions: Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, Alexandra O’Sullivan. This publication documents a recent exhibition of these Prince Edward Island artists at an early stage in their careers. The exhibition and publication are supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Program.

The second new publication, RE:collection, features 150 works of art from the CCAG’s Canadian Art Collection along with an introduction by CCAG director, Kevin Rice and short interpretive texts by 35 writers bringing multiple viewpoints to the publication. Such major works as Robert Harris’s The Atelier Bonnat, 1882; Arthur Lismer’s Sand Lake Algoma, 1923; Kenojuak Ashevak’s, The Arrival of the Sun, 1962; Jean Paul Lemieux’s, Charlottetown Revisited, 1964; Teresa Marshall’s sculpture, Peace, Order and Good Government,1993; and Robert Houle’s recently commissioned painting, O-ween du muh waun (We Were Told), 2017 are featured. John Greer’s 1981 sculpture, TV Idol Time, (which is currently on exhibition in Greer View Mirror) is also reproduced.

“This wonderfully illustrated book documents key works in the Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s Canadian Art Collection,” said CCAG director Kevin Rice. “I am very pleased with the collaborative nature of this project looking at a selection of diverse works from the collection.”

Greer was associated with the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto (1970 to 1990) and his exhibition looks back at that period. It was a time when Greer’s work was characterized by a humble scale, a love of visual and verbal puns, and an interest in engaging viewers through surprise and paradox. Born in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1944, John Greer is one of Canada’s most critically acclaimed artists of the past 40 years. He received the Governor General’s Award in 2009 and his monumental sculptures have been commissioned in Canada, Italy, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States.

Gallery Unveils New Commission

Anishnaabe artist, Robert Houle, a member of the Sandy Bay First Nation, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, recently attended the opening of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s major permanent collection exhibition, RE:collection, and made introductory remarks and presented a public art talk on his 2017 painting, O-ween du muh waun (We were Told). 

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Commissioned by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, with funds from the A.G. and Eliza Jane Ramsden Endowment Fund, Houle’s oil on canvas triptych is a very timely consideration of the long First Nation’s presence in this land and more generally the idea of history painting.

Houle’s work is a major addition to the Gallery’s collection and specifically the Confederation Murals Series, which includes works by Jean Paul Lemieux, John Fox, and Jack Shadbolt, commissioned in 1964, and work by Jane Ash Poitras, Yvon Gallant, and Wanda Koop commissioned in the 1990s.

Houle’s new painting is a further elaboration on his 1992 work, Kanata (collection of the National Gallery of Canada), in which he appropriates and reimagines the composition of Benjamin West’s 1770 painting, The Death of General Wolfe. West’s painting famously mythologized the battlefield death of the British general who led his troops to victory in the 1759 Battle of Quebec. Houle drew all the figures in West’s composition in conté, reserving colour for only the Indigenous figure in the foreground.

In his new work, O-ween du muh waun (We were Told) Houle focuses exclusively on this same Delaware warrior figure, seated on the Plains of Abraham, and facing east. He eliminates all the other figures from West’s composition. Like much of Houle’s work, O-ween du muh waun (We were Told) addresses current political and cultural issues by looking to history. As Canada looks towards a reconciliation with First Nations, Houle’s painting stands as an important marker within the CCAG’s collection and the RE:collectionexhibition as it explores the building of a Canadian art collection as an optimistic mission and a reflection on the evolving country, its history, geography, people and communities.

“The [Canada] 150 idea was not an issue for me, but rather a correction to clarify that my sense of country dates back further than 1867,” Houle offers, explaining his visions around the new work. “Our friendship and numbered treaties are also preceded by the presence of our ancestors going back millennia; as well as the whole question of the historical painting by such artists as Benjamin West.”

Houle was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, in 1947 and currently resides in Toronto. He is widely acclaimed for bridging Indigenous history and contemporary art. In 2015 he received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art for his significant contributions to Canadian art.

O-ween du muh waun (We Were Told) is on display in Upper West Gallery at the CCAG until December 31.

Coming to Life

Canada 150 Exhibition set to take over the CCAG; official opening this Saturday June 17 at 7 p.m.

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is transforming this month as one of the Centre’s largest ever art exhibitions, RE:collection, comes to life.

Taking over the entire 1,000 square meters of gallery space as well as the concourse cases and the public sculptures around the Centre, the exhibition explores the building of a Canadian art collection in Charlottetown, as both an optimistic mission and a reflection on the evolving country, its history, geography, people, and communities.

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Featured are L.M. Montgomery’s novel manuscript for Anne of Green Gables; selections from the Robert Harris collection; and the Expo 67 craft collection. Also showcased are the large-scale commissioned Confederation Murals series, which include Jack Shadbolt’s Flag Mural (pictured below) and Wanda Koop’s Native Fires, along with a new commission in this series entitled O-ween du muh waum, by Anishinabe artist Robert Houle, which will be installed alongside the other murals later this week

RE: collection and the exhibition Gretzky is Everywhere will be celebrated with an official Summer Opening Gala this Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. in the gallery. All are welcome for this festive kick off to the busy season which will include live music from P.E.I,’s own Mark Haines, remarks from a number of featured artists including Houle, and a cash bar.

The diverse visions, observations, and ideas of artists represented within the Gallery’s 17,000 piece collection allow us to mark the 150th anniversary with one of our largest exhibitions and publication projects,” remarks Kevin Rice, gallery director. “Collectively, we hope visitors will be delighted and engaged as they are linked to a century and a half of Canadian art and as they envision Canada’s future.”        

“We have commissioned artist Robert Houle to make a new painting which he has titled in Saulteaux, O-ween du muh waum, which translates to We Were Told,” explains Rice.  “This new commission will be installed this week and is a further rumination on the Indigenous figure in Benjamin West’s painting Death of Wolfe. Houle focuses on the Delaware warrior on the Plains of Abraham to underscore the long First Nations history in this land.”

A significant array of other historic, modern, and contemporary works of art-touchstones, signals, images that connect, challenge, and enrich people’s lives-will round out the exhibition.

RE: collection opens on June 17, 2017 and will be on exhibit through the remainder of 2017.

Gretzky is Everywhere

Andy Warhol and Wayne Gretzky — while not naturally congruous icons to utter in the same breath, both are considered pop culture giants of the 20th century who are forever linked by a famous print, Wayne Gretzky #99

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In 1983, the Canadian hockey prodigy visited Warhol’s New York studio to sit for a portrait arranged by Frans Wynans, an associate of Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington. “He’s more than a hockey player, he’s an entertainer. An entertaining hockey player,” Warhol famously remarked. The artist created screen prints based on Polaroids taken at the sitting. Many of these prints ended up in gallery collections across Canada, including at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG).

Gretzky is Everywhere presents Warhol’s famous print at multiple sites simultaneously via livestream: in Charlottetown, at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, and at The Rooms in St. John’s. Gallery patrons can enjoy the artwork in the Young People’s Gallery at the CCAG, while peering in on fellow visitors experiencing Wayne Gretzky 99 and an opposite camera feed in Alberta and Newfoundland — a natural hat trick.

 Three Canadian audiences, artworks and art institutions are linked by a public web feed, brought into a conversation structured by repetitive imagery, the immediacy of the virtual experience, and the “everywhere” of sites connected by the Internet.

 “Collaboration has been an important strategy in engaging the public with visual art, so Gretzky is Everywhere is focused on both the gallery’s collection and the audience experience,” states Gallery Director Kevin Rice.  “We are really looking forward to presenting concurrently with two other public galleries and seeing how audiences respond at each venue.”

 ”We are still living in the age of Warhol, whose dissemination of celebrity images lay at the heart of his prescient practice,” offer the exhibition’s curators, Mireille Eagan with The Rooms and Pan Wendt with the CCAG.. “We now take the pervasiveness of celebrity for granted, as individuals are given heightened status through sheer repetition of their likeness.”

 They continue, “Art institutions seek to respond to these changes in digital technology, with its rapid circulation of images and identities, and an increasing demand for participatory experiences. Warhol’s embrace of repetition and the virtual seems more pertinent than ever.”

 Special thanks are extended to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the other partner institutions.