Tag Archives: Confederation Centre Art Gallery

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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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.

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New Eye On Art

Confederation Centre Art Gallery Welcomes Adjunct Curator

Confederation Centre is pleased to announce the addition of Charles Campbell as adjunct curator with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) . 

Campbell is a Jamaican-born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator, who grew up on Prince Edward Island. Using performance, sculpture, and installation, his work investigates the future prospects that have become possible in the wake of colonization. 

Campbell will work remotely with the CCAG on special projects from his home in Victoria, B.C.  including an upcoming contribution to the national initiative, FIELDTRIP: Art Across Canada.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery,” remarks Campbell. “Growing up in Charlottetown, the encounters with the arts at Confed Centre are among my most memorable experiences. I’ll be using the post of adjunct curator to research overlooked and underserved Canadian artists and present visions from BIPOC artists that can expand our world.”

He previously served as chief curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica where he embraced vernacular styles and street art from Jamaica’s vibrant urban communities and expanded the national canon. 

“Having Charles Campbell’s perspective and expertise available as we develop future programs will be invaluable,” offers Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “We certainly enjoyed working with Charles when we presented his artwork as part of P.E.I.’s Art in the Open Festival and we now look forward to his curatorial contributions.”

The artist has exhibited widely in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe including: Rideau Hall, the Havana Biennial, Brooklyn Museum, and Perez Art Museum Miami. He holds a B. FA from Concordia University and an M.A. in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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Ready Set Go

Join us in Memorial Hall for an opening reception to celebrate the Art Gallery’s newest exhibitions then head to the Gallery to explore at your leisure. We’ve got protocols in place to keep you safe while you enjoy an evening of art, music, food and drinks.     

Guests can attend on Friday, February 19 at 7 p.m. or Saturday, February 20 at 7 p.m. Call or visit the box office to book your table at $25 per person. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance at (902) 566-1267.

Our exhibitions include The Drive featuring a major Tom Thomson painting of the same name. The show situates the work of Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their peers with contemporary Indigenous and Canadian artists to highlight the complexity of the representation of landscape.

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land features paintings created in Toronto in the 1960s and 1970s, along with more recent works. In the concourse you’ll find large colourful canvases from Eye Candy: Recent Gifts to the Collection, an exhibition of works by Canadian painters recently donated to our collection.

Saturday Tours

If you can’t make the evening openings, join us in the afternoon on Saturday, February 20, for FREE 45-minute tours. There is a maximum of 10 people per tour so pre-registration is required. Tour times are 1:00, 1:15, 2:00, and 2:15. 

RSVP to Evan at 902-628-6112 or efurness@confederationcentre.com

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Logjam at the Gallery

Major Touring Exhibition ‘The Drive’ Pulls Up at the CCAG

-New exhibition centred on famed Tom Thomson painting examines representations of landscape and resource development-

Opening this weekend at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a new touring exhibition from the Art Gallery of Guelph, entitled The Drive

Anchored by Art Gallery of Guelph’s major Tom Thomson canvas of the same title, The Drive situates the work of Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their peers in relation to contemporary Indigenous and Canadian artists in order to highlight the complexity of the representation of landscape – particularly as it relates to the history of resource development.

Based on a sketch produced in the summer of 1916 when Thomson was employed as a fire ranger in the park, the canvas depicts a massive flow of timber emerging from a dam at Grand Lake near Achray in Canada’s oldest provincial park. The logs being guided through a narrow gap in the dam were headed towards the Ottawa River. 

The Drive painting captures the intensity of logging in a park that had already been widely clear-cut in Thomson’s day. The industry was the primary shaper of the landscape the artist painted and made famous, defining this landscape as post-industrial, not the untouched wilderness it is so often described as. 

A.Y. Jackson’s depictions of mining settlements and J.E.H. MacDonald’s agricultural scenes and views made accessible by rail are contextualized within the exhibition. 

Complemented by the work of Indigenous and Canadian artists including Sonny Assu, Christi Belcourt, Bob Boyer, Edward Burtynsky, Bonnie Devine, Robert Houle, Isuma, Sarah Anne Johnson, Daphne Odjig, Kelly Richardson, Don Russell, Frank Shebageget, Peter von Tiesenhausen, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, the exhibition documents the effects of colonization and changing relationships to the land through creative interventions that advance ecological sustainability and environmental justice.

The Drive opens Saturday, January 23one of three new exhibitions opening this month at the CCAG. Curated by Shauna McCabe and Brian Meehan, this circulating exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, and in conjunction with Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Museum London, and Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

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Magic Haunted Lands

CCAG Presents Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land

-Gallery exhibiting a selection of enigmatic landscapes from Island-based painter this winter-

Opening this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a new exhibition of dramatic landscapes, dream worlds, and shadowy figures from P.E.I.-based artist, Gerard Clarkes

Born in 1934, Clarkes studied art in his native Winnipeg, as well as Montreal and Toronto. By the early 1960s, he was represented by major galleries in Toronto and Montreal and had solo exhibitions in Toronto and Vancouver. By the mid-60s he was appointed Director of Art at York University, and later Director of the Burnaby Art Gallery.

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land features works that defy easy categorization. His paintings often depict enigmatic casts of characters positioned in allusive landscapes, like actors placed in a tableau.

When reviewing his formative exhibition Gerard Clarkes: transcending, reviewers of the day spoke with uncertainty of his mystifying subject matter and unique style, which had clearly struck a chord with art-lovers and collectors in the 1960s.

Said Manitoba art critic Robert Ayre in 1964, “Clarkes is a peculiar painter who entices us into a dream world of his own and holds us fascinated…” while Dorothy Pfeiffer of the Montreal Gazette wrote “Some of Clarkes’ incongruously garbed figures appear as phantoms from an earlier era; as lost souls wandering through a prairie twilight” before concluding that “time both is, and is not, of the essence” in Clarkes’ paintings.

Says Wendt, of the forthcoming CCAG exhibition: “These works resonate with us today because they captured a sense of up-rootedness and uncertainty in relation to where we find ourselves, which is uncannily familiar at this time.”

Gerard Clarkes: A Haunted Land runs January 16 to May 9, 2021 and was produced by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. An accompanying publication will be launched during the exhibition.

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New Art at the Art Gallery

CCAG Celebrating Fall Exhibitions with Opening Events Over Two Days!

-Public invited for Centre events Oct. 23-24 exploring three new exhibitions-

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is getting set to host their first opening events since early 2020 and is inviting the public to celebrate three new exhibitions this weekend.

The events are focused around three new exhibitions at the CCAG, including St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White, whose portrait series Tukien (Awaken) celebrates indigenous artists and activists. This project is a collaboration with the Grenfell Art Gallery (Corner Brook) and co-curated by Mathew Hills and Pan Wendt. 

The two other new shows being recognized include Give Me Shelter, which features 13 artists from St. John’s, and Alexis Bellavance: ốps, a video installation looking at the constant and regular breathing of the sea and sky by the Montreal-based artist.

The CCAG has scheduled a two-day opening, including a ticketed sit-down event on Friday, October 23 and an afternoon of public tours on October 24. Both events require pre-booking and spaces are limited. The Friday October 23 opening is an evening gathering from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Patrons can meet the artists, view the new works, hear live music and enjoy delicious appetizers and drinks, all included in a $25.00 ticket. Tables of two or four are available; tickets can be purchased in person at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or by calling 902.566.1267. 

The second event—the October 24 Guided Tours of the new exhibitions—are free-of-charge and will each run for 45 minutes, with a maximum of 10 people per tour. Pre-registration is required for one of four timeslots: 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. Interested patrons should RSVP to Evan Furness at 902.628.6112 or efurness@confederationcentre.com.

>>13 Emerging Artists from St. John’s

Culminating several years of studio visits and research, the CCAG is presenting Give Me Shelter, a two-gallery survey of emerging artists based in the city of St. John’s, NL.

The exhibition features a variety of mediums, ranging from painting and drawing, to video and photography, to sculpture and textile work, including several artists working with hooked rugs. “The show will provide an important platform for St. John’s artists to showcase their work outside their home province, and the publication that will accompany the exhibition is a key part of this exposure,” offers Gallery Director Kevin Rice.  

The exhibition is part of CCAG’s Studio Watch Series and is supported by the RBC Foundation.  “I really enjoyed getting to know the artistic scene in St. John’s,” says exhibition Curator Pan Wendt, “and while this is a broad survey, it also pinpoints some aspects of the culture of St. John’s that I didn’t expect to encounter.” 

Wendt continues, adding that the capital is an international city, with a richness that goes beyond a lot of the stereotypes around Newfoundland culture. “Most of the artists [there] are not actually from the city, which shelters many subcultures and guests from around the world. This became a theme for a show—St. John’s as a sort of safe harbour, a place one can carve out a unique identity.” 

Give Me Shelter displays a complex variety of artistic projects, many of which refer to history and tradition, while at the same time demonstrating the modernity of St. John’s today. The show includes artists: Nicholas Aiden, Greg Bennett, Pepa Chan, Hazel Eckert, Jose Gonzalez, Ashley Hemmings, John McDonald, Jason Penney, Emily Pittman, Daniel Rumbolt, Mimi Stockland, April White, and Olivia Wong. 

Give Me Shelter has received research and logistical support from Eastern Edge Gallery, the Rooms Art Gallery, Emma Butler Gallery, and Christina Parker Gallery. The Centre would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Waking Up Nelson White

CCAG Set to Unveil Nelson White Portrait Exhibition ‘Tukien (Awaken)’

New exhibition of Pop Art-style portraits one of three new featured show

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Nelson White. Tukien (Awaken): Nelson White, is on display from October 10 to January 13, 2021. The exhibition features 18 painted portraits of an extended network of indigenous artists, creatives, and activists, who, for White represent contemporary cultural leaders, what he calls his “kin.”

St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw artist Nelson White has become something of a local celebrity recently, following news of his artwork being placed on permanent display at the Museum of the American Indian in The Smithsonian

Yet even as his work is now being seen internationally, White remains an artist devoted to the familiar, the accessible, and to his extended circle of friends, a group of creative indigenous artists and workers who are together helping to bring about a cultural renaissance, what White calls “a collective raising of consciousness.” 

The title of his new show, Tukien, is a Mi’kmaq word meaning “awaken,” a reference to this collective enterprise of creating a new sense of contemporary indigenous life. An exhibition organized by the CCAG and The Grenfell Art Gallery in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the show will tour coast to coast and will include a publication in three languages (English, French, and Mi’kmaq).

Born on the west coast of Newfoundland (Taqamkuk), in the community of Flat Bay, Nelson is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He attended the visual arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College, before graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). His paintings are included in public and private collections across North America. 

The new exhibition is one of three new exhibitions opening this fall at the CCAG, including Give Me Shelter. That exhibition introduces the work of 13 emerging artists, also based in St. John’s, NL. All new fall exhibitions will be celebrated with an official opening weekend of activities, October 23-24. Stay tuned to confederationcentre.com for more announcements.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

The Great Inflatable Has Arrived

Giant Inflatable Sculpture Set To Transform Sobey Gallery at the CCAG

‘Pop-up’ work from Alexis Bellavance: Compression-depression on view for one week only

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) in partnership with Art in the Open, is excited to present, Compression/Decompression, a sculptural installation by Montreal artist Alexis Bellavance for the coming week. 

The giant inflatable work, which will be on display for the week of September 29 to October 4, was originally meant to feature in this year’s Art in the Open festival, however weather conditions made its display too dangerous. 

“It seemed like a disaster at the time. The wind and rain made a house-sized inflatable piece impossible,” says CCAG Curator Pan Wendt, “but in the end it works out really well for everyone. By good fortune, there is a five-day gap in the exhibition schedule; a space is available, and the public will get to see this work over an extended period. With its scale, it will look amazing in the Sobey Gallery.”

Also showing in the Young People’s Gallery this week is an audiovisual installation from the Quebecois artist: Alexis Bellavance: ốps. This video work is based on footage captured by a floating camera that looks at the regular breathing of the ocean and the sky.

Multidisciplinary artist Alexis Bellavance is the co-founder of the Montreal performance event VIVA! Art Action and an active member of the artist-run centre Perte de Signal. His work has been presented in numerous events, festivals, and galleries in North America, Europe, and Asia. This is his first project on P.E.I.

Patrons might blink and miss these two unique exhibits, so Centre staff invite everyone to visit during regular hours this week to these works. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Experience Compression/Decompression, on display in the CCAG’s Sobey Gallery until October 4.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse