Tag Archives: Confederation Centre Art Gallery

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.

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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.

Back and Bigger Than Ever

And Now For Something Completely Different…” On Saturday May 13, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery will convert from a space that exhibits artwork to one huge living, breathing, dancing hive of creativity.

Guests arriving in the piano lounge/sculpture gallery might be greeted with a signature cocktail, dramatic stairwell projections, and a make-up/selfie station. Guest DJ’s Kate Walchuk and Jason Johnson of Halifax will set the beat, while giant puppets, multi-person costumes, and the Black Light Bar intrigue partygoers around every turn, occupying all levels of the Gallery for one night only.

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Yet to be revealed: the name of the mystery cocktail and how the inimitable Becka Viau will collaborate with Al Doug’s now Charlo-famous Lavish Boys DJ crew on the dance floor in the lower west gallery. Afterimagers who don’t like their outcomes at the ‘Wheel of Fortune Cookie’ can seek solace at the Emotional Apothecary or confess all at the Coffee Shop Confidential.

 We are told that ‘afterimages’ occur because photochemical activity in the retina continues even when you are no longer experiencing the original stimulus – anyone who attended Afterimage 2016 can attest to the effect.

 Afterimage is one night only, and runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 13. Tickets are available for $20 (plus tax and service fees) in advance from the Confederation Centre Box Office, or $25 (plus tax and service fees) at the door.

A cash bar will be offered and patrons must be 19 years of age to attend.

Strike Out to See Something Striking

It’s last call on three winter exhibitions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Comfortable Modernism closes its showing in the concourse cases on April 9; New Positions: Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, Alexandra O’Sullivan closes on April 23; and Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence wraps on May 7.

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Curated by the Gallery’s own Jill MacRae, Comfortable Modernism features a selection of handmade tapestries designed by Canadian sculptors and painters in the mid-1970s, intended to be displayed in public spaces. Toronto’s Fay Loeb initiated the tapestry project in response to the often cold and stark common areas found in public buildings. The idea was to bring visual and physical warmth to these spaces by providing cost effective, large-scale works that could withstand the wear and tear of high-traffic areas. Over the course of the following two years, Loeb commissioned 23 tapestries of designs by sculptors and painters from across the country, such as Michael Snow and Jack Shadbolt.

Trial fabrications were completed by skilled artisans in Mexico using a punch hooking method with a hand-guided, single-needle implement, allowing the artisan to complete approximately one square foot of the tapestry per day. The completed tapestries showcase designs made specifically for this medium, while reflecting the artists’ work in other media. The complete set of 23 artists’ proof wall hangings belonging to the Art Gallery’s permanent collection are a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jules Loeb. Comfortable Modernism is on display in the Centre’s concourse until April 9.

Closing on April 23 is a selection of recent work by four young Prince Edward Island artists who represent a cross-section of developing local practices. Following a year of studio visits and interviews with over a dozen local visual artists, four were selected to represent a wide range of interests and ways of working. Ranging from photography to painting, video to installations, New Positions showcases the continual renewal of an inventive and challenging cultural scene.

The sculptures and two-dimensional works of New York-based Canadian artist Rachel Beach create a dialogue between form and surface, image and material, embracing geometry and clear lines, as well as colour, texture and pattern. While flirting with origins and the possibility of a fundamental formal order, however, the artist undermines such fixations through play, juxtaposition and staging. There is a pleasure in such play, a pleasure enhanced by the artist’s love of colour and texture. And there is also an opening up of meaning, in which the bodily references of Beach’s paper collages and inventive sculptures suggest new outlines, new limits of being, and new forms of being together. Mid-Sentence is curated by Robin Metcalfe and Pan Wendt, and produced in collaboration with Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery.

The Gallery remains open on winter/spring hours until May 14, welcoming the public from Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.