Tag Archives: Confederation Centre Art Gallery

Searching for Guides

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is looking for volunteers for the summer docent program beginning in early June. The summer is always a bustling time across the gallery’s seven exhibition spaces and with 2017 promising another banner year for Island tourism, what better opportunity is there to interpret visual art and connect with visitors from around the world.


A docent is a volunteer guide who gives gallery-goers insight into the exhibitions, artists, and Confederation Centre at large. If you are interested in the arts and enjoy meeting people and telling stories, this is the perfect volunteer opportunity for the summer months.

Being a docent is a great opportunity to share one’s love and knowledge of the remarkable permanent collection and exhibitions that the Island’s major art gallery has to offer.

The Gallery is looking for individuals to volunteer up to six hours throughout the week, from the beginning of June to the end of August. A background or interest in visual arts is valuable though not essential and bilingualism is also an asset.

For more information, contact artgallery@confederationcentre.com, or 902.628.6111.

Emerging Island Artists Shine

‘New Positions’ Places Emerging Island Artists in the Limelight

Call them ‘the next wave’. Opening this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is a group exhibition of recent work from four of P.E.I.’s up and coming visual artists. Supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Program, New Positions represents a cross-section of developing local practices.


The exhibition includes new work from Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, and Alexandra O’Sullivan. The exhibition will be celebrated with an opening reception on January 28 at 7 p.m. at the Gallery. This event will also mark the opening of the historic watercolours exhibition, Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly. All are welcome for a fun gathering, including live music and cash bar.

New Positions: Alexis Bulman, Andrew Cairns, Monica Lacey, and Alexandra O’Sullivan is the result of a selection process that took place over the course of a year, including interviews and studio visits with over a dozen emerging artists. “I’ve been back on the Island for six years, and I’ve had a chance to follow the careers of a number of young artists here,” says Curator Pan Wendt. “This exhibition is a chance to show the work of some of the most promising, each of whom will present a recent body of work in the gallery.”

A NSCAD grad and a regular Art in the Open participant, Alexis Bulman is a multi-disciplinary artist who works with both performative drawings and temporary installations and sculptures that, according to her, “indulge her curiosities of intergenerational play, seasonal rituals, and the everyday anomalies of life in Atlantic Canada.” Her work has been shown in galleries across the Maritimes, in Toronto, and various visual art festivals, including Lumiere. The intent of her new project, Slowly, is to “combine my two veins of artmaking into one project that speaks broadly to the almost comical severity of Maritime winters,” she offers, “while also addressing my fascination with a season that forces the population to slow down to meet my slower, more cautious way of navigating sidewalks.”

Originally from Montague, Andrew Cairns has become increasingly visible as a maker of hard-edged, abstract paintings that produce strong optical effects. Having studied at both NSCAD and King’s College, Cairns recently exhibited at Art in the Open, afterimage (CCAG), Receiver Coffee Company, and The Hive on PE.I, and at various Halifax galleries. His work has also been featured as a backdrop for poetry-based performances. His latest paintings focus on actualizing memory idols. “This is accomplished through the repetition of lines, shapes, and colours, which can be purely aesthetic or alternatively representative of the problem solving carried out by the mind in sleep and conscious memory,” states Cairns. “The larger focus of this series is the assimilation of my persistent memories, or memory behaviors, into concrete images.”

Monica Lacey is a multidisciplinary artist based in Charlottetown. Her current work explores ideas of house and home, altered memory and nostalgia, privacy, and interactions with the natural world through photography, video, and installation. Since completing her Diploma at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, she has completed residencies in Canada and the U.S. and her work can be found in collections across North America. Her latest work, Domestics is a photo collection examining the loss of identity women often experience in domestic settings. “This series delves deeper into investigations begun in my previous series, Couples on Couches, examining domestic space and the roles we play within it,” says Lacey. Couples on Couches has been featured at the Craig Gallery, UPEI, and as part of the 2016 group exhibition Holding the Pose: Portraits from the Collection (CCAG).

Alexandra O’Sullivan, who recently entered Concordia University’s Fine Art program in Montreal, has become known on the Island as a maker of video projections that are often presented in collaboration with musicians and DJ’s. The multidisciplinary artist works primarily in performance, video, and electronics; often combining all three. Much of her work focuses on the intersections of science-fiction, fantasy, and escapism. Her most recent video, QUENCH, is a compilation of video vignettes that use greenscreen effects to insert the artist and other objects from the ‘real’ world into an alternate, fantasy landscape. Her work has been presented at Halifax’s You’re Welcome Gallery, Art in the Open, afterimage, The Guild, and will be presented as part of an upcoming group performance piece in Montreal, entitled RELI EF.

New Positions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery opens January 28 and will be on exhibition until April 23, 2017.

Sidelong Glance Glancing Away

A Sidelong Glance: Painting is a selection of paintings that treat the expansive gestures and optics of modern painting as a system of signs to be reused, rearranged and ironized.

By 1970, painting had been relieved of its duties as the dominant medium of visual art. Artists experimented with many new mediums and new ways to conceive an artwork in the 1960s. Painting, especially abstract painting, no longer occupied centre stage.


Freed of the search for pictorial purity, painters have nonetheless continued to explore the medium, while at the same time incorporating what they have learned from the new practices and preoccupations that have followed the heyday of Modernism. If painting is now perpetually “in doubt,” it seems nonetheless to flourish, to continue to hold our attention, to be an avenue for invention and experimentation.

A Sidelong Glance illustrates this shift in the terrain as it has played out in Canada. Abstraction, form, gesture, colour, the physical characteristics of the materials involved—all continue to preoccupy painters. But they no longer represent a totalizing distillation of the medium into a private language of self-expression on the one hand, or its reduction to the purely optical, on the other.

On the contrary, painters now tend to treat such obsessions as ingredients, part of an inventory of shared signs and procedures, sometimes to be parodied, or put to unexpected service, or simply to be exploited for shameless pleasure.

A Sidelong Glance at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery closes on January 22

New Caroline Louisa Daly Watercolours Discovered

A two year research project delving into the work of Caroline Louisa Daly has resulted in a new exhibition of historic watercolours opening January 14, as well as the revised attribution of the works themselves.

Caroline Louisa Daly (1836-1893) was the daughter of former P.E.I. Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Dominick Daly (L.G. 1854-1859). The younger Daly travelled around the world with her father on his various appointments in the British colonial administration. Born in Lower Canada in 1832, she travelled to England, P.E.I., and Australia – trips that inspired her work – before marrying and settling in Bournemouth, Dorset, where she spent the remainder of her life.


Presented by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly is the result of two years of research conducted by Paige Matthie, gallery registrar and exhibition curator. Matthie’s exploration confirmed that the previously held attribution of art works to both Charles L. Daly, a Clerk for the City of Toronto and art instructor, and John Corry Wilson Daly, a merchant and politician of Stratford, Ontario – neither of any relation – were both incorrect, and that the true artist is Caroline Louisa Daly.

Matthie’s research around the works in question focused on two areas: biographical examination of the persons related to the study to place them in geography at specific times in history, and an inspection of the works themselves for signatures, inscriptions, and the general style of the work. “Once you sit down and look at the works and compare them to the works in other collections – both the family’s and those held by Library and Archives Canada – it becomes clear that we’ve been in error for quite some time,” remarks Matthie.

The exhibition features six works from the Gallery’s permanent collection; samples from Library and Archives Canada and the Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I.; as well as six previously unseen works recently donated to the collection by Richard Jenkins, the great grandson of Caroline Louisa Daly.

“Caroline Louisa Daly was not a professional artist in the way we understand today, yet she upheld a consistent artistic practice throughout her life, sketching and painting the subjects of her daily life, as well as looking to other artists for inspiration,” offers Matthie.

“Though she was privileged to travel the world with her family, as a Victorian woman, she would have still been limited in her access to different landscapes and subjects,” she continues. “It is wonderful that Daly seized opportunities to try new things with her work, painting the interior of her ship’s cabin on the voyage to Australia, or copying the work of male artists who were able to go into the wilderness to capture the sublime beauty of Canada.”

Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly opens January 14 in the Young People’s Gallery and will be on exhibit until May 7, 2017. The Gallery’s winter hours for visitation are Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Bobak is Back

A new exhibition is showing at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, shining light on a collection works by Bruno Bobak (1923-2012). Curated by Donald Andrus, The Bruno Bobak Bequest draws upon a selection of works bequeathed to the Art Gallery collection by the Estate of the artist.

Bobak was a Polish-born Canadian painter and art teacher. An extraordinarily fluent artist, he worked as a ceramicist, jeweler, sculptor and furniture maker. If not busy in his studio each day, or at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre where he was resident artist from 1961 to 1986, then he was outdoors sketching, gathering ‘moosewood’ and wild flowers in the springtime, with his wife, equally renowned artist Molly Lamb. Both were made members of the Order of Canada in 1995 and a small portrait of Lamb is included in The Bruno Bobak Bequest.


This exhibition primarily showcases examples of Bobak’s printmaking skills and his drawings, together with a few examples of his watercolours and oil paintings. More of his work can be found in the Art Gallery’s collection in the form of oil paintings and drawings.
Curator Donald Andrus will present an art talk focusing on the current exhibition this Sunday November 20 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

“We can talk about Bruno Bobak as a print-maker, painter in oils and watercolour, as well one the pre-eminent draughtsman of his era,” Andrus offers. “Bobak is an artist somewhat neglected now by the ravenous contemporary art scene in Canada but one whose contributions are well worth remembering and much of whose art, created in an atmosphere of humility and human understanding, has stood the test of time.”

As Bobak’s period of work spanned close to seven decades, this bequest and exhibition draws on a slender offering from his long career. States Andrus, “What this selection does hope to achieve is to give some sense of the range of his experiences as an artist—from woodblock prints beginning shortly after his career as Canada’s youngest war artist from 1943 to 1945, through silkscreen prints, drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings during the rest of his career.”

Bobak participated in more than 250 group exhibitions and had more than 80 one-man shows around the world. His works are found in collections across Canada. The Bruno Bobak Bequest shows until January 8 at the Centre.

RBC Renews Support for the Arts

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce that the RBC Foundation has renewed its funding to support the Art Gallery’s Emerging Artist Program.

The RBC Emerging Artist Program has been a highly successful element of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s exhibition program. RBC has been providing support for the program since 2009. This $45,000 donation will fund three exhibitions over the next three years.


“We are thrilled to renew our long standing partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts,” says Mary MacInnis, Community Manager with RBC. “This important program does more than advance the careers of these emerging artists, it helps build vibrant communities and strong economies. We are looking forward to taking in these exhibitions as they are presented — we know they will be excellent.”

Some of the past artist recipients include Laura Archer, Gerald Beaulieu, John Cox, Rilla Marshall, Heather Millar, and Rebecca Viau.

“With RBC as a funding partner, the Art Gallery is able to offer young emerging artists their first major exhibition in a public art gallery, providing access to a professional curator, installation and conservation support, and media exposure,” says Confederation Centre CEO Jessie Inman. “This valuable program can launch the careers of Canada’s young artists.”

The next Emerging Artist exhibition is a group show, Studio Watch, which will open in January 2017. It will feature the work of four young emerging Prince Edward Island artists. Selection of the artists will follow a series of studio visits where the Art Gallery’s curator will evaluate recent work and provide useful feedback to candidates for the exhibition.

Ryan LeBlanc, Up Close and Personal

East Coast favourite son, J.P. Cormier is a man of few words, so when he doles out praise, people listen. When asked what he thought of rising-star instrumentalist and fellow Maritimer, Ryan LeBlanc recently Cormier stated, “He’s the best I’ve seen in the last 20 years.”


The pride of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, LeBlanc’s guitar and banjo music fuses elements of jazz, blues, and world influences to create a driving, rhythmic, highly melodic brand of acoustic music that can stimulate and calm you at the same time. His highly original material has many colours, textures, and moods, and each piece has a distinct personality and character of its own.

Presented as part of Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre, LeBlanc’s performance will be staged in the stunning surroundings of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $15 for the rare opportunity to be carried by a rising star within the breath-taking surroundings of the Island’s premium art gallery.

LeBlanc has earned ECMA and Music New Brunswick awards in recent years, and emerged as a must-see performer regionally, nationally, and internationally. Whether in an intimate house concert setting, in front of hundreds in a European theatre, or thousands at the Montreal Jazz Festival, enraptured audiences everywhere have been clamouring to see what exactly it is LeBlanc does with his guitar or banjo, and wrap their minds around his unique form and style; you truly have to see it to believe it!

Introducing Kate

Confederation Centre Art Gallery welcomes new Visual Arts Educator

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce the addition of Kate Sharpley to the Art Gallery team.

In this full time role, Kate will be offering guided interpretation of both touring and Gallery-curated exhibitions for school classes and local community groups. She will also direct art classes and special events in the Centre’s Schurman Family Studio, including the fall series of Saturday art classes for children, which begins October 15. There are still spaces available for those interested in this exciting exploration of visual art for kids.

“I am very pleased to be have someone as enthusiastic about art education as Kate joining the Gallery staff,” says Gallery Director, Kevin Rice. “I know she is looking forward to welcoming students to art classes and connecting with educators interested in guided tours of our diverse exhibitions.”

Originally from the United Kingdom, Kate has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wolverhampton and has worked as a freelance artist, illustrated children’s books, and created many 3-D models and animations for U.K. and P.E.I.-based video game companies. In recent years, she has led art classes with youth and adults for the town of Stratford and worked with several local elementary schools on art projects.

‘Holding the Pose’ Opens at Confederation Centre’s Art Gallery

Portraits are often thought of as a fairly straightforward kind of art work. The goal is to produce a likeness of the subject, whether physical or psychological, mediated by the interpretation of the artist. But those portrayed are rarely passive actors in the exchange that takes place when a portrait is made. Through pose, attitude, costume, and other means of self-presentation, sitters always influence the end result.


The active involvement of subjects in the creation of any portrait is the focus of Holding the Pose: Portraits From the Collection, a new exhibition presented by the Confederation Centre Art Galleryopening on January 27th.

Featuring works from the gallery’s permanent collection by artists from across Canada, the show demonstrates the complexity of the interaction between artist and sitter through a wide variety of portraits in various mediums. From P.E.I. painter Brian Burke’s evocative portraits of local literary figures Milton Acorn and Libby Oughton to the work of David Blackwood, Marion Wagschal, Edward Poitras, and others, the exhibition reflects the richness of the art of portraiture in Canada.

The Gallery’s collection also includes a significant quantity of works by one of Canada’s definitive portrait painters, Robert Harris, and the work of Harris will feature prominently in the exhibition.

“In the work of Robert Harris, we encounter an incredible richness and subtlety brought to bear on the craft of portraiture,” says Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “In the context of this exhibition, we have a great opportunity to see how the artist approached the vibrant subjects of his paintings, and how they played a role in the final result.”

Curated by the Gallery’s Pan Wendt, Holding the Pose will be on display from January 27 to November 27, 2016. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

For more information visit http://www.confederationcentre.com.