An annual holiday exhibition of finely crafted objects that evoke all the good things celebrated during this special time of the year.
COMFORT & JOY is a group exhibition that celebrates all the good things we associate with the holiday season: home, family and friends with the creativity, insight and good humour we have come to expect from our makers. It can offer a contemporary and accessible interpretation of traditional and non-traditional activities and ideas associated with this season.
Kevin Coates, Splitting Wood for Winter, Wood carving, 2015. Photo credit: Ned Pratt
The Rooms is featuring a local component to the exhibition by St. John’s-based artist, Joe Fowler.
As Situationist International member Guy Debord once wrote: “No vital periods ever began from a theory. What’s first is a game, a struggle, a journey.” Free Play is a contemporary art exhibition that presents the work of artists who borrow from play and games to reveal different social, philosophical and ethical questions. The audience is invited to play with a wide array of artworks by renowned international artists.
Free Play is an exhibition curated by Melissa E. Feldman and organized and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. Free Play was made possible, in part, by grants from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and Board of Trustees.
Offering a look behind the curtain, this exhibition of Kate Church’s life drawings, printmaking, paintings and sculptures illustrates how she has kept her fine craft career vibrant, evolving and personally enriching. Her signature sculptural puppets illustrate the interconnectedness of these art forms which have informed and inspired her creative life as a “maker”. Balance Point: Twenty Years of Artistic Process by Kate Church is on view in the Mary E. Black Gallery from July 15 – August 28 with an opening reception on July 14 at 6 pm.
Combining the line and form of sculpture with the playful animation of puppetry has been Kate Church’s primary work for more than twenty years. Her first experience with puppetry came from working the renowned Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, an international children’s puppetry company. During a quiet winter a friend and colleague proposed they all make art dolls. Enchanted from the first moment, this little figure still sits in her home studio in Mahone Bay, charming her to this day.
This exhibition focuses on a group of Bulgarian artists who immigrated to Canada in the 1990s through Gander as part of a mass defection from Eastern Europe. Vessela Brakalova, Luben Boykov, Elena Popova, Veselina Tomova, and Ellie Yonova remained in the province following their arrival, responding and contributing to the local arts community through their books, sculptures, mosaics, and paintings. “The Free World” is a reflection on their experience two decades later.
Opening reception: Friday July 15, 6-8pm
Fixed Forever is a photography exhibition that brings together a number of significant works from the Cape Breton University Art Gallery’s permanent collection. The exhibition will include a range of work by Canadian, American and European photographers such as Robert Frank, Andre Kertész, Meatyard, Eadweard Muybridge, Frantisek Drtikol, Frank Pimentel and Audrey Flack. Also included in the exhibition are a number of recent acquisitions by Carl Zimmerman, whose photography explores themes of utopian architecture and George Thomas’ documentary photographs which capture the ‘back to land’ movement in Cape Breton during the 1970s.
Organized and toured by Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen
The exhibition Les Mikeys de Paul Édouard Bourque proposes a selection from more than fifty works from the Mikey series, presented together in one exhibition. Produced during Paul Édouard Bourque’s student years at Université de Moncton up until today, the works in this series have been described as “like the weather, always changing” by celebrated photographer Robert Frank, and represent a multitude of variations in technique and media superimposed onto a reoccurring image.
Paul Édouard Bourque, Mikey, screen print and mixed media on paper, 1978. Photo credit: Jim Dupuis
Artist presentation: Wed 5 October, 12 Noon
Ho Ching combines her interest in natural wood and malleable metal in this exhibition. The jewellery is inspired by her life experiences and reflections. The artist states, “My story is expressed through different compositions of negative spaces.”
As a descendant of Black Loyalists, Black Refugees, and Jamaican Maroons who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries, Shauntay Grant’s love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia’s historic Black communities. This exhibition features a handful of quilts selected by Grant from the heritage holdings of her family, prominently those of her grandmother, the Reverend Alfreda Smith. Grant’s own creative response to the quilts—and equally, the stories they keep—will produce a new ‘poetic patchwork’ developing inside the Gallery over the course of the exhibition.
Grant served as the City of Halifax’s third Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2011. A multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre, she publishes, performs, and teaches in several literary genres. Her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian folk traditions as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance.
Considering that these quilts were stitched together both ornamentally and functionally from scraps of fabric gleaned from garments and textiles to create essential coverings to protect bodies from Nova Scotia’s harsh and wintery climate, Grant explores how the politics of textiles speaks to her ancestry and her contemporary experience of the social and political fabric of Nova Scotia.
Grant currently teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University as a Lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
For First Nation artist, activist, and musician Alan Syliboy, stories are the threads that tie the Mi’kmaq people together, making them aware of their identity and place in the world.
Thundermaker is inspired by the recently discovered Mi’kmaq legend of “The Stone Canoe.” In this exhibition Alan tells the story of the Thundermaker through traditional artistic techniques and multimedia. A circle of illustrated panels greets the visitor. The panels are based on the childhood of Little Thunder (Kaqtukwaqsis), whose mother teaches him stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. The visitor is then presented with another circle of images that depict Little Thunder now being taught lessons by his father, Big Thunder. Little Thunder is learning to become a provider and to become the new Thundermaker.
The viewer then enters a tipi and is witness to Little Thunder making thunder for the first time. This last component is presented through projected animation, a medium that Syliboy began working with a few years ago with his two-minute animated NFB film Little Thunder co-created with Nance Ackerman and presented at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, BC, as well as at more than 40 film festivals around the world.
Alan Syliboy was born and raised in Truro and lives in the Millbrook First Nations community. Among many achievements, in 2007 Alan took part in creating illustrations for the novel The Stone Canoe: Two Lost Mi’kmaq Tales, which inspired him to continue his use of the Little Thunder character throughout his works, even co-writing a song for his band Lonecloud, called Little Thunder.
In 2009 Alan collaborated with Nance Ackerman and Paton Francis to create the animation, Little Thunder for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics using Alan’s interesting and beautiful style. The animation showcased the true magnificence of his artwork and solidified its incredible potential.
Alan has looked to the indigenous Mi’kmaq petroglyph tradition (rock drawings) for inspiration and developed his own artistic vocabulary out of those forms. They are both beautiful and inspirational and speak of a rich culture and tradition. He is currently working on a graphic novel which features Little Thunder
This exhibition of work from the Owens’ collection highlights the artists’ use of the colour blue. Commonly linked to landscapes and seascapes, blue also appears as a dominant feature in portraits, weaving, jewellery and non-objective paintings. Focusing the exhibition on one particular colour offers unexpected associations between artists whose work may not typically be displayed together. Some of the artists represented in the exhibition are: Bruno Bobak, Gerard Collins, Francis Coutellier, Lawren P. Harris, Gershon Iskowitz, Patricia (Pollett) McClelland, Harriet Meacher, Andrea Mortson, Mary Pratt and Christopher Pratt.
Patricia Pollett McClelland, Handwoven overshot coverlet (detail),1960. Photo credit: Owens Art Gallery