The cover of the current issue

Current Issue: FALL 2017

REBUILD

EMILY PITTMAN

BRENDAN FERNANDES

RAVEN DAVIS

Indigenous artists challenge Paul Kane's controversial legacy

Indigenous artists challenge Paul Kane’s controversial legacy

Visual Arts News' research intern explores the legacy of two NFB films from the '70s—One film portrayed Indigenous people in visual art, while the other depicted Indigenous people as visual art.
Steele + Tomczak collect strangers' confessions

Steele + Tomczak collect strangers’ confessions

The works in The Long Time transmit the sense that you’re missing or meeting something, getting just a trace of what came before and what is coming next.
Emily Lawrence in conversation with Kyle Alden Martens

Emily Lawrence in conversation with Kyle Alden Martens

Artists Kyle Alden Martens and Emily Lawrence both create playful work that subtly destabilizes traditionally heteronormative arenas—sports for Martens and mainstream porn and Martha Stewart cooking demonstrations for Lawrence.
The myth of home

The myth of home

Jerry Ropson’s to kiss a goat between the horns is a memorial to a cultural vernacular and way of life that has already left us—his grandfather's rural Newfoundland culture.
Exhibition Listings
RESPONSIVE: International Light Art Project Halifax

RESPONSIVE: International Light Art Project Halifax

ALG extended hours: 7pm – midnight 

RESPONSIVE: International Light Art Project Halifax is a curatorial collaboration between Halifax and Cologne, Germany. RESPONSIVE exhibitions will be open nightly from 7pm to midnight, October 18 – 21. The founding Halifax partners and Project Co-Curators, Melanie Colosimo (Director of Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD University), Sarah Fillmore (Chief Curator of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) and Peter Dykhuis (Director/Curator of Dalhousie Art Gallery at DalhousieUniversity) have been working together with the founding Cologne partners, Project Initiator and Director, Dr. Ralf Seippel (Director of Seippel Galerie) and Artistic Director, Professor Bettina Pelz (curator) to introduce the first iteration of RESPONSIVE in Halifax.
Innovative light art will be showcased at Anna Leonowens Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Arts Centre, Dalhousie School of Architecture, and outdoor public spaces at City Hall, Public Gardens, and the Old Public Library. For the full list of artists and locations visit: responsive-halifax.com.

 

Ropeworks

Ropeworks

Mixed media artist Violet Rosengarten‘s vibrant exhibition, Ropeworks, is composed of painted surfaces and painted rope on wood or canvas. These colourful textured reliefs play with the natural way that rope meanders, entangles and coils. Her colour choices refer to sea voyages to other cultures, the warming of the ocean, the colours of shells, corals, and seaweed, the fluorescence of buoys and other aspects of maritime culture.

Negotiations

Negotiations

The Hydrostone neighbourhood, now nearly one hundred years old, is one of the most striking legacies of the Halifax Explosion. It stands as a powerful testament to the reconstruction efforts required to house the working-class families who were left homeless by the events of the Explosion. For many, however, the Hydrostone’s appeal lies in its unique ability to express the passage of time: in this neighbourhood, layers of the present co-exist with traces of the past. The original grey granite ‘hydrostone’ blocks live anachronistically side-by-side with a dizzying array of wood, composite, and vinyl siding materials. Extensions have been added, shutters have been removed, exterior walls have been painted, porches have been closed in, and trees, shrubs, and gardens have been cultivated.

Halifax artist Claire Hodge has systematically photographed all of the existing homes to create a portrait of the changing face of a landmark neighbourhood. Hodge notes, “The Hydrostone townhomes reveal a complex set of negotiations realized tacitly or explicitly by the people who have lived there. Some blocks of houses are united in their aesthetic vision. Others seem to attest to greater individualist streaks and look strangely disjointed. Most often, the blocks of houses suggest a series of compromises between harmony and difference, between the ‘greater good’ and tenacious individualism.”

The Salon Hanging

The Salon Hanging

A floor to ceiling feast for the eyes. Visitors will see over 100 works of art, many from the Owens original collection first acquired in the 1880s. The collection includes eighteenth and nineteenth century European paintings, many still found in their original gilded frames, and full-scale plaster copies of classical Greek sculptures. Originally this collection was used to teach Mount Allison Fine Arts students through copying these early pieces. The exhibition is designed and installed by the Owens’ preparator Roxie Ibbitson.

Insecticide

Insecticide

Insecticide explores our human interactions with insects. We are both dependent upon and destructive of each other and our environment. Gouache paintings depicting the collision of humans and insects will illuminate some of these ideas. It’s the bees knees, the fly in the ointment, it’s a bug’s life!

Miyoshi Kondo, Life is a Highway, Gouache on paper, 2017.

From the Vault: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

From the Vault: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

The Gallery is very pleased to announce two significant contributions to the permanent collection that were received in 2016. Because we have very limited resources for the purchase of artworks, the Gallery relies on donations, of both acquisitions funds and artworks, to expand the collection, an activity that greatly enhances our ability to foster an appreciation and understanding of the visual arts within the Dalhousie University community, and to be a resource for our local and regional communities.

DANA CLAXTON: THE MUSTANG SUITE

This iconic series of five large-scale photographs by Dana Claxton, a Vancouver-based artist of Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux ancestry, spans considerations of popular western culture and assimilation, and Indigenous identity and representation. The suite presents staged portraits of members of a contemporary Indigenous family posing with various refigured mustangs: a muscle car, a banana-seat bicycle, a pony, and a white woman with horse blinders and mouth bit. Exhibited at the Dalhousie Art Gallery in 2011 as part of the National Gallery of Canada’s touring exhibition “Steeling the Gaze: Portraits by Aboriginal Artists”, The Mustang Suite is distinguished for its incisive and provocative humour, impeccable technical production, and its many layers of social commentary and critique.

The acquisition was made possible through the generosity of the artist, financial contributions from Alumni members of Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law, and support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Grants program. Assistance with the transportation from Vancouver of the framed photographs was provided by TOTAL Museum and Fine Arts Services, Toronto

Hiraeth

Hiraeth

“Hiraeth”, is an exhibition of new paintings by Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire. Hiraeth is a Welsh concept defined as, “a homesickness for a home you cannot return to, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.” Both are approaching the concept from different perspectives.

Caitlin McGuire, Untitled, Oil on Board, 2017

 

Go Figure

Go Figure

In contrast to abstract art, figurative art is a diverse category for artworks that represent recognizable objects in the world. It ranges from realism to nearly abstract. The artists included in this exhibition explore human and animal figures. Through figurative narratives, the painters Brian Burke and Michael Harrington consider basic questions of the human condition and comment on contemporary society. Marcus Jones’ aluminum and bronze sculptures of human and animal sculls employ the lost wax process. They are rooted in representation but also explore abstraction, fragility and decay.

Brian Burke, Untitled, oil on canvas,2016.

 

Marcus Jones, Trophy, cast aluminum, 2017.

 

Walking the Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion

Walking the Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion

The Halifax Explosion reverberates as a definitive historic moment around which themes of destruction, reconstruction, urbanism, and community continue to circulate. From 2014 through 2017, as the centenary of the Explosion approaches, Narratives in Space + Time Society (NiS+TS) has presented a number of public walking events designed to explore the ways in which the disaster, the ensuing relief efforts, and the reconstruction continue to shape the diverse experiences and understandings of this city.

Founded in 2012 and based in Halifax and Dartmouth, NiS+TS is an interdisciplinary creative research group that promotes walking and the use of mobile media by artists and members of the public. The group’s projects are situated in spaces that are often overlooked, disused, or vacant. Participants use walking, talking, and making objects in combination with technologies such as GPS, smartphones, and mobility tracking devices to conduct interactive explorations of locations and subjects.

Utilizing research methods such as psychogeography, an experiential approach to drifting through urban space devised by the French theorist Guy Debord, and creation models that emphasize interdisciplinary collaborations, the exhibition features new projects created by NiS+TS to mark the Halifax Explosion’s 100th commemoration.

Claire Hodge: Negotiations
Curated by Peter Dykhuis

The Hydrostone neighbourhood, now nearly one hundred years old, is one of the most striking legacies of the Halifax Explosion. It stands as a powerful testament to the reconstruction efforts required to house the working-class families who were left homeless by the events of the Explosion. For many, however, the Hydrostone’s appeal lies in its unique ability to express the passage of time: in this neighbourhood, layers of the present co-exist with traces of the past. The original grey granite ‘hydrostone’ blocks live anachronistically side-by-side with a dizzying array of wood, composite, and vinyl siding materials. Extensions have been added, shutters have been removed, exterior walls have been painted, porches have been closed in, and trees, shrubs, and gardens have been cultivated.

Halifax artist Claire Hodge has systematically photographed all of the existing homes to create a portrait of the changing face of a landmark neighbourhood. Hodge notes, “The Hydrostone townhomes reveal a complex set of negotiations realized tacitly or explicitly by the people who have lived there. Some blocks of houses are united in their aesthetic vision. Others seem to attest to greater individualist streaks and look strangely disjointed. Most often, the blocks of houses suggest a series of compromises between harmony and difference, between the ‘greater good’ and tenacious individualism.”

We Shall See

We Shall See

 

Ian Willms father died after months of hospitalization and medical interventions due to a motorcycle accident. In We Shall See Willms documents his father’s traumatic injuries and the details of daily hospital visits. Despite their fraught familial relationship, Willms’ father encouraged him to photograph their “journey through unknown emotional terrain, in collaboration.” Unframed and printed on fragile tracing paper, the photographs depict the complexities of love, grief and mortality.

Ian Willms’ is an award-winning photojournalist based in Toronto and founding member of Boreal Collective.  We Shall See is presented in conjunction with Photopolis: The Halifax Festival of Photography.

Image: Ian Willms, Sister and I at the hospital, Inkjet print, 2014.

 

From the Vault: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

From the Vault: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

THE PORTER COLLECTION
With a specific mandate to collect artworks by local and regional artists, and an emphasis on collecting works on paper, the Dalhousie Art Gallery permanent collection includes a number of mid and later twentieth century paintings and drawings of maritime subject matter. Because many of these have been acquired through donation, not only do they reflect the Gallery’s collecting interests, they also represent and reflect the various collecting interests of the donors.

The most recent donation to the Gallery is a selection of thirteen works from the private collection of Brian and Megan Porter and Family. Through their shared passion for art and a love for Atlantic Canada, the Porters have built a collection of early twentieth century paintings of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia maritime scenes, and works by several contemporary Atlantic Canadian artists.

Their donation makes a significant contribution to strengthening our collection, both by introducing the work of Molly Lamb and Mary Pratt—artists who were not as yet represented in the collection—and in complementing works by artists who are touchstones in the collection and in the Gallery’s collecting history, including AY Jackson, Robert Pilot, and Christopher Pratt.

The Game

The Game

Ten double ended mixed media/metal necklaces feature coins and king and queen motifs of playing cards.  They represent different areas of employment, comparing wages of male and female and questioning conventional values. Displayed on stands they allow viewers to experience them aesthetically as three-dimensional, sculptural objects demonstrating thematically that every discussion has at least two sides.

Michelle Chaulk – Change in Perspective – Metalwork – 2014

More Exhibition Listings »

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