Winter survival guide

Mireille Eagan's list of not-to-miss art events and projects this season

Winter is often described as a period of contemplation, but I admit that my thoughts mostly gravitate to murdering snow with my hairdryer. Thank goodness there are some exciting things to read and see in the art world that distract my frustration (and electrical bill). You see, I have a term for some people in the art world that I admire – “the good nerds” – those people that push and poke at things from alternative spaces, who celebrate and remind us about that which is often overlooked. This list is devoted to them.

Eleanor King, "Worm Hole,' 2013, 60" x 72." Coloured Pencil on paper, CD

Eleanor King, “Worm Hole,’ 2013, 60″ x 72.” Coloured Pencil on paper, CD

1. hfxartgossip | HALIFAX

My go-to account for art gossip in Halifax. Dear mystery person: you are sassy, smart, and seemingly everywhere.  I appreciate that greatly.

Check hfxartgosspip on Twitter and Instagram.

2) Joe Fowler: Object Says | ST. JOHN’S, NL

February 21st – March 11th 2015, Eastern Edge Gallery, Rogue Gallery

Joe Fowler is a perfect example of the very exciting work being produced by young artists living in Newfoundland and Labrador. With Object Says, Fowler will create a series of interactive electronic sculptures based on household mechanisms, creating a playful and imaginative environment.

3) Artist Chris Lloyd runs for the Conservative Party | MONTREAL

Lloyd, artist and former Artistic Director of Third Space Gallery in Saint John, NB, has officially been accepted to run for the Conservative Party in the electoral district of Papineau, running against Justin Trudeau. This is going to be amazing to watch, given Lloyd’s history of ongoing posts and letters to Stephen Harper – view them here. 

4. Eleanor King: Dark Utopian | HALIFAX

January 16- June 14, 2015, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax, NS, Curator: David Diviney

This is the sort of exhibition that makes me search daily for discount flights to Halifax. Get me to this show, Sweet Mother Visa!

5. Hannah Rickerds: Grey Light. Left and Right Back, High Up, Two Small Windows | FOGO ISLAND, NL

September 24, 2014 – April 6, 2015, Fogo Island Gallery

Fogo Island is a place where potent and fascinating things are happening, despite (and because of) being isolated geographically. I’ve been eyeing this exhibition for a while, but was held up by installations and bad weather. Installations are done, and the weather here changes every 15 minutes. See you soon, Fogo Island! (3-4 of you are invited to join me if you help pay for gas, and don’t mind being the dj.)

6) What It Looks Like | CANADA

Alison Cooley’s What It Looks Like is a podcast about art in Canada that presents monthly thematic episodes dedicated to contemporary ideas about art. Alison’s looking for contributors, and I think we Atlantic folk should get on this train. At the very least, it’s a very good podcast and you should listen to it.

7) Mathieu Leger

Moncton-based artist Mathieu Leger is doing a very interesting series of national and international residencies as a long-term experiment and art project. Follow his recaps of his travels here.


The brainchild of Sky Goodden, MOMUS is another one of my go-to sites for some of the very best writing on Canadian and international contemporary art.

9) The New Brunswick Laboratory of Imaginary Media Research + Design Open Workshop, Led by Dr. Henry Adam Svec | Fredericton, NB

Saturday, February 21st, 2:00-4:00 p.m, Connexion ARC

This experimental workshop will explore the role of wonder and fantasy in the contemporary media landscape. As Svec describes it, “we will do some thinking together about classic imaginary media (e.g. the holodeck, cyberspace, the singularity) and we will collaboratively develop some of our own alternatives. Part seminar, part drawing jam, all real!” Wish I could go. You should go.

10. Shine a Light: Canadian Biennial 2014 | OTTAWA

October, 17 2014 – March 8, 2015, National Gallery of Canada

If you haven’t seen this show yet, you should definitely catch it before it closes. There are some stunning works, including (“particularly!,” she says sweetly) those by Atlantic artists Philippa Jones (NL), Vanessa Paschakarnis (NS), and Mario Doucette (NB).

11) An extra mention (with apologies that I’m promoting something I’m working on): Mary Pratt: This Little Painting | OTTAWA

April 3rd to November 1st, 2015, National Gallery of Canada

Mary Pratt is undoubtedly one of Atlantic Canada’s most beloved and influential artists, reminding us of the beauty found within the everyday. “Mary Pratt: This Little Painting” marks Pratt’s first solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada(in collaboration with The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery Division). The exhibition will be presented at the same time as a major survey of Alex Colville’s work — it will therefore be an Atlantic tour de force at the National Gallery of Canada this summer. Hope you’ll be able to join us.

Co-curators: Mireille Eagan (Curator of Contemporary Art, The Rooms) and Jonathan Shaughnessy (Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, NGC)

Mireille Eagan

Mireille Eagan is the curator of Contemporary Art at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s, NL.

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