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Charmaine Nelson to give Art Talk on Nov. 15 in Charlottetown – The Journal Pioneer

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG), in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts at UPEI, welcomes guest lecturer Charmaine A. Nelson, who will give a presentation on Nov. 15 at the gallery. 

Nelson, a professor of art history with Halifax’s NSCAD University, is also a Canada research chair in transatlantic Black diasporic art and community engagement and serves as the founding director of the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery with NSCAD.

She will discuss representations of slavery in Canadian visual culture, the challenges of research in a field with an almost non-existent archive and the direction of a new academic institution.

She will also present portions of her paper, Fugitive Slave Advertisements and/as Portraiture in late 18th- and early 19th-century Canada.

Her arrival in this region is wonderful news, says CCAG director Kevin Rice, who adds it’s an honour to be able to host her talk at the gallery. 

The gallery is also looking forward to working with her in the future, as her research is particularly timely as Canada is undergoing a critical re-examination of its history, including the presence of slavery and its racializing aftermath in what has so often been described as a beacon of equality. 

“The echoes of these events are still with us and foregrounding the work of scholars like Dr. Nelson is a way we can contribute to a better understanding of how we got to this point.”

Due to COVID-19 health precautions, space is limited for this event, and registration is now full. Patrons can have their name added to a waiting list by contacting Tamara Steele at [email protected].

Nelson has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of the visual culture of slavery, race and representation and Black Canadian studies and has published seven books in these areas. She has also worked with a variety of media and, most recently, was the Mackenzie King visiting professor of Canadian studies at Harvard University (2017-18). 

Found throughout the transatlantic world, fugitive slave advertisements demonstrate the frequency of African resistance to slavery. Produced by white slave owners seeking to recapture their property, these advertisements included textual descriptions that were also fundamentally visual and comprise an archive of very dubious, unauthorized portraits that have come to stand as “the most detailed descriptions of the bodies of enslaved African Americans available”, according to Nelson’s research. 

Besides noting things like names, speech, accents and skills, fugitive slave notices frequently recounted the dress, branding and even the gestures and expressions of runaways. Nelson explores the juxtaposition of high art representations of enslaved Africans with the textual descriptions of enslaved people’s bodies and positions these visuals as one part of the colonial infrastructure that sustained the racialized distinction between free and unfree populations.

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New Art Lending Program launched in Summerside – The Guardian

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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

A beautiful piece of art is known to stir the soul and give rise to an abundance of feelings and creativity, and for that reason it is hoped people will embrace the new art lending program in Summerside.

It is an initiative of Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc. (WHPI) in partnership with Culture Summerside and the Summerside Rotary Library. 

For some time it has been an objective of WHPI and Culture Summerside, the city’s arts, heritage, and culture division of the City of Summerside, to bring to the community increased accessibility to original works of art by local visual artists. Not everyone is comfortable visiting an art gallery or can afford to own original works. Now, with a swipe of a library card, people can borrow artwork to grace their living space. 

“We are really excited to be a part of this important project, which makes art accessible to the public,” said Rebecca Boulter, regional librarian with Summerside Rotary Library.

As part of the 2020 Summerside Arts Festival held in July, 20 local artists each created a framed five-by-seven inch original work for the new program. The artwork includes a number of mediums and subject matter. The variety will appeal to a wide spectrum of tastes. The plan is to grow the collection in the coming years. 

Lori Ellis, of Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc. and Culture Summerside, is grateful for the funding support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the City of Summerside in making the art lending program a reality. 

“This is a wonderful venture that I hope the public will be inspired to embrace. As an artist myself, I know the joy that art brings to life. We are so excited to partner with the Summerside Rotary Library for it will enable the program to reach a large audience. Great partners build vibrant artistic communities.” 

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Acclaimed art scholar, ex-RISD president Roger Mandle dies – Toronto Star

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Roger Mandle, an internationally renowned art scholar and the former longtime president of the Rhode Island School of Design, has died, RISD said Tuesday. He was 79.

Mandle died over the weekend, the school said in a statement, without elaborating. A cause of death was not given.

Mandle served as president of RISD from 1993 to 2008. He was credited with helping modernize the school, one of America’s most prestigious four-year art colleges, and quadrupling its endowment to over $400 million. He previously served as deputy director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

A former member of the National Council on the Arts appointed by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Mandle helped shape and guide the U.S. art and design agenda.

“My mission, my vision, is to contribute to our humanity and quality of life and to make Providence and the Rhode Island School of Design a globally recognized centre of art, design and right-brained thinking,” he once said.

From 2008 to 2012, Mandle was executive director of the Qatar Museums Authority, overseeing more than a dozen museums, including the Museum of Islamic Art, the Qatar Natural History Museum and the National Museum of Qatar.

Later, he launched a consulting firm dedicated to assisting museums and universities in strategic planning, board and senior staff development and mentoring, and advice during important transitions.

He was a former director of the Toledo Museum of Art, a former associate director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and a member of the Ohio Arts Council.

“The American arts and higher education communities have lost a giant,“ Democratic U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island said in a statement, calling Mandle “an extraordinary man and a great civic leader.”

“His influence on generations of artists and others whose lives were made better through the arts will live on,” RISD President Rosanne Somerson said in a statement.

Mandle is survived by his wife, the abstract painter and acclaimed mixed media artist Gayle Wells Mandle; son Luke Mandle; daughter Julia Mandle; and five grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Tuesday.

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Irina Antonova, head of top Moscow art museum, dies at 98 – Toronto Star

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MOSCOW – Irina Antonova, a charismatic art historian who presided over one of Russia’s top art museums for more than half a century, has died at 98.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts said Antonova, its president, died in Moscow on Monday. It said Tuesday that Antonova last week tested positive for coronavirus, which exacerbated her chronic heart ailments.

Antonova began working at the Pushkin museum after her graduation in 1945, and in 1961 she became its director. She held the job until 2013, when she shifted into the ceremonial post of its president. The 52-year tenure made her the world’s longest-serving director of a major art museum.

As the Pushkin museum director, Antonova spearheaded major art exhibitions that saw the exchange of art treasures between the Pushkin Museum and top international art collections despite the Cold War-era tensions and constraints. Those exchanges, facilitated by her extensive personal contacts with colleagues in the museum world, brought Antonova wide acclaim worldwide.

She also was very active in promoting the museum’s treasures to the public.

Antonova has received numerous Russian and foreign state awards.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the president often met Antonova at the museum and “highly appraised her deep expert knowledge.”

Antonova will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery alongside her husband, who also was an art historian. Funeral ceremonies will be closed to the public amid coronavirus restrictions.

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