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St. John's major focus of fall exhibition at Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Mimi Stockland always considered herself to be a creative person.

But, it wasn’t until she moved to St. John’s, N.L., five year ago that Stockland truly felt things take off.

Now, her work is on display for all to see.

Stockland is one of the featured artists whose works are part of the new fall exhibition at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown. The exhibition, Give Me Shelter, profiles the work of 13 emerging St. John’s artists, all of it curated by Pan Wendt, the centre’s art gallery curator.

“It was a whole new world. I had a vague idea … but something just clicked,” Stockland said in an interview at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Thursday. “Five years ago I permanently moved to Newfoundland with the goal of joining the artistic community. I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I always liked making things.”

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition entitled, Give Me Shelter, features this oil on canvas from John McDonald, which is called Moving On, 2019. Courtesy of Emma Butler Gallery. – Contributed

Stockland found the East Coast artistic community not only welcoming but encouraging, support she did not feel while working as an artist in Montreal, Que., where she was based beforehand.

“My humour really just clicked with East Coast humour. I was understood; my jokes landed better.”

Stockland graduated from textile school in 2015 and decided to start putting her work out in the professional world and see what happened. She also established a professional art practice in St. John’s.

Her work in the fall exhibition at the centre is based on a mix of things she has created over the past five years, all displayed in a collage.

Pepa Chan, another St. John’s-based artist whose work is part of the exhibition, chose to focus on relationships and trauma.

Pepa Chan is one of the featured artists whose work is part of the new Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition, Give Me Shelter, which profiles the work of 13 emerging artists in St. John’s, N.L. The exhibition is curated by Pan Wendt, curator at the centre. - Dave Stewart
Pepa Chan is one of the featured artists whose work is part of the new Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition, Give Me Shelter, which profiles the work of 13 emerging artists in St. John’s, N.L. The exhibition is curated by Pan Wendt, curator at the centre. – Dave Stewart

“It’s about making ourselves vulnerable when we are relating to others,” said Chan, who is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. “It’s about intimacy and the risk we take when we are connecting with others.”

Chan calls her exhibit, Brush. An televised image of someone having their long hair brushed plays in the background. But, there is also an image of a brush with burning matches in place of the normal bristles.

Part of Pepa Chan’s exhibit at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery features images of strands of hair. Chan is in the process of setting up her exhibit here. - Dave Stewart
Part of Pepa Chan’s exhibit at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery features images of strands of hair. Chan is in the process of setting up her exhibit here. – Dave Stewart

Chan said that’s meant to signify that brushing can be cathartic to some people but symbolize trauma for others.

“There’s abandonment in my family and violence,” she said. “I lose a lot of hair and that’s related to stress and anxiety. I’m basically using hair brushing and losing hair as metaphors for all of those things.”

Wendt said Give Me Shelter is an exhibition that reflects the fact St. John’s is a cosmopolitan city.

“It really gives you a sense of the scene in St. John’s,” Wendt said. “You go there and you really feel that even though, when you go there, you get a real sense of (the city’s) heritage and its past. Give Me Shelter is a … place the artists feel very at home.”

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition includes the portrait series Tukien (Awaken), Reclaiming the Throne, from St. John’s, N.L.-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White. - Contributed
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition includes the portrait series Tukien (Awaken), Reclaiming the Throne, from St. John’s, N.L.-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White. – Contributed

Fall exhibitions

Following are the fall exhibitions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery:

  • St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White’s portrait series Tukien (Awaken) celebrates Indigenous artists and activists.
  • Give Me Shelter features the work of 13 artists from St. John’s, N.L. They are Nicholas Aiden, Greg Bennett, Pepa Chan, Hazel Eckert, Jose Gonzalez, Ashley Hemmings, John McDonald, Jason Penney, Emily Pittman, Daniel Rumbolt, Mimi Stockland, April White and Olivia Wong.
  • Alexis Bellavance: ops, a video installation looking at the constant and regular breathing of the sea and sky by the Montreal-based artist.

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Irina Antonova, head of top Moscow art museum, dies at 98 – Bowen Island Undercurrent

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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.

The Associated Press


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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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