John Hartman, Neil Bissoondath beside the St Lawrence River, 2018, oil on linen, 101.6 x 116.8 cm

Art and more art

Five new exhibitions will be on view at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery from winter into spring

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The Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown is preparing for several new exhibitions this winter.

“The recently installed exhibition Fairy Tails, which explores the wondrous role of animals in storytelling, was the first of five new exhibitions coming this season,” says Gallery director Kevin Rice. “It is a very busy time for us, and we encourage patrons to come by if they haven’t visited in a while.”

Danika Vandersteen, Room With a View, 2019, watercolour on paper, 45.7 x 60.9 cm

Danika Vandersteen, Room With a View, 2019, watercolour on paper, 45.7 x 60.9 cm

Currently on display, the exhibition Danika Vandersteen: How to Convey Blue in Black and White brings together a colourful and eclectic array of paintings, found objects, and textile work. Vandersteen is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Toronto. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and her art practice bounces between painting, songwriting, crafting, and observing. The exhibition is curated by gallery conservator Jill McRae and artist/curator Andrew Cairns, who were eager to collaborate again after a successful first show at the Gallery in 2019. “Danika’s work is dedicated to play,” says Cairns. “It’s presented beautifully with a smiling wink that reveals the artist’s sense of humour, reminding us that art can be very fun.” Danika Vandersteen: How to Convey Blue in Black and White will be on display in the Fredric S. and Ogden Martin Concourse Gallery until April 10.

Scheduled to open January 29, the exhibition John Hartman: Many Lives Mark This Place features the work of the renowned Canadian painter and printmaker. In 2014, Ontario-based Hartman embarked on a project to capture the intimate relationship between more than thirty leading Canadian authors and the places that inspire them. The result was a series of large-format portrait paintings that celebrate the richness of Canada’s literary fabric and speak to the power of the imagination in experiencing the diverse landscapes of Canada and the stories that they hold. The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Woodstock Art Gallery with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts. John Hartman: Many Lives Mark This Place will be featured in the Sobey Gallery until May 22.

Two more exhibitions are set to open this month, starting with Visible Storage: A CCAG Collection Project. Gallery registrar Kathleen MacKinnon and conservator Jill McRae will be working in view of the public on rehousing, repairing, reporting, and retelling the stories of lesser-known pieces from the Gallery’s vault. The permanent collection is varied and includes paintings, prints, photographs, letters, architectural drawings, and the odd Lucy Maud Montgomery manuscript. “It is a unique opportunity for the public to see the work that happens behind-the-scenes,” says McRae. “The pieces on display in this exhibition may change as we dig deeper into the archives.” Visible Storage: A CCAG Collection Project will be on display in the Lower East Gallery from February 5–May 29.

Heather Cromwell, Betty Hartley #1, 2009, pieced, appliquéd hand stitched, 220.9 x 175.2 cm

Heather Cromwell, Betty Hartley #1, 2009, pieced, appliquéd hand stitched, 220.9 x 175.2 cm

Opening February 25, The Secret Codes: Quilts From and Inspired by Nova Scotia’s Black Communities is an exhibition curated by artist David Woods and presented with support from the Black Artists Network of Nova Scotia. Evoking historic quiltmaking traditions associated with storytelling, the quilts on display capture motifs reflecting the experience of Black Nova Scotians. Woods travelled to Black communities throughout the province to collect stories and artwork, creating a collection of drawings inspired by his journey. Each quiltmaker chose a drawing that reflected their own lives and reinterpreted it through quiltmaking, resulting in a stunning feast for the eyes. The Secret Codes: Quilts From and Inspired by Nova Scotia’s Black Communities will be on display in the Sobey Gallery from February 25–May 22.