Hail to the new Chief
As we embark on a new season, we are pleased to welcome John Edwards as our new President. John takes over the leadership responsibilities of the gallery from Clyde McCulley who was our esteemed leader from 2012 to 2016.
John retired as a Superintendent of Education in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York, and he and his fiancé Alexis now spend six months of the year on Grand Manan. Charleston, South Carolina is their home base for the remainder of the year.
John is a keen photographer, and he regularly exhibits his work at the Grand Manan Gallery. In addition to his role as gallery president, he is also indispensable as a hanger of gallery exhibits.
A Preview of the 2017 Season
Our opening show on June 3 will feature photography, landscape painting, and rope art. Photography has always been a casual pastime for Alan MacDonald, but in recent years he has had a unique opportunity to photograph many rare and wonderful creatures and natural scenes of the Bay of Fundy. On land he attempts to capture images of everyday things that are somehow different, pleasing or even spectacular, be it a man made object, wild flowers or the sometimes spectacular combination of man made objects in the middle of nature.
Michael MacFarlane is an art instructor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. Michael says, “As I move through the phases of my artistic development, the transition is laced with seduction and uncertainty. My relationship with these landscapes is a journey unto the self. I look to the expanse for answers: what do these places convey to me about who I am? I welcome the voyeur because these familiar, yet foreign sights, are a portal to our personal stories.“
Wendy Dathan has authored four biographical books, but her greatest preoccupation on Grand Manan has been the creation of unique baskets and wall hangings from discarded fishing ropes. She loves the vibrant colours, the amazing designs in the tangle of intricate knots, and the subtle changes in texture and shade caused by the pounding of the sea. In her work with basket-making and wall-hangings, she has tried to use these features to express their beauty, as well as her admiration for the expertise of Island fishermen who first used the rope in so many strong and creative ways to tie their working world together.
The Fourth Annual Square Foot Show will open on June 24 and run until July 13. It will feature paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, wood, and mixed media. All the artwork will be for sale for $200, and the gallery will raise funds with an entry fee of $25, and a 25% commission on sales. Gallery visitors will again have the opportunity to vote for their favourite pieces, and cash awards of $100, $150 and $200 will be given to the three most popular works in the show.
The exhibition scheduled for July 15 to August 3 will include work by two painters and a photographer. Carole Forbes has been a professional artist for 35 years. She was born and raised in Fredericton, NB, has lived in five provinces and traveled extensively throughout Canada and the United States, and now resides on Grand Manan. With a variety of colours and mediums, she endeavours to create truth, realism, abstract or a combination of all. She is fascinated by the contrasts of natures colours, shapes and shadows. She says, “With each painting, it is my goal to evoke a memory, hope or dream while transporting the viewer to a feeling of calmness or strength.”
Heidi (Brown) McLean is a self-taught landscape artist from Harvey, NB who realized her love of art at a very young age. Inspired by many artists in her family, she began drawing and sketching while spending time with her grandparents on Grand Manan during the summer. The beautiful countryside and lakes around Harvey gives Heidi many subjects and ideas for paintings. As well, she loves to travel to Grand Manan where she can connect with family, and become inspired by the natural beauty of the Island. “I have a soft spot for the Island,” she says, “I love to create pieces that display the natural, raw beauty of such an amazing place.”
Simeon Posen is a landscape and architectural photographer from Toronto with works spanning over four decades. His studies in architecture and stage design contribute to the unique perspective evident in his black and white photographs – namely, illuminating the intricacies of the parts to express the structure of the whole, whether created by nature or by man. He has conducted extensive photographic studies of the architecture of France, Austria, Iran and Greece; as well as broadly documenting the Ontario landscape and the beauty of Grand Manan. His Iranian Portfolio is now part of the permanent collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.
The fourth exhibition of the 2017 season opening on August 5 will include a family exhibit and work by a painter and a painter/photographer. Our new President John Edwards and his fiancé, Alexis Philips will pool their artistic talents with Alexis’s son Andrew Philips to create a unique family art show. John will exhibit examples of his photography which he says is somewhat on the eclectic side, and encompasses scenes from nature, wildlife, architecture, people and dogs. Alexis has pursued photography and painting from an early age. She is on the Board of Directors of the Grand Manan Art Gallery, and is a founding member of the Art Guild on Daniel Island, South Carolina. The University of New Brunswick at Fredericton recently purchased three of her works, and these are on permanent display in the University Library. Andrew exhibited his artistic nature at a very young age, and his passion for fine woodworking has evolved into carving. “The two seemed to go together naturally for me,” he says, “and my love of woodworking – conceptualize a piece, put pencil to paper, then craft it. Most of my carvings are unorthodox; roughed-out from a log with a chainsaw and then worked to a finished piece with traditional hand tools.”
Anne Johnston lives on the family farm near St. Stephen, N.B. with her husband, daughter, and cats. She is an oil and pastel artist who paints landscapes and seascapes of New Brunswick and Maine. Her art is based on sensing the deeper meaning of nature, with the emotions and vivid insights it brings. She is inspired by sweeping coasts and hills, and intimate details of nature that are so exquisite they must be captured on canvas.
Mary Joan Edwards, the Curator/Director of the Grand Manan Museum, finds that daily beachcombing walks, ocean vistas, rugged cliffs, and summer gardens are ongoing sources of artistic inspiration. Her ink drawings, photography, and paintings have been exhibited in libraries, museums and art galleries in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. MJ is well known for her work in acrylic, with bead work and mixed media collage, in oils, and in beeswax encaustic on wood. Her painting interests extend to nature-based abstraction, patterning, automatic line drawings, surreal narratives, mixed-media, and still lives.
The Island Art Show opening on August 19 is one of our most popular exhibits. In this show Island residents, seasonal and visiting artists come together to flaunt their creative talents. Paintings, photography, weaving, sculpture, woodcarving and imaginative mixed-media will be displayed together in one memorable exhibit. The show will run until September 7. Don’t miss it!
Our final show opening on September 9 will feature textile art, fabric art/collage, and painting. The exhibiting artists include Edith Mullen, a well-known Grand Mananer who works predominantly in the medium of fabrics as a designer of clothing. Edie studied fashion design in Vancouver, and sewing has always been a major part of her life. During a trip to Guinea in 2006 she discovered a whole new world of fabrics and fashions. She enjoyed spending time among the people. In learning about them and their way of life, she found their clothing to be an integral expression of who they are.
Kathy Merrithew is a self-taught fiber artist. She has done felted wall hangings, clothing, and jewelry, and her work has been displayed in several New Brunswick shops and gallery’s. Along with felting, her latest work is a form of collage involving painting with torn pieces of paper. The pictures are sometimes made from memorabilia, for example, old pages from her dad’s Grade 2 reader. Each torn-paper picture is full of thought, and hopefully conveys an intense feeling of the subject, which will make people stop, touch and be inspired.
Lynn Cyr is a native of St-Leonard, New Brunswick, and now lives on Baker Lake in St.-Jean-de-la-Lande, Quebec. Her passion is still life. She uses fruits, vegetables, and other found objects to create a scene. For Lynn, these subjects aren’t just inanimate objects . . . it’s as if they are characters in a play, wanting to tell their story. But regardless of the subject, her work follows a consistent theme of color and simplicity. Lynn says, “I am passionate about life and everything around me, I see beauty everywhere. I am especially fascinated by the light and the effect it has on shape and color. There’s a certain subtle sensuality in my ‘unstill’ lifes. The way the light shines on the edge of a pear, or the colors that I see reflected in a bowl, these are the small details and the emotion that fascinate me and that I try to capture in my paintings.”
Congratulations to Sim Posen
For the past four decades, Toronto landscape and architectural photographer Simeon Posen has conducted extensive photographic studies of the architecture of France, Austria, Iran and Greece, and he has broadly documented the Canadian landscape.
In 1976 Simeon travelled to Iran on a Canada Council Grant, and this year his Iranian Portfolio will become part of the permanent collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.
In addition, Simeon’s Water Portfolio will be part of a mutimedia presentation by Toronto’s Tafelmusik baroque orchestra and chamber choir entitled Visions & Voyages: Canada 1663-1763. This presentation is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
We are delighted that Simeon will be exhibiting examples of his work at the Grand Manan Art Gallery this summer (from July 15 to August 3, 2017).
Special thanks go out to Sandor Mathe for enhancing our outdoor exhibition area last summer with a huge driftwood sculpture that represents Don Quixote’s horse Racinante. Apparently the horse has survived the winter, but he is lonely, and we encourage other Island artists to add some additional sculptures during our 2017 season. They can be included as part of this year’s Island Art Show.
Newton Rowell Bowles
Read the full article on Newton Rowell Bowles from the Telegraph Journal’s “Salon” section. Article published August 3, 2013.
In a Fog of Wonder
Read the full article on Jaune Evans’ show “Collecting Fog” from the Telegraph Journal’s “Salon” section. Article Published August 18, 2012.
Bev Carey Article
Read the full article about local retired fisherman turned artist, Bev Carey. This article was published in the Saint Croix Courier on July 3, 2012.
Bygone Days of Grand Manan
Read the full article from on Bev Carey’s show “Bygone Days of Grand Manan Island” from the Saint Croix Courier’s “Arts & Entertainment” section.
Article published June 12, 2012.
Committed to Memory
Read the full article on MJ Edwards’ show “Memory, Moment, Meaning” in The Telegraph Journal’s “Salon” section. Article published August 20, 2011.
Lev Berenshteyn Article
Read the full article about Lev Berenshteyn from The Telegraph Journal’s “Salon” section. Article published August 12, 2011.
Donna Nixon & the Group of 8
Read two articles on the Donna Nixon & the Group of 8 show. Articles were published in the Telegraph Journal on June 17, 2011
and the St. Croix Courier on June 14, 2011 respectively.
Read the full article about the Coastal Connections show at the gallery. This article was published in the Telegraph Journal May 31, 2011.
Sea of Faces
Read the full article on Nicole Wolf’s show “Sea of Faces” from the Telegraph Journal. Article published September 7, 2010.
Questionnaire available from Telegraph Journal’s “Salon” section as well. Published August 28, 2010.