Beaverbrook Art Gallery Announces New Season

Beaverbrook Art Gallery The Beaverbrook Art Gallery welcomes the 2013 autumn season with four vibrant exhibitions opening Sunday September 29th at 2 pm. All are welcome to attend. Music by Lone Cloud. Artist talk by Alan Syliboy at 1 pm.

The new exhibitions include a fifty-year retrospective survey of the work of world-renowned photographer Freeman Patterson; a new multi-media installation by Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy; the presentation of artworks by New Brunswick’s First Nations youth; and a series of paintings based on a mother-daughter relationship by emerging artist Dominik Robichaud. All of these exhibitions will be on view at the Gallery until January 12, 2014.

Freeman Patterson: Embracing Creation explores the extraordinary vision of one of Canada’s pre-eminent photographers over the artist’s lifetime. Patterson, who lives in Shamper’s Bluff, New Brunswick, began his professional career in photography in the 1960s and has since travelled with his camera to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Israel. A 2013 recipient of the Order of New Brunswick, he has authored numerous books, conducted hundreds of workshops, and influenced a generation of photographers.

Freeman Patterson (Canadian, b. 1937), Embrace, 2003, photograph on paper
Freeman Patterson (Canadian, b. 1937), Embrace, 2003, photograph on paper

As a little boy, Patterson found beauty in the rural landscape of his parents’ farm, while leading the dairy herd through “the blazing hues of an autumn forest” and gazing at the rippled expanses of snow “that curved and undulated around our house in winter.” As a young man and throughout his life, he has learned to see through those images to capture the very soul of creation within. He states, “Creation … is my primary source of awe and wonder. Because I lived so close to the natural world as a child, it became my emotional home in a very tangible way and the stimulus for my creative efforts.”

Freeman Patterson: Embracing Creation is curated by Tom Smart and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery with the support of presenting sponsor Arthur and Sandra Irving and sponsor CI Investments Inc. Accompanying the exhibition is a major book of the same title co-published by the Gallery and Goose Lane Editions. Those attending the Freeman Patterson Tribute Gala on October 3rd at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre will receive a signed copy of this handsome publication. Tickets for the Gala are $200 and available at the Gallery.

Alan Syliboy: The Thundermaker is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Mi’kmaq story that was uncovered in 2003 among the manuscripts at Acadia University by poet and essayist Peter Sanger. Through a series of painted panels, Mi’kmaq artist, activist and musician Alan Syliboy portrays the life of Little Thunder (Kaqtukwaqsus), whose mother teaches him stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next. For Syliboy, Little Thunder’s experience relates directly to the lessons of his own life: learning to care for a family as a single father; searching for his personal identity, struggling with the nature of man; and learning to accept and acknowledge his own emotional and artistic strength. At the end of the sequence of images, there is a tent flap and another circle of images that show Little Thunder being instructed by his father Big Thunder on how to become a provider and to become the new Thundermaker. The viewer is invited to enter a tipi and watch a projected animated film that portrays Little Thunder making thunder for the first time.

Alan Syliboy, Little Thunder (detail), 2009, acrylic on canvas
Alan Syliboy, Little Thunder (detail), 2009, acrylic on canvas

Syliboy lives on the Millbrook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. He studied art with Maliseet artist, Shirley Bear, and later attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His vibrant paintings inspired by ancient petroglyphs have been shown in exhibitions in Canada and abroad and can be found in private, corporate and public collections. Syliboy has designed a coin for the Canadian Mint and was commissioned to create artwork for use at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. His most recent project was a large mural for the Halifax Stanfield Airport main lobby, and in 2013, his band, Lone Cloud, won the East Coast Music Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year.

Alan Syliboy: The Thundermaker is curated by Terry Graff and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery with the support of presenting sponsor BMO Financial Group, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of New Brunswick, and the City of Fredericton.

Young Ancestors is an exhibition featuring artworks created by First Nations youth (ages 12 to 18) who participated in the Gallery’s ActionArt outreach program piloted in 2013 in four First Nations communities in the province. Gallery staff, community advisors, Elders and artists from Negotkuk, Pilick, Sitansisk, and Elsipogtog collaborated to develop and deliver engaging programs focusing on traditional language, art, storytelling and culture.

This valuable project will continue over the next four years, and will eventually include all First Nations communities in the province. These programs are made possible by the passion and dedication of Imelda Perley, Shane Perley-Dutcher, Natalie Sappier, Tara Francis, Cyril Sacobie, Richard Dick, Sandra Racine, Julie Ann Paul, and involve collaboration with UNB-MMI and the NBCCD. The ActionArt program is organized by the Education Department of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and supported by BMO Financial Group, the City of Fredericton, and the Province of New Brunswick.

Robichaud, Dominik (Canadian), 25 WEEKS (detail), 2013, acrylic on wood.
Robichaud, Dominik (Canadian), 25 WEEKS (detail), 2013, acrylic on wood.

Studio Watch: Emerging Artist Series: Painting is an exhibition of work by this year’s notable emerging artist, Dominik Robichaud. The Studio Watch: Emerging Artist Series is made possible with the financial support of Earl Brewer and Sandy Kitchen Brewer who are committed to providing artists of New Brunswick with an opportunity to be celebrated, to excel in their field and advance to the next step of their career. Along with the opportunity of having an exhibition in a major art gallery, a purchase award is also provided as well as an incentive to other art patrons to support the featured artist.

A 2008 graduate of the University of Moncton with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual), Robichaud works as an art educator helping to train the next generation of artists. For the past five years, the subject of her artwork has been her mother as she explored themes of heredity, fragmentation and autobiography. Using personal photos as a starting point, she created paintings that attempted to shed light on one of her own memories, blurring the line between myth and reality. Robichaud, who lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, and has a studio at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, has had six exhibitions in the Moncton, Dieppe, Caraquet and Fredericton regions. This exhibition is her first in a major art institution. The exhibition is curated by Bernard Riordon, Director Emeritus of the Beaverbrook Gallery.

Director/CEO and Chief Curator Terry Graff states, “Through these four extraordinary exhibitions, our fall program aspires to enliven and enrich the cultural landscape of New Brunswick by engaging a diverse audience with stimulating forms of artistic expression as a lens for exploring the complexities of the world around us. These exhibitions are representative of our goal to celebrate and showcase outstanding artists like Freeman Patterson and Alan Syliboy, to provide opportunities for emerging artists of promise like Dominik Robichaud, and to nurture a new generation of artists and art appreciators through our Young Ancestor ActionArt outreach program. We congratulate all of the participating artists and extend special thanks to the exhibition sponsors and donors who have helped ensure the success of our spectacular fall program.”

About Beaverbrook Art Gallery
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and International works of art. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery “enriches life through art”. As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”