11 January 2016

Structures Hits Saint John

If you haven't yet had an opportunity to view Structures, a travelling fabric art exhibition, this may be your chance! The exhibition, consisting of 25 amazing art quilts by 19 Atlantic artists, will be on display in Saint John, NB, until March 4, 2016.

Where: The Frazee Gallery of the Saint John Arts Centre, 20 Peel Plaza, Saint John, NB
When: Friday, January 15 until Friday, March 4, 2016.
Opening reception: 5:30-7:30pm, Friday, January 15, 2016.

Structures launched last June at the Art Gallery of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish NS. It has since travelled to the Gallery at the Guild in Charlottetown and the Inverness County Centre for the Arts, in Inverness NS. The final stop on the Structures exhibition tour will be at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Yarmouth Branch, March 15 to April 30, 2016.

The show has been well received at every stop on the tour, from people who were just excited to see the artwork. Here are a few of their remarks:

"I stand in awe of these pieces. I am officially turned on to quilting now."

"I need to remember to shut my mouth! Amazing work. Thank you!"

"An absolutely incredible exhibit. Such talent - all of you."

"Could not have been better at MOMA or the Whitney."

09 January 2016

A Vanishing Culture

We were delighted to learn that Wolfville, NS artist Kate Madeloso was one of six Canadians whose work was accepted into SAQA's international My Corner of the World exhibition. Her art quilt, A Vanishing Culture, was one of the 41 entries juried in to the show. The competition, open to SAQA members from around the world, received responses from 115 artists who submitted a total of 189 pieces. Well done Kate!
A Vanishing Culture (70" x 24") by Kate Madeloso

Kate's successful art piece represents her Doukhobor heritage. She used a wide variety of materials and techniques to tell the story of her grandmother's immigration to Canada, including antique cottons, silks and linens, old photographs, hand embroidery, and rubber stamping.

Detail of A Vanishing Culture, by Kate Madeloso

We asked Kate Madeloso to talk about her inspiration for A Vanishing Culture:

Kate: I was in my late 30's when my mother, who I knew had Russian heritage, revealed a secret she had kept from me and my siblingsHer mother, Evdoitia Oosichoff, had come to Canada in 1897, with 7500 other Russian peasants, mostly women and children. These families had been persecuted in Russia because they practiced pacifism and refused to fight for the czar. They called themselves ‘Doukhobors’ or 'Spirit Wrestlers'. 

Detail of Kate's grandmother, in A Vanishing Culture.

In Canada, the Doukhobors were officially recognized as pacifists and were not called upon to bear arms. They played a vital role in developing the Canadian west, by settling Prairie farmland and helping to build railroads. They flourished for decades, a productive, creative and religious community holding their history sacred. The population reached its peak in 1941, when nearly 17 thousand Canadians identified as Doukhobor. Most have since integrated into the fabric of Canada, and by 2011, just over 2200 people reported being active in the culture. 

Since my mother's revelation, I've heard stories from my uncle about growing up in a Doukhobor community near Castlegar BC. Just recently, he gave me a wool rug made by my grandmother and great grandmother, together with a hand woven linen shirt which he called Dora’s ‘birthing’ shirt. She wore the shirt during the delivery of her six children. And there began my journey into my heritage and this rich and often overlooked culture.

Grandmother's rug, the inspiration for A Vanishing Culture.

Kate Madeloso, Wolfville, NS

The My Corner of the World exhibition will debut at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, ON, May 21 to August 14, 2016, and then travel internationally. Follow the exhibition's travel's here.

07 January 2016

Have you Heard?

Seven members of SAQA Atlantic Canada have just received word that their pieces were juried into a Canada-wide SAQA exhibition, My Corner of the World (Canada). 

The request for submissions called on Canadian SAQA members "to create a glimpse of the spirit of Canada; to convey through their art something true, meaningful and important about this beautiful country and its people." Seventy-three artists responded, with 115 entries. All 40 artworks selected for this show are listed on the SAQA website. 

My Corner of the World (Canada) will debut in May 2016 at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford ON together with a parallel, international SAQA exhibition of the same name. The Canadian exhibition will then travel across the country and possibly to selected venues in the U.S. and overseas. 

Congratulations to all our members who answered the call for My Corner of the World (Canada). Here is a sneak peek at those entries that were selected.

Detail of Rusty Gate by Penny Berens
Rusty Gate
Penny Berens, of Granville Ferry NS
“An old rusty gate leans against the side of my house right by the back door. It welcomes every visitor and tells me I am home. This piece is that gate rusted onto cotton fabric and hand stitched with cotton and rayon thread.”

Detail of Fishing Weir in Moonlight by Sandra Betts
Fishing Weir in Moonlight
Sandra Betts, Saint John NB
“I wanted to express the serenity and beauty of New Brunswick, the Picture Province. This common sight along the Bay of Fundy is transformed into a thing of beauty by the moonlight.”

Detail of Laurentian Fall by Susan Lilley
Laurentian Fall 
Susan Lilley, Bridgewater NS
“I made Laurentian Fall after a Thanksgiving weekend at my family’s cottage. My challenge was to recreate the intoxicating glow of the sun shining through the brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of the sugar maple, so characteristic of the Laurentian Maple Forest in central Quebec.”

Detail of Into the Heart of the Birches by Holly McLean
Into the Heart of the Birches
Holly Mclean, Bathurst NB
“I draw solace from nature, especially on the trails that are near my home here in northern New Brunswick. I feel a connection to all trees and as I walk the trails, it calms me to breathe in their healing essence. In my region, pretty white birch tree stands are common, seen along trails and along highways and byways. The beauty and simple graphics of the white bark set against the ever changing colours of the seasons and weather, captivate and inspire me to create them in fibre.” 

Detail of At Anchor by Heather Loney
At Anchor
Heather Loney, Dartmouth NS
"I've spent many summers in Nova Scotia before moving here full time. All of the shoreline drives are special, but Peggy's Cove, symbolic of so many fishing communities is the most popular."

Detail of Fundy Flame Agate by Kate Madeloso
Fundy Flame Agate
Kate Madeloso, Wolfville NS
"You can pick amethyst off the shores of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. I was enthralled watching a presentation by Dave and Chris Sheppard on their rock hounding adventures, climbing the cliffs and scouring the beaches of Cape Split. With permission to use Chris's photos for inspiration, I endeavoured to recreate a slice of agate which was an exciting challenge to do in fibre, fabric, beads and thread."

Detail of You've got Mail by Susan Tilsley Manley
You’ve Got Mail
Susan Tilsley Manley, Westville NS
“You've Got Mail is part of a series about the accelerated corrosion of rural life in Nova Scotia. The disappearance of door to door mail delivery is another way our society is changing rapidly and not for the better. I'm a little surprised it got in as it is not the typical "love letter to Canada" but more a lament of loss. I suppose all the best love songs are on that theme.”

More information about venues and dates will be posted as it becomes available. Stay tuned!