19 June 2013

Atlantic Art Institutions Meet in Saint John


Members of the Atlantic Provinces Art Gallery Association / Association des galeries d’art des provinces de l’Atlantique (APAGA / AGAPA) will gather in Saint John, New Brunswick, from 20 to 23 June 2013, for East of There / À l'Est de là, the Association’s annual conference and general meeting. Representatives from more than 30 public galleries, artist-run centres and cultural centres from all four Atlantic provinces will meet to exchange information and to discuss common concerns. The New Brunswick Museum will host the event, with assistance from the Saint John Arts Centre and Third Space.

As it has for the past five years, the Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic / L’Association atlantique des centres d’artistes autogérés (AARCA) will hold its annual general meeting in tandem with that of APAGA, on Thursday, 20 June. The meetings of APAGA and AARCA will be complemented by programmes initiated and organized by New Brunswick’s Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation and by the Canada-wide ARCA, Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference / Conférence des collectifs et des centres d'artistes autogérés.

On Friday, 21 June, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation will present a day-long symposium, The Jack Weldon Humphrey Forum: Issues of Regionalism in Canadian Art, moderated by Salon editor, Michael Landry. He will engage national experts in a lively debate on the nature of the contemporary Canadian art scene. This will be followed by a gala reception during which the Foundation will announce the 2013 winner of its Strathbutler Award. The $25,000 award recognises excellence in the field of fine craft or visual arts by an artist who has made a substantial contribution to the province of New Brunswick.

Saturday morning, 22 June, the Canada-wide ARCA will lead A Forum on Independent Publishing that will build on the foundations laid by the Tiré à part / Off Printing symposium on publishing in artist-run centres, held in Québec in 2003, and more recent discussions among stakeholders with the Canada Council for the Arts and at the New York Art Book Fair. ARCA has invited representatives from artist-run centres and independent publishers to participate in an exchange on innovative approaches to the production and dissemination of art writing in the visual arts.

Also on Saturday, Sylvie Gilbert, newly appointed Head of Visual Arts for the Canada Council for the Arts, will speak on “the Change Agenda at the Canada Council.” Other presenters include John McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association, Margot Piron, cultural attachée for the French consulate in Moncton, and Corina MacDonald, Project Manager of e-artexte, a digital repository for contemporary Canadian art publications.

East of There / À l'Est de là represents a rare confluence of visual arts organisations in the Atlantic region, bringing together an unprecedented constellation of key players in the sector to articulate and examine their experiences of regionality. The gathering expands that conversation to include representatives from all four provinces, as well as from Québec, Ontario, Manitoba and points west, and from a diversity of visual arts institutions, including artist-run centres, community arts centres, university and municipal galleries, and provincial and national institutions. Proceedings will benefit from simultaneous interpretation in both official languages, supported by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, APAGA, ARCA and the Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAFV).

For information, please contact:

Anne McHugh, Administrative Secretary                         
New Brunswick Museum                                                    
Tel: (506) 643-2351                                                           
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Kathryn McCarroll, Executive Director                         
Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation                                                    
Tel: (506) 693-5647                                                           
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