2 April 2008

Second in Know Your Own Artists series, Dan Steeves - Navigating the Familiar, Opening April 6 at the New Brunswick Museum


The New Brunswick Museum presents the work of New Brunswick artist Dan Steeves in the exhibition Navigating the Familiar, opening Sunday, April 6. This is the second in the New Brunswick Museum's new Know Your Own Artists series. Steeves, a well-known artist from Sackville, strongly influenced by a lifetime living near the Bay of Fundy, delves into the familiarity of time and place through the starkness and simplicity of his distinct black and white prints.

The landscapes of Steeves' prints are specific to the coast of contemporary eastern North America and more particularly to the Bay of Fundy shoreline and the surroundings of the Tantramar marshes. Here the rhythm of the tide's ebb and flow punctuates daily life and measures the course of human events.

Steeves remarks, "A lifetime of living near the Bay of Fundy has made me think about the relationship between our existence in this landscape and how we navigate our lives through the relentless cycle of the tides. Our experiences, like the tides, can be measured or suppressed in our memories. These experiences keep the mind in a state of flux, while subconsciously imprinting or staining our personal history. The starkness and simplicity of the black and white prints allows for clear investigation of these thoughts while not becoming inhibited or laden with local colour."

Dan Steeves has chosen a demanding medium and works with it to put forward his vision in images that are particularly suited to his craft. His artistic accountability demands ideas that are best communicated through this medium with its rich and varied textures, tones and unforgiving process. Buildings, vehicles, bridges and signs populate the landscape of these prints and they speak of sanctuary, travel, connection and messages.

New Brunswick Museum's Curator of New Brunswick Cultural History and Art, Peter Larocque observes, "In the exploration of these ordinary events and familiar objects, we cannot underestimate what is revealed. These images disclose truths about us and also about what is important. They are the product of an honest and sincere journey through a landscape for which he has a genuine and obvious affection. We are obliged to become witness to all those things that we take for granted and we are asked to re-examine our daily existence so as to take stock of where and how and why we fit in. Most importantly, this work affords us a profound opportunity to reconsider the world around us."

Dan Steeves lives in Sackville, New Brunswick , with his wife and three children. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University where he currently works as a lecturer and technician in the Fine Arts Department. His work can be found in numerous public and private collections and it has been exhibited internationally. Steeves is a recent winner of the prestigious Strathbutler award, presented annually to recognize an artist or craftsperson who has excelled in their field while making a substantial contribution to the province of New Brunswick.

Navigating the Familiar is second in the new series of Know Your Own Artists solo exhibitions. The original Know Your Own Artists was a series of exhibitions presented by the New Brunswick Museum between 1949 and 1954 to showcase the most talented artists in New Brunswick. This new series follows in this tradition, presenting work by contemporary New Brunswick artists, selected by jury.

New Brunswick Museum Director, Jane Fullerton, comments, “The creativity, diversity and quality of their work illustrates the continuing strength of New Brunswick art. The New Brunswick Museum is proud to recognize and support contemporary New Brunswick art through this series and through the exhibition Dan Steeves: Navigating the Familiar.”

The Museum will also host an Artist's Talk by Dan Steeves on May 22 at 7 pm. Steeves will share the stories, influences, and experiences that make up a career spanning over 26 years. He will speak of his passion for the distinct medium of intaglio printmaking and how he relates it to living a life affected by the Bay of Fundy. Everyone is welcome to the talk and admission is free.

Navigating the Familiar continues at the New Brunswick Museum until July 6, 2008. For more information: (506) 643-2300 or 1-888-268-9595.

For further information on Dan Steeves, visit his website: www.dansteeves.com

For further information:

Jane Fullerton

(506) 643-2346