7 December 2007

Exhibition Features Work of Award Winning New Brunswick Artists

A new exhibition opening at the New Brunswick Museum on December 8 provides an opportunity to see the work of award winning New Brunswick artists. For the Collection: Strathbutler Award Winners 1996-2000 presents works recently acquired by the Museum.

The Strathbutler Award is 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. This exhibition features work of five recipients; sculptors Marie Hélène Allain and Rick Burns, photographer Freeman Patterson, and painters Suzanne Hill and Roméo Savoie. These works were acquired with financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and through the generosity of Mrs. Inez Burns.

Each year, since 1991, a jury of artists and critics has chosen from among qualified nominees, a recipient of the prestigious Strathbutler Award, presented by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Inc. The Award's founder, Sheila Hugh Mackay, augmented this recognition by donating a work by each Strathbutler artist to the New Brunswick Museum 's permanent collection. Works of the first five winners of the Strathbutler Awards were donated to the Museum by Sheila Hugh Mackay prior to her untimely death in 2004. Her wish to continue the development of this collection has been fulfilled by the Foundation which bears her name.

Museum Curator of New Brunswick Cultural History and Art Peter Larocque explained that “this ensures a permanent record in a public collection of the concerns, talents and abilities of each of the award recipients.” Foundation Administrative Director Rachel Brodie said that “The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation is pleased to be working with the New Brunswick Museum to ensure that a collection of the finest visual art and craft in the province is available for public viewing.”

This exhibition from the Sheila Hugh Mackay Collection of Strathbutler Award Winners also documents an important philanthropic gesture. The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Inc.'s generosity in continuing its founder's initiative “affirms a strong belief in the fundamental value of culture within our community, commented New Brunswick Museum Director Jane Fullerton. “This powerful statement of encouragement is important to our artists and craftspeople and helps increase awareness of contemporary art.”

For further information:

Wendy Martindale

Head, Community Services

(506) 643-2338

Peter Larocque

Curator, New Brunswick Cultural History and Art

(506) 643-2327