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Rock posters old and new showcase PEI bands

February 11, 2011

Charlottetown - The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is developing two exhibitions to complement the ECMAs this spring. One, in the Young People's Gallery, features four Island visual artists focusing on PEI musicians and representations of them as an interconnected social group.

The other exhibition will be in the concourse, front and centre during the ECMAs. Tonight's the Night: Rock and Roll Posters from P.E.I. highlights an emerging and already rich design form associated with the music scene on P.E.I. - band posters. "Until roughly a decade ago, the costs of design and offset printing made production of band posters an ad-hoc, low-tech activity. Bands would often produce only a few simple posters over the course of years. With the advent of desktop publishing, and especially, cheap colour printing processes, band posters emerged that capitalized on the new possibilities," says Confederation Centre Art Gallery curator Pan Wendt.

"These posters developed into a rich and sophisticated art form in their own right as designers attempted to outdo one another with their boldness and inventiveness."

The exhibitio n highlights the work of several Island designers. They began working as members or friends of bands that needed eye-catching publicity. Mike MacDougall and Craig MacPherson were among the first to employ this design form on PEI. By the late 1990s they were pushing the medium beyond simple cut and paste and into territory that recalls the heyday of rock and roll posters (c. 1967-1975).

Michael Carver is a young designer who has added new levels of complexity to the computer-designed poster form over the past four years. Kirk Avery's designs are more hand-made, involving a mixture of found and drawn or painted imagery, and his work is most closely engaged with traditional means of illustration.

Four concourse displays will feature contemporary band posters and a fifth will show a large number of historical posters lent by the public, including quite a few from the 1970s and 1980s.

Tonight's the Night: Rock and Roll Posters from P.E.I. will be shown from February 12 to April 20.

The Show is part of the ECMA Arts Linkage Program, a series of arts events showcasing P.E.I.'s many art forms in the lead up to and during the ECMAs in April.

Image: untitled, digital print, 2011, Mike MacDougall, courtesy of the artist

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Media contact: Dan Wall, publicist, Confederation Centre of the Arts, phone (902) 628-6135
Email: dwall@confederationcentre.com, web www.confederationcentre.com
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