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Six New Exhibitions To Be Launched at Winter Art Gala

February 25, 2015

(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) - The Confederation Centre Art Gallery will officially launch six new shows on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. These exhibitions vary greatly, ranging from the oversized works of Big Art, Big Idea to the intricate Mi'kmaw baskets and creations of Ursula Johnson's Mi'kwite'tmn (‘Do You Remember'), to the quiet intensity of the early 20th century female convicts presented in portraits in Second Chances.

A part of the RBC Emerging Artist Series, Second Chances is Charlottetown artist Heather Millar's first major solo exhibition. Painted on copper, the works show off Millar's technical ability, but also her passion for the subject matter. The images are derived from the prison mug shots of an assortment of women in 1920's Australia who all served time at the State Reformatory for Women in Long Bay, New South Wales.

Showing in the Centre's concourse gallery, Restless Vision: The Art of Marcel Barbeau is a collection that spans the career of the distinguished Quebecois abstract artist. The painter and sculptor was one of the original signatories of the ‘Refus Global,' a 1948 artistic manifesto dedicated to independence and spontaneity and was also member of the Automatists, an avant-garde movement that emphasized the unconscious as a wellspring of creativity and the expressive gesture of the individual artist. A member of the Order of Canada, Barbeau has always stayed loyal in his work to a constant search for ways of expressing his inner life as directly as possible, avoiding external references or representational content.

Another Barbeau piece, the 1975 sculpture Pipe Dreams 5, is included among the exhibition, Big Art, Big Idea. Situated in the upper east gallery, this show is made up of sizeable paintings, sculptures, and drawings from the permanent collection. Other selections include William D. West's Mobile No. 26 - a restored wooden mobile that once hung at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - and Lorraine Oads' The Diana Piano -- a remarkable wooden piano and tape machine hybrid that visitors can actually sit down and play.

Other new shows being celebrated include a diverse exhibition of masks entitled Looking Back at You: Masks By Artists; Ursula Johnson's Mi'kwite'tmn (‘Do You Remember'); and lastly Doing Our Own Thing: Back-to-the-land in Eastern Canada During the 1970's, which reflects upon the utopian imagination of this movement, considering both its ambitions and its failures.  
Gallery openings offer the rare opportunity to enjoy a large social gathering within the inspiring surroundings of new works, as well as the chance meet some of the creators and curators. Artists Ursula Johnson and Heather Millar will all be in attendance, as well as co-curator of Doing Our Own Thing, Amish Morrell of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery. The Winter Art Gala will also launch official publications for Second Chances as well as Cathy Busby: Acquired in 1964, which is showing in the Young People's Gallery until March 15.

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Photo cutline: The Wounded with A Heart of Club from the exhibition Restless Vision: The Art of Marcel Barbeau, which will be celebrated as part of the Winter Art Gala, Saturday March 7, at 7 p.m. in the gallery (detail: undated, oil on canvas, gift of an anonymous donor, 1972).

Media requests:
Fraser McCallum, Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
T: 902.628.6135 (office) E: fmccallum@confederationcentre.com
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