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Gallery goes green with Free Parking exhibition

May 30, 2011

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is reaching out to Charlottetown's city parks this summer. A new exhibition, Free Parking, details artists' engagement with urban green spaces.

Free Parking developed out of curator Pan Wendt's longstanding love of Victoria Park, and a series of talks he gave on Victoria Park as well as Central Park in New York in the fall of 2010. This interest in the history and aesthetics of city parks led him to artists who have used parks as inspiration or settings.

"I've tried to combine artists from elsewhere in the country who are involved with urban green spaces with projects specifically related to parks in this city," says Wendt. "The park is a place with an aesthetic origin; it was designed for purposes that could never be considered ‘useful'; leisure, contemplation, relaxation, natural habitats."

"In many ways the human project of building parks has much in common with the making of art, the creation of little islands of retreat, reflection and freedom within the sometimes oppressive routine of urban life and work."

Some works approach the park topic through representation. P.E.I. painter Brian Burke, for example, painted a series based on well-known Victoria Park landmark Dead Man's Pond that has never been shown on the Island. Sackville, New Brunswick painter Andrea Mortson uses park settings in her series of large-scale paintings to evoke dreamlike states.

The exhibit will also include a small but exquisite painting of Dead Man's Pond by Robert Harris.

More unorthodox contemporary pieces include a large-scale installation based on Renaissance grottos by Halifax-based Valerie Salez, and Saskatchewan artist Stacia Verigin's woodland replica sculptures made from glued sawdust.

The exhibition opens Saturday, June 4, and runs to September 25. The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is also participating in the Art in the Open festival on August 27.

Join us on Saturday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m. as we celebrate the opening of all the summer exhibitions. Everyone is welcome!

Cutline: Andrea Mortson, You are Loved, oil on canvas, 72" x 60", 2010, courtesy of the artist


Media contact: Dan Wall, publicist, Confederation Centre of the Arts, phone (902) 628-6135
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