2004 Past Exhibitions

November 16, 2004 - December 19, 2004
Exhibition: Capturing the Moment
John Young

"Capturing The Moment", an exhibition of paintings by Toronto artist John Young was on display at the StFX University Art Gallery. A relative newcomer to the Nova Scotian Art Scene, John Young is no stranger to Antigonish and StFX University. A graduate of the Class of 54, John has retained strong ties with StFX, reconnecting in 1991 when he joined the University’s Board of Governors. During the following six years John played a key role in the development of the office of University Advancement and spearheaded with his wife Trudy, the creation, design and financing of the StFX Alumni House.

As young man, John Young was an accomplished commercial artist, able to use his artistic skills to work his way through university. While in his early twenties, John put his art making tools aside to develop a very successful business career in sales and marketing. However, his love of art making was never far away. His career required extensive travel to many parts of the world. His camera and his wife as a model, turned many a trip into imaginative collage albums. In 1994 John retired from business and after a 40 year hiatus devoted himself full-time to making art.

Freedom from the constraints of making a living has given the artist the time to make art, and the liberty to fully explore and experiment with the properties of paint. The same energy and commitment used to become a success in business, is now being applied to his studio practice. Using his collage work as touchstones, John composes and creates images and patterns on canvas. The compositions are dynamic filled with light and colour.

The artist is able to fuse and synthesize the elusive emotive and spiritual aspects of his images, be they Christian or secular, with the actual surface qualities of his paint and his unhesitating use of pure pigments. The actual physical reality of the painterly surface is extraordinary.

This physicality, the base reality of the paintings, transcends the works function as image, and reinforces their function as objects. They are objects upon which the paint texture is more than surface embellishment and the colour is more than symbolism. Colour in this case becomes a texture and what is commonly recognized as texture has become energy. Perhaps it’s best to quote the artist himself:

"Joyful, spiritual awakenings happen when people first inspect my work. It is impressionistic art with a touch of surrealism, abstract or straight impressionism with unreal depth or no depth at all with a single but uplifting focus. With the flow going back and forth, texture becomes a defining element giving off reflected highlights. With each viewing, people find new elements and relate same to personal hope, faith and defining moments in their lives." www.youngart.ca/

The power of these pieces lies in a delicious tension between representation(s) of transcendence, and the works ability to separate itself and stand apart from the norms of expectations and conventions within the very disciplines of painting and art presentation. We are witness to a conflict between boundaries of expression and the actual energy the work is able to generate by simply being on the wall.

John Young became a professional artist a scant six years ago with a 1998 solo exhibit at the prestigious Gallery Gevik in the Yorkville district in Toronto. Already he is part of over 60 private and corporate collections in Canada, USA and Europe. He is publicly collected by schools, universities, hospitals and private clubs in both the United States and Canada. Most recently, he has received a commission by the Children’s Wish Foundation.

October 5, 2004 - October 31, 2004
Exhibtion: Innovation in Realism
Charles A. Couper

The StFX University Art Gallery was pleased to exhibit work by this Internationally award winning artist.

Still Life is Charles' forte and major preoccupation. Couper attempts to widen the parameters of this genre by expanding his subject matter into areas not frequently explored. Charles believes that any truly valuable innovation is likely to emerge from painters well steeped in the tradition, believing that in order to go forward, one must know where one has been. Charles recently received publication of a four page review of his working procedures, painting philosophy with colour reproduction in “International Pastel Artist” magazine, representing Canada. He has also a three page article with colour reproduction in the book "The Best of Canadian Pastels." A third publication, also in hardback, “Studio Rally: Art and Craft of Nova Scotia" contains an interview with Charles, also with colour reproductions.

Charles is a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but has been a Canadian citizen since 1987. His studio home is in Bear River, Nova Scotia. He received his initial training as a student of Fine Art at Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Massachusetts and subsequently taught there for fifteen years. While attending classes at Vesper George in winters, summers were spent studying with Henry Hensche at the Cape Cod School of Art where the principles of colour perception and application as formulated by Charles Hawthorne were taught. Charles also took courses in the craft of painting at the Joseph Butera School of Art in Boston and finally became a private student of the late, much esteemed Boston painter, Ernest L. Major who was a permanent resident painter of the IPSWICH Studios. Charles taught for three years at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts and eventually conducted August Painting Workshops in Bear River, Nova Scotia for nine years. Charles has instructed, exhibited and painted in cities from Mexico to Canada and promoted visual arts as universal language. He has exhibited extensively throughout North America and his work is found in many collections. 

For more information on Charles please visit: