2005 Past Exhibitions

October 20, 2005 - December 2, 2005
Exhibition: The Promise of Solitude
Ed Pien
A multi-media installation of paper cut enclosures by international artist

September 14, 2005 - October 16, 2005
Exhibition: Memory and Memorial
Rose Adams

The StFX University Art Gallery marked the beginning of the academic year 2005/2006 with Memory and Memorial, a provocative and thoughtful exhibition of paintings and drawings by Dartmouth artist Rose Adams.  

A native of Nova Scotia, Rose received her BA Hon. (79) from Acadia and a MA in English (81) at Carleton. As a visual artist she went on to achieve both a BFA (82) and a MFA (86) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. A committed educator Rose received a MEd (94) from Dalhousie University and for the past number of years has taught in the Foundation Program of NSCADU

Concurrent with a busy academic life Rose was employed by Canada World Youth, CUSO, and Cross Roads International. She has worked in Jamaica, Zambia, Malawi, Sri Lanka, and Colombia, often using the art form of popular theatre as a vehicle to achieve community development in the areas of women’s issues, health, and micro economies.

In Halifax, Rose’s interest in popular theatre led her to found the Popular Projects Society, an agit-prop theater troupe. Active in the 80’s this group tackled such diverse topics as Provincial Cultural Development, Halifax Harbour Cleanup, Revenue Canada’s then unfair treatment of professional artists, and US intervention in Central America. It is also during this period in Halifax that NSCADU, noted as a hot bed of both conceptual and political art, served the artist as a proving ground for her use of visual art as a vehicle for and of social change.

However, if would be unfair to think of Rose as just a political artist. Her art is not about issues. Long sensitized by a multicultural life and informed by the reality outside of our militarized, commercialized, sanitized and gated North American garret, Rose interprets our times in terms of the heart as well as the head.

In 2004/2005 Rose was recognized by being made Artist-in-Residence at the QE II Memory Disability Clinic in Halifax. The exhibition currently on display at the gallery is a distillation of this experience combined with her ongoing investigation of the human journey. Indeed NSCADU artist and writer Ian J. Mackinnon observes in his catalogue essay for the exhibition that: "True to her holistic approach to life and art, Adams had placed herself at the intersection of two means of experiencing and understanding the world: the medical/empirical and the artistic/spiritual."

July 11, 2005 - September 11, 2005
Exhibition: Old New Scotland
Anna Syperek

The next exhibition at StFX University Arty Gallery was Old New Scotland Investigating cultural memories and expectations passed down through landscape by Anna Syperek.

Anna Syperek is a painter of landscapes. She creates these images for the community - an audience of family, friends, neighbours and collectors. She has invited us to engage in a specific dialogue- that of reading the landscape. It is a tradition steeped in re-affirmation. She helps us to appreciate what we have and, simultaneously influences the future.

Anna is a fulcrum, central to the process in which actual landscape becomes symbolic, a virtual landscape imbued with ideology.  In turn her image is consumed by us, digested and metabolized into the desires, expectations and actions with which we terraform the world. It is an ongoing and endless cycle, but in Anna’s case, a process unique and specific to northeastern Nova Scotia.

Anna Syperek moved here 34 years ago and immediately began to interact with the landscape. Together with her husband photographer and videographer Peter Murphy, Anna has tirelessly explored this area. Over the past three decades she has given us a solid body of painting, watercolours, drawings and prints which when seen in the conjunction with the production  of fellow artists Kate Brown and Vicki MacLean  not only epitomizes the Antigonish Landscape but is a recognizable as a specific unique and vision of the land.

When Peter’s SeaBright Productions began to produce traditional Celtic music documentaries in Cape Breton, Anna begin to question and perceive the origins of what she was looking at. Perhaps it is best to quote the artist.

“I started painting there as well (Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton), learning the history and appreciating the culture of the island. During this time, I gradually came to realize that my love for this particular landscape is greatly influenced by the meaning that is invested in it by its inhabitants. The Gaelic-speaking settlers of this area and their descendants have a strong emotional connection to place, the land they were forced from, and gradually, the new land they settled. Their songs, poems and even the titles of their fiddle tunes are full of visual images and haunting melodies that express their attachment to their homes and the farms and settlements that they created.”

Old New Scotland was first shown at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts and in the fall it will travel to Scotland to be shown at the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in North Usit.  As well it will travel to areas governed by the Highland Council, in areas connected to the Highland Clearances. Translation assistance for the Gaelic/English Catalogue which accompanies the exhibit was received from Gaelic Initiatives Program, NS Tourism Culture and Heritage. StFX Sociology professor Dr. Dan MacInnes has written an introduction providing a historical perspective and excerpts from Cape Breton poet Joyce Rankin’s collection of poems, "At My Mother's Door’ adds strength to the theme in another discipline.

Although there is a body of research dealing with the past, present and future ways in which First Nations, Acadians, industrialists, and conservationists imprint on our landscape, what is important here is to acknowledge that artist Anna Syperek has begun this dialogue with her audience and the other artists of this area. We now have an opportunity to further appreciate and understand the role of visual arts in creating, maintaining, and developing the landscape of northeastern Nova Scotia.

June 20, 2005 - June 24, 2005
Exhibition: Transformations: Trash Into Art

May 26, 2005 - June 17, 2005
Exhibition: GAPACC Exposed

April 12, 2005 - May 20, 2005
Exhibition: Looking For My Dog
Michel Williatte-Battet

March 17, 2005 - April 1, 2005
Exhibition: Art @X Art Dept. Student Show

The Art Dept Student Show featured various pieces from students at StFX who were enrolled in courses within the Art Department.

February 15, 2005 - March 12, 2005
Exhibition: Art @X Student Union Photo Show

The Student Union Photo Show featured photography submitted by various students at StFX.

January 4, 2005 - February 6, 2005
Exhibition: Colours of Nature
Ruth Greenlaw

Outside it is winter, everything appears shrouded in grey, nothing is growing, the landscape is asleep. But here inside the walls of this gallery it is demonstrated that the driving force of this living planet is to reaffirm itself though the cycle of the four seasons. So what better way to start this New Year than with a sumptuous display of colour in nature?

The subject matter of these paintings is mainly drawn from gardens and fields near Lochaber and Antigonish.  Greenlaw has always loved flowers, and takes her inspiration from her own and friends’ gardens as well as the gardens at StFX.  Her photos and etchings are inspired by flowers, trees and wild plants. Her landscapes reveal sensitivity to the colours and beauty of nature in all seasons.  “Form and colour are revealed by light.  I find myself painting the effects of light, whether I paint the glass vase in a still life or the shadows in a stream,” she says. 

Throughout the exhibition one is impressed by Greenlaw’s dramatic use of colour. This use is revealed in the velvety purple petals of a flower in “Iris Glow” as well as the golden yellow leaves of “Autumn Woods, Lochaber”.  In the former, Greenlaw has layered transparent washes of watercolour pigment to achieve an unusual depth of sparkling colour.  “I use complementary colours such as yellow and purple side by side to enliven each of them,” says Greenlaw.  “I’m also drawn to detail, and enjoy capturing the patterns and forms of flowers.”  On the other hand, she uses the medium of pastel for some of her landscapes, such as “Autumn Woods, Lochaber.”   “Pastel allows me to escape the precision that I use in watercolour,” she explains.  “Painting with a blunt pastel stick on coloured paper is very different from using a rather fine watercolour brush on white paper. Painting in pastel encourages me to work broadly.”

“Colours of Nature” invites the viewer to experience the beauty of nature.

Before coming to Lochaber, Ruth Greenlaw lived in Ontario, B.C., and Saskatchewan. She studied art history and studio at the University of Western Ontario, graduating with an Honours BA. Ruth has also studied Chinese art at UBC and in China.  Her work is in numerous collections in Canada and the United States. At the time of this exhibition, she was a member of the Society of Antigonish Printmakers and teaches Art at StFX University.