2010 Past Exhibitions

'The Start" William Rogers
'Red" Leya Evelyn, Hubley
Editorial Cartoons, Bruce Mackinnon
Great Book of Gaelic (2nd viewing) Gallery Exhibition
Large Scale Drawings, Audrey Nicoll, Chester Basin
Watercolours and Mixed Media, Derrick Johnson, Lower Sackville
Mixed Media Paintings, Onni Nordman, Sydney
StFX Fine Art Faculty Exhibition
J.H. Gillis Regional High: International Baccalaureate Art Show
Art @X Art Dept. Student Show
Art @X Student Union Photo Show
Photography, Joanne Chilton, Glen Margaret
Paintings, Nancy Stevens

November 30, 2010 - December 21, 2010
Exhibition: 'The Start" William Rogers

The StFX University Art Gallery was delighted to host this exhibition by northeastern Nova Scotian artist, William (Bill) Rogers. 

Claimed by both Cape Breton and Antigonish, Bill is one of this province’s best-known watercolour artists. His growing reputation is buttressed by a daily studio practice, worked with the exactitude demanded by direct observation, devotion, and the wisdom that can only be achieved by experience. He is much admired by collectors and peers not only for his art but also for the leadership and tireless energy he affords to the development of our visual arts community. 
For many, Bill is regarded primarily as a figurative and landscape artist.  In this show, however, we will come to realize that William Rogers CSPWC is also to be known as an accomplished equestrian artist.

November 1, 2010 - November 28, 2010
Exhibition: 'Red" Leya Evelyn, Hubley.

The StFX University Art Gallery was delighted to host this exhibition by Hubley, NS artist, Leya Evelyn.

A painter’s painter, Leya began working in abstracts early in her career and her works are lush experiences of colour saturation and the subtle language of innuendo.

In abstraction, art is pure form: the physicality of object and paint is forefront; the inherent humanity of mark making always present, with colour, as physiological and psychological agent continuous.

To interpret and ascribe meaning to Leya’s art demands that one must go beyond the relatively simple process of contextualizing producer and consumer. As we are dealing with an art form that does not fit nicely into realism, our mapping must use signposts, the articulation of which will bring us uncomfortably into the realm of emotions. One must reach beyond what one has learned and into the gaps of the unknown.

The StFX Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the generous support of StFX University, our season sponsor:  the MacLeod Group, exhibition sponsor: A.A. Munroe Insurance and assistance from the NS Dept of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage. Thank you to Dr. Sean Kennedy, Department of Irish Studies and English Saint Mary’s University for allowing us to print his insightful observation on the artist’s work and finally a huge thank you to Leya Evelyn for bring her work to Antigonish


October 1, 2010 - October 31, 2010
Exhibition: Editorial Cartoons
Bruce Mackinnon

The StFX University celebrated Home Coming 2010 with an exhibition and book launch of award winning editorial cartoonist and StFX Alumnus Bruce MacKinnon.

The exhibition consisted of 120 of Bruce’s works drawn from the StFX University Art Collection. At the same time Nimbus Publishing celebrated "Penetration: Editorial Cartoons and Caricatures by the Chronicle Herald’s Bruce MacKinnon. The 25th Anniversary Collection" with an Antigonish book launch.

Bruce MacKinnon, a native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, studied at StFX, Mount Allison University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. At the age of 14, Bruce was hired to do weekly cartoons for the Casket newspaper.  He later did cartoons for the Antigonish Spectator, and while at StFX, the Xaverian Weekly.  In 1985 Bruce started doing weekly editorial cartoons for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald /The Mail-Star and in 1986 joined that paper fulltime, filling the void left by renowned cartoonist Bob Chambers. A winner of over a dozen journalism awards, including two Nation Newspaper Awards for Editorial Cartooning, Bruce and his wife, Peggy, and their children, Robyn and Jamieson live in Halifax. For more on Bruce MacKinnon please visit: http://www.canadiancartoonists.com  or http://thechronicleherald.ca/

This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of StFX University, a grant from the NS Dept of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage, Season Sponsor: the MacLeod Group, Exhibition Sponsor A.A. Munroe Insurance and Nimbus Publishing (book launch).


September 15, 2010 - September 27, 2010
Exhibition: Great Book of Gaelic (2nd viewing) Gallery Exhibition

An Leabhar Mor -The Great Book of Gaelic is a 21st– century Book of Kells that brings together the work of more than 150 poets, visual artists, and calligraphers. Scotland and Ireland share a mythology, a rich music tradition, languages and some history. Irish Gaels, known as Scoti, invaded Scotland in the 5th century and gave it their name.

An Leabhar Mòr is a both book and exhibit and features poems from every century between the sixth and the twenty-first – and contains the earliest Gaelic poetry in existence. On each artwork is the poem and the art work it inspired, each piece is a true marriage of written and visual language. From the artworks a beautiful book was created.  In the book each Gaelic poem is presented with not only the visual interpretation  but also an  English translation. The book teaches and delights at the same time

During the 2010 Antigonish Highland Games we were pleased that the art was displayed through the town of Antigonish in participating businesses and institutions, in a display tent on Columbus Field and at the StFX University Art Gallery. W 

This project renews the connection between Gaelic Scotland and Ireland and the global Gaidhealtachd and celebrates the diverse strands of contemporary Celtic culture. Here in Nova Scotia An Leabhar Mor demonstrates  that in order for the provincial Gaidhealtachd to grow all artforms are to encouraged and supported.   Highland Games Exhibition organisers gratefully recognizeds the support and encouragement of MacLeod Group , Antigonish

An Leabhar Mor has been originated by the Gaelic Arts Agency and developed in Partnership with Iomairt Cholm Cille- Columbia Institute.

July 26, 2010 - August 27, 2010
Exhibition: Large Scale Drawings
Audrey Nicoll, Chester Basin.

The StFX University Art Gallery concluded its summer 2010 exhibition season with "Requiem: Apiary", an exciting and thoughtful display of large-scale drawings by Chester, NS artist Audrey Nicoll.

For the past decade, Audrey Nicoll’s artwork has been primarily concerned with the socio-economic repercussions of environmental change.

A previous series Value Load: A Tragedy of the Commons explored the collapse of the Maritime Fishery and the issue of resource depletion. The exhibition contextualized our regional dilemma within the context of global overfishing and mismanagement

Nicoll’s latest series "Requiem: Apiary" looks at different aspect of resource depletion. Here she explores the complexities of the worldwide phenomena of Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Given that bees pollinate 30% of the world’s crops and 90 % of our wild plants, the direct impact of CCD on global food security cannot be underestimated.

Audrey’s delivers her observations through mixed media drawings executed on oversized paper with dimensions of 5 by 8 feet being the norm. Grounded in representation, the images are delivered in her signature style that is simultaneously technically competent and emotionally expressive.


Here Nicoll’s work conveys an informed urgency so often found when agitating for personal responsibility in the face of corporate (colonial) plantation mathematics and its attendant political/economic/cultural mono-conformity. Increasingly we are being made to make personal decisions regarding the impact we as individuals have on our planet. 

As a Nova Scotian artist and citizen, Nicoll summed it up succulently in her catalogue statement for Value Load: A Tragedy of the Commons,

 "The difficulty lies in resolving which values to retain and which to jettison. This decision is made more difficult by the nostalgia perpetrated by a tourism industry that predictably surfaces when resource-based economies flounder. The tourism industry recognizes society’s romantic fascination with the past; our yearning for a simpler and safer era; and the lucrative nature of its consumption. Encouraged to package up a tantalizing myth to sell, residents become confined to live within a fiction. Yet within this model of a museum culture, in which our culture/history is observed not lived, our history becomes merely another resource that needs to be managed and maintained, rather than questioned and moved on from. "  -Value Load: A Tragedy of the Commons , 2008 Exhibition Catalogue ARTsPLACE, Annapolis Royal, NS

It is in this context that we are invited to view this exhibition. Here the craft of making art is as it should be: transparent yet totally visible. What is important is not just what you see as object, but also an understanding of all that has brought you and the artist to this point. Where you go from here is totally up to you.

The StFX University Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges our Season Sponsor: The MacLeod Group and Exhibition Sponsor: A.A. Munro Insurance. In addition, the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage provided Creation and Exhibition Assistance Grants to both Artist and Gallery.

June 7, 2010 - July 10, 2010
Exhibition: Watercolours and Mixed Media
Derrick Johnson, Lower Sackville

Artist's Statement:

I believe in the transforming power of art. Like music, art is closely allied with our spirit. It lives and breathes inside all of us, waiting to be discovered, expressed, released, appreciated and lived. Art can be a power and influence for good, leading to positive change, elevating us individually or as a society to new heights. For me good art can and should ask the hard questions. It should examine personal and social issues; searching for constructive, creative and preferably positive solutions. Art mixes new and old ideas into a beautiful blend unique to each and every artist. Therefore no two artists are really the same. Art is so much more than "pretty pictures". In its finest form, it is a physical, intellectual and spiritual journey or experience with the added benefit of historical context built into it. Telling us where we have been, where we are and where we are going. 

As an artist with an idealist's mind and heart, I try to marry my paintings with these core values and beliefs. Passion is a crucial element for artists.  Passion drives my ongoing goal to continue developing and perfecting a strong painting vocabulary with emphasis on a visual, narrative style. I want to continually develop both artistically and professionally through the creative challenge and process. I truly believe that in a sense, an artist without an opinion is like a brush without bristles - pretty much useless.

How can one live, breathe, and not form an opinion about something? I believe in continual growth and not in stagnancy. I would like to make people think about their society and  the political and social leaders who help shape it. Who do we place our trust in. Truth, trust, honesty and faith are not necessarily interchangeable. Do we want to be sheep or do we want to actively participate in deciding our own destinies. Voting once every election is not enough. People need to be well informed and aware of every decision made on their behalf by the political parties calling the shots. There has been a long tradition of social and political commentary in painting with artists such as Honore Daumier, Francisco Goya and Theodore Gericault. I want to carry on this tradition and to examine the nature of truth and propaganda.

All art, even the simplest still life, has an element of propaganda to it. What we watch on television, see at the movie theatre, hear on the radio, read on the web or in newspapers and magazines and yes see in the art gallery; shapes our perception of "reality". A great portion of art is about being proactive, studious, observant and diligent. I hope you will enjoy my paintings and that they will make you think about these issues. Thank you for visiting my exhibition, please feel free to leave some comments and sign my comment book.

Derrick Dale Johnson  June 2010       

Website: www.derrickdalejohnsonartist.weebly.com

The StFX Art Gallery recognizes the support of the province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage. We are please to work in partnership with the Culture Division to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

The Gallery gratefully thanks our Season Sponsor: The MacLeod Group, and our Exhibition Sponsor: A.A. Munro.

May 10, 2010 - June 4, 2010
Exhibition: Mixed Media Paintings
Onni Nordman, Sydney.

Onni Nordman was born to a Finnish family in the heart of multicultural post-war industrial Cape Breton.  

To be a child of the 1950’s and 60's in Sydney was to move through an environment of unlimited potential. Everyone worked, salaries were big, and what you could not buy, you grew, caught, or built. The industrial and natural landscapes were one and the same and by the late 60’s, early 70’s higher education was open to all. (Mass unemployment and environmental consciousness came later)

It was in and out of this delicious complexity that Onni Nordman decided to be an artist. As any young Cape Bretoner would, Onni simply went to the nearest art school: -NSCAD- (The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) in Halifax.

The NSCAD of the early 70’s was arguably one of the best, if not the best art school in North America. It was a place ruled by conceptualism, a creative enclave, where the only currency that mattered was that of the idea. Following art school Nordman worked in Halifax and it was here that Onni acquired the freedom and studio discipline that continues to serve him so well. Returning to Cape Breton in 2000, Onni resides in South Bar, Sydney Harbour.

A painter’s painter Onni handles paint to a point where it is as if the medium has been assembled and collaged. Layer upon layer, each with it’s own distinctive handling makes up the whole. Sometimes the paint is laid over underlying images, layers and images repeat like passages of music. Here one sees paint as delicate lace, there as solid lozenges of pigment. Mixed, carved, brushed, rolled, stencilled and engraved, Onni’s surfaces tease and seduce with humour and intensity. It is as if all the rules of painting are acknowledged, broken, and rewritten at the same time. On top of that, all puns intended, some works are painted on tiled ensembleges of lenticular (3-D images). The eye delights and the mind boggles in seduction as the painted surface floats on a simmering and constantly moving ground. That both surface and ground contains images only strengthens the optical mastery as we interplay meaning with effect.  

Of the work in this exhibition, Onni writes: "this work first and foremost creates its own context.  Quintessentially postmodern in the mixing of romantic & classical codes.  Romantic, in the sense that several semiotic levels and material surfaces meet in a heightened, mythic portrayal of the contemporary world.  Classical in the sense that it's all anchored in strict architectonic form. " 

Onni has been exhibiting publically since the late 70’s in such galleries as the Multicultural Art Gallery, Pier 21 Halifax, Insite Gallery, Sydney Mines, Mt. Carmel Center, New Waterford,  Sueandailies Gallery North Sydney, Pierscape, Whitney Pier and the University Galleries of Cape Breton University,  Mount Saint Vincent,  StFX and Saint Mary’s. His work is to be found in numerous public including that of the Nova Scotia Art Bank, Cape Breton University, CBC Nova Scotia, Minova Corporation in Finland and in many private collections throughout Canada and internationally in New York, Melbourne, and Helsinki. In 2009 Onni Norman received the Nova Scotia Arts & Culture Partnership Established Artist Recognition Award. For further information on Nordman’s work, please visit his website at: www.onninordman.com

The StFX University Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges our Season Sponsor: The MacLeod Group and Exhibition Sponsor: A.A. Munro Insurance.  Production of these art works were made possible by a grant to the artist from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage.

April 10, 2010 - May 7, 2010
Exhibition: StFX Fine Art Faculty Exhibition
The StFX Fine Art Faculty Show featured over 30 works by faculty members in the StFX Fine Arts Department.

April 2010
Exhibition: J.H. Gillis Regional High: International Baccalaureate Art Show

This exhibition featured works from students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School.

March 23, 2010 - April 1, 2010
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.

March 9, 2010 - March 13, 2010
Exhibition: Art @X Student Union Photo Show

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

February 9, 2010 - March 7, 2010
Exhibition: Photography
Joanne Chilton, Glen Margaret

Artist’s Statement:

On February 16, 2007, I received a call that changed my life forever.  My granddaughter attempted suicide.  She had died and was brought back to life again by the paramedics who responded to the 911 call.    She suffered severe brain damage as a result of her suicide attempt; she could no longer speak, eat solid foods, walk or care for herself again. Twenty months later, on October 29, 2008, she passed away peacefully as a result of an infection that rapidly moved through her body.

The loss of a loved one is similar to entering into the surreal.  The cave of darkness that embraces us is where we stay until we are ready to come forward again to the light.  When we lose someone in death we also experience a kind of death inside.  We have all heard people say “time will heal” - an overused cliché as a valuable reminder that healing does take time.  Time does heal, but surely some other element must be added to produce a worthy gift that we can share with other humans on this journey too.  There is nothing we can take to make the pain go away, but there is something we can do that will help bring meaning to the pain we face and at the same time honoring the life of the loved one.

The healing process is often like a seed hidden within the soil waiting for the right time to see the light.  To make this transition from darkness to light everything must be right.  Time, water, sun and conditions make it possible to see things from a different perspective.  We cannot rush, fake or deny this painful process; it is something every one of us will have to experience at some time in our life.

One month before her death, I had the opportunity to visit and shared a connection with my granddaughter with sunflowers, planting a seed for my own path of healing.   “Facing the Light” uses sunflowers as a metaphor for connecting and the path of grieving.   Sunflowers reflect the unexplainable, their mysterious and remarkable ability to reproduce hundreds of seeds from a single pod to continue life: when the pods are full at the end of their life they droop slightly downward, heavy with the promise of hope and renewal.  Sunflowers reflect the memory of a life shared, death and the healing transformation to the beginning of new life. 

The images presented in “Facing the Light” are representative of my personal process and stages working through grief and understanding my connection between pain and renewal.  This is like the sunflower facing the light to grow and blossom, creating beauty in the process. In the end this beauty is stored in an abundance of seeds, like the wonderful memories of my granddaughter, each ready to sprout into a new life and direction.

Bruce's Statement:

Interpretations of art and exhibitions are based on what we have learned and experienced.  We can look at an image of a sunflower and think of gardens, fields, van Gogh, tasty salted seeds.  Streams of associations are made, followed, touched on, and then let go.  For the most part we are satisfied with this process.  We are comforted and reassured and the world is as it should be.  Yet change is constant and some of it happens quickly and some of it is tragic. 

Tragedy happens to entire regions, cities, locales and families but it always rests with the individual.  As individuals, we have a natural ability to overcome tragedy, to make sense of it, and continue living. We do this collectively first as individuals and then as families, locals, cities, regions an so on. 

This then is the nature of Facing the Light – Sunflowers.  It is the return journey from the place of anguish that only love can know and express. It is also our collective journey.

That you have read this catalogue and Joanne Gallant-Chilton’s artist statement will mean that you have gone past a surface interpretation of the show.  It will mean that you have in some way changed and for a while the sunflower will become more than just another flower.

January 5, 2010 - February 7, 2010
Exhibition: Paintings
Nancy Stevens

It is a distinct honour for the StFX University Art Gallery to have presented an artist of the caliber of E. Nancy Stevens. That it should be in Antigonish was all the more special as this is where Nancy lives and works. "Pathways", the body of work we are about to experience is compelling in its beauty and intensity. 

These paintings are patterns captured.  Pattern is ever present.  Even the non-patterns of chaos are, in the fullness of time, cyclical.  Like it or not, from cradle to grave, we as individuals fit into this greater (non)pattern.  As individuals we interface within our allocated time and within each others lives as communities of family, friends, co-workers, citizens, and nations. The world is a symphony of frequencies interacting and interlocking.  Nancy's work sees this.

Translated into codes of paint by the artist, passages and combinations of music, conversations, sounds, sights, and colours, populate her palette.  Compositions of  “if this, than that” come and go, patterns combine and recombine until finally the artist, as creator, decides that within each piece the overall message has been satisfactorily revealed.  With its meaning now, far greater than the sum of its parts,  each work is a conversation; a pathway if you will, and one that we are invited to explore and enjoy

I would like to thank Nancy and her partner, Kinsley Brown, for their patience and gracious hospitality in working with the StFX Gallery to make "Pathways" possible and to curator, critic, and artist, Tila Kellman, who wrote the concise and insightful catalogue essay.  Thank you to Ruth Young for designing not just for this publication but also so much of the Gallery’s accomplished printed material. To the Chair of the Gallery Board, Dr. Mary McGillivray, StFX Academic Vice-President and Provost, and to fellow Board members, a hearty thank you for again presenting to Antigonish and the Communities of Northeastern NS the best in Contemporary Visual Art.  I would like to thank our many Friends of the Gallery and, in particular, to our Season Sponsor: Brian Macleod, Macleod Group Inc. and Exhibition Sponsor, Harley MacCaull, A.A. Munro Insurance for partnering with the University to make all this possible. Finally, thank you to Jōst Vineyards for providing the opening toast to artist E. Nancy Stephens