Director’s message: January 2014

Terry Graff is Director/CEO and Chief Curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. One of Canada’s foremost curators and respected senior administrators in the visual arts, he has also distinguished himself as a highly accomplished visual artist, art writer, educator, and gallery director.

As “the art gallery of New Brunswick,” the Beaverbrook Art Gallery plays a proactive role in the cultural, social, and economic life of the province. Combining a global perspective with grounding in our home place in the Maritimes, we are committed to delivering public value by providing a wide spectrum of programs and services that speak to diverse audiences in meaningful ways. Our robust winter/spring schedule of exhibitions highlights several community-based initiatives and reflects many of our strategic partnerships with other cultural groups and institutions. Together we are building a vibrant cultural community in New Brunswick by promoting inclusiveness, accessibility, and public engagement with the visual arts.

We value our relationship with the Acadian community, and are delighted to present Nérée de Grâce: Images of Acadie, one of the most beloved and enchanting visual expressions of Acadian cultural heritage, in partnership with Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul and Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne. At the same time, we are also pleased to partner with the Acadian Association of Professional Artists of New Brunswick (AAAPNB) to showcase Éloizes 2014: Finalists in the Visual Arts. The nominees for this year’s prestigious Éloize Award for Artist of the Year are Marie Hélène Allain, Luc A.Charrette, and Jocelyn Jean, three outstanding contemporary artists, each represented in our permanent collection and featured in recent exhibitions organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

Indeed, Acadian art and artists hold a prominent place in our program. This summer, in conjunction with the World Acadian Congress 2014,we are partnering with the Galerie Colline and the Centre des arts de la Petite église d’Edmundston to present Imagined Dialogues, a major exhibition of contemporary Acadian art in New Brunswick. Further, the Gallery is honouring the notable senior Acadian artist Claude Roussel at this year’s Tribute Gala scheduled for the fall in Moncton. Details about these activities will be announced on our website and highlighted in our summer/fall issue of Tableau. Other community partnerships are also vital to the Gallery’s success, particularly those with the province’s many educational institutions, as they enable us to share resources, expand audience, and achievemuchmore than we could do alone. For example, through collaboration with St. Thomas University, we are presenting Now you see it, a new installation by the internationally acclaimed Uruguayan artist Carlos Capelán (featured on the front cover), in conjunction with a conference on the theme of “Human Rights and Art” organized by Dr. Sara MacDonald.

We are also delighted to once again team up with The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick for the presentation of Nancy Stevens: The Liri Valley Paintings, which is made possible with the support of Veterans Affairs Canada (Community Engagement Partnership Fund). The Gallery has a special interest in works of art related to Canada’s war history, as our founder, Lord Beaverbrook, was also the founder of the Canadian War Memorials Fund. We are pleased to offer Canada’s war veterans free admission to the Gallery during the course of this special exhibition commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the Battle in Liri Valley.

The Gallery has a long-standing relationship with the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, a designated centre of excellence in the arts offering a diverse program of studio courses. Teachers and students at the College frequently use the Gallery as a valuable resource, and this year we are proud to partner with the College on the occasion of their seventy-fifth anniversary with the presentation of The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design Graduate Exhibition 2014.

The Gallery’s programmatic vision is advanced by reaching out and developing strong collaborative relationships with artists, independent curators, and art collectors. We are therefore pleased to work with New Brunswick artist Stephen Scott and adjunct curator Virgil Hammock on the exhibition Stephen Paints a Picture. We are also grateful to art collector Leslie B. Marcus for the opportunity to showcase his remarkable art collection in an exhibition titled The Leslie B. Marcus Collection: A Gift to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and for his generous donation of works of art by many prominent New Brunswick artists.

Since its inception, the permanent collection has grown and developed largely through the support of donors like Mr. Marcus, which allows the Gallery to regularly organize thematic exhibitions of works of art drawn from our diverse holdings. Flesh & Bones: Permutations of the Human Form is one of these exhibitions, presenting a variety of artists’ approaches to the representation of the human form in modern and contemporary art.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is a dynamic centre of excellence, one of Canada’s top-tier cultural resources, and a place that brings people and art together to truly affect people’s lives. The active engagement of our members, donors, and community partners in our programs is an endorsement of our strategic direction that propels us forward. As we envision our future, public support of the ongoing efforts of our staff, board of governors, and volunteers is critical. Realizing the goals of our $25 Million Capital Campaign will be a dramatic game-changer for art and culture in Atlantic Canada, as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery enters a new and exciting phase of its history that will see many new and increased services and opportunities for the people of New Brunswick and for our visitors from across the country and beyond.

Thank you for your ongoing support! Please enjoy our winter/spring exhibitions and public programs.