Look Beyond the Frame: Gallery hosts launch of new novel by Wendy McLeod MacKnight, May 27

Beaverbrook Art GalleryMay 23, 20180 Comments


Look Beyond the Frame:
Gallery hosts launch of new novel by Wendy McLeod MacKnight, May 27

Fredericton, New Brunswick, May 23, 2018 – Paintings will be coming to life this month at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The Gallery announced today that it will host the official launch of Wendy McLeod MacKnight's new middle-grade novel The Frame-Up on May 27, 2018.

The launch will be part of the Gallery's annual Lord Beaverbrook Day celebration, and will feature a number of activities tied to the book.

Published by HarperCollins Canada, The Frame-Up is MacKnight's second middle-grade novel, and is set at New Brunswick's very own Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

This new novel explores the world beyond the frames of some of the most beloved artworks found in the Gallery. MacKnight combines her love of the Gallery with a vivid imagining of the secret lives of the subjects of the artworks, and wraps it all up in mystery and intrigue. Along with some new characters, she brings to life the portraits of Mona Dunn, Lord Beaverbrook, Helena Rubinstein, Santiago el Grande, and many others.

“The Beaverbrook Art Gallery has always held a special place in my heart, and when I decided that I wanted this novel to focus on art and creativity, I knew there was no other place in the world for the book to be set,” says MacKnight. “In fact, my greatest challenge was deciding which of its many masterworks would get to become characters in the story!"

“And given the large role Lord Beaverbrook’s portrait plays in The Frame-Up, I’m thrilled that its launch will be held on Lord Beaverbrook Day."

Lord Beaverbrook Day, the long-standing open house celebration at the Gallery, will be held this year on May 27, coinciding with the Gallery’s new, monthly Family Art Day event. Adda Mihailescu, the Gallery’s Manager of Public Programs, sees this day as a perfect opportunity to engage with the public and to enjoy all that the Gallery has to offer.

The Gallery’s programming kicks off at noon with artist workshops, free activities and admission, and a musical performance by Scotty and the Stars. At 2:00 pm, Wendy McLeod MacKnight will hold a book reading as well as a book signing, followed by a Frame-Up themed tour led by the author herself.

"Our annual Lord Beaverbrook Day celebration is always about celebrating and enjoying art,” said the Gallery’s Director/CEO, Tom Smart. “Wendy's novel fits this philosophy so perfectly, and we are honoured to host the launch of The Frame-Up. It’s pretty special to have a book that features works of art from our very own collection in such a thoughtful manner.”

In addition to celebrating the launch of this new book, the Gallery will host Frame-Up-themed tours throughout the summer, and have used it as inspiration for of the Gallery’s Artistica summer camps.

The Gallery’s program staff was inspired by the book’s approach:

“It’s such a rush to get into a new book most times, but when the book has our beloved Beaverbrook Gallery characters, and is titled The Frame-up, the excitement is hard to contain,” says Mihailescu. “The buzz within the education team here is electrifying - new programs, new ways to tell our stories, new ways to engage. The excitement has been building here for months!”

As Mihailescu does with programming, MacKnight also wants to light a creative spark in the book’s readers, and to encourage them to visit cultural institutions. "My hope is that when readers finish The Frame-Up, they will start imagining the secret lives of paintings at every gallery they visit. More than that, I hope they will want to visit the Beaverbrook Art Gallery themselves, an institution that I consider to be one of the most precious cultural resources in Canada.

"And even though the book is a middle-grade novel, trust me: Adults are going to love this book, too, especially those who live in New Brunswick.”

The book is currently available for pre-order through Harper Collins and through retail outlets, including the Beaverbrook Art Gallery's gift shop. It will be available for purchase at the Gallery on May 27, ahead of an official North American on-sale date of June 5. More information about the Gallery's special Frame-Up programming, and Lord Beaverbrook Day celebrations, will be available on its website at beaverbrookartgallery.org.

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About the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and international works of art. As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.” Information about the Gallery and its activities can be found at beaverbrookartgallery.org. Follow the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enriches life through art.

About the book

Don’t let anyone know the paintings are alive. Thirteen-year-old Mona Dunn has adhered to that rule for almost one hundred years, ever since her portrait was hung on the walls of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. So when the gallery director’s son, Sargent Singer discovers the truth, she’s sure she’d just exposed the gallery’s biggest secret. But Sargent, an aspiring artist himself, just wants to know more about the vast and intriguing world beyond the frames. With devious plots, shady characters, and grand art heists, this inventive mystery adventure celebrates art and artists.

Featuring sixteen pages of full glossy pictures of the masterpieces who are characters in the book, this book is a must-read and a useful tool for teachers and parents who want to introduce children to art and artists in a fun, accessible way.

About the author

Wendy McLeod MacKnight lives near Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and wrote her first novel at age nine. During her first career, she worked for the Government of New Brunswick, ending her career as the Deputy Minister of Education. She has been known to wander art galleries and have spirited conversations with the paintings – mostly in her head, though sometimes not. Her debut middle grade novel, It’s a Mystery, Pig Face! was published by Sky Pony Press in 2017. She can’t wait for The Frame-Up to come out so she can share her love of art and her love for the world-class Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She hopes readers will be inspired to create their own masterpieces and visit their own local art gallery. And even better, she hopes they’ll come to Fredericton and visit the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and meet Mona and the rest of the characters in the book (and maybe Wendy, too!).

For further information:

Meghan Callaghan
Communications and Marketing Assistant, Beaverbrook Art Gallery
(506) 458-0972

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