FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Collection of Works by Celebrated NB Woodturner on View

Beaverbrook Art GalleryJanuary 15, 20190 Comments


Collection of Works by Celebrated NB Woodturner on View this Winter

Fredericton, New Brunswick, January 15, 2019 – This month, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery will present an exhibition of the woodwork of Gordon Dunphy. Co-curated by John Leroux and Jennifer Pazienza, Gordon Dunphy: Vessels will open in Fredericton with a free, public reception on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 4 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Considered one of the finest wood turners in North America, the late Gordon Dunphy was born and worked in New Brunswick. A dairy farmer in his first career, he became interested in woodturning in his forties, and focused his work on transforming wood from hardwood New Brunswick trees into beautiful vessels. He was an active part of the arts community, as an artist as well as a teacher and mentor. He was extensively recognized for his art, receiving numerous accolades including a Strathbutler Award in 2002 for his work.

Nearly 30 works were donated to the Gallery’s collection in 2009, after the artist died; many of which are shown in this new exhibition. The collection was assembled by the artist as a legacy documenting his career. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is fortunate to be the steward of a career-spanning collection of his works. “In a sense, Dunphy curated this exhibition himself,” says John Leroux, the Gallery’s Manager of Collections and Exhibitions.

Leroux describes the works on view: “Quite simply, these are some of the most exquisitely beautiful examples of contemporary woodturning. In front of them, you feel both drawn in by the subtle beauty of the grain patterns and the organic voids in their shells, and enveloped by their structure.”

Dunphy’s approach to woodturning was to highlight the natural features of the wood, to use the heartwood and burls of these trees to guide his creation.

Visual artist and academic Dr. Jennifer Pazienza co-curated the exhibition; she urges visitors to look deeply into Dunphy’s work. “I invite you to experience the ways in which these works compel us to engage with and beyond their surfaces,” she says. “How they gently insist that we be present with them.”

Of particular interest to Pazienza are a number of tall, cylindrical vessels made from the dead centres of hard wood trees. “Gordon talked about the importance of trying to catch ‘the spirit that trees have’,” she says. “His ability to make the invisible, visible is readily seen in the prized Birdseye Maple, or the beguiling burls; but in the sometimes, less attended to heartwood vessels, I see a quiet beauty drawn from the very core of a tree: totemic forms with ink-like patterned surfaces, returned to life in Dunphy’s loving and masterful hands.”

Gallery visitors will be able to explore this exhibition beginning on January 19th. Also opening that day are the exhibitions, The Lost City: Ian MacEachern’s Photographs of Saint John, Her Metal, Joseph Kashetsky: Drawings, Paul Daigle: Performance Art, Out from Under the Rug: Ivan Crowell’s Black History Tapestries from St. Thomas University, and The Pre-Raphaelite Heavenly Vision. Gordon Dunphy: Vessels will be on view until May 19.

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Hours and Admission:

Gallery hours: From October 8, 2018 to May 26, 2019, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and closed on Mondays. Gallery hours are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 10 am to 9 pm on Thursday, and 12 pm to 5 pm on Sundays. Holiday hours and exceptions may apply.

Gallery admission: Admission is free for members, and for children 6 and under. General admission is $10 (adult); 8$ (senior); $5 (student with student ID); $20 (family: up to two adults and all children under 18) and gives access to all current exhibitions. Admission is by donation for all visitors on Thursdays from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Hours and admission rates are subject to change. Please check for up-to-date information.

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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.”

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enriches life through art.

Media Contact
Jeremy Elder-Jubelin

Manager of Communications
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
703 Queen Street, P.O. Box 605
Fredericton, NB  E3B 5A6
Phone: (506) 458-2039

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