Poupart: Phenomenal Art Gallery, itty bitty space.

Artouteast is reaching out a bit this week, as the new Poupart Gallery has no fixed address; nor is it an e-gallery. Nope, it is a physical space, small enough to fit in the back of your car and travel the world. Poupart comes from the French word for doll poupée but also carries a sense of whimsy and playful sarcasm.

Here are a few questions I asked Director/ Curator Lianne Zannier:

Where did the gallery come from?

I purchased the house in Montreal from Jean Gilbert who has a storage container/shed where he holds perpetual yard sales all summer long. What is particular about these yard sales is that Gilbert is a collector of antiques along with memorabilia from St Henri which is the neighborhood of Montreal in which I reside. Inside his space he has the streetcar used in the film Bonheur D’occasion based on the book by Gabrielle Roy about St. Henri. He also has full stain glass panels of the original church that used to be in the center of the neighborhood. Pretty amazing really, especially when you consider that the neighborhood has been in the process of gentrification for several years now with old factories turned into lofts, offices or art spaces. Gilbert has a record of this place tucked away and disassembled into parts behind a garage door of a storage container which is sandwiched between two duplexes, the roof is caving-in in certain spots but form the outside you would never know. The dollhouse itself was poorly made, with rusted nails, glued in strange places and the inside was painted with crazy bright colours, some of the paint dripped down onto other floors. Actual carpet, that was moldy, had been glued to one of the top floors. I have basically taken the shell of the dollhouse and renovated it. I called it doing ‘home renos.’ So the dollhouse half belongs to Gilbert’s St. Henri and half belongs to me.
for more info on Jean Gilbert: http://www.milieuxdefavorises.org/serie_C/32.html

 What is the mandate of the gallery all about?

The gallery is about manipulating scale; providing an alternate way of looking at and presenting work. The Poupart Gallery aims at playing with nostalgia, narrative and the potential for miniatures to be both big and small at the same time. The goal of the Poupart Gallery is to manipulate those concepts. It is part curatorial and part collaboration between artists’, the space and myself.

The first installment of the Poupart Gallery is taking place from March 9th to 12th as part of the Art Matters Festival at a gallery in St. Henri called Coatcheck Gallery. Inside you will find  a combination of installations by artists Amele Bissonnette who has made miniature ceramic furniture; Hugo Dufour, who has recreated dioramas he uses for his photography; and Kamil Chajder who is installing the puppets from a stop-motion animation. The attic of the Poupart Gallery contains a miniature projector (Really!), so (Zannier) will be screening several animated works.

This brings the idea of “Pop Up” stores and galleries to a whole other place.

Congrats, Lianne, and Happy Birthday to you AND Poupart Gallery!



Sweetest Little Thing – spreading the love since 1999

I posted it last year, and I will continue to post every year; The Sweetest Little Thing is the best thing to come out of Valentines Day since….well…its the best thing to come out of Valentines Day.

Micah Lexier and Jon Sasaki A collaborative sculpture consisting of two boards accomplishing something together that neither could do alone, 2012

Now in its 13th year, The Sweetest Little Thing is the most important annual fundraising event for The Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre in Sackville, New Brunswick. It’s not hard to see the love that Struts Gallery has spread to the art scene world wide, with participants such as Graeme Patterson, Micah Lexier, Jon Sasaki, and Eliza Griffiths.

Presented in partnership on Valentine’s Day,The Sweetest Little Thing combines a contemporary art auction with a cake walk and dance. The event has become a seasonal highlight for the community, featuring artists, friends and supporters from across the country and beyond.

The funds raised go directly to the ongoing programming of the galleries.

Bidding closes at 5pm. (New Brunswick time) Tuesday, February 14th at 7:30pm.


Art! Beer! Hockey! Now that I have your attention…

How does an Art installation come to be posted on the Canadian Beer News website? Amazing. Enter “The King and I”, a collaboration between Halifax based artist and curator Eleanor King; and Toronto based Stefan Hancherow.  Opening on February 4th, Hockey Bar will transform the Confederation Centre for the Arts’ Entrance Gallery in Prince Edward Island “into a welcoming social space that features both hockey and beer related artworks alongside [Prince Edward] Island hockey memorabilia.”

The King and I

The King and I - Eleanor King and Stefan Hancherow

Imagine your favorite sports bar housing  Graeme Patterson’s Ten Point Game, a table-hockey based sculpture featuring an animation narrated by Darryl Sittler; Ali Nickerson’s altered bar stool, Colleen; and, Andy Warhol’s Wayne Gretzky 99. And what would the ambiance be without an assortment of beer kegs, bottles and labels?

This dynamic duo is definitely onto something, and it has the art community and sports fans alike talking and, well, drinking beer.

The Confederation Centre for the Arts

The King and I

Garry Neill Kennedy does what he set out to do

Kennedy, American History PaintingGarry Neill Kennedy is on my top 5 people to meet. What would I say if I sat down for coffee with Mr. Kennedy? Probably nothing that he hasn’t heard before. “Mr. Kennedy, Average Size, Average Colour was my aha moment in conceptual art”, or “Where do you think conceptual art is right now?” and maybe, if I was feeling really corny, I would thank him for the immeasurable contribution to conceptual art, and artouteast.

Until April 1, 2012, the Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery at the Université de Moncton presents Garry Neill Kennedy: Photoworks 1969 – 2011. Kennedy’s first exhibition focusing on photography aims to foster a better understanding of the work of the artist as a whole and of his contribution to the evolution of contemporary art in Canada and in the Atlantic region.

The Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery is located at 405 Université Avenue, in the Clément Cormier building on the Université de Moncton campus. Gallery hours are 1 PM to 4:30 PM, Tuesday to Friday, and 1 PM to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.  For more information on the Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery and its activities, please visit the web site: www.umoncton.ca/umcm-ga or find us on Facebook.  The gallery can be reached by phone: (506) 858-4088 or by email: galrc@umoncton.ca.

D’Arcy Wilson and Susan Wood at the Owens January 13th


Artouteast is back! After a much too long hiatus, what better was to start up with a bang than at the Owens in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Tuck is a multimedia installation by New Brunswick artist D’Arcy Wilson, which explores themes of absence, isolation, and vulnerability in western society’s postcolonial relationship with wildlife. In May 2011 the artist filmed a performance coinciding with a residency at the Banff Centre during which she sang lullabies to the taxidermied animals at the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site. As the artist notes: “This act offers an alternative to the liaison formed between the specimens and their creators (the hunters and taxidermists who prepared them a century ago). Nevertheless, there is perversity in both our actions: the animals were killed for display, and now I propose to sing them to sleep, overlooking their inability to abandon their posts”.  The exhibition is accompanied by a brochure by guest-writer Rita McKeough.

Earth Skins: Three Decades of Drawing
is a retrospective exhibition which documents the production of Halifax artist Susan Wood, whose practice is devoted primarily to drawing. Her work of the past decade embodies the idea of finitude, reflecting on mortality and loss. A range of graphic techniques, often on textured handmade papers, begins within the frameworks of geography, museology and botanical illustration and broadens into an appreciation of the drawings as metaphors of entropy and death. This exhibition includes the dramatic series Devil’s Purse (1985) and Dress (1989-91), which were inspired by various stages of women’s corporeal experiences. The exhibition has been organized by the Mount St. Vincent University Art Gallery, guest curated by Susan Gibson Garvey.

Both exhibitions run from January 13th until February 26th 2012.

Visit the Owens Art Gallery Website for more information.



Page and Strange’s one night stand with Toronto June 23rd

Gallery Page and Strange, a gallery in the heart of Halifax,  is hitting the road to host a one night show to Toronto! 
The event this Thursday at the Richmond (477 Richmond Street West) features new work by Jonathan Johnson, Ivan Murphy, Jessica Korderas, Drew Klassen, Wayne Boucher, Peter Hill, Jack Bishop, Mara Korkola, John McEwen, Tom Hammick, Karen Kulyk, Christian McLeod and Patrick Rapati.  Also featuring work by Gerald Ferguson, Peter DiGesu, Melissa Kuntz, Colin Lyons and Shelley Mansel.  The Victorias (Gallery owners Victoria Page and Victoria Strange) will also have other surprises to show you on request.

Artists in attendance will include Ivan Murphy, Jessica Korderas, Peter Hill, Christian McLeod, Jonathan Johnson and John McEwen.

Be sure to go down to the Richmond from 6 to 9pm this Thursday for a glass of wine and artouteast at its finest.


All Eyes on Meghan Fish Contemporary, Halifax

Scoot Bertram, May, 72 x 60in, acrylic on canvas

On March 25th, 2011, Meghan Fish Contemporary and Projects launched its first group exhibition at 2053 Gottingen Street. However, this is not a gallery space. Director Meghan Fish has created a primarily online and by-appointment gallery space featuring cutting edge painting, photography and new media work by emerging and established artists from across Canada. Collectors will be able to view the art online, by appointment locally at the Meghan Fish Contemporary Art + Projects showroom/office, or have work sent on approval to their own space. Also in the works are plans for pop-up events and exhibitions–an exciting way to showcase art in a series of changing venues around Halifax.

“I see this as a more progressive model for selling art,” explains Director Meghan Fish (née Dorward), who has worked in Halifax’s commercial art world for the last five years (most notably as the former Assistant Director at Studio 21 Fine Art). “It circumvents the inefficiencies of maintaining a traditional gallery space year round. In my experience, I’ve found that most art-buying audiences arrive through word-of-mouth. It made me realize that I didn’t need a static, physical space to sell art. Instead, I will focus my resources and energy on personal service —offering artwork installation services and lease-to-own options to clients who purchase work, while effectively promoting my roster of artists. Pop-up exhibitions will add to this hybrid approach in creating a unique and diverse experience for the public.”

Adrian Fish, Stage 2-1, 48 x 48in, limited edition of 10, Chromira print

Meghan Fish Contemporary “fills a void for local collectors” by showcasing both painting and photography in its stable. “There are very few galleries carrying photography in Halifax,” says Fish, “I am introducing the media in a commercial context in Halifax.”

Not only is she filling a void for local collectors, she is also filling a void for the rest of the world, by exposing her fantastic artists to the rest of the world through her mainly web based business.“We’re thinking outside the box, literally,” Fish laughs. “I plan to introduce the concept that galleries no longer have to be limited to one static set of walls on a daily basis. It’s a malleable, ever-changing, and virtual world out there now — without geographical boundaries. It’s time we embrace that in the art world.”