Contemporary Art Takes the Stage at Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival

Five contemporary artists from across Canada will be presenting in AFTER HOURS, a temporary public art exhibition

 

 

Presented in partnership with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Connexion Artist-Run Centre for Contemporary Art (Connexion ARC) welcomes festival-goers to experience art after dusk, in a temporary public art exhibition titled AFTER HOURS. From Thursday to Saturday, September 14 – 16, works by five contemporary artists from across Canada will be exhibited along Queen Street and at the Capital Complex, coinciding with the festival’s lively downtown Harvest Street Experience as well as other festivities.

“Festival-goers can expect to see three video pieces and two live performances, from artists exploring combinations of materials, methods, and subjects, as they work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world”, says Kasie Wilcox, Director of Connexion ARC.

The series of artworks explore pressing themes such as environmentalism, systemic power structures, and mental health.

The range of artistic experiences festival-goers can expect to discover include: contemplating a projection of the Mexican desert, by Quebec-based artist Camille Bernard-Gravel, as part of a meditative time-based video interrelating the magnificence of natural phenomena with technologies invented by humans;

Engaging in conversation over 40 lbs of chopped onions, with Moncton/Montreal-based artist Maryse Arseneault, by exchanging thoughtful and philosophic observations without crying;

Observing artistic production in real time, with Montreal/Tracadie-Sheila-based artist Fanny Basque, as she engages in a bilingual automatic writing exercise on a 10’ canvas;

Examining ways we all individually move in a lived choreography, with Fredericton-based artist Avi Diggle, in a video piece that investigates meanings in kinetic movement and energy;

Encountering a video installation by Calgary-based artist, Gina Veres, which explores bodies through experimental animation techniques.

This will be the first time contemporary art will take the stage at the festival, in nearly three decades running. Connexion ARC, Fredericton’s only artist-run centre dedicated to contemporary art, wanted to reach new audiences outside of gallery walls, after renewing it’s operations as an art project space working without a fixed location.

The Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival’s Managing Director, Lucas Hicks, welcomed the opportunity to partner with Connexion ARC. When asked about the partnership, he expressed, “Harvest strives to provide a diverse, unforgettable experience for our patrons, and we are pleased to partner with a local arts organization to help present Canadian visual artists at this year’s festival.”

For contemporary artists working in New Brunswick, this is an opportunity to participate in generating a collective appreciation of contemporary art practices, which in turn can have a positive effect in supporting their individual art practices.

The nature of contemporary art can be challenging, as artists are aiming to push the boundaries of artistic practice by asking socially and politically engaged questions. Artists explore all possibilities for materials in producing their artworks, which may appear to be unconventional. Including compelling, and at times difficult, works of art in public spaces help to enrich, inform, and diversify the cultural sector of Fredericton, and of the province.

“We are attempting to create accessible spaces for the public to experience contemporary art, and we see a lot of potential here in Fredericton for meaningful exchanges between audiences and artists,” explains Wilcox. “Our hope for this exhibition is to spark curiosity, and to develop a greater understanding of contemporary art from across the country.”

Historically, Canadian artist-run centres originated as a response to a lack of opportunity to present contemporary artwork. Connexion ARC is working to expand its community-minded arts programming model through introducing a number of pop-up exhibition initiatives, developed with the support of local businesses.

For this presentation during Harvest, additional supporting collaborators include Gallery on Queen, The Capital Complex, and the City of Fredericton.

When asked about Connexion ARC’s enthusiasm for the newly established partnership with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Kasie Wilcox had this to say: “It will be very meaningful to see the local community and numerous visitors to the city simultaneously engaged with Canadian contemporary art.”

“Art is an ecosystem that requires continuous support and exchange to thrive,” adds Wilcox, “we are thrilled to have the support of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, of local downtown businesses, and we are excited see where these new partnerships will lead us.”

 

The Artists and Artworks:

Camille Bernard-Gravel, Quebec, QC
Zenith (Perote)

Maryse Arseneault, Moncton, NB / Montreal, QC
Comment couper l’oignon sans pleurer? / French Onion

Fanny Basque, Montreal, QC / Tracadie-Sheila, NB
The Act of Writing

Avi Diggle, Fredericton, NB
Kin

Gina Veres, Calgary, AB
Box Party

All AFTER HOURS events are open to the public and free of charge.

Harvest Jazz and Blue Festival’s Taylor Printing Street Experience, will take place from Thursday, 6:30 PM – Sunday, 4:00 PM, bringing Queen Street alive starting Thursday evening and for the first time ever starting at Noon hour on Friday and run until Sunday afternoon. Admission is free to the Taylor Printing Street Experience, all ages welcome.