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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell College Art Gallery celebrates 20th anniversary with emerging artist exhibition
DATE: Sept. 30, 2008

          Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery will kick off its 20th anniversary with a lively exhibition of four emerging artists from Newfoundland and Labrador. Forecast includes the work of video artist Andrea Cooper, painters Michael Pittman and Kym Greeley, and photo artist John Haney. In the last 10 years, all four artists have forged substantial bodies of work which have been shown locally, nationally and internationally.
          Both Pittman and Cooper investigate the complexities and intensities of the human psyche and our understanding of madness, while Greeley and Haney provide new twists to the way we perceive the landscape.
          Cooper shows two videos: Oh Darlin is the story of a woman who, isolated on a deserted island, gradually descends into madness. A run-of-the-mill house stands in as her island. Fickle as Poison retells a family story of love, violence, memory and madness.
         Grenfell fine arts alumnus Michael Pittman layers colours, patterns, textures and images then scrapes back through the layers and reworks surfaces to arrive at ‘the essence’ in a physical process similar to that of archeology or psychoanalysis. The large abstract paintings are at once vigorous and haunting.
          Kym Greeley’s Newfoundland landscapes are the landscapes that most of us have access to and recognize rather than the more romanticized dramatic scenic images of travel brochures. They depict the landscape as seen from the car speeding along the Trans-Canada Highway. Her flat, iconic paintings obliterate any sign of the artist’s hand. The shapes are simple and convey a sense of emptiness, space and contemplation—of the times we spend in between, alone, as we travel from one place to the next.
          For 14 months, John Haney documented the regeneration of a clear cut in a forest in New Brunswick. His initial reaction was to make an activist statement; however his interest turned to the recovery of the forest and its inhabitants – their ability to adapt to the new situation. Haney’s formal, pristine black and white contact prints examine the clear cut as a construct that is at once, natural and man-made.
         The exhibition opens Sept. 30 and continues until Nov. 1. There will be a reception for the artists on Thursday, Oct. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. Both Michael Pittman and John Haney will be in attendance.
         Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

 

Artists’ biographies:

Andrea Cooper hails from St. John’s and is currently living in Toronto. She received her B.F. A. from Concordia University and her Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto in 2006. Cooper has participated in numerous solo, two-person and group exhibitions since 1996 in Canada and her film work has been screened in Canada, the U.S. and Europe including the Berlin International Film Festival. Her film, Strange Things, won the Images Festival (Toronto) National Film Board of Canada Award for best emerging artist in 2007.

Kym Greeley was born in St. John’s, NL. She attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Art and Science in New York. Since 1997, the artist has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the States and Europe. In 2009, her work will be seen at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s. Additionally, the artist has been actively involved in many artist-run centers in the Province.

John Haney received his B.A. from Mount Allison University in 2001. Haney has exhibited his work in several group and solo exhibitions since 2000 in Canada and Germany. As well as at SWGC Art Gallery, his work is currently on view at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery as part of Newtopia. This year Haney was artist-in-residence at Terra Nova National Park.

Michael Pittman received his B.F.A from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. He continued on to receive a Studio-Based Research MA in Creative/Performing Arts from Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland. Pittman has exhibited consistently since 1998, primarily in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2007 VANL/CARFAC EVA Large Year Award, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award (2005, 2006) and the Premier Prize of the College Street Art Awards in Waterford. 


                                                                    

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