This exhibition commemorates 10 years of Art in the Open, Charlottetown’s outdoor contemporary art festival, which takes place the last Saturday of every August, from 4 PM to midnight. On display throughout the Confederation Centre concourse and in the entrance foyer of the art gallery, are various relics, souvenirs, photo and video documentation, and a few examples of works created during the festival, which has become a beloved feature of the Prince Edward Island artistic landscape. With the curatorial participation of artist-archivist Donnalee Downe, we have attempted to give at least a partial picture of the many artworks presented over a decade of Art in the Open. We are grateful to the hundreds of photographers, artists, donors, organizers, curators, production and management staff, marketers, volunteers, designers, translators, and board members responsible for this work.
The festival began in 2011 as an initiative by the City of Charlottetown as part of its Cultural Capital designation. In collaboration with this town is small, inc., and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the project developed into an annual one-day festival (with numerous lead-up events) that aimed to celebrate the city’s artistic scene, and its public and green spaces. It was also an opportunity to showcase ephemeral art in all its forms—performance, installation, sculpture, projections—and create opportunities that expanded audiences and community participation in the arts. Drawing upon the larger national art scene, but always prominently featuring local creators, the festival has become a popular event with a loyal following of all ages and backgrounds. Over 300 projects have been presented over the past decade, by hundreds of artists and community members. Now an integral part of our community, Art in the Open is above all a shared festival. Many cultural organizations beyond its original partners now lead the festival, including FilmPEI, the Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island, CreativePEI, and the Fédération culturelle de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts is proud to host this exhibition and to continue our support for Art in the Open.
Organized by archivist-artist Donnalee Downe with curator Pan Wendt.