-Confederation Centre announces second contribution to national FIELD TRIP initiative;
preparing to install Sandi Hartling’s LED sign works at Gallery Entrance-
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) rolled out its second contribution to Canada’s new visual arts platform, FIELD TRIP: Art Across Canada. Also coming soon to the Gallery’s glass entranceway is a series of neon works from Sandi Hartling–the first physical art installed at the Centre since the pandemic began.
FIELDTRIP is a direct response to the challenges of gallery access posed by COVID-19 and offers a daily web release on FIELDTRIP.art, profiling digital work from a network of more than 30 major galleries and museums from across the nation. Now available online, the CCAG’s latest contribution is a curated video work from Halifax artists Mitchell Wiebe and Tim Tracey entitled Group of Steven—painting the invisible.
Wiebe is somewhat of a cult artist in Canada, whose ‘space activations’ combine performance and painting-based installation. This duality was celebrated in Wiebe’s VampSites, a national touring exhibition organized by the CCAG and curated by Pan Wendt, which is exhibiting at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford, B.C. in 2021.
Wiebe’s Halifax studio–located above a navy surplus store and crammed with paintings, props, and found accessories–is the setting for this new FIELDTRIP project, an extended “video feedback” reflection on Wiebe’s process and paintings from animator/filmmaker Tim Tracey, created while isolating during the pandemic.
In a tribute to early music video formats and instructional painting shows, the artist provides commentary in the absurd, inept, and convoluted persona of ‘Steven’. Tracey’s assortment of forms and colours are reshaped to merge kaleidoscopically with the music and lyrics of fellow Halifax musicians, Fantasy Eye. Patrons are encouraged to explore this new satirical work today via the Centre’s social media or at FIELDTRIP.art, as well as other projects from across the country.
-SANDI HARTLING INSTALLATION-
Sandi Hartling is an interdisciplinary artist residing in Avondale, P.E.I. Her series of neon text works, which combine ambiguous messages with direct, bright colour, will be installed in the Grafton Street Entrance at the CCAG over the next week.
Entitled anything at all; just cause; and sense first reflect later, the three works are mixed medium neon forms that present like handwritten text.
The pieces will be installed inside the Gallery’s glass entranceway, opposite The Holman Grand and will be illuminated at night. As Phase-3 begins across P.E.I., patrons are encouraged to enjoy these beacon-like works from Grafton Street and surrounding areas while maintaining social distancing.
A graduate of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Newfoundland, Hartling’s recent work includes the CCAG solo exhibition Things We Can Agree On and Other Works of Fiction; Set Design for Unrealized Production (Nature) with Third Shift in Saint John; and Paradise Mirage with Supercrawl in Hamilton.
Stay tuned for more updates on the reopening of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery for public visitation and the roll out of select arts education programs.
Photos (top to bottom):  One of Sandi Hartling’s three neon works: just cause, 2017, LED sign  Artist Mitchell Wiebe, as video host ‘Steven’;  Hartling; (submitted)
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