One of the most captivating aspects of the summer arts festival Art In The Open (AITO) is seeing familiar spaces activated in innovative ways. Along with the City’s public parks, Confederation Centre of the Arts has been one of the primary locations to experience the festival’s art installations since its inception.
Over the past eight years, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) has played a foundational role in AITO. Originally proposed by CCAG curator Pan Wendt and This Town is Small co-founder Becka Viau, the project was brought to life as a partnership between the City of Charlottetown, This Town is Small, and the CCAG. Wendt still serves as a co-curator, and is currently selecting and planning a collection of pieces to be displayed on-site at the CCAG, and throughout the city, during the 2019 festival on August 24.
“Usually we try to do one piece that’s grandiose and pushes the limits” explains Wendt about selecting the artwork to display on the Centre’s grounds.
The brutalist-style architecture of the building itself provides the perfect canvas for art installations. Wendt calls the vast sandstone walls and plazas a “giant pedestal” for all sorts of pieces. Past installations have included a parked car projecting film from its headlights, a mature elm trunk hammered with thousands of galvanized roofing nails, and architectural interventions like a stack of colourful milk crates that completed the front wall of the Gallery’s entrance.
AITO has become a wonderful form of outreach into the community for the Gallery. “Taking art out of the gallery context and into the public parks allows many people to connect with art,” says Kevin Rice, director of the CCAG and board member for AITO.
This year’s installations are still under wraps, but viewers can expect large-scale projections, performance pieces, and manipulations of the Centre’s existing infrastructure. Before making your way into the City’s parks, be sure to explore the offerings surrounding Confederation Centre on August 24, 2019 between 4pm – midnight.
(1) Kelly Caseley, Cumulo, AITO 2016 (Patrick Callbeck photo).
(2) Justin Ducheneau & Philippe Allard, Uncertain Condition, AITO 2014 (submitted).
(3) Albert Broussard & John Mathews, Car Cinema, AITO 2014 (submitted).
(4) Chris Lloyd, Everyday Goalie, AITO 2012 (submitted).
(5) Paul Griffin, Leviathan, AITO 2015 (submitted).