Home Summer Gallery Opening to feature retrospective on Island artist Erica Rutherford

Summer Gallery Opening to feature retrospective on Island artist Erica Rutherford

Erica Rutherford, Earnscliffe, PEI, 1978, ed. 3/80, serigraph on paper, 66 x 56.5 cm. Gift of Gail Rutherford, 2009, CAG 2009.1.13

June 19, 2024 – Four new exhibitions featuring a wide range of Canadian artists are on view this summer at Confederation Centre Art Gallery. The public is invited to view the exhibitions at the Summer Gallery Opening on Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. The event will begin in Memorial Hall with light refreshments, a cash bar, and live music from Tamara and Mark Steele.

Several artists and curators featured in the exhibitions will be in attendance, including Reva Stone and Diana Thorneycroft (Together Apart | Under One Roof), and Sarah Swan, Doomkitsch, Mike Mitchell, and Melaw Nakehk’o (Yellowknife Forever!).

“Once again, the Gallery has been transformed by a new set of exhibitions,” says Gallery director Kevin Rice. “There is a fascinating array of work from across Canada on view and we look forward to welcoming visitors.”

A highlight of the Gallery’s offerings this summer is a retrospective on Island artist Erica Rutherford, whose works are currently on view at the Venice Biennale. Of the over 300 artists selected for the prestigious event, Rutherford is the only Canadian being featured in the main exhibition this year. She is also the first Prince Edward Island artist to be presented there.

“The Venice Biennale is widely considered to be one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in the world,” says Pan Wendt, curator at Confederation Centre Art Gallery. “For Erica to be recognized at this level is a tremendous honour and validates the quality of the Island’s arts community.”

Born in Edinburgh in 1928, Rutherford spent her early years living around the world exploring a variety of art forms, and eventually settled on painting as a focus. Her life was transformed by her transition to living as a woman in the mid-1970s, and by her permanent move to Prince Edward Island in 1985 – which she described as a homecoming.

The myriad of periods of Rutherford’s life and career will be explored at Confederation Centre Art Gallery this summer with the exhibition Erica Rutherford: Her Lives and Works. The show will include over 100 pieces and be accompanied by memorabilia and photographs that support the stories told by the work itself. Rutherford’s life was shaped by the search for identity and community, and her works explore themes of persona and gender, nomadism and home, and the relationships between artistic and biographical narrative. Curated by Pan Wendt, the exhibition will be on view until January 5, 2025.

Other exhibitions on view this summer include:

Yellowknife Forever!
June 21 – September 29

The North has a particular allure, often imagined in paradoxical extremes – cozy cabins in a frozen expanse, the danger of cold vs. awe at its beauty. Popular notions are often so terribly incomplete they might as well be false. The seven artists in this exhibition offer true(er) visions. Using local vernacular, photography, scrap plywood found at the dump, or moosehide sewn into gothic forms, each explores the anti-picturesque character of northern life. Featured artists include
Darrell Chocolate, Doomkitsch, Walt Humphries, Pat Kane, Alison McCreesh, Mike Mitchell, and Melaw Nakehk’o. Curated by Sarah Swan, supported by the Northwest Territories Arts Council.

Together Apart | Under One Roof: Aganetha Dyck, Reva Stone, Diana Thorneycroft
June 21 – October 27

This exhibition celebrates the distinct practices and the enduring friendship of Winnipeg-based artists Aganetha Dyck, Reva Stone, and Diana Thorneycroft, who have been studio neighbours in Winnipeg for over 30 years. Central themes of the show include feminist art practice, the creative power of relationships, and the interplay between human and non-human. Curated by Denise Lawson and Angela Somerset, previously presented at Comox Valley Art Gallery.

The Sweet Spot
Until January 26, 2025

A selection of works from Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s permanent collection that aim for the “sweet spot” – that elusive place or moment that finds just the right balance between order and possibility, the ideal distance between intimacy and perspective, between freedom and generosity. Featured are several recent gifts from artists, including two chromogenic photographs from artist Jin-me Yoon in memory of John Joe Sark (1945 – 2023). Curated by Pan Wendt.

In addition to these four exhibitions, a group of paintings from the Gallery’s Robert Harris collection will be on view.

From June through October, Confederation Centre Art Gallery has summer admission rates. Admission for adults is $15, seniors (65+) is $10, and students/youth (under 18) is by donation. Admission by donation is also available on Thursday evenings from 5 – 8 p.m. A summer Gallery pass is $25, which is ideal for anyone planning to visit more than once.

The Summer Gallery Opening is admission by donation, and no registration is required. Visit confederationcentre.com/artgallery for information on all events and exhibitions at Confederation Centre Art Gallery.