This past weekend (March 16, 2013) I had the pleasure of attending the reception to kick start the upcoming Excellence in Visual Arts awards hosted by the President of Memorial University and his wife at their graciously appointed home on Forest Road. As soon as I crossed the threshold of the home I was impressed by a print and noticed the signature was that of my hostess- Teresa Kachanoski. I mentioned it to her and she took me around to see other works by her, including oil paintings. Teresa Kachanoski is also a member of the board of Visual Arts Newfoundland and Labrador and it was evident that art really was where her heart was. It was not a case of lip service or social duty. The EVA Awards and VANL have a valuable ally in Teresa Kachanoski.
This coming week (March 23, 2013) the event to be at will be the fundraising cocktail party at Christina Parker Gallery in benefit of the Terra Nova Art Foundation, and more specifically, its effort to get Will Gill and Peter Wilkins and their art to the upcoming Venice Biennale. Tickets are $150 each.
An example Of Peter Wilkins' work. I think Peter has interesting insight into the decorative impulse.
It is hard to underestimate the importance of Will Gill and Peter Wilkins' participation in such a high level art event as the Venice Biennale. It is a career highpoint without a doubt and will surely earn them well-deserved recognition on the international art stage. Personally, I couldn't pick two better artists to represent contemporary art from Newfoundland and Labrador and I wish them every success. I was impressed from the very first time I saw Will Gill's sculpture at the Bonnie Leyton Gallery in St. John's. Even back then, he was clearly the real deal and I was not surprised to see his varied work later on at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery or the pages of Canadian Art. As for Peter Wilkins, I believe, he represents an important trend in photography and visual art in general. I really wish I could experience first hand what the two of them will cook up for the Biennale. I think of their work and sensibility as being quite different so my intellectual curiosity is aroused.
In order to gain acceptance or an invitation to exhibit at the Biennale, artists are required to make a proposal to the Biennale's curators. As reported in ARTslant - Canada's Official Representation at 2013 Venice Biennale:
"Gill and Wilkins are developing a collaborative installation of new work, titled "About Turn" to be presented within a prominent gallery on Venice's historic Grand Canal. The project is being developed and realized by the Terra Nova Art Foundation (TNAF), a registered not-for-profit organization dedicated to sharing Newfoundland and Labrador's visual culture on the international stage. Composed of academics, arts patrons, and representatives from various East Coast businesses, TNAF released a statement Wednesday, saying it's "thrilled to have its vision endorsed by Venice Biennale curators in its initial venture; the first in an ongoing multi-year plan to present other Newfoundland and Labrador artists at future international venues."
A series of shots from Will Gill's performance art at Cape Spear where he launched fiery globes and documented the process.
So, it appears this is a first step and TNAF will be around for the long term. While I am very happy to support Will Gill and Peter Wilkins as individual artists I think that the TNAF gains credibility by stating that this is part of a long-term effort and an extended vision. I am hoping that will make it harder for you to say no. So, go on and become part of art history, buy a ticket. See you at Christina Parker Gallery on March 23rd the party starts at 6:30 p.m.