Confederation Centre

Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton

Pan Wendt, Curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, tumbled into me at Youngfolk & The Kettle Black the other day and introduced me to Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton, current Artists-in-Residence at the gallery.

Eric and Mia are presenting an Art Talk tonight in the gallery. The official announcement of their talk describes their work as follows:

Their work involves public engagement, and the pair will be a regular sight in downtown Charlottetown as they interact with residents and visitors as part of their project to collect vegetation from the capital city’s nooks and crannies and turn it into edible-art in the form of popsicles. Yes, popsicles!

Popsicles aside, this doesn’t jump off the screen as a “summertime must-see,” so I want to encourage you all to come to their talk anyway, as I found Mia and Eric, in the few minutes I met them over coffee, far more interesting than their PR would suggest.

Tonight (August 8, 2013) at 7:00 p.m. at Confederation Centre Art Gallery.

Changing Environs in Ink

Remembert this? Well, today it became these, invitations for Catherine’s Confederation Centre Art Gallery show, which opens on February 24, 2013:

Changing Environs Invitation

The Prince Edward Island letterpress cut was a loan from Ian Scott; the headline are in Akzidenz Grotesk 48 point and 60 point, the date and time in Bodini Bold 24 point and the credit line in Bodini 12 point.  Because I only had one “Island,” I had to run each of the 75 copies through the press 3 times, and then another time for the black, so it was a 3-4 hour job. But I’m very happy with the result.

Changing Environs in Metal

Catherine’s show, Changing Environs, has been open at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery since the beginning of the month; it’s really quite wonderful, and one of the highpoints of my day is wandering through the Centre lobby on the way to or from coffee and seeing something I didn’t see before (can there be any greater gift from a love than the opportuntity to see into their soul through their art?). 

The “official opening” (where there’s wine and cheese and talk of “conceptual intentionality”) is coming up on February 24, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the Centre, and you are all heartily invited (Catherine’s parents will be here, and they live in Ontario!). I started work – late, admitedly, but better than never – on the invitation for the opening; it will be printed in two colours on my letterpress, and here’s the black set up and almost ready to print:

Changing Environs Invitation Typeset

I hope to have these printed and off into the hands of patrons of the arts Friday or Monday.

Catherine's Show at Confederation Centre Art Gallery

Catherine and I started off as neighbours on George Street in Peterborough. I remember clearly the first time I laid eyes on her: she was wearing clothes covered in paint. Over the months of that summer as I began my slow, slow wooing process I experienced her life as a working artist mostly through the sounds of her pounding on some piece of metal or another in her backyard-cum-studio. Fortunately, Catherine accelerated the wooing process – my “five year plan” was much under her patience threshold – and by Thanksgiving we were a couple. We’ve been together ever since – 22 years.

When we moved to Prince Edward Island in 1993, one of the first magical things that happened was that Catherine took up residence in a studio on Victoria Row, a spot that, until the week before we arrived, had been Lester O’Donnell’s law office. She worked there for two years, and then reluctantly gave it up when we moved to the country. When we returned to town and Catherine went looking for a studio again, the magic was obviously still in the air, as she was able to move back in when Ben Stahl, who had been there in the intervening 13 years, moved out.

Almost since the day she moved back in, she has been working on a body of work – in fibre these days, mostly, not metal – related to Prince Edward Island and land use and the environment. Along the way Oliver and I have had a backstage pass to the creation of everything from fabric potato plants to a large wall hangings. I’ve schlepped a dory around, helped her figure out how to scan $20 bills, and, mostly, watched from the sidelines as her studio slowly filled with work.

The rest of you, I am happy to say, will get a chance to see what we’ve been seeing, as in February the Confederation Centre Art Gallery is mounting a show of Catherine’s recent work, Changing Environs. The show opens to the public on February 2, there’s an opening on February 24th, 2013 in the afternoon (Facebook event), and the show will be in place all spring. You should make sure to see it; it is, if I don’t say so myself, rather wonderful.


One clear signal that you hanging out with an art-insider crowd is overhearing frequent use of the word maquette, a word almost never heard elsewhere. If you’re an art-outsider, dropping an m-bomb (“did you see MacDougall’s maquette for his biennale piece?”) will allow you to immediately blend in (note strategic use of word biennale to add spice). Thrown in an intentionality and a representational here and there and soon you’ll be going to the coolest parties.

All of which I say by way of introducing you to four interesting maquettes currently on display in the subterranean hallways of the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, all shortlisted entries for the Centre’s commission for a new piece of outdoor sculpture for 2014:

"The Ark"

"A Slip is Not a Fall"

Michel de Broin Maquette

"A Canadian Map Garden"

You can see these maquettes and learn more about the artists and their proposals by visiting the Centre and looking in the glass displays opposite Memorial Hall (as I write there’s still some documentation, and perhaps a missing maquette, still to come).