Exhibitions – 2005

Suzanne Mess: The Art of Illusion: A Life of Costume Design, at the Main Gallery

November 12, 2005 – December 31, 2005
Opening Reception Saturday, November 12 , 2 – 4 pm. Artist will be present.

It is no simple task to write about something that is so complex and yet appears simple to the viewer. Such is the case summarizing the work of Suzanne Mess. For over 50 years she has worked in the world of theatre, film and television designing the clothing to be worn by the actors, singers and dancers. Not sewing, designing. The costume designer, for the non theatrical among you, clothes the occupants of a make believe world. Even for works based on real events, the world of theatre, film and television is one of illusion.

Trained at the Ontario College of Art, Suzanne has designed for the Canadian Opera Company, The Stratford Festival, CBC television, the National Ballet, The San Jose Opera Company and The New York City Opera among a few.

Suzanne has created depth and texture for each opera, play, ballet or variety show that she has designed. Costumes for the chorus and the principals can run into several hundred garments, each with its own characteristics. This exhibition will feature many of Suzanne’s original drawings, fabric notation and collage. We are grateful to the CBC and Malahar Studios for the loan of many samples of Suzanne’s fabricated designs.

This exhibition sponsored in part by FABRICLAND.


Paul Kelly: Along the Roads of the Cambrian Shield, Present & Past

September 10, 2005 – October 29, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday September 10, 2 – 4pm. Artist will be present
Artist Talk: Saturday September 24, 2005, 2 pm.

The AGN is pleased to be hosting this exhibition which is being circulated by the WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay, Ontario. Born in Warsaw, Ontario Paul Kelly attended secondary school in Cobourg before moving to Toronto and attending Central Technical School. Although primarily an academic for the past 20 years, Kelly has never lost his passion for paint and in particular painting landscape. These well executed works are also fine examples of composition at its best. This is an opportunity for some long time residents of Cobourg to see what Paul has been up to in recent years as well as an opportunity in this 45th anniversary year of the Gallery to celebrate one of the community’s successful artists.


John Reeves: Facing Art and Selections from the AGN Permanent Collection

July 9, 2005 – September 4, 2005
Opening Reception Saturday July 9, 2005 2 – 4 pm
Artist Talk: August 13, 2005 2 – 3 pm

It has been traditional to highlight the AGN’s permanent collection during the summer months. We are blessed with a good, rich collection that has been built during the gallery’s 45 years of existence. The names Bobak, Bolt, Frank, Gladstone , Graham, Nicols, Pudlat, Town, Rayner, Ronald are familiar to anyone that knows our collection. This summer we are fortunate indeed to be coupling these selected works and others with the artists’ portraits by Canadian photographer John Reeves.

The exhibition will be in three parts, the first part pairs Reeves’ portrait of the artist with the artist’s work in our collection. John Reeves has photographed artists and musicians as his passion for the past 40 years and this exhibition will feature portraits covering that period. The second part will feature the Rayner /Reeves project that was first displayed at the Moore gallery in Toronto . Finally, the Paul Kane Gallery will feature Reeves’ portraits of Harold Town, an artist that Reeves documented over a thirty year period.


11th Annual Student Exhibition

May 27 – June 25, 2005
Opening Reception: May 28, 2005, 2-4 pm

Once again the residents of Northumberland have the opportunity to celebrate the emerging artistic talent in this region. Each of the region’s eleven secondary schools will select eight works from students of different grade levels. These selections will be featured in this always popular exhibition.

Many of the students will go on to careers in art and design, while others may continue to pursue art as a hobby. Either way, it is undeniable that this is a region wealthy in artistic talent.


Gerald Gladstone: Recent Paintings

May 10 – May 24 , 2005
Opening Reception: May 14, 2005, 2-4 pm

When Constable Chris Garrett died May 15, 2004 in the line of duty, the Town of Cobourg decided to dedicate a park to his memory. As part of the project, a sculpture was commissioned from Gerald Gladstone entitled “Hero’s Flight”. As part of the park dedication and sculpture unveiling, the AGN has organized an exhibition of Mr. Gladstone’s recent paintings.

Gerald Gladstone died at the beginning of February, after completing the Garrett sculpture. We are fortunate to be holding this exhibition at the time of the park dedication. His last paintings were of Lake Simcoe and the surrounding area, where he made his final home. After a lifetime spent in the demanding world of art, he spent his last years exploring the natural world around his home.

Gerald Gladstone was responsible for many public commissions. The Town of Cobourg is honoured to be the site of his last and perhaps most sensitive final work. Come and celebrate his life and work, during this brief exhibition.

The works in the exhibition will all be for sale and the proceeds of the sale will support the gallery.


Alice Teichart – A Twenty-Three Year Journey/Text Painting – Paper Works

March 26, 2005 – May 7, 2005
Opening Reception: February 26, 2-4 pm

Born in Paris and raised in Brussels in the environment of the European Communities, Alice Teichert studied music, visual poetry, visual arts and printmaking in Belgium and France. She continued her studies of North American Abstract Painting in the USA and Canada, where she has been living since 1984.

Alice Teichert focuses her prime directive on the close meeting ground of writing and painting in her work. Speaking concurrently and fluently from a common source, visual languages developed simultaneously into text’paintings and as well as large abstract paintings. Teichert’s paintings, acrylics on canvas, are known for their bold use of colour and their luminosity. Her work reflects a synthesis of affinities, for transparency/ translucency and for the subtle inscriptions of a visual language towards the understood. Her writings explore multi-lingual and visual encounters, painting with fonts within a chosen vocabulary. In Fall 2003, Teichert’s first book of text’paintings titled J’eux was published in France. Today her work on paper and on canvas unfolds a journey integrating her lifelong interest of scripts, books and elemental distribution on folded pages and images, from the linear text pages to the free flowing galaxy of the Skywalker pages.

Alice Teichert has been showing her work in Canada, France, Switzerland and Australia. Today she is represented in all these countries. Her work is has been written about in numerous Canadian and International publication and she is represented in National and International collections.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: In 2002, Teichert participated at a significant exhibition organized by the Medallic Art Society of Canada, at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa with a medal called: “Friendship Can Be”. In 2003, Teichert was selected to participate at ” the art of the book ’03”, an international juried exhibition celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artist’s Guild. In 2004, Alice Teichert was one of the eleven selected artists to exhibit at the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite of the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park in Toronto. She had shows two international exhibitions in Widen, Switzerland and in Sydney, Australia. Alice Teichert celebrated 15 years collaborating with Gallery One in Toronto with a solo exhibition titled “synchronicity” in September 2004.

For more information: www.aliceteichert.com.

Melanie Brown, on the Exhibition:

In Alice Teichert’s studio wall there is a beautifully framed piece of torn paper on which some words are messily scrawled out in French. Written by her childhood music teacher, they represent a principle of music theory, and were set down simply as a way to reinforce the learning of the idea. They were then tossed aside as garbage. The teenaged Alice reclaimed the scraps, had them signed by their author and, having recently rediscovered them in the studio, has placed them beside the door, to be passed by daily.

These pieces of paper are not in this exhibition. In fact, they would not even be considered art by many of us. But they offer a clue to the thinking of this most thoughtful of artists. They mark the beginning of an artistic journey that finds its first expression in ‘vision texts’ and ‘unfolded books,’ and its culmination in the ‘Skywalker Pages’ painted just in the last few months.

The idea of writing, and in turn of the book, is a thread that runs through all of Teichert’s works on paper. In the two works titles ‘Livres à plat-voir,’ for example, passages of poetry have been translated into purely visual marks. The book now occupies open space, it has been recreated as an idea about a book. Words and sentences become patterns and marks: a collection of dots and spaces – an artistic gesture.

Teichert’s own poetry, recently published in both Canada and France , is as much about the spaces around the words and the purely abstract sounds they make as it is about language. A taste of that poetry is found in this exhibition as ‘Double Page Sculptures’: the large reproduced poems mounted in box frames. Despite their sturdy, massive presentation the texts dance upon the page, eluding one’s attempts to attach a specific literal meaning. Instead the visual layout creates an almost musical counterpoint, with a grounding rhythm created by the repetitions of words.

Indeed, to hear Teichert recite one of her poems is a delightfully strange experience. She playfully exaggerates the vowels far beyond ordinary speech, slides one word into another, obscuring the literal meaning and highlighting the purely abstract qualities of sound. She is the pure vibration that takes poetry beyond all barriers of language.

In the most recent work, the ‘Skywalker Series,’ the idea of the book again comes to the fore. Here the large sheets are folded into two ‘pages.’ Each side is independent from the other only in so far as it must hold up its side of the conversation, like two characters in a story – a story in which the language has moved beyond words. The lyricism and spirituality that is a hallmark of Teichert’s painting style finds full expression here.

One recurring element of that lyricism is the scrawled lines that remind us of the written word. They are found throughout these works on paper, and are also a key element in the artist’s canvases. The inspiration for these lines comes from the way that books were represented in old European paintings of saints shown reading or in a moment of epiphany, an open book forgotten in their lap. Usually seen upside down to the viewer, the words scribbled in those painted books are never legible. They simply refer to the sacred words that would have offered inspiration. Teichert’s own versions of these illegible scrawls is her way of referring to the ideas of inspiration, epiphany and the uttered prayer.

Which brings us back to the torn musical notes on the studio wall. They were scribbled with unconscious freedom and spontaneity, yet were a part of the ongoing discipline of learning. He was doing by hand what he wanted to know, transformed, by heart. In the same way Teichert has spent her artistic life acquiring the knowledge and the discipline to paint with abandon: to give free expression to those moments when some form of divine inspiration seems to take possession of the human hand.

— Melanie Browne


28th Annual Juried Exhibition

February 26 – March 23, 2005
Opening Reception, Saturday, February 26th 2 – 4 p.m.

A juried exhibition is an opportunity for regional artists to have their recent work viewed and critiqued by “outside” eyes. It is also an opportunity to exhibit in a public art gallery. The job of a juror is not to judge one artist against another, it is to review the work of an artist and select the strongest and most successful of his works. Although many people view art as a matter of individual taste, there are measurable standards that are used by jurors to make assessments. These can include composition, balance, perspective, mastery of the media or materials, original thought and intellectual challenge.

This year we are pleased to welcome as jurors, John Reeves, Michael Robinson and Jan Allen. John Reeves is an award-winning photographer and writer whose portraits of artists, musicians and writers have been exhibited internationally. Michael Robinson is a painter, master printmaker, glassblower and poet whose work is held in public galleries and museums across North America . His metis heritage informs all of his work. Jan Allen is the curator of contemporary art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston.


Dwight C. Siegner: Recent Work

January 15 – February 20, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday January 15 from 2 – 4 p.m.
Artist Talk: Saturday February 12, 2005 2 –3 p.m.

The colourful mixed media works of Siegner are both thought provoking and exciting. These bilateral works concentrate on texture and contrast. The richness of texture that is created with his overlay of microscopic enlargements gives the works a meditative quality.

Dwight Siegner has been an arts educator and working artist for over twenty-five years. During that time he has had exhibitions across Canada and has also held teaching posts at Mount Allison University , The McMichael Gallery and several boards of education. Also known for his print work, we are pleased that Dwight will be exhibiting this new body of work at the Art Gallery of Northumberland

The Artist will give an illustrated talk on Saturday February 12, 2005 from 2 – 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

At the AGN, Paul Kane Gallery, Victorial Hall, Cobourg

Print works of the Toronto Twenty. Selections from the AGN Permanent Collection.


Art contained: The art of the Book, the Box and the Pen in Contemporary Calligraphy

Saturday November 20, 2004 – January 8, 2005
Opening Reception November 20, 2004 2 – 4 p.m.

When most of us think of calligraphy we think of illuminated manuscripts or dusty diplomas. The practice of contemporary calligraphy has moved past these traditions to explore the world of words, letters and fonts. We are pleased to be hosting an exhibition of exciting examples of this traditional art, framed in contemporary experience. Many of the works are playful in nature, while others explore surface materials other than traditional vellum or parchment.

The artists participating in this exhibition are Adrienne Arvidson, Nona Brown, Wendy Cain, Margaret Challenger, Fiona Crangle, Barbara Horscroft, Kathy Aubrey, Lynn Lefler, Susan van Tijn, Louis Wint and Lily Yee.