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Beaverbrook gallery preps for new exhibit and renovations

The newest exhibit at Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery showcases the works of 24 artists from all four Atlantic Provinces, highlighting the imaginary and geographic role of place.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest in this exhibition,” Terry Graff, the gallery’s director and chief executive officer, told roughly two dozen people at a media event held at the gallery.

The exhibit, which opened Saturday and runs until Jan. 10, 2016, is called Writing Topography: The Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Art.

The gallery’s website states that it includes a wide range of work, “from photography to installation, painting, sculpture, intervention and performance exploring invisible landscapes and challenging the demarcation, colonization and militarization of land.”

Graff, who is also the gallery’s chief curator, said the exhibition is a cornerstone of the gallery’s programming.

He said it embodies the vision of its namesake, the late Marion (Billie) McCain. She was married to the late Harrison McCain, a founder of the Florenceville-Bristol-based frozen food company McCain Foods.

Graff said McCain was committed to providing opportunities and support for visual artists throughout Atlantic Canada to display and develop their work.

“This show is the ninth in the series dedicated to the legacy of Marion McCain,” he said.

Graff said the exhibit is aligned with the gallery’s plans to expand and revitalize its facility in downtown Fredericton, which was built in the late 1950s.

The gallery unveiled plans in May for a 14,000-square foot expansion, which will include new gallery spaces, a terrace and street-side café. Private donors and all levels of government are helping fund the project.

“The exhibition signals a new level of recognition of the range of media and technologies employed by artists in the 21st century and a complex, ever-evolving cultural dynamic which defines Atlantic Canada today,” said Graff.

As for the McCain Exhibition relaunch, Graff attributed it to support from Ann McCain Evans, visionaries and philanthropic support from McCain family members, the Harrison McCain Foundation and McCain Foundation.

“It just wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have leaders in the community who see the value of visual arts,” he said. “The exhibition offers an unparalleled opportunity for audiences to engage with the works of some of the region’s many artists as presented through the lens of a distinct curatorial theme.”

Kim Vose Jones, a Fredericton artist, works on displays at both the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Memorial Hall at the University of New Brunswick.

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