40th Anniversary Events and Activities

Thanks for joining Visual Arts Nova Scotia in celebrating our 40th Anniversary! VANS was started in November 1976 with a road trip across Nova Scotia to connect with artists and communities. For our 40th year we focused on offering more accessible and engaging programming across the province. This included the expansion of our existing programs and the addition of special initiatives.

Check this page for a list of the special 40th Anniversary events and activities around the province in 2107.

MOVING FORWARD, LOOKING B(L)ACK: Visual Art in Nova Scotia

A panel discussion featuring women who curate, create, and activate.

With Pamela Edmonds, Lucie Chan, Bria Miller, and Jade Peek.
Facilitated by Sylvia Hamilton.

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7:00pm
Halifax North Memorial Library,
2285 Gottingen Street, Halifax

Presented by Visual Arts Nova Scotia, in partnership with Nocturne: Art at Night, this panel features Black/ Afro-Indigenous/ African Nova Scotian women: Pamela Edmonds, Lucie Chan, Jade Peek, and Bria Miller discussing their practice and experience in the visual arts in Nova Scotia, in a conversation facilitated by Sylvia Hamilton.

Despite there being many talented Black artists and curators in and from Nova Scotia, resources, access to and public knowledge about their contributions to Nova Scotia’s visual arts are limited. This panel hopes to build on and celebrate the knowledge of Black/ Afro-Indigenous/ African Nova Scotian women who are creating, curating and activating in the visual arts.

This event came out of archival research done by Research Coordinator Chris Shapones for the 40th anniversary of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, which has existed and published Atlantic Canada’s only visual art magazine, Visual Arts News, for 40 years.

The title for the panel “Moving Forward, Looking B(l)ack” is from Pamela Edmonds’ Black Body: Race, Resistance, Response (Halifax, 2001).

Open Grants
On the occasion of our 40th Anniversary, Visual Arts Nova Scotia asked for proposals from groups, galleries and/or collectives to create new programming or enhance existing programming in their community. We were delighted with the response (we received 30 applications) and it was difficult for the committee to choose the successful applicants among all the great projects. For this special anniversary, we expanded the Open Grants program and the recipients received $750. Congratulations to all the selected organizations!

Art Happening Bridgewater‘s Rain Art Project celebrates the completion of Pijunuiskaq Park. Two Rainworks stencil making workshops for the community, led by Indigenous artists, are designed around the theme of the “River of Branches” (the translation of Pijunuiskaq).  May 16 & 18 in Bridgewater.

Centre for Art Tapes‘ project RetroTape: The CFAT Media Art Scholarship 10-year Retrospective Screening on the South Shore will expand the reach the Media Art Scholarship program to a part of the province that usually doesn’t have access to CFAT’s programming. July 2017 in Mahone Bay.

L’Arche Antigonish: Hearts and Hands‘ project Obelisk of Faces is a three day mask making workshop with ceramic artist Fenn Martin for adults with intellectual disabilities. June 29, 30, 31 and July 3 in Antigonish.

Lumière Arts Festival presents Artist Talks at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts. Lumière, the free annual arts festival held in Sydney, will expand to include a Lumière project and artist talks/workshops in Inverness. September 21 and 22 in Inverness.

ViewPoint Gallery‘s project is about helping immigrants to make exhibition-quality photographic prints and connect with the community. This project will provide printing bursaries to three Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) clients with a background and interest in photography. May – December 2017 in Halifax.

Wonder’neath Art Society‘s inaugural Artist Residency with Bria Miller. The goals of the residency include exploring and creating intentional artistic work spaces that welcome racialized and/or LGBTQ2SIA+ artists, and facilitating hands-on exploratory workshops for youth. September 15 – December 15 in Halifax.

Visual Arts Nova Scotia presents the En Route Artist Talk Series bringing national and international visiting artists to different areas of the province this Spring and Summer. These artist talks started with Gráinne McHugh in Wolfville, Jennifer Angus in Yarmouth and JJ Lee in Halifax. These free presentations are offered in collaboration with Art Galleries and Artist-run Centers across Nova Scotia as part of the third En Route Artist Talk Series, which aims to enhance existing programming and broaden contemporary art conversations.

JJ Lee artist talk at Art Bar + Projects
1873 Granville St, Halifax, NS
6:00pm on Friday July 14, 2017

Gráinne McHugh artist talk at Harvest Gallery
462 Main Street, Wolfville, NS
1pm on Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jennifer Angus artist talk at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Yarmouth
341 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS
2pm on Saturday, May 6, 2017

Visual Arts Nova Scotia extended our Subsidized Studio program offering our members studio space in North End/Downtown Halifax. Artists could apply to rent space for 2 – 3 months from September 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018. There was no expectation of work to be completed during the studio rental. It was an opportunity for an artist who may be new to working in an independent studio or an artist who has a specific project to work on and could use support to fund a short-term studio space. Located in the Manual Training Collective, Halifax, NS, the subsidized studio was used by seven artists over 2017.

Lewis Hyde Public Lecture
Art, Creativity, and the Public Good
March 28 at 7pm
Paul O’ Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, Halifax

VANS was excited to present a FREE public lecture by author & cultural critic Lewis Hyde!  In addition to being a former MacArthur Fellow and Harvard University Professor, Lewis Hyde is perhaps best known for his book The Gift, an extended defense of the non-commercial portion of artistic practice.

VANS in Residence
Spring 2017

We presented three VANS In Residence initiatives this spring. We had both rural and urban residencies in HRM this year, involving fantastic partners. Each artist spent their time split between their own practice (studio work, research and other endeavours), and time actively working with community members (workshops, artist talks & other activities).

Brian Riley was in residence in Herring Cove at Pavia Gallery & Café March 27 – April 21.

Jessica Winton was in residence in North End Halifax at Wonder’neath, and the North Branch Memorial Library April 2 – May 7.

Andrew Maize was the artist in residence in Musquodoboit Harbour at The Old School House Community Gathering Place, and The Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library April 2 – May 7.

For more information, go to paintsns.ca

VANS Celebrating 40 Years!

VANS asked our members and artists to send us photos of themselves working in their studio. These photos were compiled to create this lovely video, which is a tribute to the strength of the artists in this province. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/_jVhJo4NWFs

Special thanks to Susie Shapones at Sooz Animations for creating this video!

Many thanks to the artists who sent us their selfies:

Phyllis Adams, Rose Adams, Bonnie Baker, Anne Bastedo, Carolyn Bedford, Marla Benton, Wayne Boucher, Joan Bruneau, Kim Cain, Anne Camozzi, Kate Church, Chuck Clark, Joanna Close, Kevin P Comeau, Mike Dobson, Flora Doehler, Maria Doering, Colleen Gerrits, Marc Graff, Nora Gross, Lux Habrich, Jane Harrington, Mindy Harris, Robin Haws, Pamela Hayward, Kristen Herrington, Kara Highfield, Erin Hollingshead, Jan Hull, Derrick Dale Johnson, Rosi Jory, Laura Kenney, Ron Kuwahara, Deb Kuzyk, Rita Lamontagne, Damian Lidgard, Mary Jane Lundy, Susan MacDonald, Ray Mackie, Patsy MacKinnon, Dawn MacNutt, James MacSwain, Sarah Maloney, Kelly Markovich,  Deborah Maurer, Michael McCormack, Alexandra McCurdy, Ian McKinnon, Ann McLauchlan, Paulette Melanson, Dorothy Mosher, Natan Nevo, Jayé Oulette, Steven Peters, Andrea Pottyondy, Lynette Richards, Su Rogers, Violet Rosengarten, Julie Rosvall, Lynn Rotin, Christene Sandeson, Barbara Schmeisser, Elizabeth Sircom, Rae Smith, Kay Stanfield, Jacqueline Steudler, Pamela Swainson, Doug Taylor, Susan Walsh, Sue Westby, Terri Whetstone, Robert E Williams, and Charlotte Wilson-Hammond.