After an extended closure due to construction, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery will begin welcoming the public back into its space this winter.
If there was ever a time when we all needed the comfort of an enormous art gallery to help ground our minds and give us a much needed dose of inspiration and imagination, it’s been these past two years. Prior to the pandemic’s takeover of all things familiar, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery had undergone an incredible transformation, shifting from an ominous, grey box on the east end of Queen Street into a community hub where individuals and families could gather to explore stunning works of art from all over the world. This shift began with the addition of the new pavilion in 2017 and continued with the expansion of the outdoor sculpture garden. The café, which also opened in 2017, became a go-to meeting place during the week and a Saturday morning ground zero for friends and families plotting downtown weekend adventures.
The arrival of COVID-19 followed the gallery’s announced plans to expand yet again. From one perspective, the timing was ideal for a closure and construction. But from another, losing the Gallery as a refuge from the outside world was a serious blow. But that’s all about to change.
As a new year gets underway, the Gallery’s long awaited reopening was originally scheduled to happen this month but due to COVID’s rapid spread in 2022 so far, plans have been delayed. The opening of the Gallery’s lower level exhibitions will now take place April 2.
The opening is still expected to feature the following exhibitions:
Larry Fink vs. Gary Weekes: The Boxing Portfolios Celebrated American photographer Larry Fink is known for his black-and-white images of people in candid social situations. One of his most admired series is his late-1980s “Boxing Portfolio,” where he captured the subculture of boxing through its champions and challengers, its gyms, rings, locker rooms, as well as the many fascinating people who populate this world. A great admirer of Fink’s work is Fredericton photographer Gary Weekes, who is equally a fan of boxing. During the pandemic, Weekes photographed the activity and athletes of the Fredericton Boxing Club. His black-and white images are equally poignant, insightful, and sympathetic to the subjects’ determination, sweat, and struggle. The powerful images of both artists will face off against each other in the Beaverbrook ring. The winner is up to you.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery: Recent Acquisitions. This exhibition will present a large number of works recently donated, including artists of regional, national, and international stature. Beyond paintings and drawings, works will include photography, sculpture, and fine craft, with a number of the artworks by emerging artists and Indigenous artists.
The next phase in the Gallery’s reopening plans will happen in the sporing, with the reopening of the 2017 Pavilion galleries and some galleries in the east wing. The full opening of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, including the opening of the Harrison McCain Pavilion, will happen in the summer of 2022. And that is something to look forward to.