The latest exhibits at the UNB Art Centre bring environmental issues to the forefront. Both exhibits can be viewed online or in person Sunday afternoons by appointment.
The UNB Art Centre has reopened with two new exhibits: Trees for Life by Nova Scotia artist Nancy Stevens and From Harm to Harmony: The Healing Power of Nature, a group exhibition in partnership with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) and the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) as part of their FUTURES/forward program. FUTURES/forward — funded in part by the McConnell Foundation — is a mentorship program that embeds community-engaged artists, as artists-in-residence, in organizations to enhance and empower social change agendas.
Trees for Life
Trees for Life is a meditation on the old growth trees of the Acadian Forest featuring “portraits” of 10 varieties including Balsam Fir, Red Maple, White Ash, Black Spruce, Red Oak to name a few. The exhibit is a reminder that our future is tied to these ancient species and the health of our forests.
As an artist and educator, Nancy Stevens delights in the details of each species using subtle gradations of colour and a pointillist technique devised by post-impressionist painters like Georges Seurat. Each tree is given its own narrative and encircled by a decorative border which serves as a symbol of unity, and the cycle of life and death. These paintings remind us that we are one with the earth, and that we, like these trees are part of a larger cosmic reality that is being threatened by climate change.
From Harm to Harmony: The Healing Power of Nature
From Harm to Harmony: The Healing Power of Nature, features work by community members across New Brunswick who responded to a call from CCNB to work with educator and community-based environmental artist Juliana Bedoya. Located in British Columbia, Juliana Bedoya has facilitated a variety of community engagement projects bringing awareness to environmental issues through education and social practice.
As part of the Something Collective she has developed different projects including We Are Here and Our Footprint at various community centres in Vancouver where participants grew living moss graffiti murals as part of a community mapping project.
This current exhibition is a collaborative project that drew participants from across the province, from varying backgrounds and disciplines united in a desire to inspire change through art. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, participants met online to discuss and develop ideas, to share skills and collaborate, and to reflect upon the growing threat of climate change. Together and individually, through a variety of media and techniques including embroidery, papier maché, photography, painting, rug hooking, video production, felting, and weaving, members offer varying perspectives on the natural world and the challenges facing society today.
By creating awareness about environmental concerns, particularly in our home province, the group wishes to move beyond the negative impacts to find a way forward and encourage positive social change.
From Harm to Harmony: The Healing Power of Nature will be on view in the East Gallery and Trees for Life will be on view in the West Gallery from March 7- April 18 in the UNB Art Centre at Memorial Hall on the UNB Fredericton campus.
The office of the UNB Art Centre is currently closed but the galleries will be open Sundays from noon until 5 pm by appointment. Please follow our exhibits and programs on-line and sign up for viewing.