Friday, February 10, 2006

Excellence In Visual Art Awards

If you are a visual artist, or know one, you should check out these new prizes recently set up by VANL. Nominate early, nominate often. Nominate yourself.

Apparently, one of the adjudicators is Border Crossings' Robert Enright. That's pretty heavy duty.

Which reminds me.... Who do you people reckon are the best established and emerging visual artists in Newfoundland and Labrador?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my list...I feel like I have to keep it to 10?!

Will Gill
Kym Greeley
Beth Oberholtzer
Marlene Creates
Robin Smith Peck
Libby Moore
Ned Pratt
Reed Weir
Brab Hunt
Craig F. Power
Patrick Canning

Ok, Ok, I came up with 11...good excercise

7:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these comments are for half of the 34 comments after the rca gallery critique.
all art is conceptual. that is one of the discoveries Duchamp made in his lifetime. bad art can be called repetative uninformed attempts at recreating some of what already exists. To represent any concept well is a craft. both painting and so called conceptual art are mind struggles. the greatest conceptual art piece is Duchamps "large glass". This seems to be the beginning of post - modernism before the pursuit of modernism even began to slow down. alot of people may look to great painters to help their craft but the most imitated artist i would have to say is duchamp. and if you want to become a competent painter, please do not get a bob ross dvd. that was rediculous. please look at painters with skills.
also, this is in defense of craig. you can do more with paint than paint a flower. forget subject matter, as a medium it can be a hell of alot more interesting than what goes on here. we seem to want to learn a few basic techniques and be happy with that. it is not enough to impress some people and alot more can be done with it. I just think he wasn't seeing anything original in peoples approach to painting. like is said forget the flower comment.

8:49 p.m.  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

taryn sheppard.
kym greeley.
michelle bush.
thomas power.
will gill.
danny woodrow.
marlene creates.

11:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.. looks like i have some catching up to do... i'm not familar with a good many of the artists who have been mentioned.

It's a pretty subjective thing (what is best anyway?), but my list would include the likes of Jim Maunder, Luben Boykov, Grant Boland, Jennifer Pohl, Joanna Strong, Brad Reid, Gerry Squires, Mary Pratt, Marlene Creates, Boyd Chubbs, Beth Oberholtzer to name a few. All of these are the real deal.

off the top of my head. i'm sure there are many more that deserve to be in the top ten.

5:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MIKIKI here.

I'm an LJ user so they'll be anon posts from me I suppose.
I had a good convo with a dear friend of mine and fervent NL VisArts supporter [and CFA] while in toronto last weekend, waiting for a roti and havin a smoke, about criticizing NL arts culture and about trying to overcome the self-loathing that comes from the fact that we've been bred into fiddle-wielding, mummer-painting losers.
I look to those still in newfoundland, by choice, chance or chenetics.
and I also look to those who, like myself, have felt it necessary to leave, for a while or for good,
as I try to compile a list.

I don't know all of what is happpening by people new to the scene in NL/St.J (which honestly, is the only scene that I'm familiar with, even though I know some alum from SWG)


craig francis power
Michelle Bush
Reid Weir
Andrea Cooper
C. Will Gill
Collette Urban
Dennis Day
Joyann Saunders
Elayne Davis

I'm sure there's more that I'm not recalling right now
so if you're pissed that I didn't put you on the list, you can assume it's just because I forgot how to spell your name, or that we've slept together, which is the only reason I didn't name myself.

and will post again soon

9:11 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH and there's also a GREAT older woman from Labrador who's done some BRILLIANT embroidered drawings that were shown at the CCNL/Devon House Gallery in 98 or 99 when I was workin there as a summer student that have stuck with me for ever
and I wanted to buy one, but some oil tycoon from texas had his wife buy the whole lot of 'em.
lucky for the artist that no-one will ever see them again.
don't I sometimes feel that way about work that gets selected for canadian embassies across the globe...
yes I do.

9:14 p.m.  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

MKK: just so you know, if you and Andrea Cooper were here, you both of course would be on my list. St. John's, and I, miss you.

11:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh craig francis
you're so sweet
and we miss and love you too
get on a fucking JURY and come visit!

12:45 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember the embroidered drawings in devon house... and can't remember the artist's name either. she was a grad from the textiles program down the road. they were good! who is the mystery lady? where is she now?

6:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they only fiddle and mummer paintings i've seen were by a older folk artist, whose name escapes me now. to be fair she was good... give naive art it's credit.

6:25 p.m.  
Anonymous The Space Above the Couch said...

I think you are talking about Joan Blackmore Thistle and she is not so naive, but good. If someone has it in them to celebrate their life and heritage is that a bad thing especially if done well?

You don't have to be a alienated agnst ridden conceptual artist to have something to offer the world. It's more a matter how sincere an artist, regardless of genre.

Joanna Strong and Andrea Cooper and a great number of other artists may not be in the province, but if someone truly loves their work I don't see why they can't still be nominated.

I look forward to seeing the work of some of the artists suggested. I'm still hoping to get in and have chance to see the rooms(and hopefully Will and Beth's show will still be there!)

7:52 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps di dabinett deserves honourable mention for the long haul, as one of newfoundland's most prolific artists, and likely one of the few in the Queen's collection. some may regard her work as decorate, and decorative as being lower on the totem pole (which is debatable), but her talent his undeniable.

which begs a few questions? what makes someone one of the best. Vermere known as one of the greatest painters of all time left the world with not more than 17 works to show for his lifetime and his family impoverished.

What makes someone the best?

being prolific? having a unique vision? creating a cultural icon? strong work? talent? showing frequently? commercial success? winning numerous grants and awards? integrity? popularity? or some other criteria?

just a few questions... but when it comes down to it the choice is completely subjective.

1:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

subjective - yes state the obvious. it is your opinion. You don't have to pick anyone with anyone with any of those qualities or achievements.

4:14 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Di Dabinett has an opening this weekend

3:58 p.m.  
Anonymous jp said...

i'd be interested to hear other people's reasons for loving or liking an artist's work, and not just who they are.

sometimes it's hard to put into words why one body of work may rock your soul or engage your mind... or make your heart beat a little faster.

why does something move you?

I love different things in different artist's work, but by way of example i'll write about a little talked about painter: Brad Reid.

Peter Gard refered to his early work as morose abstractions (that he didn't get), but I love the sense of colour and abstraction in his work. Despite never quite finding his niche Reid is a very intellectual/scientific artist and there is a refineness and a touch that gives his work a unique and genuine quality and depth. more of an overall feeling than something seen in the details.

too bad he burnt out and stopped painting.. at least for the time being. he could have been one of the best, and perhaps in time one of the very best. but maybe it takes another painter to understand that it's not always an easy path.

5:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the best, but there are two women whose work i have recently come across that i find very intriguing: Angela Antle represented at the at the leyton gallery (mostly because of her choice of medium and how lucky can you be to have had the chance to study in Florence? I can only dream... ), and Laurie Leehane whose blog "The Chamber Door" I recently discovered at This woman has talent, a great deal of potential and some of her drawings remind me of one of my favourite illustrators. I also enjoy her story telling, and hearing how and why she came back to Newfoundland.

9:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

barb hunt
will gill
andrea cooper
jim hansen
marlene creates
jerry ropson
beth oberholtzer
peter walker
mary lewis

10:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an curious coincident. Somebody mentioned that Vermere left only 17 paintings, which is also the same number left by Da Vinci. (Although to be fair painting was perhaps the least of his genius.) Postmodernism may have done a lot to debunct the concept of greatness and for good reason, but he is one individual that flies in the face of such theories.

I haven't seen any of Mary Lewis' work in the visual arts other than one animated film a some time ago, but I'd like to see more. Does film and animation count in the visual arts or is it a separate category?

After following the link and reading the feedback I'd have to agree that Taryn Sheppard belongs on the list. But why do I get the feeling too many people are listing friends and or the people they went to school with. I guess that is only natural, but not very objective. Kudos to Andrea Cooper for doing something different than the average Newfoundland artists, but I can say I love her work any more than I am moved by Christopher Pratt's. not very objective either I guess. a personal bias for the type of work i'm drawn to. It's quite possible to respect what a person is trying to do in their work, and still remain unmoved by it. It may not be a popular stance but I'd say Blackwood still has more substance, and not for the the rubber boots appeal. Then again he doesn't need the grant money...

I'd say Will and Beth may be front runners.

11:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops. typo. that was meant to be "can't say I love her work". but I do respect it and her moxy. I think she has great potential but, for now is not making my top ten list.

11:53 a.m.  
Anonymous jpohl said...

I have a long list quite a few of which have already been mentioned, but I have to say it: One of my all time favourite Newfoundland artists is Toby Rabinowitz. This is sincere work and pure imagination. It always makes me smile. Even on a painter's budget if there was one painting I had to buy for inspiration it would be Toby's.

5:09 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across this article with a picture of Barb Hunt's work online.
very compelling. thanks for turning me onto her work... i'll have to keep an eye out for more. any more of her work online?

5:20 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've started looking up a few of the people that I didn't recognize. I was wondering why Mikiki only had one name until I found this photograph by Rhonda Hayward.

very pretty, but is there any reference to Mikiki's actual work to be found?

it might be helpful to post links for curious visitors from outside of the city/province/country. for example, many of the artists mentioned have work online at
I'd list the eastern edge site where I think there are a few images, but was having trouble loading it. Perhaps the net is slow tonight.

Do people know of any other online material for non represented artists that have been mentioned?

10:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joan Blackmore Thistle should definatly make top 10 and whoever said that Newfoundland art was just mummering and fiddle playing should really go shopping at art galleries more often

10:47 a.m.  

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