The art gallery features several large spaces on two levels linked by stairs and an elevator, each appropriate to a different display. The exhibit upstairs by artist Marlene Creates left me with the feeling I often get when I am looking at modern art. A photographer, she started by photographing a Newfoundland stream and then took it one step further. She submerged an underwater camera in the stream to take her own portrait. Calling the series of photographs, "Water Flowing to the Sea Captured at the Speed of Light," she writes, "I am staying in one place and the living world in my immediate surroundings is flowing past me." I admit, I would not have thought of that, but the explanation did cause me to reflect.
The spaces of this gallery are themselves wonderful and beautifully lit, both by natural and artificial light. Another exhibit from the gallery’s collection was called, "Real Retro – 1960’s," abstracts that included a number of significant works that reminded me that you can’t go back. I would have liked to have taken Carol Fraser’s, "Abandoned Cemetery," home with me, but not much else, as not much in my living space would go with the angles and fluorescent colours of the period.
One of the lower galleries featured an evolving display called, "The Days of Our Lives." Works are deleted and added to the display over time to reflect the constant flux in which we find ourselves. The display allows the curators to show off parts of the gallery’s extensive collection.
The center also contains the city’s library, a nice little bistro named Mavor’s, and an extraordinarily nice gift shop. The shop, called The Showcase, features works of Maritime art (oils and watercolours), as well as pottery, textiles, and glasswork. The range of souvenirs or gifts is well above the ordinary tourist shop, and the prices are fair. If you’re looking for that one "object" to take home as a memory of your island visit, this may be the place to find it.
Riverview, New Brunswick
April 19, 2005
From journal Charlottetown: Crown'd with Summer Sea