Art in the Open returns

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Doug Gallant
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Becka Viau, festival coordinator, was on hand for the announcement of the main event for Art in the Open which will take place on August 23 from 4 p.m. until midnight in downtown Charlottetown.

Charlottetown will become outdoor art gallery

Art in the Open, the outdoor festival which transforms downtown Charlottetown into a giant open air gallery for contemporary works of art, will return to the capital city later this month.

A number of events are planned for the festival but the main event will take place Aug. 23 from 4 p.m. to midnight.

During that time period residents and visitors to the city will be able view works of ephemeral public art at multiple locations.

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Victoria Row, Rochford Square, Connaught Square and Victoria Park will be among the focal points of the festival, which highlights Charlottetown’s urban green spaces and spills into the streets for an all­-night celebration for all members of the community.

This will be the fourth year for the festival, which is curated for the appreciation of art in its many forms.

Speaking to a new conference Thursday at city hall, festival co-curators Becka Viau and Pan Wendt said this year’s lineup of artists is tremendously diverse.

“There are just about 50 artworks, installations and performances for people to discover and interact with at the main event,” Viau said. “There are also four artist residencies happening in the weeks leading up to the main event, which provide great professional development opportunities for the participating artists.”

Previous festival favourites like the Crow Parade, The Creativity Project and Matt Bowness and Kelly Caseley’s balloon­-based mobile sculptures will return this year but there will also be a number of new installations and performances from more than 45 artists.

New additions will highlight the diversity and ingenuity of established and emerging contemporary artists across the country and here at home.

Visitors will engage and participate with various installations of video, performance, sculpture, craft and architecture, and even interact with a 12-foot tall Transformer on Victoria Row.

With support from the P.E.I. 2014 Fund the festival has expanded its program to include two more co­curators, Carla Taunton, of Nova Scotia and Heather Igloliorte, of Newfoundland and Labrador, who are bringing a cutting edge line-up of contemporary indigenous artists from across Canada.

Tourism and Culture Minister Robert Henderson described Art In The Open Thursday as one of the most visually stunning events held annually on P.E.I.

Henderson said the province was proud to showcase some of P.E.I.’s immensely talented artists and to welcome artists from across the country.

Organizations: Confederation Centre Art Gallery

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Victoria Park, Nova Scotia Newfoundland and Labrador Canada.Tourism

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