ABRAM-VILLAGE – July 24, 2019 – The many components of Acadian life in the Evangeline region – its music, dance, culture, cuisine, industries and above all its “joie de vivre” – are proudly displayed on 35 magnificent paintings that have just been mounted in front of Abram-Village homes. The objective of this « Street Exhibition » project is precisely to help summer visitors, and especially those who will be coming to the area for the 2019 Congrès mondial acadien in mid-August, to discover what the Acadian spirit of the area and beyond is all about.
These beautiful, large multicoloured panels, demonstrating the vast talent of local artists, are located on both sides of Route 124, between Evangeline School and the Évangéline Recreation Centre. They are already attracting a lot of attention and admiration, both from visitors and locals alike.
The president of the Palette Artists’ Co-operative, Jeannette Blaquière, says she is particularly satisfied with this magnificent exhibition. She explained that about 10 artists from the co-operative, supported by several other artists from all over the Island (including Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry), painted these beautiful paintings completely free of charge because they truly believed in the project. Théodore Thériault developed and co-ordinated the project while Lise Genova guided the artists who supported the initiative.
Blaquière noted that the public was invited to submit photos that could be copied in the form of paintings for the project. The selection committee then picked photos that would represent as many aspects of Acadian life as possible. In addition, some artists offered to create and donate their own works for the project.
THEMES AND COLORS
The Acadian flag and its colours are obviously omnipresent; one of the paintings even shows three cows painted in red, white and blue! As visitors check out the panels, they will see artistic representations of the Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival (concerts, the mascot Acazing and the parade), musicians and dancers, the late singer Angèle Arsenault, the Confederation Bridge, historical scenes, the Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel Church, the popular Cape Egmont Lighthouse, sand castles, fishermen, farmers, Acadian quilts and other themes. Some of the paintings even represent Acadians from Quebec, Louisiana and Maine.
All those who would like to explore the 35 works are welcomed to visit them free of charge and preferably on foot. Ideally, visitors should give themselves about an hour to explore the entire exhibition since it is displayed over a distance of about a kilometre. A good starting point would be the Galerie La Palette, located in the Village musical acadien (next to the Evangeline Recreation Centre). Visitors to the gallery can pick up a short bilingual guide that gives a brief overview of each work contained in the “Street Exhibition” and indicates its location and painter.
Plans are also in the works to showcase these beautiful paintings on the websites of both the Palette and the Village musical acadien. Postcards and small prints of some of the 35 paintings will also be sold at the art gallery.
This exhibit is part of the provincial beautification project that was set up after the announcement that the 2019 Congrès mondial acadien would be coming to the Island. The exhibit sponsors are the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the provincial government, Callbeck’s Home Hardware, CMA 2019, the Wellington Co-operative, the Municipality of Abram-Village, the Village musical acadien and the Palette Artists’ Co-operative.
The artists started painting in May and worked hard to ensure that the 35 panels could be installed by mid-July. The works will stay in place until the end of September. The Palette Co-op is planning to bring copies of some of the works to the Extrême Frontière exhibit in Moncton, N.B., during a portion of the CMA 2019.
A similar exhibit in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France, inspired Théodore Thériault to set up this project. So, he would like to be able to bring the exhibit, or at least a portion of it, to that European city next summer to show the French what they have inspired. Another wish would be to bring them on tour to schools.
« We hope to be able to find a permanent home for these beautiful works – a community facility with large walls, for example – so that people can appreciate them for many years to come, » said Blaquière. « It would also be interesting to put the panels back outside each summer, if the people in the community so wished, and possibly even to add other works each year. »
CUTLINES: The president of the Palette Artists’ Co-operative, Jeannette Blaquière, and the coordinator of the “Street Exhibition” project, Théodore Thériault, look over this beautiful painting of two young musicians with an Acadian flag near the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, painted by Linda Derasp and Sylvie Cayouette. In the second photo, they are seen with a painting, by Blaquière, of the “Acadian Variety” (hominy corn, chicken fricot, meatpie, rapure and French bun).
For more information or media interviews:
Coordinator of the « Paintings on the Street » project
La Coopérative des artistes La Palette
Residence: (902) 854-2239
Cell phone: (902) 888-7929