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College of Extended Learning

Barbara Safran de Niverville: Recontre Primordiale/Primordial Encounter & Bruce Gray: Origins

April 13 - May 18, 2018

The UNB Art Centre welcomes the spring with two new exhibits by Barbara Safran de Niverville and Bruce Gray on April 13 at 5 p.m. The Fredericton Jazz Collective will perform at the opening as part of the UNB Art Centre’s new Flow series.

In the West Gallery Barbara Safran de Niverville presents Primordial Encounter/Rencontre Primordiale, a series of 8 large scale works that explore the relationship between the natural and the artificial elements in the landscape. The materiality of the works themselves enhances their thematic content by juxtaposing the natural wood of the painting’s support with man-made products like duralur and plexiglass.

Inspired by the research she undertook while doing a SÍM residency in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2015, the artist found the tension between the desolate landscape and the residue of human occupation to be a point of departure for the examination of ideas of nature and culture.

Barbara Safran de Niverville received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Distinction from Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, in 1977. In 2014, Barbara completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Lesley University College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Boston), Cambridge, MA. While there she received the Alumni Award for the most progress during the MFA program. She is also a recipient of the Sheila Hugh MacKay Master of Fine Arts Scholarship. In 2016, Barbara participated in an exchange between the provinces of Manitoba and New Brunswick, which included a residency at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, workshops and an exhibition. The artist has exhibited her work in New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba, Canada, as well as in the USA and Iceland.

In the East Gallery, Bruce Gray presents Origins, a selection of custom built furniture created over the last decade along with his latest creations. Bruce is a highly respected craftsman known for his precision, unusual joinery techniques and for using the natural cracks and flaws in the wood as areas of interest. Bruce works with unique local and exotic woods, mixing wood types and textures to accentuate the features of the other. His work often incorporates live edges creating a distinction between the finished and raw woods. Most recently he has been integrating glass, stone and fossils into tables and other functional objects to further accentuate the material and to challenge preconceived notions of form and function. His work is deceptively simple, with an elegance and sophistication that elevates these pieces of furniture to objets d’art.

Bruce Gray received a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Colorado State University and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Washington. He has been working in the art and design field for over 25 years. His artistic creation spans furniture, sculpture, wall murals and architectural elements. His work has been commissioned for international, provincial, municipal, university, corporate and private collections. He has exhibited in solo shows and juried exhibitions in the Maritimes, Toronto and New York City. His designs and research findings have been published in leading design, and arts magazines. He has also been featured in several TV documentaries.

Bruce currently resides on the shore of Belleisle Bay in Kars, New Brunswick where his home is a perpetual project. It features an innovative blend of artistry, human ergonomics and energy efficiency.

Both Primordial Encounter/Rencontre Primordiale and Origins will be on view until May 18.

This exhibition features the Fredericton Jazz Collective at the opening as part of the UNB Art Centre’s new Flow series. This series features local musicians and brings together art and music in a unique and experimental way. FLOW is an opportunity for musicians to use the exhibits as a touchpoint for their own performances, complementing the visual exhibits with an auditory dimension.

The Fredericton Jazz Collective was formed in 2014 with the intention of creating an open environment for exploring improvisation across a wide range of genres and styles. These have included Swing, Bebop, Afro-Cuban, and Bossa Nova idioms, as well as original compositions by members. Current members are Jason Flores (bass), Tony Scott (guitar), Garry Hansen (guitar), and Bill McIver (percussion).

Jason Flores graduated from the University of Idaho where he attended the Lionel Hampton School of Music as a Hampton Scholar. He has toured the world playing bass onboard luxurious cruise ships where he had the opportunity to play with musical greats like Shoshana Bean and Debbie Gibson. Now living in Fredericton, Jason has played with The Thomists, Before the War, and The Fredericton Symphony Orchestra.

Tony Scott has been teaching guitar in the Fredericton area for almost two decades. He teaches privately but also coordinates the Nashwaaksis Middle School Guitar Program. He is a frequent participant in the local music scene and currently plays with The Thomists as well as the improvisational music group, The Fredericton Jazz Collective.

For over three decades guitarist Gary Hansen has performed with such well-known Fredericton groups as the Nick DeVries Quartet, the Cedar Ensemble, Triology, the Thomists, the STU Jazz Ensemble, and in Toronto with the Buddy Aquilina Big Band. He was also a founding member of the ECMA-nominated Uptown Jazz Quartet and has played in over forty theatrical productions, including such recent Theatre New Brunswick productions as The Last Five Years, The Little Shop of Horrors, and The Bricklin: An Automotive Fantasy.

Bill McIver is a co-founder of the Fredericton Jazz Collective. He was a member of Fredericton bands Speakeasy, Sabor Latino, and the Cedar Ensemble. In addition to Jazz drumming, he studies Afro-Cuban and Celtic percussion. He grew up in Albuquerque, where he was a member of the New Mexico Youth Orchestra.

The UNB Art Centre is located at Memorial Hall, 9 Bailey Drive, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. The galleries are open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays and for special events. Admission is free to members of the public. Everyone welcome!

For more information

Marie Maltais, Director
(506) 453-4623
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