April 3, 2020 | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Attending the Apocalypse

The UNB Art Centre's newest online exhibition, Attending the Apocalypse, by Jennifer Lee Wiebe and Janice Wright Cheney is eerily prophetic as we face down the COVID-19 pandemic.


Our world has been irrevocably changed in ways that we haven’t even begun to imagine.

The catalogue for the exhibition Attending the Apocalypse was written in the moments before COVID-19 became a bracing reality. The text will be presented as written.

It is being launched online as part of the exhibition, which was scheduled to open April 3, 2020, at the UNB Art Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Hopefully, this exhibit will become an experiential reality in the not too distant future. Something so simple as gathering together over a glass of wine to look at art has become impossible in our current state of emergency. We are in the early days yet. Things do not appear as they were and there are too many questions about the future.

Our isolation from family, friends, and colleagues makes us completely dependent on our digital networks to a degree we haven’t felt before and in ways we do not yet foresee. Our world is changing and our vocabulary is evolving. We now are fluent in terms like Coronavirus, flattening the curve, social distancing, and self-isolation. The Prime Minister’s daily address spins off a media storm and 24/7 news narrates our days. It is difficult to separate fact from fiction in the bombardment of changing theories, opinions, and data. As the count rises daily, with it comes the intense realization that though separated physically we are all in this together. We are truly a global community.

It is prophetic to present this exhibition virtually. We are all attending the apocalypse and we are relying on the very systems that Jennifer Lee Wiebe and Janice Wright Cheney discuss in their work. Throughout the run of the exhibit we will be using Social Media as a way to explore the many facets of the work of two of Fredericton’s most evocative and cutting-edge artists.

I cannot help but think that this is the earth healing itself. It is a great heaving up of the sickness that is us. Yet, I have a fundamental belief that humanity’s ingenuity and tenacity will see us through these incredible times.

Though I would rather be opening this exhibition at the UNB Art Centre in real-time, I welcome all of you to our virtual space and the opening of Attending the Apocalypse.

Download the full PDF catalogue (9MB)

East Gallery

Scratchcards for the Apocalypse (2018-2020) by Jennifer Lee Wiebe

In Scratchcards for the Apocalypse, Jennifer Lee Wiebe explores language and our understanding of content in a series of canvasses painted with tweets made by Donald Trump since 2015.

View Scratchcards Photo Gallery

West Gallery

Elysium (2018-2020) by Janice Wright Cheney

In Elysium, Janice Wright Cheney explores the symbolic power of mushrooms and the potential for mycelia to reshape our society.

View Elysium Photo Gallery

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