Halifax gallery showcases Canada's young artists

Some of the most promising graduates from Canada's top art schools are getting a career boost from a Halifax art gallery.

Some of the most promising graduates from Canada's top art schools are getting a career boost from a Halifax art gallery.

Studio 21 is holding an exhibition this month that features the work of 14 graduating students from schools such as B.C.'s Emily Carr Institute, the Ontario College of Art and Design and Nova Scotia's NSCAD University.

The show is called, stART: Emerging artists from across Canada.

It offers the arts community a small, but important glimpse of what the next generation of Canadian visual artists has to offer.
 
"It's not just helping the young artists, it's also to give young collectors a head start because the works are affordable, for one thing, so it's encouraging also to get young collectors into the gallery," says Ineke Graham, owner and director of Studio 21.

"Of course that is good for us too because you want to nurture these young collectors in building up their own collection, eventually."

For the artists involved, this kind of exposure is an opportunity to get recognition.

"I think it's interesting to see just where graduate students are going now with their art," said painter Amanda Rhodenizer, who is graduating this spring from NSCAD.

"From across Canada you can see very different treatments and very different subject matters."

It's encouraging "just to know that you've been accepted into something like this that is really going to draw the attention of people outside," she said.

Three young Canadian artists have recently sold works of art to the National Gallery of Canada under a special fund to promote sales of art by those under age 40.

The gallery has bought three inkjet prints by Janice Kerbel, a steel, wire and stone mobile by Damian Moppett and a red-wax crayon drawing, called Birdy with Bun, by Steven Shearer.

The Joy Thomson Fund for the Acquisition of Art by Young Canadian Artists was established with the National Gallery of Canada Foundation in 2003 to boost the gallery's ability to purchase art by Canadian artists 40 years old and younger.

The $1.5-million endowment was created in honour of Mary Joy Thomson, philanthropist, artist and visionary, who died in 1996.