Nfld. & Labrador

Artist Angela Hardy connects Labrador and the Louvre

She can't believe her paintings will be in the same place as the Mona Lisa.

'I am ecstatic. I think I'm still in a bit of a dreamland about it'

Angela Hardy says the isolation of Labrador made her work harder as an artist. (Angela Hardy)

The famous Louvre Museum in Paris will house work by artist Angela Hardy who is originally from Wabush — something she still hasn't fully absorbed yet.

"I am ecstatic. I think I'm still in a bit of a dreamland about it," says Hardy.

"You just assume you would probably either be near your deathbed or have passed before, you know, you're residing in the same building as the Mona Lisa."

Hardy has been selected by a jury to display her work at 157th edition of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (SNBA), which exhibits pieces from about 600 artists from around the world. 

This is one of two paintings that Hardy submitted to a jury for the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. (Angela Hardy)

This year's event takes place from Dec. 13-16.  She credits a photographer friend whose work was featured last year for piquing her interest and starting her on the application process. 

"Once you're in, you're pretty much in. I'll be in it again next year — it's one of those things, it's a milestone marker for your career," she told CBC Radio's Labrador Morning

#MeToo

She explained that one of the pieces of art that the jury's acceptance was based on was her submission of a painting of the goddess Venus — and she will create a new painting based on that powerful female subject for the exhibit.

Hardy, who now lives in St. Thomas, Ontario, said it's a work that demonstrates how art is "a platform for empowerment."

This painting by Hardy is titled Beat to a Different Drum. (Angela Hardy)

"I would be another one that would hashtag my posts with #MeToo," she said, referring to the social media campaign that has unified people who have shared their stories of sexual assault and harassment. 

"But I believed that I don't have the right to go out and paint other women in that light — of showing them to be strong and powerful — unless I was willing to admit it to myself first. And we know that that is very hard for women to do, [although] we're getting much better at it."

She said she draws strength — and creativity — from people in her life. Her friend, as an example, is a human rights lawyer and Hardy will depict her as a goddess of justice in a future painting.

From Wabush to Paris, with hard work

Hardy said the isolation of growing up in Labrador meant little access to art history, but she isn't complaining.

She believes limitations have fuelled not only her own ambitions, but those of other people whom she has known to go on and do "very big and amazing things."

This is the other painting Hardy submitted to the jury and because she was successful, her work will be displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris. (Angela Hardy)

"Once we realize there's more out there, we work that much harder to get it and observe it and try and find ways to live life that much more fully," Hardy said.

"I think it's really important that people from home — and just anywhere — see that they are capable of so much more, that they can have a vision and they can run with it."

With files from Labrador Morning