A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Craft in Newfoundland in which I discussed the strong community of artists in the province, and the organizations that work to sponsor and support them. This week I wanted to share with you some of my personal favourite artists that call this province home. Whether they are musicians or folklorists, sculptors and potters, sketchers, painters, or photographers, there is a strong body of artists in every field.
Today I have chosen to talk about a group of sculptors, potters, sketchers and painters, whose works may be seen everywhere from picture books to local cafes, coastal hikes, and national art galleries. In the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of my favourite musicians, as well as interviewing one of Newfoundland’s great photographers.
Newfoundland’s beautiful coastline has been a constant source of inspiration to many artists. No one captures the ever shifting light and colours of our picturesque bays quite like Frank Lapointe.
Born and raised in the small community of Trinity East, Lapointe has dedicated his career to showcasing the dramatic and beautiful life of out-port Newfoundland. From collections focusing on historic love letters from sealers and their families, to multimedia pieces highlighting the importance of fish in out-port life, as well as rich and colourful watercolours showcasing the breathtaking beauty of our coastal towns, Lapointe continues to demonstrate his love of the history, culture, and beauty of this province.
Lapointe’s work may be enjoyed at The Rooms Gallery in St John’s, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, as well as on international tours. His works may be purchased at the Red Ochre Gallery in St John’s, as well as from regular exhibits at both the Two Whales Cafe, and the Trinity Mercantile. Lapointe is also a regular contributor to local auctions, and the Bonavista Art Walk every August.
Unlike Lapoint, many of Newfoundland’s artists are newcomers to the province, including Philippa Jones.
Originally from the UK, Jones moved to Canada in 2009 where she has since been inspired by the rugged and wild Newfoundland landscape to create her work on constructed realities and myths. Her projects have focused on bringing people across the island to promote discovery and creativity through her Ministry of Intuitive Research in Imagined and Actual Discoveries. The experiences of her guests are then used to give life to her larger works.
Jones’ art may be enjoyed at the National Gallery of Canada, The Rooms, as well as on her website here.
An artist and puppeteer originally from Slovenia, Darke Erdelji has also been inspired by the myths and legends that fill Newfoundland’s history. Working alongside folklorist Andy Jones, Erdelji has provided the beautiful and haunting images for the Jack Tale series of picture books. These stunning works tell the tale of hardship in a magical and mystical place, working the land, fishing the seas, and staying true to your loved ones.
Erdelji’s works may be enjoyed in any bookstore in Newfoundland!
Another local to the Bonavista Peninsula is Michael Flaherty. A ceramics expert, Flaherty has used his art to address social issues and advocacy, as well as to shine a light on Newfoundland’s history.
The work shown below is part of his Rangifer Sapiens collection that was influenced by Newfoundland’s resettlement history. These pieces look at the loss of man, and the re-emergence of nature.
Flaherty’s works may be enjoyed at the Craft Council Gallery in St John’s, as well as at his studio in Catalina. For more information on his work visit his website here.
Whether at St John’s International Airport, L’Anse Aux Meadows, Corner Brook, or even in St John’s Harbour, everyone who has visited the province has appreciated Luben Boykov’s work. Originally from Bulgaria, Boykov moved to the province in 1990, when he started his Garden Studio and Foundry in Logy Bay.
Boykov has designed many iconic pieces for the province, and continues to create works inspired by Newfoundland’s history, culture and heritage. In his personal collection, Boykov’s work is inspired by the organic world around him, and focuses on the disconnect between man and our universe.
In addition to his commissioned pieces, his personal work may be viewed at the Red Ochre Gallery in St John’s, as well as at his personal studio, The Garden Studio and Foundry in Logy Bay. For more information on his work, visit his website here.
Arguably one of Canada’s most famous artists, the talented David Blackwood’s work may be found in virtually every major public gallery and corporate art collection in Canada. His works are also featured in major private and public collections around the world, including Queen Elizabeth II’s royal collection in Windsor Castle and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Blackwood’s striking work tells the story of the hard life faced by those in Newfoundland’s out-port communities. The power of the sea, the constant loss of life, and the struggle to battle with the elements, are also major themes in Blackwood’s work.
Although he now resides in Ontario where he is an Honorary Chairman at the Art Gallery of Ontario, he maintains his studio in the small bay town of Wesleyville in Newfoundland.
While in Newfoundland, Blackwood’s works may be enjoyed at The Rooms Gallery, and the Emma Butler Gallery. For more information on his work, visit his website here.