Written By Becka Viau
When I first viewed this lecture by Curator Thelma Golden, I found my self lost in a conversation around race… However, as I watched for a second time I realized that for me this lecture is really asking the question: is an art gallery a place to ignite social change? Or even better, where can an Art gallery exist so a community, so the community it serves can have conversations about difficult and changing social notions?
I instantly think of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown. Is this gallery providing Islanders, its community, the right amount of catalyst to ignite social discussion? I would argue yes, in the sense that they do exhibit Island Artists and when looking at the exhibitions installed right now it is obvious that 4 out of 5 exhibitions directly speak to island life and the conversations are accessible. Yet when I am confronted with the installation by Jayce Salloum I wonder how many from the Island community are having a real conversation with this work? Is this really an important question? Is the Salloum exhibition functioning on a National Level and not a local one? Does presenting artwork that is hard to access by the general public serving the mandate of the gallery?
Overall this lecture has made me reflect on the importance of national, local and international conversations sparked by art of all kinds, and the importance of public galleries to the presentation of these conversations.
To quote Thelma Golden, “artists provide a space bigger than one that we could imagine to work through these images (ideas).” I challenge you, the reader to visit the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and find out what ideas you can get yourself into.