The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Art Critic Residency Program

Beaverbrook Art GalleryJune 25, 20150 Comments

Beaverbrook Art Gallery to Launch New Initiative:
The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Art Critic Residency Program

Fredericton, NB, June 25, 2015 -- Recognizing the importance of visual arts criticism and journalism in the development and appreciation of contemporary art, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Art Critic Residency Program.

According to Terry Graff, Director/CEO and Chief Curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, “This new initiative, which is generously funded by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, is aimed at nurturing a regional, national and international exchange of critical thinking about contemporary art in New Brunswick.”

“During an intensive public consultation process in 2014, the need for critical discourse was identified as vital to the career development of New Brunswick artists”, said Louise Imbeault, chair of the Board of Directors of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation.  “We are proud to work in partnership with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on the critic-in-residence program, which promises to enrich the culture of critical appreciation in our province.”

The Gallery’s first critic-in-residence is Edgar Allen Beem, an award-winning freelance journalist from Brunswick, Maine, who was art critic for Maine Times and Portland Independent, and the recipient of the Manufacturers Hanover Art/World Award for Distinguished Newspaper Art Criticism for his coverage of the 1987 auction sale of Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises. A former librarian at the Portland Public Library, he has written for Yankee, Down East, Boston Globe Magazine, Photo District News, Westbrook (Maine) American, ArtNews, Art New England, Antiques & Fine Art, Art & Antiques, Fiber Arts, American Crafts, and Federal Design Matters, among other publications. Since 2003, his column “The Universal Notebook” has been a regular feature in The Forecaster, Falmouth, Maine, and from 2008 to 2013, he wrote an art blog “Just Looking: A Critic’s Eye on New England Art” hosted by Yankee magazine. Beem is the author of Maine Art Now (1990); Maine: The Spirit of America (2000); Hardlines: A History of the Emery-Waterhouse Company (2007); Backyard Maine: Local Essays (2009); and Art in Maine: Contemporary Perspectives (2015). He states: “My credo as an arts writer has long been: ‘The work of art is the search for meaning.’ I believe art is not only a form of personal expression but also a form of inquiry, every bit as much a quest for truth as scientific research.”

Beem’s residency in New Brunswick will take place October 18 to 24, 2015 and will involve several studio visits with local artists, a public lecture, and an art writing workshop. His observations of the work of New Brunswick artists will be published by the Gallery in 2016.

Artists who would like to be considered for a studio visit, please contact Terry Graff by email at:

About the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and International works of art. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery “enriches life through art.” As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”

Media Contact
Jeremy Elder-Jubelin
Manager of Communications and Visitor Services
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
703 Queen Street, P.O. Box 605
Fredericton, NB
E3E 5A6
Phone: (506) 458-2039
Fax: (506) 459-7450
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enriches life through art.
La Galerie d'art Beaverbrook enrichit la vie par l'art.

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