VANL-CARFAC Kicks off New Artist Talk Series with Two Artist Talks: Reeves and Flaherty

VANL-CARFAC Launches its New Artist Talk Series with Two Exciting Events

Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL-CARFAC) is pleased to announce that textile artist and long-time member Heather Reeves, and conceptual artist and ceramic artist Mike Flaherty will be the first two artists to give talks about their work through VANL-CARFAC’s new Artist Talk Series.

“This new program is intended to offer more opportunities to our members to get their work out into the public sphere. While several galleries around the island already offer regular artist talks, these opportunities are too few. It’s crucial to an artists’ development to be able to present their work to an engaged audience. Artist talks bring more people into gallery spaces, they get the public excited about visual art and hungry to see more.”, says VANL-CARFAC’s Executive Director, Sara Tilley.

The Artist Talk Series is a non-juried program, and is open to any artist member of VANL-CARFAC who is exhibiting work in a solo or group show in any gallery or artist-run centre in the province. Talks are on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds for the year are depleted. “We are compensating our speakers at the recommended national rate of $235 per talk. This is part of our mandate to improve the economic conditions for artists. We hope to set an example that artists should be compensated for their time.”, says Tilley. “While there are galleries and artist-run centres out there already paying artists for giving talks, many are asking artists to do this for free. We understand that it’s not always within the gallery’s budget to compensate artists to the recommended level, but we’re hoping that our example will encourage more galleries to host artist talks and to offer an honorarium for them in the future.”

Ms Reeves’ work is part of a five-person show titled Migrations at the Craft Council Gallery, 59 Duckworth St., St. John’s. The exhibition runs from October 18 to November 20, 2009, and Ms Reeves will speak about her work at the gallery on Saturday, November 7, at 2 pm. Revolving around the immigrant experience of both belonging and not belonging to place, Ms Reeves’ hooked mats incorporate traditional mat technique with new materials such as wire screening, wax and phototransfer.

Mike Flaherty has created an online ‘exhibition’ of his latest conceptual work, The Grey Islands, at This site documents the three months Flaherty spent in the summer of 2009 living on the Grey Islands, undertaking an interdisciplinary conceptual art piece in which he constructed a traditional wood-fired kiln – except inside-out. When the kiln was fired, Flaherty was conceptually firing the entire island and, therefore, turning it to sculpture. “While Flaherty’s online exhibition didn’t strictly fit our guidelines for this program, the project is so fascinating that we are delighted to feature it in our second talk.” says Tilley. Mike Flaherty will speak about The Grey Islands on November 9th at 7 pm, at Eastern Edge Gallery, 72 Harbour Drive.

Members of the public are encourage to attend both talks. Admission is free.

Artists interested in applying for the Artist Talk Series can check out the full guidelines and obtain an application form here.