In conjunction with the East Coast Music Awards, Festival and Conference, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design will host an exhibit of handcrafted musical instruments. Instrumental: In the Creation of… is a glimpse into the craft of local instrument makers and the creativity they inspire in others.
This exhibit will take place in the Main Gallery at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in Sydney from March 3rd to April 10th, 2010. Music inspired art and craft will also be on display. The show will officially open on Wednesday March 3rd, with a reception taking place 4–6pm.
Instruments included in the exhibition range from electric guitars, mandolins, and violins to Mi’kmaq percussion instruments, all made by Cape Breton artisans including, among others, Otis Tomas, Scott Brown, Garett Lahey, Brian Dean and Sylvia Googoo.
“I’ve contributed a violin and a guitar to the exhibit,” says well-known luthier Otis Tomas who has been building instruments for almost forty years. “These are a couple of instruments that I’ve built for customers who were kind enough to hold off for an extra month or so, so I can have them here at the gallery. Both instruments were built on my own designs, as are all my instruments.”
Complementing the instruments will be an assortment of educational components to provide some insight into the skill and art of instrument making. To this end, Tomas has contributed images of the geometric designs that the instruments are based on and the molds used in their construction.
“Also in the show you’ll be able to see a couple of booklets that I put together to document in text and photographs the construction process of both a violin and a guitar, although not these ones on display, so that viewers can get a more inside look at the process of instrument construction as I practice it.”
Visitors will also have the opportunity to view art inspired by the music of our Island. Local artist Kenny Boone will have several paintings in the exhibition that reflect his wide-ranging interest in this subject, including thirteen watercolour paintings and one large acrylic on canvas that was painted live on New Year’s Eve with the Matt Minglewood Band.
“The 4’x’3 acrylic is the first of what will be an ongoing series of live painting as music is performed on stage,” says Boone. “There will be three nights at Smooth Herman’s during the ECMAs that I will set up a make shift studio in a corner of the stage and create works completely from the music being performed…marrying the two art forms together.”
Boone, who has been known to sit in with local bands on occasion, says, “Personally I’ve discovered that music, as an element in my art-making, wakes up my inner artist and entices my muse to be present—it stirs up emotions that are transformed into movements—which in turn gives birth to a creative energy.”
He describes the paintings collected for this exhibition as “…very colorful and lively, reflecting the emotions I derive from listening to and even taking part in the act of playing music.”
Carol Beaton, Executive Director for the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, said, “The Centre is pleased to be able to participate in this international event. We view the exhibition as a ‘supporting act’ for the ECMAs, showcasing the talent and skill that go into instrument making and the art and craft it ultimately inspires.”
Instrumental: In the creation of… will be on display at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design until April 10th, 2010.