Tantramar Art Symposium, organized by The Canadian Hungarian Artists Collective (CHAC) was Coordinated by its President, Andrea Blanar.. The seven day event featured professional workshops lead by internationally recognized Canadian artists as well as gallery exhibits, a speaker series, film sreenings, book signings, studio days, and many socials with “meet-the-artists in residence” receptions.
CHAC chose the Tantramar region f New Brunswick for the event because of its untouched coastal beauty, the support received from local residents and the existence of a highly diverse cultural community. CHAC members have settled there. Andrea Blanar owns a Church Studio in Point de Bute, close by, Anna Torma and Istvan Zsako own a seaside farm and Studio in Baie Verte. The area has a high number of artisans and artists. The area attracts many young artists because of the Fine Arts program at Mount Allison University and the presence of Owens Gallery, Struts Artist Run Center, Faucett Media Centre, Fog Forest Gallery and local Theatres. In fact, Sackville has been designated as one of Canada’s most active cultural communities.
The backbone of the Symposium is a series of professional workshops conducted by leading Canadian artists. Workshop topics include multimedia painting, relief printing, clay, fibre art, photography, documentary filmmaking, and digital photoshop. Participants pay a workshop fee that includes their participation in all Symposium events. Workshop participants include artists and supporters of the arts. There were also workshop spaces for young people. CHAC increased the number of workshops to eight in 2007. The workshop leaders were all artists well recognized in their specific expertise. The Symposium was honored by the collaboration of so many artists who had national and international reputations.
• Andrea Blanar | Multimedia Paintings | Point de Bute Church Studio
• Géza Hermann | Site Specific Installation | Cape Jourimain
• Istvan Kantor | Multimedia Performance | Strutts Artist Run Centre
• Judith Klugerman | Relief Printing | Point de Bute Community may
• Ghita Levin | Clay | Baie Verte Studio
• Danielle Ouellette | Fibre Art | Point de Bute Community Hall
• Gabor Szilasi | Photography | Baie Verte
• Tamas Wormser | Documentary Filmmaking | Faucet Media Arts Centre
• David Zsako | Digital Photoshop | Faucet Media Arts Centre
Public Program; An extensive public program was offered in the areas’ establishments:
1. A Multi media exhibition at Struts Gallery in Sackville of the workshop leaders works of art, curated by Doreen Lindsay.
2. An exhibition of the participants’ works at the Point de Bute Art Centre.
3. A Fiber art Exhibit at the Point de Bute Community Center that included a retrospective by Danielle Ouellette as well as an exhibition of the works that the fiber art participants produced during the symposium.
4. Site Specific Installations: The daily site specific Installations at cape Jourimain were open to the public.
Speakers Conferences and performances were open to the Public;
1.Istvan Kantor Multi Media Performance: The highlight of the symposium was a frenetically charged and visually challenging multimedia performance by Istvan Kantor and his team of artists, presented at Struts Artist Run Centre.
2. Dr. Jacques Drouin, professor emeritus, psychiatrist and an artist musician, presented a conference on Vincent Van Gogh’s art, as influenced by the deterioration of his serious psychiatric illness.
3. Deanne Fitzpatrick, Nova Scotia’s top fiber artist, .presented a retrospective on her life and work, with a particular emphasis on her childhood growing up in Newfoundland.
4. Tom Kapas The Saturday morning was oriented for children and featured Tom Kapas, illustrator of children´s book. Tom read his The Cowboy Kid. Book and described the artistic process as a children’s book illustrator.
Daily film screenings at Struts Gallery featured films by Attilla Bertalan, Sophie Fekete, Peter Horvath, Istvan Kantor and Tamas Wormser.
The number of participants doubled since the 2005 Symposium, and attracted over 90 participants from Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Boston, New York and many Acadians from Moncton, Shediac and up the coast. This created wonderful spirited exchanges. Most of our workshop leaders were trilingual thus the many languages resounded in all the workshops. Sing songs and Tintammares exploded nightly by the campfires and in the farmhouse. While many of the participants had a connection to CHAC, the Symposium gave discounts to attract local artists.
Biologist’s Tour: Led by Marine Biologist, Christopher Blanar, surveyed the marshes and coastal area mudflats, and the interesting local sites. Participants were encouraged to shop locally. As part of their orientation to the region, the tour included bakers, farmer’s roadside, markets, wineries, and other local produce. This created friendships with local farmers and rural merchants who delighted in the Hungarian invasion.
Subsidized by the benevolence of the organizers and workshop leaders, the participant’s fee covered many of the costs of facilities. The generous donation of CHEF, Elizabeth and Andrew Gorzo, George Szabo and Maria Leriche allowed us to give a modest remuneration to our workshop leaders.
The Symposium fee of $ 350 included not only the workshop registration fees, but also included the campsite accommodation in Baie Verte , the social program that included 3 suppers and a breakfast. Participants were responsible for their transportation to the Tantramar area and for their other meals.. Many car pooled and shared their kitchen duties. More mature participants filled the several B&B’s in the area.
Most appreciated by the local citizens was the Production of the Documentary Film by Tamas Wormser and his students on the effects of the Confederation Bridge to PEI and how it has impacted on the coastal communities who had thrived on the industries created by the ferry crossings. This film was shown subsequently at arts festivals in Cape Jourmain.