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AGNS to celebrate Up Home

April 27, 2009

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will celebrate the exhibition Up Home Thursday April 30 at 2:00pm. This celebration event will include a viewing of the original paintings for the book, an opportunity to meet the artists and a poetry presentation by students from Nelson Whynder Elementary School. The exhibition of work for Up Home will remain on view until June 14th. The artists Susan Tooke and Shauntay Grant as well as exhibition curator Dale Sheppard will also be available for interviews.

Susan Tooke and Shauntay Grant have been involved with ArtsSmarts programs throughout Nova Scotia and have most recently worked with students from Nelson Whynder Elementary School in preparation for the Up Home celebration on April 30th. Students will present their own Up Home interpretations through words and art work. Shauntay Grant and musician Marko Simmonds will also perform at this event. The exhibition of Tooke's original paintings will be on view at the Black Cultural Centre this summer.

Up Home recently won two awards at the 2009 Atlantic Book Awards which were presented at a gala celebration Wednesday, April 15. The book won both the Best Atlantic Published Book Award and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. Shauntay Grant, the book's author is a broadcaster, spoken word artist, and musician was also recently named the he Mayor*s Poet Laureate 2009/10. Susan Tooke is an award-winning artist who has illustrated many books for children and paints murals, landscapes, and portraits, and creates digital montages. Up Home is also short-listed for the 2010 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards.

Exhibition Background
North Preston is one of our country's largest and most important African Canadian communities. Writer, Shauntay Grant has written a rich and celebratory poem about North Preston and her memories of growing Up Home. The book is beautifully illustrated by artist Susan Tooke who modeled Shauntay's characters from people she met in the community. The original (acrylic on Arches watercolour paper 140 lb. cold press) paintings created for the book are on view in the Education Gallery at AGNS until June 14th and will then begin a provincial tour at  the Black Cultural Centre where they  will remain on view for the summer. The
Black Cultural Centre, the Nova Scotia Department of Education, and AGNS will partner in a series of writing and art workshops for young people in the North Preston area and at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, around the idea of their own Up Home.


For more information please contact:
Jeff Gray
Manager of Communications
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Ph:   (902) 424-2903
Fax:  (902) 424-7359

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