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Artists: Letitia Fraser, Darcie Bernhardt, Mary Pratt, Barbara Pratt, Christopher Pratt, Tom Forrestall, Alex Colville, Andrea Mortson, Kym Greeley, Elizabeth Lovitt Cann, and Stanley Royle.

At what point does an interpretation of something become a work of art? Is realism defined only by how accurately a subject can be described or reproduced, or is there more to consider when an artist chooses to represent something?

Coined in 19th century France, the term realism defined a movement in art that depicted everyday subject matter in a lifelike way. Through that movement, artists captured what was rarely seen in formal portraiture – the people, struggles and moments of ordinary life. This, in and of itself, was a radical, and often political act.

Here, in Mi’kma’ki and Atlantic Canada, multiple generations of artists have, through keen observation and self-reflection, painted their own cultural identities, landscapes, domestic environments, virtual realities, or even dream-like visions. Here, artists have been engaged in a lively conversation around realism’s definition both long before, and after it was coined a term within the Western art world.

Realism’s Reach explores some of the many ways artists in this region have either responded to, or expressed their own realities through their work, and how they consider the space between perspective and perception.

Curated by: Sarah Moore Fillmore



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