Strathbutler : A tradition of excellence in the visual arts of New Brunswick
September 15, 2017
Based on the recommendation of a five-person professional jury, the Board of Directors of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation announces that Herménégilde Chiasson has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Strathbutler Award. Mr. Chiasson joins a celebrated list of Strathbutler artists whose work has enriched the cultural fabric of New Brunswick.
In recommending the 2017 recipient, jurors David Balzer, Victoria Henry, Aaron Milrad, Amélie Proulx and Tom Smart lauded both Mr. Chiasson’s accomplishments as a visual artist and his sustained advocacy work for the cultural life of the province.“We are happy to recommend Herménégilde Chiasson for the 2017 Strathbutler award in honour of a profoundly significant body of work. While we recognise the strength of many nominees, we are particularly impressed with the breadth and sophistication of Chiasson’s work, as well as its acknowledgement of, and advocacy for Acadian histories. In addition to Mr. Chiasson’s contributions to the province as a leader and a mentor, he has paved the way for subsequent generations of New Brunswick artists.”
Nominator Thaddeus Holownia describes Chiasson as a “Renaissance Man…a role model, an intellect, a passionate creator and a humble man whose accomplishments reach far beyond the regional art world.” Beginning with his first professional exhibition in 1967, Chiasson embarked on a multi-faceted career in arts. He holds Bachelor degrees from the University of Moncton and Mount Allison; Masters degrees from the Sorbonne, Ecole National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris and the State University of New York as well as a PhD from the Université de Paris (Sorbonne). A painter, a filmmaker, playwright, photographer, and writer, Chiasson pushes the limits of all disciplines avoiding the promotion of any particular style in favour of curiosity and research in his eclectic practice. With over 150 exhibitions in major galleries, Chiasson has had a rich career as a visual artist. Equally, he is a teacher and statesman. He has served arts organizations provincially and nationally and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. In his tenure as Lieutenant-Governor of the province his advocacy for the arts has enlightened the province’s appreciation and understanding of the value of arts. As noted by John Leroux in his nomination of Mr. Chiasson for the Strathbutler “Herménégilde Chiasson embodies the spirit of an individual who has achieved excellence in his field of visual art and who has made a substantial contribution to the province of New Brunswick”
Continuing a tradition established by the foundation’s founder, Sheila Mackay, the newest recipient of the Strathbutler award will be recognised at a public celebration. The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Chiasson will be presented with the award on October 20 at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in conjunction with the opening of a retrospective exhibition of his work.