Nocturne: The Art Side of the Moon
October 11, 2011

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Guest curated by Holly Crooks (BFA 2005), Seeking Duende: Halifax Flamenco explores the breadth of a vibrant local flamenco scene and the scope and spirit of the flamenco art form in a dynamic suite of photographs. You can see the show during Nocturne at ViewPoint Galley, 1272 Barrington St.
 

It’s the one night when artists take full control of Halifax streets: drawing on sidewalks; making projections on the sides of historic buildings; and asking you to extract gum balls from their pockets.

It’s Nocturne—an in-the-dark explosion of creative talent happening Saturday, Oct. 15, from 6 p.m. to midnight. It’s the fourth year for Nocturne, which has since spawned similar moonlit festivals—Antigonish’s Antigonight, Sydney’s Lumière and Charlottetown’s Art in the Open.

Organizers are expecting 20,000 people to experience Nocturne, which will take place at more than 80 sites in five zones throughout the city: downtown Halifax, Halifax waterfront (south), Spring Garden, North End Halifax, and downtown Dartmouth. Throughout the evening, there will Nocturne buses, walking and cycling tours, and ferries to get art lovers from zone to zone.

"I think it breaks down the barriers—these notions that art and culture is only for a certain kind of person; that art is cerebral and you’re not supposed to understand it," muses Rose Zack, chair of the Nocturne Board of Directors. "It's free and inclusive and has this wonderful sense of surprise and discovery."

Last year, one of those surprises was having the Public Gardens open for Nocturne but this year, it's the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site which will be open to visitors. Artist Ilan Sander will present Ursa Major's Visit, an illuminated art project based on the constellation Ursa Major. Other "anchor" projects include You Wanna Play?, a large-scale installation by Scott Saunders (BFA 2008) and Kabul-based Ariel Nasr, at the courtyard outside the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Redemption of the Dark Side, curated and produced by Kim Farmer at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth.

It's one night of the year, but Rose believes it's more than that. "Come out and you'll see old people, young people and families," says Rose, who was recently honoured with an Ignite Award for "inspiring interest and partnership in arts and culture" by Fusion Halifax. "Yes, it's one night, but a ripple comes from it. You look at things differently. Look, there's where that performance took place, where that cool installation was. There's all this energy—it's like Christimas for adults."

NSCAD artists—students, faculty and alumni—take a huge role in Nocturne and NSCAD hosts several venues as well. At the Granville Campus, the Anna Leonowens Gallery on will be exhibiting Equine Studies by Professor Susan McEachern and student art projects while the Dawson Printshop will allow patrons to print their own Nocturne keepsake.  At the Port Campus, Seeds Gallery and the Port Loggia Gallery are two of the stops in the Halifax waterfront zone.

For a full list of venues, pick up a program or visit the website.

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Gallery Page and Strange, 1869 Granville St., hosts new works by Drew Klassen (Canopy 9, above) and Tom Hammick, as well as the intriguing Happy Wash, a carwash-style installation by Shelley Mansel, Lia Rinaldo and Helena Roxy Rae.