Art

Halifax has a new space to view art

The Central Library adds an art exhibit space to the fifth floor

Art by Shelley Mitchell occupies walls in the Sunroom, a new space for art at the Central Library.   Allie Conway

There’s a new place to check out art in Halifax: the Central Library.

The Sunroom is a new art exhibit space on the library’s fifth floor, filling the white wall space near Pavia Espresso Bar and Cafe with colour.

Åsa Kachan, Chief Librarian and CEO, says the idea first started to take shape a year and a half ago, while having a conversation with library donor Margot Spafford. Both agreed the fifth floor resembled a sunroom and would benefit from another element: art.

“It’s just one more opportunity for people to learn and be enlightened by the sense of the library,” Kachan says. “Often, when you see something through the eyes of an artist, you discover something new about your own community and yourself.”

The goal is to have new exhibits every few months and to invite both established and emerging local artists to submit their works.

“The idea that we could be a platform for some emerging artists to begin to show their lens in our community feels great,” she says.

The library has put together a committee that will review artist proposals to be on display. They will put out proposal calls at regular intervals to keep the artwork fresh and interesting.

The first artist to be featured is Halifax’s Shelley Mitchell, a local artist and NSCAD graduate who has been painting for over 20 years.

“I think it’s a great thing they’re doing there,” says Mitchell. “The more public art the better.”

Mitchell says she used the building itself as inspiration for her pieces on display, entitled ‘As Time Goes By’.

“I like the library building, so naturally I thought I’d do some of that. There are two exteriors and an interior of the library and then some kind of iconic structures of the HRM that people can relate to,” she says. “It’s more about the old architecture versus the new and how it kind of works together in Halifax.”

The official launch of the space is Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Viewers can check out the art and enjoy mocktails. Both Mitchell and Kachan will be speaking.