Belle Epoch theme planned for AGB 2015 Art Auction; that will be different!

Event 100By Pepper Parr

December 1, 2014



The Art Gallery of Burlington is proud of its rich tradition in hosting an annual, live art auction. The event is a critical fund raiser for the AGB which sees itself as the heart of arts and culture in the region.

With an inspiring variety of exhibitions, education programs and an acclaimed Canadian contemporary ceramics collection, it is vital that AGB raise funds to continue to offer enriching programs to our community and keep the galleries free and accessible to all, seven days a week. Thus the art sale.

The next will be their 36th year and will be grown into a week-long celebration of visual art with local, regional and national artists.
It all begins May 31st and runs through to – June 6th, 2015. Mark those dates on your calendar.

Wine poster - Belle Epoch

The Belle Epoch was a time of new ideas, emerging artists and rife with political controversy. There was a World’s Fair held in Paris – the world was alive with new wealth and ideas – it all ended with the start of the First Great War

This week-long celebration features: an Art Sale; a live auction as well as a Silent AuctionThis year there is going to be a theme to set a tone. The AGB people are stretching their wings and actually getting creative. They have chosen La Belle Époque as the theme, which we are told came out of the creative mind of Cheryl Goldring, chair of the Planning committee and an artist with a reputation of her own

Belle Époque was a period characterized by optimism, peace at home and in Europe, new technology and scientific discoveries. The peace and prosperity in Paris allowed the arts to flourish, and many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition. The Belle Époque was named, in retrospect, when it began to be considered a “golden age” in contrast to the horrors of World War I.

J'accuse front page Belle Epoch

For a citizen of France to accuse the President of the Republic in a newspaper front page letter was unheard of – those were heady times. The Art Gallery of Burlington wants to re-create some of that era with a theme for the 2015 Art Auction.

In the newly rich United States, emerging from the Panic of 1873, the comparable epoch was dubbed the Gilded Age.  In the United Kingdom, the Belle Époque overlapped with the late Victorian era and the Edwardian era. In Germany, the Belle Époque coincided with the reigns of Kaiser Wilhelm I & II and in Russia with the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II.

All that rich history will be wrapped into a theme that will set a tone considerable different than previous art auctions. The city can perhaps attend an event that has the potential to get away from the stodginess that has at times crept into AGB events. Looks like they are going to zip it up a bit.

There is also going to be a 200 for $200 event; 200 painting priced at $200 each. That should appeal to the younger set that wants to begin collecting seriously.

The Planning committee wants the public to party like it’s 1889 when the world celebrated the opening of the World’s Fair in Paris and the coming of age of Impressionism. That might be a bit of a stretch – after all this is Burlington.

The Art Gallery of Burlington will be transformed into a Parisian market as guests are immersed in late 19th Century Paris with all the exciting sights and sounds of that vibrant era; art, music, jugglers, dancers, cafes, bistros and marketplaces.

The committee planning this event includes: Cheryl Goldring, Chair, Susan Busby, Anne Brownell, AGB, Catherine Brady, Cheryl Soderlund, AGB, Louise Cooke, Kim Varian, AGB and Don Graves.
Submission packages for artists can be downloaded here.


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