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by Carol Little

Organizer of A.P.E., Brian SharpA.P.E (Artistic Presence is Essential) is an art exhibition that will run from February 23rd to March 3rd on the ground floor of the Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown. This show will display a variety of art forms including both traditional formats and new media, incorporating painting and drawing, an ongoing video presentation showcasing short films, performances by theatrical groups and musicians, demonstrations by hair stylists and culinary artists, website designs and online activities.

Brian Sharp, organizer of A.P.E. and studio manager at Trapeze Animation Studios Ltd., says “We need to not only support but celebrate artistic presence as often as possible. Artistic expression informs and reflects culture. That’s part of what makes it essential. A.P.E.’s purpose is to explain it in a new context so that anyone can start to recognize its presence and realize its importance to inspire.”

The diversity of the exhibition is due to Sharp’s belief that “All disciplines in our society can be creative, from quantum physics to painting a mural, to writing software code. The brightest people in the world are very creative and know how to tap that resource on a regular basis.”

Sharp says that, “Creativity is a fundamental aspect of the human condition and for an artist is an essential need.” Asked about his motivation behind organizing the ambitious show, Sharp states, “Having to run an animation studio requires talented artists and an environment that is supportive of this kind of creative talent.”

Sharp emphasizes that, “A.P.E. is for everyone, especially kids who are so easily inspired and energetic about life. The more we can teach them how to express that inspiration they have, the more productive and innovative an adult they will become.” He adds, “We will have a kids booth where kids can colour line art from our studio and take that home with them for free (including Doodlez line art with permission from Cellar Door, and original art created by Trapeze animators).”

Ultimately, Sharp says, “I want to promote artistic presence. We are hoping that this is just the beginning of a life long quest to inspire our community into embracing this part of the culture, and recognizing the cultural and economic value in supporting creativity.”

The show has been scheduled to coincide with this year’s East Coast Music Awards taking place in Charlottetown, in the hopes that the additional foot traffic downtown will attract more viewers to the exhibition.

Sharp says, “The best I could hope for with A.P.E. is to have the visitors to the show walk away with a deeper understanding of why we need to support creativity.” He hopes that A.P.E. will become a semi-annual event.

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