SITE 8Library, Mockbeggar Plantation, Bonavista
SITE 24Hiscock House, Trinity
Frank Lapointe was part of an important wave in the 1970s of new arrivals and young Newfoundlanders returning from art schools “up-along”, bringing new ideas and energy. Lapointe achieved national recognition primarily as a printmaker through works made at St. Michael’s Printshop, a printmaking facility founded in 1972 in a Southern Shore schoolhouse. His mid-1970s Newfoundland Postcard Series combines images and messages from historic cards in poignant illuminations of ordinary rural lives—family ties, low pay, dangerous work at the seal hunt, travel on the Bonavista Branch railway line. From 1977 to 1986, Lapointe worked with the late percussionist-composer Don Wherry to create Ice Report, Birds, The Pond and The Door: A Circular Passage. Lapointe’s natural history images were presented in complex, carefully choreographed programs using multiple projectors and screens. Wherry created audio, often blending recorded natural sound, his own compositions, even live improvisational music. These pieces were innovative forerunners of today’s music videos and other digital programming. The Pond was shown in a 1981 National Film Board exhibition. Birds is being re-presented during the Biennale.
Lapointe studied at the Washington School of Art and Ontario College of Art. Returning in 1970, he worked a teacher and curator in the university’s Extension Service before turning to art-making full-time in 1973. His work has been exhibited across the country and is in corporate and public collections.