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Marie Hélène Allain
Marie Hélène Allain was born and lives in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent in southeastern New Brunswick. She has always been driven by two passions: teaching, passing on knowledge to others, and expressing her creativity through the visual arts, particularly sculpture.
Marie Hélène Allain’s impressive body of work has been the subject of more than twenty solo exhibitions, as well as numerous group shows in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her stone sculptures are part of numerous public collections in Canada and France, and adorn public spaces throughout New Brunswick. Her main objective is to bring inert matter to life, and to study the symbolism of stone in combination with other materials.
Her work has earned the artist many distinctions, including the 1996 Strathbutler Prize, awarded by the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation for excellence in the visual arts or fine crafts in New Brunswick, a gold medal at the 111th Jeux de la Francophonie in Madagascar in 1997, for her sculpture Danser sa liberté, the 2001 Éloize Award for artist of the year in visual arts; in 2007, 2014 and 2018 she was a finalist for the Éloize Award in the same category.
In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts in New Brunswick.
The book Marie Hélène Allain la symbolique de la pierre/The Symbolism of Stone, by Carolle Gagnon, published by Éditions d’Acadie in 1994, is a major publication on the artist and her work. A documentary film by Rodolphe Caron, Marie Hélène Allain en dialogue avec la pierre/Speaking with Stone, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Productions Appalaches, was released in 2008. In 2014, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation launched the Marie-Hélène Allain Excellence Grant to encourage creative exploration and innovation among mid-career artists. In 2018, the Société culturelle Kent-Sud honored her with the inauguration of the Galerie d’art Marie-Hélène- Allain at the Centre culturel, 5 boulevard Irving, Bouctouche.
Her website: http://www.marieheleneallain.ca/ is an important documentary on the evolution of her artistic work.