AJAs 2016 Finalists


Slug/Label A new Beaverbrook rises
Date Aired or Published May 28, 2016
Media outlet where first aired or published: Telegraph-Journal
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Saint John
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

We were watching the stately Beaverbrook Art Gallery on the shore of the St. John River transform into something raw, something dishevelled, something so unlike what we knew it to be. We asked the curator if we could visit the gallery while it was undergoing huge renovations inside, as part of its expansion which will be finished this summer. The gallery was closed to the public, but we were able to step inside, through plastic tarp with ear plugs in to mask the hammering and drills, and document the work going on behind the walls. The floors were stripped. Cement was being poured in through the front door. Strings of lights hung from the bare ceiling. It was a different kind of exhibition. No more pristine white walls and colourful art. This Beaverbrook Art Gallery was all exposed pipes, beams and concrete. To tell this story visually, we wanted to bring the public into this gallery they would otherwise never be able to see. On the cover of the section, we used a strong vertical shot showing a construction worker underneath the main entrance, facing the front doors, looking up, almost in awe even though we can’t see his face, at the intricate ceiling of lights and lines. Page designer Stephanie McHugh chose a medley of other interior shots to frame the right side of the page, and then painstakingly close-cropped an image of a worker on a hydraulic lift so it appears he is working on the headline — partnering the art with the text. In the spread, we worked from the ground up with the layout. Stephanie cropped a group of workers spreading out the freshly-poured concrete on the gallery floor. This photo takes up the whole bottom of the page. Up above, hangs the bare ceiling along the top of the spread. Throughout the text of the story, we share photos of the gallery in different stages of its renovation, both interior and exterior. The final product draws the reader in to feel as though they are standing in the gallery as well, where they can almost heard the hubbub of construction in the usually quiet and reserved provincial art gallery of New Brunswick.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

Photographer James West and editor Katherine Hudson visited the Beaverbrook Art Gallery multiple times during the winter of 2016 to document the continuous transformations taking place inside. The page design itself took place over the course of a few days. Stephanie McHugh crafted the display on the cover and the inside spread to tell the story of the renovation - in all its messy and chaotic beauty.

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