Biography of Herménégilde Chiasson

Herménégilde Chiasson was born in Saint Simon, New Brunswick, in 1946. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at the Université de Moncton (1967), a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville (1972), a Master’s degree in Aesthetics at the Université de Paris 1 (1976), a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at New York State University (1981) and a doctorate at the Sorbonne, in Paris (1983).

He chose to stay in Acadie to work at his art and make the most of his talent, meanwhile engaging wholeheartedly in a variety of cultural initiatives. He was Director of the Galerie d’art de l’Université de Moncton (1974), founding president of Éditions Perce-Neige (1984), President of Galerie Sans Nom (1980), founding member of the Aberdeen Co-op (1985) and of Imago Printshop (1987), Founding President of Productions du Phare-Est (1998), guest curator of the exhibition Anecdotes and Enigmas held at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton (1994) and President of the Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (1993-1995).

His artistic output is very substantial and has been shown in over 100 exhibitions, of which 18 were solo shows, including La Frise des Archers (1983), and Mythologies (1996) upon reaching his fiftieth birthday. Of particular interest among the group exhibitions of which he was part, is the travelling exhibit Quoi faire? Quoi dire? (1986), organised by Vancouver curator Charlotte Townsend-Gault. Several of his works are part of public and private collections. In addition to his production in visual arts, he has directed fourteen films, notably Toutes les photos finissent par se ressembler (1985), Le Grand Jack (1987), Robichaud (1989), Taxi Cormier (1990) and TV5 Grand Prize winner Épopée (1996). He has also written several books: Mourir à Scoudouc (1974), Claude Roussel, sculpteur (1985), in collabora-tion with Patrick Condon Laurette, Vous (1991) which received the France-Acadie Prize (1992), and Climat (1996), a collection of about 50 previously published and unpublished pieces. He has also written some twenty plays, including Pierre, Hélène et Michael (1990), L'exil d'Alexa (1993) and Aliénor (1997). He has published ten texts in periodicals such as Lèvres urbaines, Liberté and Éloizes, presented several performances and public readings and worked collaboratively in set design on ten occasions.

He was twice a recipient of the Prix France-Acadie (1986 and 1992), was made Chevalier de l’Ordre français des Arts et des Lettres (1990), is a member of the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique (1993), and received the Grand Prix de la francophonie canadienne (1999), an honorary doctorate in literature from the Université de Moncton (1999) and the Prix quinquennal Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie (2003).