Twenty years ago in Halifax Nova Scotia five young art students piled into a Rent-a-Wreck and drove 18 hours nonstop to arrive in New York City on April Fool's Day. It was my first-ever visit -- and it was love at first sight. I celebrated my 20th birthday in NSCAD's loft on Canal street, with a Betty Crocker chocolate cake carved by my pals into the shape of Manhattan, complete with skyscrapers assembled from the cutaway parts of the cake held in place by construction-grade icing.

Since that first trip I have returned almost every year, usually to revel in a major exhibition that I would not have been able to see in Canada. It is due in no small part to the museums and galleries of NYC that I'm an artist today.
'Sweetheart' is a series of fridge magnets that use quotes from candied Valentine's hearts to express affection, desire, abandon and gratitude. Some, such as "Take me" fit naturally into the gifting aspect of the Free Biennial. Others, such as 'Be mine' or 'I luv you' are straightforward and heartfelt.

The magnets will be placed on metal surfaces near museums and galleries in the city. Finders are welcome to become keepers. As a huge fan of fridge magnets, I hope that these will find their way to the fridges of many in Manhattan.... where they may hold up photos of loved ones, drawings by kids, announcements for shows....

'Sweetheart' is my attempt to say thank you to the city which has given me so much over the past 20 years.


On metal surfaces near museums and galleries in Manhattan. MOMA, Whitney, Met, Guggenheim, New Museum, Frick, Pierpont Morgan Library, gallery districts in Chelsea, SoHo and midtown.

April 11- 30.


Originally from Alberta, Monica Tap completed both her BFA (1990) and MFA (1994) degrees at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows across Canada and in group exhibitions in Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain. She has received numerous awards, including a mid-career ("B") grant from the Canada Council; Project, Research and Presentation grants from the Nova Scotia Arts Council as well as awards from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She has been an invited guest artist at several institutions, including the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Ontario College of Art and Pennsylvania State University. Tap's work is represented in private, corporate and public collections in Canada and the U.S., including the Edmonton Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. Upcoming shows include a solo exhibition curated by Stuart Ried of the Tom Thompson Memorial Art Gallery in Ow!en! Sound, Ontario (November, 2002). Tap is also currently curating an exhibition of contemporary abstract painting in Toronto and New York to open at the Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax in November 2002.

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