Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today I went with my neighbours to the Saint John Arts Centre, a 2 hour drive from where we live.

Apparently, at an art gallery, it's custumary to leave your helmet on the coat rack. 
(Unclear as to whether or not this was an art installation.)

The main hall has had a colourful makeover, though I'm unsure whether or not the colours are true to the period, or even what period the decor is supposed to represent.  But it's fun!

I have had two exhibits in this art centre, a solo show of paintings and an exhibit with 2 artist friends of rug-hookings and fabric art dolls.  But today I was here to see a display of beautiful handmade poetry books by my friend and neighbour.  It was a bit of a special event as there were 3 other galleries in the centre presenting various artists, as well as awards being handed out for promising art students (I resisted the urge to shout a warning to the recipients to go to business college rather than art school). 

You've probably heard of the "glass ceiling" that exists in the business world for women, but are you aware of the stained glass ceiling that exists for artists?  It is symbolically represented here at the Saint John Arts Centre.

Just time for a moment of quiet contemplation, with background (literally) accompaniment on acoustic guitar, before the art-hungry hordes arrive. (By the way, they served up some pretty  fine party snacks at the centre though, unusually, they charged  $5 for a glass of wine instead of  the usual free plonk.  Obviously, the Board of Directors has wised up to the ways of the artist.)

Gallery-goers doing their gallery going thing.  Some people love mixing and mingling at such events and others scurry around seriously looking at the art work and avoiding eye contact at the food tables, while still others surreptitiously snap photos. 

Art whispering.

Art gazing.

Art work (by a special friend).


  1. Anonymous26 June, 2010

    our friend made our day!

    (folicly challenged driver)

  2. Without our friend, we wouldn't have got all that good party food and an excuse for a bite of culture on a fun day out.

    Maybe you could hire one of those art students to paint a trompe l'oeil rug on the back of your head. They're going to be desperate for work before long.

    Thanks for the great chauffeuring.

  3. Nice to see that there are some bikers out there who appreciate art, or were they there for the party food.

  4. Shirl,
    I thought the helmets were from refugee soldiers! Didn't occur to me that they could be bikers. I guess there could be biker artists walking amongst us, rather like aliens. With all the tattoos in evidence these days, it's getting harder to pick out the bikers, though frequently those long grey beards and naked beer bellies showing under their leather vests give them away. But I'm speaking in clichés here; my apologies to all those recent retirees out there with their spanking new Harleys and discrete tats. There but for the curse of being an artist go I.

  5. Anonymous27 June, 2010

    What a peaceful oasis it must be. Makes one glad to know that you are living in such an area where this is possible. Love the glass ceiling picture and the "look at art" most. Last one reminds me of a letter written with a fountain pen and send by sea-mail, because it was cheaper, arriving unable to be read due to some water, but the stamps were nice though ;)
    A great start into the new week for you.

  6. Robert,
    You always find the most original, delightful things to say! I love your little analogy of a water-soaked missive arriving with all the ink smeared but the stamps worth keeping. It actually made me laugh aloud with delight.

    I wish you a great start to a wonderful week.

  7. Our galleries start getting apoplectic when you dig out a camera, so you're lucky to have been able to take those photos I reckon!!

  8. Am getting here late, the bus left without me, then I had to hitchhike through a rainstorm, but made it at last, though all the party snacks had been gobbled up already... and at five bucks a pop for a glass of wine, I could only afford half a glass... and that's all that was left anyway, after the Saj came through on your heels...

    In any case, quite the day, quite the day. Hope to be seeing another show signed Mad Lynne in this place soon, maybe of recent digital creations... now that would really be great...

    Will launch a whole fleet of messages in bottles with votes in them for exactly that...

    Now where is my glass ? I think the Saj slipped off with it !

  9. Saj,
    What a treat you were able to make it over to the gallery to join in. This is a more people-friendly gallery than most, hence the freedom with the camera. I do feel bad that I didn't record the names of the artists whose work I incidentally included in my people pix, though.

    While I was waiting for you and our bro to turn up I was doing a little busking out on the street so I've got enough change to stand you both a glass of wine. The $5 charge includes an actual wine glass rather than the usual plastic cups so we can clink.

  10. BrOwen,
    I followed your wet footsteps and squelchy sounds you were making as you hopped up to the bar. Great to see you here but let's forego the hugs this time as I don't want to get my new dress wet. As I was telling our dear sister (see above) I am treating us to a glass of wine. They brought out another winebox when they saw The Sagittarian walk into the lobby.

    An exhibit of my digital art? Hmmmm...I don't know how snooty galleries are about such work...would have to do some research. Then buy the special paper, a new printer, archival inks, mats and frames, and ship the work very carefully packed due to the glass. Would you mind sending out another fleet of bottles with my address on them and several euros in each?

    Oh look--I found some party snacks that had fallen down my cleavage while I was eating them by the fistful. Let me dig some out for you and the Saj.


  11. "a warning to the recipients to go to business college rather than art school" - please no, i've just come back from a meeting with business people and hell, if only i could avoid them forever! chhhh

    and on the contrary, if only such friendly galleries could get more support to show such wonderful art - wouldn't the world be a better place? (i know, i'm too naive)

  12. Roxana,
    Too naive or an eternal optimist? Either way, a good place to dwell, surrounded by protective white light and rose coloured glasses...though it seems to me your art has a darkness and edginess to it as well. There is a richness of beauty in contrasts.

    I was only being sardonic, as is my way, about going to business college. I said it because I know how difficult it is to either make a living or fit into the big world when one is an artist. I sometimes think it is a curse rather than a blessing; but perhaps it isn't being an artist in itelf that causes the difficulties but having the unshakeable feeling of being forever an outsider.

    Two years ago I did take off my artist apron (figuratively speaking) and went to biz college to take an admin assistant course. I came through it with flying colours, got a job, and quit it 9 months later because it was destroying my soul. I bought myself a year wherein I created a series of 20 mixed media paintings and now I'm thinking "What next?" Must I really bend myself all out of shape and climb back into the box?" Oh the vicissitudes of being a middle-aged baby boomer.

  13. The photograph you took of your friend's work gives it a beautiful sense of mystery.. makes me want to see more..

    ... enjoyed your tour... also the more recent post of Mont Royal... You do get around!

  14. Hi Gwen,
    My friend's four little fold out books of simply illustrated poetry are beautifully crafted. The display is up until September, so if you find yourself in Saint John, do pop into the gallery and check out the book arts exhibit upstairs.

    It only seems like I get around a lot because I milk each little excursion for all it's work in pictures on my blog. Really, I'm almost a recluse!

  15. Thanks Louciao,
    I'll try to make it in.. John would enjoy it too