This blog follows the 2016 Artist in Residence program in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Quick Artist Biographies
An emerging artist, Samantha Thebeau has a BA in Fine Arts from Mount Allison University, where she specialized in printmaking and sculpture. Her artwork focuses on body and mind, “highlighting physicality, vulnerability, and strength.”She worked for six months as a teaching assistant at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.
During her residency in June she worked through embroidery, using drawing techniques with thread and fabric. She examined “our placement in the world through our relationship with our bodies and with nature, focusing on origins, at what we come from and what unites us.”
Jean Rooney has a fine arts degree from Trinity College Dublin University in Ireland and is a faculty member at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.
She worked on outdoor sculptures using Hypertufa mix to mimic natural stone and create spaces for plants. “I am an immigrant myself and I constantly deal with the issues of home, homesickness and displacement. I will be creating stone people, drawing from my experience of Irish folklore, and tales from back home.”
Mark Jarman, a writer, editor, and UNB English teacher, has published several books, including My White Planet, Salvage King Ya!; Knife Party at the Hotel Europa; and Ireland’s Eye.
He has a BA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from the University of Iowa. He has written about the contrast between busy Mumbai and familiar New Brunswick: “I am working on a nonfiction piece about the stark contrast between the noise, crowds, and pollution of Mumbai, India, where I traveled in February, and the much quieter and less crowded world of rural New Brunswick, specifically the pristine Pollett River watershed,” he said.
Lisa Fullarton graduated from the Aboriginal Visual Arts program at NB College of Craft and Design last June and is now a juried basketmaker with the NB Crafts Council. She teaches classes in Basketry and Mandalas and operates Black Butterfly Studio.
While working with the theme New Ground, Fullarton designed and created a “completely new-to-me basket from familiar, found, and traditional/regional basketmaking materials.” She connects her personal experiences of coming to new spiritual and physical places in her life to her practice of basketmaking.
Katherine Moller is a violinist and fiddler from Harvey. She performs in many classical and folk ensembles in the province and teaches both privately and in the public school system. She has already completed six residencies in downtown Fredericton’s Historic Garrison District, and this year, she researched stories of early Irish settlers to write music based on her reactions to them. Moller found some first-person accounts from early Irish settlers to use as inspiration for her music.
Born in Saint John, Carter Chase has completed the Foundations Visual Art program at Fredericton’s New Brunswick College of Craft and Design with honours and is currently studying Graphic Design at NBCCD. He strives to understand freedom, emotion, and truth which can be expressed through writing music and making art. His style is a mixture of contemporary painting, urban street art, and fine detailed creative drawing. To Chase, art is expression and meditation; an outlet for his thoughts, feelings, and understanding. “Music is a huge influence in my work and the way it flows – sometimes my artwork is purposely a translation of the music of a full album or artist,” says Chase.
Craig Schneider is an established artist, having more than 40 years of studio practice and experience. He created the ceramic wall mural entitled Wolastokuk – The Spirit of the Land, which is installed on the second floor of the Fredericton Convention Centre. He holds a BFA with a major in metal and ceramic sculpture from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, as well as several diplomas and certificates. He creates sculptural-based work exploring the human condition. Schneider has been working with plaster moulds, clay and mixed media on several house-based series. He is also developing a second series having to do with quills.
Sarah Petite specializes in encaustic painting (using pigments mixed with hot wax that are applied to a wooden base) which is her self-taught and medium. An established artist, she was educated at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has been painting professionally for 35 years. Petite has exhibited throughout the Maritimes and a solo exhibition is planned for Galerie Colline, Edmundston, in 2017.
Her paintings, though abstract, address themes of place, placement, and situation, and often contain house-like structures which “surely aren’t accidental”. Some themes that recur throughout her work are progress, escape, return, and homing.
Jennifer McInnis-Wharton is an emerging contemporary artist from the Northwest Territories, currently pursuing graduate studies at Fredericton’s New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and focusing on ceramics. During her residency, McInnis-Wharton has begun a series of pots inspired by the historical buildings that line Queen Street in order to “celebrate the richness of life in Fredericton’s downtown core.” She invited others to share their favourite stories from Fredericton as she shared her own, and recorded and incorporated them into the final installation of her fantastic ceramic pots.
Anna Mathis graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design two years ago and since then has been exploring wearable fibre art. She has created unique felted necklaces, one-of-a-kind skirts and sculptural dresses, and a variety of woven wraps and naturally dyed scarves. “My mediums are what I use to execute these ideas,” says Mathis; “raw wool from sheep, natural dyes from my back yard and many types of colourful and textured yarns. I create spun, woven, felted and knitted pieces with utilitarian function; items with every day uses such as tea towels and rugs.”
Bess Forrestall, from Fredericton, completed her BFA in painting at Mount Allison University and her MA in Art Education at Concordia University. Forrestall’s practice revolves around exploring the idea of ‘place’ as the intersection between memory and space, or the association of past memories with physical places. She recently returned to Fredericton after living away for three years, and has spent the last six months in Jaipur, India, so she knows what it’s like to be away from home. Her current body of work explores the experiences of living in an unfamiliar place and the experience of returning home, which ties in perfectly with the theme of New Ground.
Abby Paige is a poet, playwright, and performer who moved to New Brunswick from the United States in 2008. She has won several awards and holds a BA from Vassar College in New York and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont. Her written work often “explores borders, real or imagined, between peoples, places, generations, and genres.”
She considered the theme of ‘New Ground’ by developing “a poetic sequence that explores what it means to be from away.” Her project draws on her own experiences as an immigrant from the USA to Canada, as well as stories from the public in order to reflect different perceptions of here vs. there, home, and belonging.
Allison Green makes nearly-living sculpture and textile art. As an honours graduate of NBCCD, and a recipient of both the Nel Oudemans Award and an ArtsNB Creation Grant, she has shown her commitment to making art in New Brunswick. She created “a series of silk paintings, each painted and machine embroidered on-site,” and says “this is a colourful and delightful process and in my experience visitors are always excited to try their hand at painting with dyes. These paintings will draw on imagery from the home where I have put down permanent roots, to the places I visit, which are home for only a short point in time. I combine these places in my work, looking for common threads across geographical distances.”
Benjamin Dugdale is a recent winner of GEIST Magazine’s Short Long-Distance Writing Contest. He has completed a residency in Banff, AB, graduated from UNB in May with a BA in English in Creative Writing and a Film Production Certificate. He will begin an MA in English in Creative Writing at Concordia University this Fall. He received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council award for graduate studies and has screened short films in festivals from Edmonton to Fredericton, winning awards at the Silver Wave Film Festival in 2013 for Brewing Bromance and winning Picaroons’ contest, ‘Films On Tap.’
Dugdale is working on his experimental analog feature film, Contents Under Pressure.
Samaqani Cocaqh, also known as Natalie Sappier, is a Wolastoq multi-disciplinary artist who comes from Tobique First Nation. Her work is influenced by her people and she carries sacred teachings through storytelling. She shares her journeys of ancestral roots and life in modern times. Sappier collaborated with artist Nate Miller to create contemporary electronic music with the merging of Aboriginal influence and shared stories of spontaneous creativity inspired by people, culture, nature, and healing. Sappier believes that art speaks all languages. “Stories break down walls and natural comfort starts to exist.”
Nate Milleris a recording artist and professional drummer who founded Emanate 7 Productions in 2007. He has been involved in underground music scenes throughout Canada and now lives in Fredericton. Since being here, Miller promotes drum circles, instructs hand-drumming, and leads various spiritual drumming events. He also produces CDs for new age and healing artists. Miller recently became a Canadian citizen despite having lived all over the country for the past 30 years, and Fredericton has been his newest home for the last eight.
Derek Davidson is a mostly self-taught artist. He paints with acrylics and creates pen and watercolour sketches, often painting in the open-air. He also produces portraits and paintings about people, activities, and sports. In his body of work, which quite literally paints a picture of Fredericton, Davidson also has some travel sketches which depict buildings and nature. Throughout the years, and through art, Davidson has noticed that people are basically the same, and he believes that people are the ones to bring buildings and nature to life.
Rachel Watters has run her own photography business – highlighting New Brunswick’s beauty – since 2007. She is also a painter and has experience in drawing. In 2004 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and in 2009 a Diploma in Graphic Design from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Watters used her watercolour style, which is very expressive, to focus on the idea of what it feels like to start a new life as a mother. “My work explores the emotions that come with this new beginning and how it redefines you as a person and redefines your idea of home.”