Artventure: Fredericton, NB Part 1

Five short weeks after being in Wolfville, NS, I was once again Eastern bound.

Air Canada’s mid-October schedule didn’t offer an afternoon Toronto to Fredericton connection.  I wasn’t keen on having a six hour plus layover that got me to my destination at midnight, so I decided to fly red-eye.

I hadn’t flown red-eye in over a decade, and I was quickly reminded why.

Sleeping on airplanes is impossible.

The next time I have to fly East during the fall I’ll spring for an airport hotel room and layover for a full night in Toronto before continuing on my journey.

My trip into Fredericton may have been rough, but the rest of the week was bliss.

Pure bliss.

I arrived late morning on a Sunday and was picked up at the airport by one of Gallery ConneXion’s intrepid volunteers, artist Marilyn Mazerolle (FYI, the gallery has only one paid employee and is supported by a clan of hard-working volunteers).  We drove into town and after lunch at The Diplomat (baked beans with your breakfast!) she gave me a grand driving tour of Fredericton before dropping me off at my B&B, Kilburn House.

Kilburn House is super cozy and the hosts, Bonnie and Clark Kilburn, couldn’t be nicer folks.  The Big Red House is located right downtown and only a 15 minute walk from the gallery.  The weather was unbelievably mild and sunny the entire week I was there and I loved my daily walking commute.

I planned to arrive at the gallery first thing Monday morning to unpack the work, assess the plinth situation, and time permitting, begin hanging the key wall pieces.  John – the director – wasn’t going to be in until noon and I was quite happy working in solitude, emptying boxes and taking stock of the space.

The half wall that People In My Neighbourhood are commandeering is the awesome half wall that inspired the long and lean composition of Chestnut Complex – the canoe piece.

 

The beautiful brick wall that runs the full length of the gallery’s right side.  A shelf was installed 4′ from the floor and PIMN were displayed in front of the wall.

 

The back right of the gallery. This is the location I chose to hang Favourite Ways With Pheasant.

 

The left side of the gallery (with the previous show still hanging). The built-in plinth conceals the water pump – a necessity when you are located in the basement! I displayed Hide on the plinth, with Tourist Attraction on the wall to the left and Wardrobe, 1755 on the wall to the right of the “plinth”.

 

Standing in the reception area, looking over the half wall into the gallery.

 

The gallery had thirteen plinths of various heights whose tops were perfectly proportioned to my pieces.  All they required was a bit of TLC (read, filler and some paint).  I still needed four more plinths so John and his brother Tom, both very handy in a woodshop, made some new ones for me. 🙂

By the end of the day I’d unpacked all of the work, chosen locations for the key wall and ceiling pieces, and prepped (with some help!) thirteen plinths: scrubbed, holes filled with putty, and lined up like little soldiers waiting to be smoothed and painted first thing Tuesday morning.

Tomorrow: Fredericton, Part 2

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