New Brunswick

Odell Park to host artists-in-residence this summer

Odell Park and the Botanic Garden in Fredericton will host 11 artists from a variety of disciplines this summer.  

11 artists will work and show their art in the park and Botanic Garden

Artists will be showcasing their works and finding inspiration in Odell Park this summer (Philip Drost/CBC)

Odell Park and the Botanic Garden in Fredericton will host 11 artists from a variety of disciplines this summer.  

The City of Fredericton put out a call for artists in March and was astounded by the number of submissions it received.

"We had a huge range of artists," said cultural development officer Angela Watson. "It was hard to pick, but we've got a good lineup that has a good variety." 

The 11 artists, chosen from a field of 27, will take turns working in the park, sometimes two at a time, in July and August. 

The project is part of the City of Fredericton's new culture plan, which has "art in everyday life" as one of it's key goals.

The plan recommended using municipal spaces for cultural activities and providing learning opportunities for children and youth.

Justin Sappier with a Wolastoqey mask he carved. (Submitted/ Angela Watson)

How this will work at Odell Park will depend on the individual artists.

"We have some artists who like to sketch or paint on site in the park," Watson said. 

Some of the artists will spend half the day in the park working on a piece of art, then use the other half of the day to finish in their studios. 

Timothy Jones shows off a wooden paddle he carved. (Submitted/ Timothy Jones)

Timothy Jones and Justin Sappier, two students from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, will be carving in the park. Jones will be drawing inspiration from his Nordic heritage and Sappier from his Wolastoqey and Peskotomuhkati heritage. 

The two artists, who have been carving together for two years, will keep an open studio space in the park for two weeks to engage the public, Jones said.

"But we are also hoping to facilitate conversation about reconciliation, as we are sharing the space (and pay) voluntarily for this reason."

Jones and Sappier will be working in the park starting Aug. 19.

"We hope we can share the space as a community, just as how Justin and I are sharing the space as artists," Jones said. 

Other artists include Kathleen Bunin, Marla Lesage, Melissa Kennedy, Allison Green and Matt Watkins.

Fibre artists first

The program begins July 2 with four artists from the Fibre Arts Network, who will each spend a day working in the park. 

The artists will be paid $500 a week.

"Odell Park is such an inspiring space, most of us like to go there to walk or bike, but it's also a nice place for an artist to spend their time," Watson said.

"Odell Park Lodge is very popular on the weekend but Monday to Friday not so much, so we thought this was a great opportunity to fill that space with art and cultural activity."

Watson hopes that the program will shine light on some emerging artists and that maybe people out on a stroll in the park will discover someone whose work they hadn't seen before. 

Artist schedules will be posted on the City of Fredericton's website.