Fredericton Announces Artists for Odell Park Residence Program

The City of Fredericton has announced the lineup of the first Odell Park Artist in Residence Program planned for this summer. Eight artists (or artist groups), out of 27 proposals, were selected for residencies. The pilot project announced in March was originally proposed as a two-week residency, but the program has been extended to nine weeks during July and August. There will be six two-week residencies, and one single-week residency.

Additionally, the program has been expanded from the Odell Park Lodge to include the Fredericton Botanic Garden located adjacent to the Park where two artists will be in residence in the Resource Centre over the summer.

“We are thrilled to host artists in the Garden this summer,” says Stephen Heard of the Fredericton Botanic Garden. “It will be a great opportunity to showcase plants and nature, and how they can inspire the artmaking process”         

The schedule of the selected artists is as follows:

  • The Fibre Arts Network, July 2–5
  • Matt Watkins, July 8–12, 15–19
  • Allison Green, July 8–12, 15–19 (Fredericton Botanic Garden)
  • Melissa Kennedy, July 22–26, July 29—August 2
  • Marla Lesage, August 5–9, 12–16
  • Timothy Jones and Justin Sappier, August 19–23, 26–30
  • Kathleen Bunin, August 19–23, 26–30 (Fredericton Botanic Garden)

Artists were invited to submit a proposal for a community engagement component, such as workshops, artist talks, open studio hours and demonstrations. The details of these activities are to be confirmed and will be posted later.

Below is a short biography of each of the artists.

Fibre Arts Network—July 2–5 (one week)

Originally established as the Fredericton Designer Weavers’ (FDW) in 1972, the group changed its name to the Fibre Arts Network (FAN) in 2019 to reflect the various disciplines of its members. Member activities include weaving, spinning, quilting, thread painting, felting, rug hooking, knitting, basketry, dyeing, and other fibre arts. FAN provides support to emerging fibre artists and to fibre artists in all levels of their careers through meetings, workshops, exhibition opportunities, annual sales, and other activities. FAN meets monthly and has between 12 and 30 members annually.

Matt Watkins—July 8–12, 15–19

Matt Watkins has always lived in the Canadian Maritimes, and still finds plenty of inspiration for his paintings in the beautiful scenery of the Fundy Bay region. Retreating to the peaceful seclusion of the woods or the vast openness of the Atlantic Coastline to paint, Matt brilliantly captures the vibrancy of his natural surroundings with a painter’s brush. His artistic skill and familiarity with his subject are evident in the loose and descriptive brushstrokes he uses to create images; his style borders on impressionism and realism.

Melissa Kennedy—July 22–26, July 29—August 2

Melissa Kennedy graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and the University of New Brunswick with a diploma in fashion and a Bachelor of Applied Arts. She graduated from the Florence Academy of Art, in Florence, Italy, in 2016 with a Certificate in Sculpture. During her studies at the Academy she received two scholarships, was chosen to be a teaching assistant for the sculpture drawing program for the 2015/16 school year, was awarded a merit award for the 2015/16 school year and received the “Best Drawing in the Sculpture department” award for 2014/15. She remains at the Academy as a drawing instructor in the sculpture program. Her sculpture included in the “Figurativas” exhibit in the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona in 2017.

Marla Lesage—August 5–9, 12–16

Marla Lesage loves to tell stories—both real and imagined—through urban sketching, painting, illustration, and writing. She works mainly in watercolour and ink and is mostly self-taught, although she has studied with mentors locally and online. She is a member of Urban Sketchers Fredericton and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her art can be found in several NB schools as well as private collections in Canada, USA, and Australia. Her first picture book, Pirate Year Round will be published by Acorn Press in May 2019. You can find her artwork at MarlaLesage.com.

Timothy Jones and Justin Sappier—August 19–23, 26–30

Timothy Jones, a traditional carver, currently lives on the East Coast of Canada. He draws on his Nordic heritage to portray characters from Norse folk tales, legends and ancient religion through his wooden sculptures. Timothy’s aim is to use these figures as they were originally intended—as a way to communicate ideas and teachings.

Justin Sappier, a Peskotomuhkati-Wolastoqey (Passamaquoddy-Maliseet) currently lives in Island View, New Brunswick, Canada. He uses his Aboriginal art, especially traditional woodcarving, to educate the public on Wabanaki (East Coast) First Nations culture. Raised in the Peskotomuhka/Wolastoqey territory, Justin works to bring awareness to the issues presently facing indigenous groups on the East Coast, striving to bring pride and proper recognition.

Artists at the Fredericton Botanic Garden Resource Centre

Allison Green—July 8–12, 15–19

Allison Green is the VP of Craft NB, Content Developer for NBCCD, and an NB Nature Trust Steward. She uses her experimental textiles to study insect and plant life—through residencies as well as careful practice in her homestead studio. She earned the Governor General’s Academic Medal for her Textile Design training and has since received the Nel Oudemans Award and an artsnb Creation Grant.

Kathleen Bunin—August 19–23, 26–30

Kathleen is currently exploring “Eco printing” to produce prints through a process where plants and flowers are sandwiched between watercolour paper. Kathleen graduated from NSCAD with a BFA studying printmaking. She has tried her hand at weaving, pottery, rug hooking, etc. and enjoyed them all. Today she focuses primarily on printmaking, pottery and collage. She has taught young and older in classes/workshops for monotypes, pottery, drawing and painting. She also served as one of the founders and executive director of in. sight Gallery, an artist—run centre in Sydney Mines from 1996–2001. She is a juried member of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in Sydney, NS.