Clay and Wax Create Art at the Soldiers’ Barracks

Category: arts 196

Artists Sarah Petite and Jennifer McInnis-Wharton will bring diverse media to a shared space at the Soldiers’ Barracks July 11-17, 2016.

L-R: Jennifer Mcinnes-Wharton and Sarah Petite. Photo: Monica Smart

Petite specializes in encaustic painting (using pigments mixed with hot wax that are applied to a wooden base). Encaustic painting is Petite’s self-taught and main 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.

The theme of this year’s Artist in Residence program is New Ground, which Petite intends to explore by producing “one or two encaustic paintings, and by displaying appropriate recent works.” The artist says that “visitors, especially children, enjoy dipping into my paint and watching the complex process,” so a visit to see Sarah Petite at work could get messy – in a good way. 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.

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 would like to create 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 will be inviting others to share their favourite stories from Fredericton as she shares her own, and plans to record and incorporate them into the final installation of her fantastic ceramic pots.

The Fredericton Arts Alliance, a registered charity, has run the Artist in Residence program for the last 15 years. Local artists are selected by a jury and every week, two share an old stone casemate at the Soldiers’ Barracks in Fredericton’s Historic Garrison District. This becomes an artists’ studio, welcoming visitors seven days a week until September 5. The casemate is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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