Enjoy works by Peggy Smith and William Forrestall this month plus, it’s time once again for the Gallery’s annual Christmas Choice and The Nutcracker exhibitions.
Gallery 78 is gearing up to host its final exhibition opening of the year. Art lovers from across the Greater Fredericton Area are invited to join gallery staff and artists on Friday December 4 from 4-7 p.m. for this special ticketed event. Tickets are free and available now through Eventbrite.
This month’s exhibitions include the 85th Birthday Celebration by Peggy Smith with new and revisited paintings depicting bright and luscious flowers in her garden and home, and New & Unseen, a new series of contemplative still lifes by William Forrestall.
Born Margaret Jean Ellis in Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1935, Peggy studied fine art at Mount Allison University under Alex Colville, Lawren Harris and Ted Pulford, majoring in portrait and landscape painting. She later took Child Study at the University of Toronto. She was a founding member of the Society of Co-operating artists in Toronto in the 1950’s. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since 1975. Peggy’s work is included in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank, the Charlottetown Confederation Centre, the New Brunswick Museum, the NB Art Bank, Mount Allison University, UNB, UPEI, the Imperial Theatre and many important corporate and private collections. Read her full artist profile.
William Forrestall was born in Middleton, Nova Scotia in 1959. He attended Mount Allison University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Following immediate success in group shows, William dedicated himself to art professionally. He had his first solo exhibition at Gallery 78 in 1987 and has had many shows since in Fredericton, all over New Brunswick, in Halifax, in Saskatchewan and in Los Angeles, California. Read more.
The annual Christmas Choice exhibition returns this month in conjunction with The Nutcracker. These group exhibitions feature works from over 20 artists to enjoy in the gallery’s cozy, decorated, and safe environment.
“Christmas Choice is a tradition we’ve had for many years,” said Gallery 78’s Nikki Thériault. “We focus on smaller works, pieces that can be given as one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for every budget and that will last a lifetime.”
This year’s collection features sketches and paintings from a who’s who of regional artists as well as handmade jewellery from Brigitte Clavette and Kristen Bishop at the NBCCD, and crafts of all kinds including ceramics, candles, scarves, blankets, shawls, ornaments, and slippers.
The Nutcracker is a group show that grew out of a 2016 exhibition curated in conjunction with Dance Fredericton’s 10th anniversary performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.
“From having personally performed in the show since the beginning, it’s a production very close to our hearts,” said Thériault. “Since the performance hasn’t been able to happen this year, we wanted to continue to celebrate it and bring its magic to clients and visitors to the gallery. The artists have dazzled us with amazing pieces, from ballerinas on stage, to mice and nutcrackers, dancing bears, and pointe shoes.
“These are truly exquisite shows and we hope they bring joy and delight to these challenging times.”
Tips for first time art buyers
And for anyone considering purchasing art this season, Thériault offers this advice.
“We’re always happy to help. Our doors are still open for those who want to come in, and we hope they do because it’s nice and quiet here and there is plenty of space to distance even with others in the gallery. Otherwise, folks can call or email us, and we are happy to make recommendations. The advice we always give is simple – choose what you love or what speaks to you. I hear a lot of people who claim to ‘not know anything about art’ but that really doesn’t matter. As long as you like it, and it would make you happy to see the piece everyday, then go for it,” she said.
“Buying locally-produced, handmade items, whether it’s a tree-topper or an oil painting, will always be more special. You’ll never find a piece like it anywhere else, and it supports an Atlantic Canadian artist and small business. I know that we’ve heard these messages for many years, buy local, but it’s becoming increasingly important to limit purchases from big-box stores and to buy from the talented creatives and small businesses we have right here in the city. Their visual artworks or crafts are items that will quite literally last you a lifetime and will never go out of style. Not to mention that it allows the artist to continue to create, which they love to do.”
These exhibitions will be on display until Christmas Eve at Gallery 78, corner of Church and Queen Streets in downtown Fredericton. Stop by and see them for yourself or visit the gallery online at www.gallery78.com