Paying It Forward
In the summer of 2010, through chance and circumstance, I ended up finding the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, hidden among all the larger universities and colleges. It didn’t take long before I packed up, left my hometown of Canmore, Alberta and found myself living with five musicians in a house on Needham Street with a party-house reputation stretching back 30 years. I was met with open arms, friendly faces and lots of good laughs; the East Coast is truly wonderful. I spent the next year making friends, drinking a lot of beer and trying to survive the five feet of snow that winter seems to always bring here.
When I began attending NBCCD in 2011, once again, I immediately felt loved and at home. The college radiates positive energy and support, and I knew I wouldn’t have been able to find that atmosphere at any other fine craft institute. I spent the first year in the Foundation Visual Arts program, and then the following two years completing a diploma in Jewelry and Metal Arts.
It must have been the community vibe of the college, because at one point I realized that my calling was to offer a supportive retail environment for emerging craft artists to begin their careers. Opening a retail gallery to sell one-of-a-kind and limited production fine craft products, made by artists who had just graduated, became central to my career goal. With this in mind, I decided that I would stay at the college for one more year, and enroll in the Graduate Studies Program, which I will be graduating from this coming June.
The Graduate Studies Program has given me the perfect opportunity to realize my dreams as a supporter of emerging artists, designers and crafts people in Canada. For the past 3 months I have been organizing a ten-day curated pop-up store called Project A, which will be open May 22nd to 30th, 2015. The Goal is to promote and sell the work of eighteen recent NBCCD graduates whose disciplines range from jewelry and ceramics, to textiles and fashion. These participants are award-winning, hard-working, and dedicated to making a living in the fine craft world. Project A will convey the importance and necessity of creating a supportive, vibrant community for emerging artists. This project will encourage the public to engage with their arts community in a unique, relaxed, retail environment.
From day one as an artist in Fredericton, I have been supported, pushed to my limits and nurtured by family, friends, colleagues, classmates, and instructors. The arts community in Fredericton has created the perfect safety net for fine craft artists and I have been lucky enough to use that as a tool to further my career. Now, as I finish my last year at NBCCD, I look forward to giving back to the community by cultivating a sustainable retail space dedicated to emerging artists and their brilliant new ideas.
Visit www.facebook.com/project.a.popup for more information about becoming more engaged in your arts community and support emerging fine craft artists in Atlantic Canada achieve their goals!