Arts Antigonish: Visual Arts

By Denise Davies

Arts and culture in its many forms is a pillar of community life in Antigonish where all ages participate.  The arts are important in continuing to keep up traditions and have enabled young people and established artists to stay in the community rather than moving away.  This small town in northeastern Nova Scotia punches above its weight in the arts. Stroll around town and enjoy the wonderful art scene.

Arts on Main

A stroll along Main Street is a great way to start exploring the visual arts in Antigonish. 

Grab a coffee or fresh locally made baking and lunch specials at the Tall and Small Café, a popular laid-back hangout.  Browse the latest art exhibit from local artists. Exhibits change monthly. https://www.facebook.com/antigonishtown/

As you continue down Main Street, be sure to visit the Red Sky Gallery, the newest Antigonish art gallery.  The curator, Rosemary Curry, will be happy to show you around. When asked about the name “Red Sky Gallery” Rosemary replied “I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t paused and taken a moment to fall in love with a red sky.   I think we all fall for a red sky at some point when it’s just right for us.  And the art we fall in love with is kind of the same. “The gallery is a wonderful space to enjoy local and regional art – photographs, oils and watercolors, pottery, sculpture in contemporary and more.  Featured artists include works by Anna Syperek, a realist printmaker and painter, Linda Johns with her metaphorical paintings and sculptures, and Kath Kornelson Rutherford’s mezzotint works. The open space design and peaceful welcoming atmosphere has made this a not to be missed spot on your art walk.  Upcoming shows include “Home Coming” – with artists from StFX University alumni, and popup shops of fashion and jewelry during the fall.  https://www.facebook.com/Red-Sky-Gallery-239919850108535/

The next stop is the People’s Place – Antigonish Town and County Library.  Opened in 2011 it has become a hub of community life.  Twenty-two local artist works were commissioned in the design including the colorful hanging silk art panels on nature theme in the Bistro area by Anne Camozzi, the large mural of Mi’kmaq children fishing by Alan Syliboy, the tapestry by Murray Gibson in collaboration with the L’Arche community, and many other interior and exterior art works.   Pick up the Artist and Artisan Guide from the PARL website.  The Bistro area has a monthly changing exhibit by local artists.  In July the GoArts Gathering of the Arts is jam packed with art and entertainment.  http://www.parl.ns.ca/locations/antigonish.php

Continue on Main Street to the Down to Earth Art Gallery featuring art by Alan Syliboy, a renowned Mi’kmaq artist, J. Franklin Wright – specializing in marine art.  Kate Brown Georgallas landscapes and etchings are inspired by rural life in Nova Scotia, and her murals are found around town including the mural over the main desk at The People’s Place  http://www.downtoearth.ca/

The Kirk Gallery, on the corner of Church and Main Street displays a changing exhibit by artists and photographers.

Head up to the St Francis Xavier University home to 3 art gallery areas on campus.  The StFX Art Gallery on the 1st floor of Bloomfield Center features a permanent collection and changing exhibits, talks and concerts.  The McNeil Gallery in beautiful Schwartz School of Business displays changing exhibits. The Student Success Gallery in the Angus L. MacDonald Library features the best of student art.  The fall Arts Gala is a special event with live auctions, artists painting and sculpting on site, and a fun social time with artists and art aficionados.   http://www2.mystfx.ca/art-gallery/exhibitions

During the summer a bi-weekly Antigonish Art Fair is held in Chisholm Park. This is a wonderful place to talk to artists with displays of their art work.  Enjoy the music and entertainment, a children’s corner and food trucks with international and local tasty treats. Art classes and workshops are offered at the Art House. http://antigonishartfair.ca/

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