Antigonish has long been a centre for the arts and artists. In the past year there have been a lot of new additions to art exhibit spaces and the arts are flourishing. There are many wonderful galleries and exhibits to explore and enjoy as you stroll along Main Street and then take a drive for more. See how many you can visit and be sure and add your comments and suggest any others that you find.
Starting from the Post Office end of town and heading East on the right side of the street:
- ASAP, 319 Main St. (next to the Post Office) www.asapartcentre.com All of Us Society for Art Presentation, is a newly formed artist-run centre founded by local artists and art supporters.
- People’s Place Library, 283 Main Street www.parl.ns.ca/peoplesplace/guide Browse the community art in the Bistro area changing monthly. Permanent exhibits commissioned from local artists are found throughout the building. July displays the GoArts juried works from 25 artists in a variety of medium. Free WiFi, friendly staff, great collection of books and bulletin board with local happenings. Bring in your coffee or lunch to enjoy in the Bistro while you meet or play board games.
- Bergengren Credit Union, 257 Main St. www.docstoc.com/docs/72284899/THE-GIFT – Frieze by Fenn Martin “The Gift”- celebrating the journey of the Bergengren through 75 years.
- McLeod Gallery, 219 Main Street, Kirk Place. www.antigonishphotographersexhibit.com Antigonish Photographers Exhibit. July and August. “Scottish Ayres”. Photography exhibit by APx.
- Prissy Pig Café and Deli, 20 St. Andrew’s Street (corner of Main St) www.facebook.com/prissypigcafedeli – – Peter Jowett photography exhibit July and August. Have lunch or a brunch from this great local food restaurant.
Starting from the Post Office end of town and heading East on the left side of the street:
- The Tall and Small Café, 342 Main St. The café expanded recently and now has ample seating room and a delicious vegetarian menu. Changing exhibits of art and photography are displayed along the walls in both rooms. July Exhibit – Ruth Young.
- The Made in Nova Scotia Store – 324 Main Street www.themadeinnovacotiastore.com A treasure trove of hand-made crafts from Nova Scotia.
- Aphrodite Art and Fashion, 292 Main Street – www.aphroditeartandfashion.com Enjoy whimsical and elegant selection of art from Atlantic artists in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Including works from Wayne Boucher, Ann Manuel and many others.
- Andrew Murray. www.antigonishculturealive.ca/aca-outstanding-artist-of-the-year-2011 See Andrew’s murals on several of the buildings along Main Street and his interior design of Cameron’s Jewelry.
- Down to Earth Art Gallery and Fine Framing, 240 Main Street. www.downtoearth.ca Featuring works by J. Franklin Wright, Alan Syliboy and others.
- Lyghtesome Gallery, 166 Main Street. www.lyghtesome.ns.ca This gallery has been a mainstay of culture in Antigonish since 1975 and exhibits works from Linda Johns, Anna Syperek, Julia Redgrave and many others. A fine selection of original paintings, sculpture, prints, cards and works of art. The Summer Showcase of Gallery Artists July 6 — Aug 31 – “A Slice of Nova Scotia at its Visual Best”. New and recent works by gallery artists. Special Feature: “Unheard Music”, Linda Johns’ newest ltd. ed. book
Slideshow of a few of the locations:
Off Main and out of town:
- St FX Art Gallery – Bottom floor, Bloomfield Center, St. Francis Xavier University. The summer exhibit is from the permanent collection.
- Old Barn Gallery. Melanson Road, Pomquet (30 minutes east of Antigonish off Highway 104). www.facebook.com/OldBarnGalleryDecor Beautiful display of arts and antiques set in an old barn and surrounded by gorgeous flower gardens.
- C.A. MacLean A Matter of Tastes. 3931 Highway 7 (10 minutes from Antigonish) www.amatteroftastes.ca Featuring works by Vicki (V.L.) MacLean
Upcoming Art Events 2012
- Gathering of the Arts. GoArts 2012. July 9 – 30. www.antigonishculturealive.ca Peoples’ Place Library. Exhibition of juried art work from 25 local artists from Antigonish Culture Alive. Opening reception July 9.
- Art Ceilidh Studio Tour. July 13 – 14. www.facebook.com/events/241118522665990 Part of the Highland Games week celebrations. Tours of artist galleries and studios in and around Antigonish. Start your tour at Lyghtesome Gallery for maps and directions.
- Antigonight: Art After Dark. September 21-22. http://antigonightfest.tumblr.comNighttime participatory festival for all the arts, celebrating the rich arts community of northeastern Nova Scotia.
- Antigonish International Film Festival. October 19-20. www.antigonishfilmfest.org Over 40 documentary films. Peoples’ Place and Empire Capitol Theatre. Community Dinner and arts at the Prissy Pig Oct 20.
July in Antigonish an Arts Celebration. The Casket, June 26, 2012 by Richard MacKenzie
Denise Davies is a travel writer, photographer, filmmaker and entrepreneur. This article appeared in the Highland Heart, June 29. www.highlandheart.ca