12 January 2009

Call for Applications for Awards from Professional Visual Artists Fund


The Greater Saint John Community Foundation and the New Brunswick Museum announced the first deadline for annual award applications from the permanently endowed Professional Visual Artists Fund.  Artists from the greater Saint John region have until February 15 to submit requests for modest support to help defray exhibition costs.

In 2003 a group of local artists, Suzanne Hill, Carol Taylor, Lynn Wigginton and Pat Schell, recognized the precarious financial situation of most artists and the substantial costs they incur to participate in exhibitions. With this in mind, they set out to establish a permanent fund with The Greater Saint John Community Foundation, tailored to support artists’ ongoing work with earnings from the fund.

The group, known as The Tea Towel Team, organized a series of events which raised awareness of artists and their work while raising funds. The first was the Art in The City Studio and Gallery Tour in 2003. In 2005, they organized Art and Artifacts, in partnership with the New Brunswick Museum. This exhibition featured 24 professional artists, who each created a significant work of art relating to some aspect of the New Brunswick Museum’s collections. WhoDunIt? provided an opportunity for art enthusiasts to purchase an original “mystery” art work created and donated by 50 local professional visual artists. This fun-filled evening, held October 2007 at the New Brunswick Museum, raised $10,300, exceeding the fundraising goal of the organizers.

The Professional Visual Artists Fund, administered by the Community Foundation, can now begin to dispense annual awards to professional artists.  New Brunswick Museum Director and CEO Jane Fullerton expressed congratulations to the artists for their successful fundraising initiatives. She commented that “the New Brunswick Museum is pleased to continue this partnership by coordinating the annual awards process.” Information on the criteria and application process is available on the New Brunswick Museum website www.nbm-mnb.ca. The deadline for submission of applications is February 15 each year.  One or more awards of several hundred dollars may be made annually.

“Staging these events took time, determination and commitment to their fellow artists” said Jane Barry, Executive Director of The Greater Saint John Community Foundation. “I commend the group for this generous and innovative new fund. The vision is that this permanent fund will grow as it is augmented by future gifts and events.” Fund earnings will be directed annually to deserving artists.

The Greater Saint John Community Foundation serves as a trustee for charitable, educational and cultural purposes. It administers funds given by public-spirited individuals for the benefit of the people of this area. In 2007, it donated in excess of $318,000 to over 70 local charities.  The New Brunswick Museum, New Brunswick’s provincial museum, has a long history of supporting New Brunswick artists by collecting and exhibiting their work.

New Brunswick Museum Exhibition Centre, Market Square, Saint John.  For more information on the NBM, please contact 1 888 268 9595

For further information:
Visitor Services
506 643 2300 

Jane Barry, Greater Saint John Community Foundation 
506 672 8880