16 March 2009

Recipient of First Award from Professional Visual Artists Fund Announced


The Greater Saint John Community Foundation and the New Brunswick Museum are announcing that Alison Murphy is the first recipient of an award from the permanently endowed Professional Visual Artists Fund. Murphy is receiving an award of $300 to assist in presenting an exhibition Where the Fish Swim, at the Hammond River Conservation Centre. 

This exhibition, running from May 16 to June 30, will comprise at least 10 major textile pieces depicting aspects of the Hammond River and its ecosystem.  Murphy’s work is textile based, incorporating techniques including needle felting, appliqué, beading, thread painting and knitting. This exhibition will not only “push my work from a literal depiction of the landscape toward a more poetic, abstracted study”, says Murphy, it will also expose it to many people who might not visit a formal gallery exhibition. The Hammond River Angling Association will offer events including wetland tours, school visits and fish releases in conjunction with the exhibition.

In 2003 a group of local artists 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, Art and Artifacts featured 24 professional artists who each created a significant work of art relating to some aspect of the New Brunswick Museum’s collections. WhoDunIt?, held in October 2007 at the New Brunswick Museum, provided an opportunity for art enthusiasts to purchase an original “mystery” art work created and donated by 50 professional visual artists. Watch for details about the next fundraising event, coming this October.  Professional artists who may be interested in contributing can contact Lynn Wigginton at 672-0336.

“Staging these events to create a permanent and innovative fund took the organizers time, determination and commitment to their fellow artists” said Jane Barry, Executive Director of The Greater Saint John Community Foundation. “I am pleased their efforts are culminating in this first award” she concluded.

The Professional Visual Artists Fund, administered by the Community Foundation, will dispense annual awards to professional artists.  The vision is that this permanent fund will grow as it is augmented by future gifts and events. Jane Fullerton, Director and CEO of the New Brunswick Museum, commented that “we are pleased to coordinate the annual awards process and to be a partner in staging the fundraising events that make it possible.” The deadline for submission of applications is February 15 each year.  One or more modest awards may be made annually.

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. The New Brunswick Museum, New Brunswick’s provincial museum has a long history of supporting New Brunswick artists by collecting and exhibiting their work.

For more information: 1 888 268 9595 or 506 643 2300

For further information:
Vita Kipping, New Brunswick Museum 506 643-2358
Jane Barry, Greater Saint John Community Foundation 506 672-8880