NB Museum Feature: Gallery Hop October 13, 2017 – “Your Utopia” by Maggie Higgins

Maggie Higgins
2017 Greater Saint John Professional Visual Artists’ Fund Grant Recipient

In May 2017, the New Brunswick Museum and the Saint John Arts Centre announced that Saint John artist Maggie Higgins is the recipient of this year’s Greater Saint John Professional Visual Artists’ Fund grant. Higgins is a 2014 Fine Arts graduate of Mount Allison University and completed her Bachelor of Education in 2016 at UNB.

In her application for the grant, Higgins indicated that the funds would be of great benefit in creating a large and cohesive body of work that would be suitable for a solo exhibition.

In addition to receiving the grant, Higgins was invited to feature work at the New Brunswick Museum. “Your Utopia” by Maggie Higgins will be featured with the recently opened temporary exhibition Conservation on Canvas – Paintings by Michael McEwing at the Gallery Hop on 13 October 4-6pm.

The Greater Saint John Professional Visual Artists Fund

A group of professional artists and arts supporters (the ‘Tea Towel Team’) in the Saint John region joined forces some years ago to organize a number of highly successful fundraising events: Art in the City Studio Tour (2003) Art and Artifacts (2005) and Whodunit? (2007). The proceeds from these events, as well as private donations, have been used to establish the Greater Saint John Professional Visual Artists’ Fund, which is managed through the Greater Saint John Community Foundation. The goal of this fund is to award an annual grant of $1000 to a professional visual artist who needs financial assistance to pursue aspects of their careers (for example: studio rental, exhibit costs, art materials, research, travel, etc.)

Since 2014, The New Brunswick Museum and the Saint John Arts Centre have been managing the annual application process and the awarding of the grants. A three-person jury reviewed all applications to determine the winner based on the quality of the proposal each artist put forward.

This year’s recipient, Maggie Higgins, is a multimedia artist based in Saint John, New Brunswick. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from Mount Allison University in 2014 and a Bachelor of Education with Distinction from the University of New Brunswick in 2016. Higgins has received a number of awards for her work including the Fred Ross Scholarship, The Saint John Professional Visual Artist Award and the Saint John Originals Emerging Artist Award. She now teaches at the Saint John Arts Center and in the public school system as well as serving as President of Third Space Gallery.

Artist’s Statement

“Your Utopia” is a dream state that explores the strength and vulnerability of innocence. The surrealist landscape is an amalgamation of environments from the childhood that were formative and imprinted themselves on my sub-conscious, appearing often in my dreams. The adolescent figures, faceless much like those of the dream-realm, attempt to perform healing to a dying fish and snake, respectively. The relationship between the human and animal world is a play on fear, mortality and power hierarchies. The adolescents represent a transition; they are conflicted between the depth of childhood empathy and their more adult sense of duty and an ultimate powerlessness.

For more information:
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva, Communications & Marketing
(506) 654-7059 or (506) 643-2358