ArtsLink NB has so many brilliant members – time to meet some of them!
Get to know an artist through these short interviews!
Get to know Dan Smeby:
Dan Smeby is a celluloid based filmmaker and visual artist from Newcastle, New Brunswick. Graduating from Concordia University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Smeby has most recently held residencies at Nyege Nyege in Kampala, Uganda and Juke Studios in Kuwait City, Kuwait completing several collaborative film projects. Dan is now thrilled to take part in his first residency project in his home province alongside Francophone and Mi’kmaq artists as part of the Cross-cultural residency at the Saint John Arts Centre. During the residency, he will bend the confines of the conventional, with a time based mixed media installation.
Get to know David Champagne:
David Champagne is a photographer who lives and works in Maisonnette, New Brunswick. Working mostly in the field of documentary photography, he is fascinated by human beings, their behaviours, and their lifestyles. He uses photography in a sociological way, as a testimony of contemporary time. His work explores notions of territory and how man alters and modifies its immediate environment. He also works with photomontage, where he diverts and transforms photographs from his documentaries, to deliver images with surreal, humourous and whistleblower content.
Over the years he has collaborated with several magazines and newspapers, as many local as international. In 2013, he published L’ostie de printemps, the first self-published photographic essay on the social crisis that marked Quebec’s province in the spring of 2012. In 2015, he obtained a grant from the Quebec Arts Council and the TV5 Fund, with which it has co-directed the documentary web series Seasonal Life. In 2018, he received his first grant from the New Brunswick Arts Board and from the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.
Get to know Sarah Jones:
Sarah Jones is a visual artist, art historian, and curator. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and abroad, and her work is held in the public collections of both the University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Art Bank. She oversees curation at the Jones Gallery in Saint John alongside her brother and occasionally teaches art history at the University of New Brunswick. Sarah’s current focus is on the Survey Project, an art installation where she will create one hundred paintings from October 2019 to October 2020 following a pre-determined route around the Saint John Harbour, through the South End, and about Courtenay Bay. The entire project will be exhibited at the Jones Gallery in October 2020 and is Sarah’s largest and most methodical project yet, surveying her favourite vantage points around the city of Saint John.
Get to know Melissa May:
Melissa May is an artist with a lifelong love of animals. She combines her passion for nature with her skill as a painter to create stunning portraits of wildlife. Her work “Contemplation,” a detailed painting of a gorilla, has been chosen to be featured in Jane Goodall’s exclusive exhibition in Vienna this fall. The proceeds from the auction will go towards conservation.
Get to know Alanna Baird:
Alanna Baird lives in St. Andrews and has a background in both pottery and engineering. She combines these skills, along with recycled materials and the inspiration of things she finds on the beach to create some truly unique and remarkable pieces.
Get to know Sarah Rankin:
Sarah Rankin studied theatre at Mount Allison University and has been the director of Saint John’s Fundy Fringe Festival for six years. She plays a significant role in the art world as she works hard throughout the year to bring in talented performers and artists, connect with generous sponsors and venues, and hire the dedicated team of staff and volunteers that all work together to make the FRINGE possible.
Get to know Sean Yoro:
Artist Sean Yoro, who goes by HULA, completed his first mural along the Saint John harbour in 2017. HULA, who is originally from Oahu, Hawaii, is back in Saint John for the second time. Combining his love of fine art with his love for the ocean, HULA paints murals based on environmentally and socially conscious themes while balancing on a paddle board.
Get to know Sheila Howell:
Sheila Howell is a Saint John artist with a background in real estate. She now works full time in her studio on Germain Street, painting architectural, scenic, and abstract works.
Get to know Phyllis Grant:
I’m a Mi’gmaq artist from Pabineau First Nation, NB. I have three beautiful children, now adults, who are all artists in their own disciplines. I explore and practice many forms of expression, from spoken word to animation, and I enjoy every part of the creation process. I like learning more about who I am in relation to the world around me, so I think it’s natural that I try everything.
Get to Know Jessie Babin:
Jessie Babin grew up in Dalhousie before going to NSCAD to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After attending NSCAD. Jessie settled in Moncton after school, the great people and the laid-back vibe is what made her come back to NB, it is where she felt the needed to be and settle down.
Get to know Jim Middleton:
I grew up and lived in and around small rural areas near Sussex New Brunswick with a big part of my youth spent in Penobsquis. Both my parents have artistic abilities and I was drawn towards drawing and illustration at a very early age. My roots in drawing as a kid, focused replicating the things I loved such as comic book characters and portraits of people. While I’ve diverged into many other mediums over the years, those roots still pull forward in many pieces I create today.
Get to know Cat LeBlanc:
Cat has been Membership Services Director at the NB Film Co-op for over 22 years. She assists members with their film/video productions from development to distribution with grant writing thrown in for good measure. She has also done production management on many member projects during her time at the co-op. She coordinates the annual provincial workshop program through the Film Co-op, is involved in the Short Film Venture Program with partner New Brunswick Film, and is co-lead for programming, events and, finance for the Silver Wave Film Festival.
Get to know Corey Hachey:
Corey Hachey grew up in Bathurst NB, and now lives in Moncton NB. Hachey was in a band called Sproll which disbanded in 2010 and is currently the singer in a four-piece Alt-Indie rock band called FM Berlin.
Get to know Michaella Vickers:
Michaella Vickers, grew up in Blackville, New Brunswick and moved to Fredericton when she was eighteen. She is a visual artist as well as a photographer. I had the chance to catch up with her and learn more about her and wondrous art. We are beyond lucky to have talented artists like Michaella take full advantage of the resources we have to offer. Michaella’s photography and work can be found on her facebook page: Michaella Vickers Photo.
Get to know Dawn Mockler:
Dawn Mockler is a physiotherapist, mom, cartoonist and watercolour artist. Internationally recognized, Dawn has had her work hung all over the world including the United States and the United Kingdom. She sells her work online through her Facebook page, “Awash in Colour”. With no formal training in the arts apart from high school art class (Dawn was the recipient of Bathurst High School’s Art Award in 1984), she turned to books, YouTube instructional videos and visiting artists in residence to progress her work.
Get to know Jason Nugent:
Jason Nugent, a Fredericton photographer originally from Bathurst, has worked with brands such as Panasonic Canada, Mammut, Inside Track News Magazine, and F-Stop Gear. After going to school in Halifax and briefly living in Toronto, he returned to New Brunswick in order to be closer to home and be a part of the thriving art community here.
Get to know Pierre Luc Arsenault:
Pierre Luc Arseneau is a professional graphic artist located in Fredericton, who can turn your images into wood relief carvings. He is extremely charismatic and dedicated to his work. He has a variety of passions and is always developing new ideas. You can find him via social media on Instagram @pla3d. You can also find him at any of the markets happening around Fredericton.
Past video profiles can be found here.