Artists show their stuff at fisheries museum

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Twenty-five artists have their work on display this month as part of the 28th annual Pictou County Artists Association Show and Sale. The display opened on September 1 with a reception at the Northumberland Fisheries Museum in Pictou.

Sheila Green, who has been a part of the association for four years and organized the show, said it offers a chance for artists to showcase their pieces without being the centre of attention.

“One of the best things about this event is it gives us an opportunity for a new artist who has never had the scary adventure of showing their artwork to the public.”

St. Clair Prest, seven-year member and co-organizer of the show, said it can be difficult for new artists to find a place to show.

“It’s hard to get into galleries. It’s hard to get into tourist places because the more mature artists are already in there. This is their chance to shine.”

Green and Prest said the association has a few new artists displaying their work this year as well as an increase in members, which Green credits to their outreach and visibility.

New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks was the guest speaker at the opening. She praised several artistic initiatives taking place in Pictou County, including New Glasgow’s Art At Night and the MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law art contest inspired by Viola Desmond. She also spoke about encouraging her students to create art when she was a teacher.

“It was an opportunity to let the students be creative and express themselves in a way they don’t often have the chance to express themselves in. That’s where my love of art (comes from) — not as an artist, but seeing the opportunity for students to create art.”

Mila Walst, a former student of Dicks when she was in Grade 5 and now entering her Grade 12 year at Northumberland Regional High School, spoke as well.

“It’s so important we keep art as a valued and sacred part of our community,” she said. She explained she has been using painting and drawing as an outlet for many years. She said it can be a confidence booster when people come to shows and festivals to support local artists.

“I can tell that joy doesn’t just come from artists. It comes from people taking time to look at art. It’s so important to keep the exposure of art around us because it’s one of those special things that when looked at or listened to everyone’s trying to relate to it, and this brings us all together.”

The show continues until September 29 and will be available to view during museum hours. The association is also sponsoring Paint Pictou, which was held September 8 with artists creating work along the waterfront throughout the day.

St. Clair Prest stands with two of his paintings on display at the Pictou County Artists Association Show and Sale at the Northumberland Fisheries Museum in Pictou. (Jess photo)