With a little help from my friends

Crystal Cline – The Aquinian –

The Fredericton arts community is known for its cooperation and social support

Deanna Musgrave and Ander Millar often collaborate together to create art (Biff Mitchell)
Deanna Musgrave and Ander Millar often collaborate together to create art (Biff Mitchell)

If you frequent the Fredericton art scene, chances are, you’ll get to know a lot of artists really quickly.

Getting to know people in the scene is easy, although it’s not for the reasons you’d think.

It’s not because of the small size of the city and it doesn’t mean the scene is small or without variety.

Writers, painters, film makers and so many others make up the Fredericton arts community. The great thing about this community is that it sticks together, supports each other and is always waiting with open arms for any emerging or established artist.

Biff Mitchell, a local science fiction writer, believes that there are a number of reasons the art community is so cooperative.

“You have people who are not just in one art, they are in a variety of arts,” he said. “ So they come in contact with other people in the arts. You have synergy going between them. This is also a small community and a lot of the artists know each other personally.”

A number of artists in Fredericton are also educators. Mitchell thinks that this is one of the key factors contributing to their close-knit community.

“All these people are not limited to the arts community. They aren’t stuck up like people see in bigger cities,” he said. “There’s not that disjointedness here between the non arts community and the arts community.”

WhiteFeather, a local fiber artist, shares her studio with four other artists. She sees the art community consisting of layers, with every layer complimenting each other.

“Starting from the administrators, they sort of keep together the institutions that support and give mentorship to emerging artists,” she said. “We are all here to brainstorm with each other, keep our projects fresh and alert each other to new grant opportunities. All these different layers of the community are functioning together and kind of support each other. It’s also social support. It is its own little microcosm.”

STU professor Andrew Titus has been involved in the art community for many years as a slam poet, writer, and musician. He thinks that the art community supports each other in every way they can.

“Artists here of all stripes collaborate on projects together, work together on grant proposals and inform one another about who to talk to, who’s in the know and how the game here is played. We also support each other by coming out to one another’s shows, giving advice and critique, and generally being an open minded lot of folks.”

Mitchell concluded that the Fredericton arts community is very unique and understanding.

“It’s a very tight knit group and the arts community here is always open.”

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