Fredericton based visual artist Marie Fox will be showcasing her new oil paintings and sketches along with a collection of old favorites in the Phoenix bar March 22. A portion of the proceeds from her show, Ascend, will be donated to mental health advocacy groups DOTS NB and Partners for Youth.
Mental illness is close to Fox’s heart, having spent time in the hospital being treated for depression herself.
“I recently had a difficult time,” says Fox. “I think what got me out of the hospital was the idea that I could still do work and I could still help people somehow.”
It was then that she began to get in contact with DOTS NB and Partners for Youth, two organizations dedicated to improving children’s mental health.
“It just seemed like the natural way to help.”
Previously released artwork from Fox will be held at a twenty per cent discount. Fox is trying to liquidate the pieces to be shown at Ascend in order to focus all her energy on a new and secretive long form project.
Despite the benevolent theme behind Ascend, Fox still has critics. There are people who disagree with her choosing The Phoenix as the location of the event. They feel that her art is too good to be shown in a bar.
One Facebook user who Fox has blocked, thus remaining anonymous, has been harassing her recently. She doesn’t know who the user is, but last Friday, he went as far as to post this on her professional page.
“Why are you putting quality work in a bar? A shade tacky, you could do a lot better. I find your work vanity driven, but well executed.”
Fox normally wouldn’t reply to negative comments, but because Ascend is about rising from the ashes of mental illness and starting over, she felt that The Pheonix, which is the name of a bird that dies in flames and is reborn in its ashes was the only logical choice of venue for the show.
“To apply the word tacky to a place that has supported many friends and talented people over the years, that has been gracious enough to allow me the usage of such a gorgeous space is your own opinion,” she says. “If I woke up every morning worrying about what folks like you think of my work that would be vanity indeed.”
Fox remains positive and hopeful for the show to turn out well.
“We’re all in this together and it’s kind of a party too, a celebration.”
Music for the event will performed by members of Josh Bravener and The Hypochondriacs, Nicki Blewitt and DJ Tyler Aliens. The show will take place from 5 p.m., to 7 p.m.