Gallery Connexion’s alternate scene

Maggie Estey displays Gallery Connexion’s studio space (Tom Bateman/AQ)

Gallery hopes to attract an alternative scene during Fredericton’s festival season.

Many Frederictonians will be flocking downtown for the Harvest Jazz and Blues next week, but Gallery Connexion intends to harbor those not psyched by the festival’s genre-strictness.

The Celestial City Art and Culture Fair will feature punk and hardcore bands from all over Canada as well as a screening of indie film “No Fun City.”

Maggie Estey is Connexion’s education and membership coordinator. She’s in charge of getting people to come see the exhibits, and get involved with the gallery.

“We know not everybody’s interested in Harvest and we know everybody can’t afford to go so we wanted to give people a place to go.”

Estey also says the Gallery welcomes all ages, and all of their shows are wet/dry.

They have a liquor license but as a gallery, she says “we’re obligated to open to all ages.”

(Tom Bateman/AQ)

The gallery’s performance area is beside the exhibition space, and features a cash bar surrounded by studio spots.

The galleries are made up of hand-picked art exhibitions. Curators pick art that incites emotion – whether it makes you happy, sad, inspired, or strange.

“If somebody comes to us with an experimental performance art practice, and we look at it and determine that it is legitimate art, regardless of whether we like it, we’re kind of obligated to put a show on for them.”

Gallery Connexion was originally in the justice building downtown, but was forced to move by flooding a few years ago. Estey says the new space came as a blessing in disguise.

“Before we kind of had a small space… then we became a gallery in exile. But we ended up with this beautiful new space.”

In July they opened Gallery 1922, a second exhibition space. The Gallery 1922 opening featured a collaborative performance by Fredericton writing collective the BlackTop MotorCycle Gang with the visual pieces now on display.

The gallery is also home to the FeelsGood community office. FeelsGood is a collective of painters, musicians, writers, and artists, described simply by their tag line “art. music. community.”

FeelsGood creates a direct tap in to the Fredericton music and art scene. Through the use of an online community, including an active chat and forum, they have provided a way to easily interact with Fredericton’s bustling art scene.

The spot is constantly changing, with new artists in the studios, new exhibits on display, and even more concerts.

“We opened in February, but we’ve been renovating ever since,” Estey says. “We just want to keep making it better.”

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