“Locals” exposes private places

Part of Mike Erb’s “Locals” gallery (Mike Erb)
Part of Mike Erb’s “Locals” gallery (Mike Erb)

Mike Erb has a flair for seeing what others do not. His new photography show, “Locals”, is about showcasing areas of Fredericton even long-time residents may have never seen.

“It’s about areas of Fredericton that are off the beaten path,” Erb said.

The photo series was sponsored by Gallery Connexion and is showing in the Playhouse’s Annex Gallery at 686 Queen Street – a space where, appropriately, one might not expect to find a gallery. The photos depict areas in Fredericton where one might not normally travel, or if they have, it’s a new spin on a familiar spot.

Erb put the call out to the public through various websites, message boards and social media at the beginning of the summer to tell him about their favorite hidden spaces in Fredericton. Erb would then either get directions from the person, or have them accompany him, so he could photograph them in a way that brings new life to the space.

He was contacted by professors, students, life-long residents and new citizens of the city.

The summer long project had Erb traveling all across the city taking photos of places he’d never seen before. He had to sift through hundreds of photos to pear it down to the twelve on display today.

“I got a lot of really good suggestions and locations, and some didn’t work out as well… It was a lot of trial and error,” Erb said. “The twelve that are hung are the best depiction of Fredericton, of people’s favorite areas I could come up with.”

His experience lead him to a greater appreciation of the city’s history. Each suggestion came with a small bit of background information that helped patch together Erb’s understanding of Fredericton.

Erb hopes the exhibition will provide the public with a fresh perspective on the town they live in.

“It will make people want to learn more about where they live,” Erb said.

“Locals” will be on display at the Playhouse Annex Gallery until September 28th.