The Backbone of a Community

Christene Sandeson Thoughts 1 Comment

May I offer thanks to Truro-area artists who have travelled before me?  From Joy Laking, Alan Syliboy and Bruce Wood who have generously shared and inspired our community to the new emergent artists with ideas yet to get to discover,  the same puzzle exists of how to make our art work for us.   I am a Truro gal, and aside from University, have chosen the traditions and sub-genres of this town to be part of my history.

In the late 1970’s, my art practise began with Truro Art Society’s side-kick group, the “Attic Painters”.  Experienced hobby painters Fran Lewis, Jimmie Cameron, and Lenore McNutt generously provided a gateway to practise in the attic of the Fulton Insurance Building. Full of hope, and with Regina Coupar, Audrey Hanrahan, Alexandra Marriot, and Christine Parker Hunter,  we sought to broaden Truro’s experiences in the Arts by establishing Signatures Gallery in 1980. Four years later our 47 Inglis Street location (over Charm Jewellery) was destroyed by fire, taking with it the painting and design studio of Gail Tuttle MacBurnie.

Continuing to be active, Audrey opened her own gallery, Christine Parker moved to a new community with her family, Alexandra pursued further art studies at Concordia, and, Gina and I explored new media and invented further opportunities to exhibit our work.  From those sunny moments, many concepts were evolved and subsequently exhibited in the form of  painting and sculpture in provincial private and public gallery spaces.  Derek Kersley’s truth, that room exists for all artists, resounded. It was the artist’s responsibility to invent and redirect.

However, I have to wonder if without the Truro Art Society providing a back bone for the visual arts in this community, might my own art have spiralled toward neverland?  No artist group can machete it’s way through the millennial jungle of options, secure a bi-monthly salary with CPP contribution, or provide a staff to keep records of supplies and contacts. However, the Truro Art Society can provide a trail for artists to journey forward upon. It’s wealth lies in the members’ experiences, and opportunities for artists to meet similar travellers. With the Truro Art Society, an artist in this area can be supported and embraced.

At risk of being that artifact referenced in a former student’s inquiry on Day One of the school year: “That art teacher, Mrs Sandeson …  is she still alive?” Gosh I hope so –  and aiming for another 30 years!

You can learn more about me here.



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Comments 1

  1. Good article, Christene. Your tribute to the Truro Art Society and many of its early members brought back a lot of fond memories. Always enjoyed thevAttic Painters Show in the spring. Truro was a great place to live, and a hub of activity in the arts as well as sports. Two interests we shared.

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