Yesterday I went to Fredericton. I travelled up the scenic route meandering along the St. John River also known as the Rhine of North America. I made plenty of stops along the way: Oak Point, Gagetown, Oromocto. I poked in little craft shops. What would have taken an hour on the highway took me close to four hours. Oh, yes, I took a 20 minute nap in Oromocto after lunch. Ahhh, the joys of travelling in a mini house!
My first stop in Fredericton was Christ Church Cathedral. This Anglican Cathedral was built in 1853 and is one of the earliest and best examples of the nineteenth century revival of Gothic architecture. This Cathedral was the first new Cathedral built using the Gothic Revival style on British soil since the Norman conquest and the second built in the Anglican communion since the reformation.
I learned these and other interesting facts from my personal tour guide, the verger of the Cathedral who speaks with a deep American south accent and has the unlikely name of Hank Williams. (The verger in this case is the church official who is responsible for ensuring that the Cathedral is set up properly for the various services held there.) You can check out this wonderful Cathedral at: http://www.christchurchcathedral.com/
My next stop was Gallery 78 just down the street from the Cathedral. I stopped hoping to catch Drya Eaton, a local artist, who has a studio there. Drya’s parents, Bob and Jane, are long-time friends of mine dating back to the 1960s when we were neighbours in Moncton. Unfortunately Drya wasn't there but the curator did take me into her studio though and showed me a lot of her newer work.
But the most serendipitous event was walking into another studio and coming face-to-face with David McKay an artist whose work I’ve admired since the very early 1970s when I interviewed him for a TV show I hosted back then. I have seen his work in different galleries when I’ve been back home visiting but never run into David himself. We had lovely conversation and, if I had an extra $4,600.00, there is one picture of his, Ghost Canoes, that would be making the trip back home with me. Unfortunately I have to choose between that piece of art and gas for Bessie the Bus! You can see both Drya’s and David’s work at: http://www.gallery78.com/
My final stop in Fredericton was the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. I went specifically to see the Building New Brunswick exhibit by local architect John Leroux although the Beaverbrook also has many outstanding collections. Check out this gallery at:
The weather was sunny and I stopped a lovely supper before driving back to Saint John – on the highway this time. It was another one of those perfect summer days.