Support systemAbove: Quite literally support for the arts. These are posts that support the ceiling of our new gallery. We have been in this week measuring, planning and recording images of the space. It is exciting to envision the final product at this early stage. It may not look that exciting at the moment, but we believe it will be a spectacular space when it’s finished.

Our new home


Above: Our new home on Canterbury. The space on the right, with the parked Volkswagon, is where the Buckland Merrifield Gallery will locate. The space to the left is the site for Real Food Connections. Above will be great apartments, a terrific place to live, with your beer, food and art just downstairs.

There will be a new facade that will bring the doors and windows out to the sidewalk. Acre Architects is working on this, so you know that it will be a great entryway to the new businesses at this address..

The walls are going up


Above: The walls are going up.

looking to the back of the gallery 2


Above: Toward the back of the gallery.

Looking at our neighbours


Above: Looking toward our neighbours. The foreground pile of lumber is in our space. Just beyond the large post is the new home of Real Food Connections. Beyond that where you see more daylight is the area for Picaroons Traditional Ales.

Toward the light


Above: Toward the light. Like most construction sites, there is a lot of material lying around and a lot of people working to make this a very special place for the fall. Historica knows how to make great projects happen.

Towards our front door


Above: Looking towards our front door, or at least where our front door will be. Also, the wall to the right will be taken out, opening the gallery to the street.

Devon at the centre


Above: Devon, the man at the centre. Devon is overseeing this project for Historica. I found him hard at work in his office, located on the ground floor of the building.


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Shannon Merrifield, a resident of Grand Bay – Westfield, is mother to two young boys and is married to renowned artist-teacher, Cliff Turner.

Shannon Merrifield comes from a socially and politically active family of entrepreneurs, something that has influenced her interest in community, and saw her develop her hardworking and tenacious spirit and her drive to accomplish.

In her formative years she traveled extensively, lived for a time in France, attended UNBSJ, UNBC and Holland College, from where she received a Culinary Arts Degree. Always driven toward creative projects, a pivotal moment was her purchase of Handworks Gallery in 2001. Under her ownership this gallery became a household name, and set the gold standard for fine art and craft within the Maritime region.

Shannon has won numerous awards: the Board of Trade Silver Award, the Uptown SJ Award and the Atlantic Craft Alliance Best Gallery Award. She was the Co-Founder of the social network organization, FUSION. She studied at NB Craft College, and in 2013, sold Handworks and established her own ceramic studio.

Recently, Shannon Merrifield has worked with government as a Special Assistant to the region of South West New Brunswick where she liased between government, industry and not for profit sectors.

Shannon brings a wealth of experience and a positive vision for the future of the arts in New Brunswick to this exciting new venture.

Peter portrait


Peter Buckland


Peter Buckland began his career in the fine art business in 1981 with Windrush Galleries, and has operated the Peter Buckland Gallery since 1998. He has curated 250 exhibitions involving both noted and emerging Canadian artists. He has written extensively about art and artists. He co-authored Portraits: New Brunswick Painters in 2009.


He has been devoted to promoting the arts within this region. He has been a participant in the Saint John Gallery Hops since its inception in 1999. He was a founding member of the Saint John Community Arts Board (2001). He served as Chair of Saint John 225, Saint John’s year as a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2010. He served as Chair of the Originals (2012) and as Vice Chair of Sculpture Saint John (2012 & 2014).


Peter Buckland was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in September 2012 for his work in the arts.




My blog has been in hibernation since December. The spring weather has finally arrived, people are dropping into the gallery more often and it’s time to begin talking about art and artists once again. With one exhibition in its final week, another soon to be installed for the spring gallery hop in two weeks and many of our gallery artists busy with projects here and away, there is much to talk about.


Chris Down, Pile, oil, wax & acrylic on canvas, 66%22 x 88%22

Our current exhibition, featuring Chris Down has been very well received. Chris is a remarkable painter who is not yet well known within the province. The quality of his work assures me that this relative anonymity will dispel rather quickly.

This series of paintings is the culmination of three years work, paintings based upon early morning walks by the artist with his dog. On these walks things are noticed, sometimes photographed, sometimes simply noted mentally. These photographic images and these memories then become the raw material for painting as the artist attempts to probe the relationship between his subjective experience and the material reality within the natural world.

Chris Down, Reeds, oil, wax & alkyd resin on canvas, 60%22 x 45%22

reeds, oil, wax & alkyd resin on canvas, 60″ x 45″

Chris Down, Shore, watercolour & ink on paper, 19.76%22 x 26.5%22,

shore, watercolour& ink on paper, 19.75″ x 26.5″

These compelling paintings are the result of an artistic process that seeks to discover various layers of meaning that exist between the external world and the artist’s perception of it.

He says, “When I follow my dog along a path, guided by her extraordinary hearing and smell, I am introduced to a world that is largely unavailable to my senses. The perceptions that guide her snuffling search through dead leaves, or that compel her to dig and lick at an apparently banal patch of grass or tree trunk, has led me to understand that what I take for granted as the ‘visible world’ is an astonishingly thin layer of reality. When I follow my work along a path, I am hunting for similarly invisible and compelling tokens of ordinary life.”

Chris Down, Web, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40%22 x 30%22

web, oil & acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 30″

This exhibiiton by Chris Down will remain up until Saturday, May 16.



Bruce Pashak


mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″

An anagram of the NYTimes is I Know My Trees.  This very appropriate line appears throughout the suite of new works by Bruce Pashak, and underscores the fact that it requires 63,000 trees to provide the paper needed to produce one Sunday edition of the New York Times.

The artist has laminated full editions of the NY Times onto a board. Then, it is on the front page that he draws, constructs, embeds, stencils and paints his images. In his artistic statement Pashak recognizes the irony in using the NYT edition upon which to create his drawings, and his use of wood for the backing and framing of the works.

These works are extraordinary, very thoughtful and extremely accomplished.

Don’t miss the opening reception for this exhibition on Friday, May 22.

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mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″

Also, do not forget that Friday, May 22 is the Spring Gallery Hop.



mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″


Deanna 1

Deanna Musgrave is very busy these days. She has just completed a 50′ mural that will soon have its permanent home at a prominent Saint John location (unveiling to take place in June). More recently, she and her partner, Andrew, have organized and installed a major exhibition of art in Fredericton to raise funds for the construction of a skateboard park in memory of their son, Isaac.

On Thursday evening, we found her in the pedway of Saint John’s newest cruise ship terminal tackling yet another project, as she was preparing to paint a replica of a dog. Selected as the New Brunswick artist by fido (the phone people) she was asked to paint this dog, while people stood by and watched. This performance was being repeated simultaneously on Thursday evening by other artists in each Canadian Province.

Deanna, an innovator, immediately adopted her own approach to the project. She set a 48″ x 48″ blank canvas on the floor, then placed her dog upon the canvas. As she began to release paint unto the canvas and the dog, the dog’s presence became apparent within the work, both figuratively and literally.

Deanna 2

Deanna 4


Those of us in attendance were privileged to witness what is normally very private, the artist in the act of creation. It was a lovely moment, the artist, seemingly oblivious to us, at one with her subject and her materials.

In June, at the gallery, we will be featuring work by Deanna Musgrave that is related to her recently commissioned public mural. I will be sending out more detailed information on this in early June.


Brian Burke image

Brian Burke invite

Gallery artist, Brian Burke, has just had a solo exhibition of paintings at Galerie Müller in Luzern, Switzerland. Burke, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, has had an illustrious career, spanning several decades. His work has been shown throughout the Atlantic region, in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and in Europe. Our gallery looks forward to exhibiting recent paintings by Brian Burke throughout the coming year.

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Be sure to join us on this date for the Hop, for our Bruce Pashak exhibition and for an exciting gallery announcement.