Art unveiling at Carleton North High School a "mirror" into culture and community

Article Posted: Monday, April 01, 2019

​Carleton North High School's library is now home to two fascinating works of art created by Maritime artist Deanna Musgrave of Saint John. An unveiling ceremony was held on March 31 with school staff and members of the community in attendance.

Called "Mirror," her two large acrylic works are framed in back-to-back circles to depict the mind's eye looking into the stories, culture and community of the Florenceville-Bristol area. The mosaic paintings are full of rich red and marine blue tones and contain 35 sacred objects watermarked onto the canvas to inspire the imagination, while paying tribute to the people, way of life and rural heritage of the upper river valley. While some objects represented the school or the farming industry, other items submitted were personal in nature or given in memory of former residents who had made a significant impact on the community. 

"It is a mirror reflecting things that mean something to Florenceville-Bristol," Musgrave said of her creations. "It is your painting and your story. Your lives are in it. I was happy to have some lovely memories to install within the piece."

Musgrave began the paintings several months ago after being commissioned by the Andrew and Laura McCain Library with support from the private sector and a grant from the provincial Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. 

The artwork is a literal reflection of diversity, community and the "stars" of Florenceville-Bristol, she said, while serving as a metaphor for the development of global and holistic knowledge. The mirror has two sides, calling the viewer to explore facts and phenomenon from multiple angles and with varied perceptions.

Musgrave has been part of the New Brunswick art community for over a decade and is well known for the watermarking process in her work. She lays objects onto the canvas​ and surrounds them with water and pigment to create an imprint of what was once there. The result is a highly dynamic and fluid expression of memory, story and deep connection to water, the essence of life.

At the close of the ceremony, musician Andrew Reed Miller, performed an "open and airy" musical piece on the bass violin which he had composed especially for the occasion.

"His sounds and compositions influence my work," Musgrave said, explaining Miller is her husband and performs for every show she has done.

Miller has worked as a professional musician for over 25 years, playing in orchestras, opera and ballet companies and as a core member of Symphony New Brunswick. Musgrave also has her art work on display in other public schools in the province.

Shown below is artist Deanna Musgrave of Saint John with her artwork "Mirror" recently unveiled at Carleton North High School.