The artists who come to Fogo Island in the various residencies, the artists who live and create on Fogo Island and me, after a couple of amazing days of so much Fogo Island art and not nearly enough time.
The 2019 May long weekend was the inaugural Arts Weekend on Fogo Island. Planned by Fogo Island Arts in cooperation with TRACS (Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society) and resident artists and crafters this was a jam packed weekend.
I propose a two weekend event next year so we can try to see it all!
The Art Weekend was planned over three days with the island divided by half, east and west, with Shoal Bay being the dividing line.
Friday featured the west of the island and because I was coming from Gander I only managed to catch a half day of opportunities to visit open studios and galleries.
I started with my neighbour Bruce Pashak in Deep Bay. Besides being a lovely neighbour, Bruce is an amazing painter and I found out this weekend a song writer and musician.
Fogo Island secrets!I’ll never know them all!
Bruce paints out of an former school house and there was a steady stream of visitors coming and going when I stopped by. ( I tend to avoid taking too many pictures of folks I don’t know so waited for a quiet moment.)I headed to Bangbelly in Fogo for a quick lunch (and may have gotten caught up in conversations with some visitors about icebergs and art) and saw the exhibit of Caitlyn Terry, artist and Bangbelly co-owner.
Her influence is seen in the design and decor of the cafe but her art adds to the pop of colour and trendy vs retro style.For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included a gratuitous shot of my lovely poached egg Bangbelly breakfast and an amazing lemon meringue tart that I shared with a friend. Everything is beautiful here.From there I was getting close to the 4 o’clock closing time for studios but still in Fogo so I walked next door and visited Erin Hunt’s studio.Again, folks were coming and going and discussing and appreciating the art of those who came choose to live on Fogo Island.
The former court house offered a number of rooms to visit, feeling like a gallery almost rather than a studio.
Having to pick and choose from events on the very busy agenda, we then went to the Fogo Island Inn for the opening of Brenda Draney‘s show Smelling Salts.
Brenda had done an artist residency on the island and came back to open a show, discuss it and participate in the Arts Weekend.Her work reflected glimpses into hospital rooms and the experiences of patients in institutions. Her subjects were easy to related to I think, and again, provided a link to art in the experiences of Fogo Island residents and health care and concerns.By dividing the island in two, artists from the opposite side of the island were able to engage in one day of the open studios so attendees at the events were local residents, local artists who were residents and visiting artists and curators and tourists.
After a few stops, folks were not only looking familiar but getting familiar in discussing the works and what they’d seen and where they were heading next.
Friends who know me, know that my passion is icebergs.On Friday there was low light and visibility making it hard to contrast the grey blue bergs against the grey blue sky.
On Saturday there were cloud banks. I knew the icebergs where there, but even with my iceberg eyes, I had no hopes of getting a proper picture, so I went on studio visits shortly after they opened.
I have been eagerly watching the restoration of a house and fishing property in Joe Batts Arm and know it as The Punt House.
My understanding is that it will be a museum, maybe a working museum where boat building will not only be explained but perhaps taught. (This may also be my wishful thinking taking over, so we’ll see.)The building are beautifully restored but empty with the exception of beautiful blinds depicting scenes around the property.Each blind has a QR Code that opens a blog post about the restoration of the property.
From the house you can walk into the fishing stages and sheds.The open doors and and location is a natural gallery framing beautiful scenes of Joe Batt’s Arm and I took some time for a few (dozen) pictures. Here is a sampling.
Right next to The Punt House in Joe Batt’s Arm is Tidal Art. Another beautifully restored old property, it suits perfectly it’s new role as studio and gallery.Owner Janice Thomson‘s works were featured along with local artists Claudia Brahms and Noel Mount. Hosted by newly arrived to Fogo Island, Cassandra and Steve, this exhibit provided a variety of painting styles by Jan with all Fogo Island subjects.Including ballycaters, pack ice and icebergs!
Yay!Jan’s art, the wood stove and molasses cream puffs made it an extra social stop as visitors came and went and mingled.
The punch also made me think that I might have room for a Jan in my Deep Bay tiny gallery.Claudia is a weaver, among many talents and was also showing home made salves, one made with dandelion, olive oil and beeswax.
Noel was displaying his collection of hand carved spoons and utensils. No amount of money or flattery could get one. They were gorgeous and fit perfectly in the hand for each task they were designed for.
Visitors greeted each other as were were getting more and more familiar, discussed art, weather and the memories invoked by molasses and then moved again in different directions to try to visit all studios.From Tidal Art I moved to Young Studios to see Adam’s recently built gallery. Adam’s a friend and fellow school teacher. His new space is bright and beautiful like his work. Originals, prints and canvas works were displayed and the local music in the back ground was a nice touch.
I also got a peek in the studio and some top secret info on upcoming projects. Shhhhhh!Carol Penton is a Joe Batts Arm artist and crafter. Specializing in found and reclaimed materials she paints whimsical decorations with Fogo Island themes. This was a great excuse to make a first visit to her newly opened shop.We made one last dash for Tilting and caught the displays featuring works from past artists in residencies from TRACS as well as photography by Paddy Barry Photography and the “Fabric” display by poet and artist Dan Murphy.
This was such an interesting stop because there are also interpretive displays about Tilting that were used in an exhibit at the Rooms in St. John’s. It was too bad we got there as it was soon closing but we did squeeze in a quick sandwich at the Tilting Cup cafe!It’s taken a few hours due to Fogo Island internet speeds to get this much put together about Friday and Saturday but on Sunday, all studios are open and I’m hoping to catch a few I missed.
They may get added but rather than lose this post as a draft forever, I’m offering it to you as is.
Looking forward to next year’s Fogo Island Art Weekend already.
Bravo everyone involved.