Experience the larger-than-life stories of the Sussex region when you visit the Mural Capital of Atlantic Canada!
Many of the artists’ sketches are shown here, giving a glimpse of the process of painting these larger than life images. Taking the ideas from sketch pad to finished mural is both a painstaking and awe-inspiring process, with guests getting to watch the many internationally-renowned artists, including three from New Brunswick, at work. Explore the rest of our web site to see how these illustrations were transformed into a full colour outdoor art gallery! Visit our communities soon to see the finished paintings for yourself!
Be sure to include a souvenir postcard of the Sussex murals! Visit local businesses to choose from the colourful series to share your pride in the Mural Capital of Atlantic Canada!
You can enjoy a self-directed tour of the murals at your own pace, with a full-colour guide available at Sussex town hall on the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue and a variety of Sussex area businesses.
The historical aspect of a mural adds awareness of the roots and growth of a community and, I believe, a sense of belonging as well as pride in their neighbourhood to the residents.Rudolf Stussi, mural artist
1. Sussex Vale Exhibition Building
/ Le Batiment d’exposition du Sussex Vale
Ken White, Swindon, United Kingdom
12.2 x 8.7 mtr (40 x 28.5 ft) First design as submitted by artist. During New Brunswick’s “Golden Age” Sussex was chosen in 1860 as the site for a provincial exhibition to be held in October 1861, and work began on construction of an exhibition hall during that summer. Saint John architect Matthew Stead designed a magnificent Italian style building, which had three large entrances over which were figures representing the four seasons, crowned by a colossal figure of Britannia, flanked by two full-sized moose. “Never before in any country place in this Province were there so many people assembled at one time as at Sussex during the Exhibition”, one newspaper wrote. The hall was never used again and eventually it was torn down. By painting the mural in trompe l’oeil style, Ken aimed to combine the grandeur of the building with the lively and engaging events staged within. The artist: Ken White, born in Swindon, UK, trained as a graphic designer, working for the British Council and freelancing in book and magazine illustrations. He has been a professional mural artist since 1976, painting murals in a wide variety of locations and styles. The first mural he painted was in his hometown of Swindon, Wiltshire. It commemorated the Golden Lion Bridge, a famous Swindon landmark. With the launch of Virgin Atlantic in June 1984, Ken produced what is probably his most well known work – the ‘Scarlet Lady’ emblem that features on all the airline’s aircraft. His reputation has grown with commissions from organizations such as Madame Tussauds, and in addition to the more than 100 murals he has completed, he continues to produce his own paintings on canvas. http://www.kenwhitemurals.co.uk/
2. Sussex – the Dairy Town
/ Sussex – La ville du des produits laitiers
Fred Harrison, Sussex, New Brunswick
18.4 x 7.8 mtr (60.5 x 25.5 ft) First design as submitted by artist. Sussex has been dubbed the Dairy Capital of the Maritimes and has a rich history of producing the nations’ finest cream, butter and cheese. The fertile valley has a rich loamy soil produced by the spring flooding of the many streams and waterways that criss-cross the landscape. Agriculture has been the main industry of this area since the first settlers arrived and the dairy industry has been the mainstay of the economy and a way of life for the people of Sussex Valley. Fred aimed for a celebratory feel to the mural, with a graduating class from the Sussex Dairy School and families sharing in the event. He also wanted his mural to show the land that supported the dairy industry, and give a taste of the varied activities involved in the production and delivery of the products. The artist: Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for twenty years, mainly painting in the London, Ontario area for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theatre, where he was responsible for the décor and where he added two small murals to the lobby area as well. He loves the challenge that large-scale work gives him and the fact that it is constantly interacting with the public.
3. Francis Sproule
/Memorial Hospital – Sussex’s first hospital / Le premier hopital de Sussex
Thomas Melvin, Chicago, USA 17.7 x 5 mtr (58 x 16.5 ft) First design as submitted by artist. Mural is in full colour. As early as 1870 the physicians and dentists in the Sussex area have been associated with various “cottage” hospitals. Miss Damie Warren, granddaughter of John and Francis Sproule was a nurse in Sussex for many years. Together with Dr. D.H. McAlister, she launched Sussex’s first “cottage” hospital in September of 1925 in her ancestral home on 11 Pitt Street and named it after her grandmother. Using this house as the nucleus it was extended by a connecting runway to the adjacent “Allison” house. The “Allison” house, located on 27 George Street, was built in 1875 and owned by Miss Damie Warren. The Kings County Record reported on September 11th, 1925, “the Francis Sproule Hospital is proving a most useful institution”. The hospital was closed in the Second World War as the hospital’s doctors were called up to serve. Besides portraits of Dr. McAlistar and Miss Warren, Tom’s mural shows the original buildings, which housed the hospital, and which can still be found on 11 Pitt and 27 George Street. In the foreground a magnifying glass to better see the thermometers reading. A deep amethyst vase with spring flowers on a bedside table before an open window reflects the clean white sheets of the bed. A glass vial tints red the view. The artist: Born in New York City, Thomas Melvin received his BA in sculpture and performance art from Bennington College, Vermont in 1975. Employed for a short time as a sign painter in Vermont, Oregon and NYC, he settled in Chicago and established Thomas Melvin Painting Studio in 1979. The Studio has painted some of the largest new murals in the US. The works are all of his design, painted in artist’s oils on canvas, or Keim mineral paints on exterior masonry and multiple other media. Renown for his research into each locale, the murals enliven authentic historical detail and local color. The studio has also restored murals and decorative work of very large scale within settings of great historic and architectural importance. http://www.thomasmelvin.com/
4. Famous Sussex Ginger Ale
/Andrew Giffin, Roachville, New Brunswick
15.8 x 3.7 mtr (52 x 12 ft) First design as submitted by artist. When S.H. White had a well bored on his Church Avenue property in 1895 he found the water could be used as the basis for a mineral drink. He lost no time arranging for its manufacture and marketing and founded the Sussex Mineral Springs Company that same year, which later became Sussex Ginger Ale Ltd. The company produced Sussex ginger ale, which is still sold today, as well as its legendary lime rickey and orange flavours. Sussex Ginger Ale’s signature flavour was called Bounce and it was similar to, and some say even better than, 7-up. The mascot for Sussex Ginger Ale was Gurgles the clown. Andrew remembers, as a child growing up in New Brunswick, the excitement of going to the cooler at the corner store to pick out a bottle of Sussex pop. He relished not only the taste but also the colours and how vibrant they were. The idea for his mural in large part stems from those experiences as a child. It shows the fountain, springing forth all of the colours and energy of the Sussex sodas. The window frames of the original brewery are recreated in his mural, as is the banner, which is identical to the original as well. The artist: Andrew Giffin, originally from Saint John, NB, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with honours from the University of Manitoba in 1986. He maintained his own studio since 1987, where he offered painting classes and opened the gallery and studio to the public. He has painted murals in Winnipeg and Calgary. He recently moved back to his home province of New Brunswick to Roachville near Sussex, where he is establishing a new studio. Giffin Artworks Inc. features his creativity in commercial ventures: he builds large-scale sculptural landscapes and waterfalls from concrete, or produces artwork for the film industry as well as specialty finishes for homes and businesses. http://www.giffinartworks.com/
5. Coming of the railroad
/ En venant de la voie feree
Fred Harrison, London, Ontario
33.5 x 5.6 mtr (110 x 15 ft) First design as submitted by artist. It is probable that Sussex Station would have been located at Sussex Vale, the current Sussex Corner. A story tells however, that its most influential citizen, Hugh McMonagle, raised objections to the railway crossing his farmland and racetracks. When after a re-survey, the train stop was made 3.5 km west of Sussex Vale, it brought about the birth of a new village, later to become the Town of Sussex, while the growth of the Vale came to a standstill. A less likely place for the site of a future town could hardly have been found. The lower part of the village site was a swamp overgrown with willow and alder bushes, and over-run with little brooks ending here and there in stagnant ponds. The whole area was subject to flooding during the spring and fall freshets and at this time there were only three houses in the general vicinity of the train stop. The first sods for the railway were turned in September 1853. The mural shows the arrival of the first train on Nov. 10, 1859, which was a great and memorable event in the lives of people and hundreds came to Sussex, all eager to see the train arrive. The occasion affords a glimpse of different modes of transportation, as well as a panorama of the young town. The artist: Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for twenty years, mainly painting in the London, Ontario area for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theatre, where he was responsible for the décor and where he added two small murals to the lobby area as well. He loves the challenge that large-scale work gives him and the fact that it is constantly interacting with the public.
6. The Knoll – centre of social life in Sussex
/ Le Knoll — centre de la vie sociale, dans le Sussex
Peter Bresnen, Halifax, Nova Scotia
17.1 x 9.8 mtr (56 x 32 ft) First design as submitted by artist. General William Fenwick-Williams, K.C.B. – a hero of the Crimean War, built “the Knoll” on 229 Church Avenue, once the showplace of Sussex, in 1862 for his two sisters. The structure was a work of the builder’s art with the great hall, wide curving stairway and ballroom, and native ash woodwork. The beautiful furnishings, rich mahogany, paintings and heavy plate that made the house one for gracious living were brought from England. During Williams’ residence the Knoll with grounds extending over 100 acres with luxurious flower gardens was the centre of social live in Sussex. The glory of the Knoll, where once all distinguished visitors to Sussex and Camp Sussex were entertained, has long ago departed, and this once beautiful residence was razed in 1961. Peter chose to illustrate a garden party thrown by Sir Williams, when he was in residence at the Knoll. He made a larger scale depiction of him over the doorway, and portrayed him in his military outfit, complete with his military sword. Sir Williams also appears as a small-scale character at the right of the banquet table, seated, not in military garb. The artist: Peter Bresnen – born in Montreal, Quebec, now residing in Halifax, NS – received a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design in 1976, and later his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1981. He has been painting murals since 1981, mostly in Eastern Canada. In 1988 he was one of 3 successful artists to paint a mural in Chemainus, BC. Previous to his career as a mural painter, he was a traditional painter of landscapes, seascapes and architectural subjects and had various solo exhibitions. http://www.bresnenart.ca
7. Hockey – a rural religion
/ Hockey – une religion rurale
Pierre Hardy, Barrie, Ontario
16.5 x 7 mtr (54 x 23 ft) First design as submitted by artist. In the 1920’s Sussex was home to a legendary hockey team: the Sussex Amateur Athletic Club, dubbed “the Old Grey Mares”. The team won numerous championships and many of the players continued on to careers in the NHL including Joe Lamb. They were inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1979. Right-winger Joe Lamb, a Sussex native, competed for seven different NHL teams. During the 1929-30 season he scored a personal best 29 goals skating with Frank Finnigan and Hec Kilrea – both flanking him on the mural – for the Ottawa Senators. He was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. A tribute to the Club is present throughout Pierre’s mural with the S.A.A.C. logo, a team group picture medallion, signatures of the team members, a ghosted action scene on the ice and a New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame mention. Also included, is a mention of the Stanley Cup (the ultimate goal), surrounded with a scene of fans cheering for their team. The artist: Pierre Hardy received his BA in Visual Arts from Quebec University in 1988. Since 1984 he has created over 100 indoor and outdoor mural paintings in Quebec, Ontario, Dominican Republic and Lebanon, and has promoted and presented murals as a distinct form of public art to municipal governments, social groups, corporations and schools. His work also includes graphic and web design. http://www.hardyart.com/
8. Sussex’s first skating rink
/ La premiere patinoire du Sussex
Rudolf Stussi, Toronto, Ontario
18.3 x 6.7 mtr (60 x 22 ft) First design as submitted by artist. In 1877 Sussex’s first skating rink was built. This beautiful large, round building had a pyramid roof surmounted by a cupola. The Sussex Cornet Band supplied music for the skaters. The building was also used as a forum, where politicians gave election speeches, and as a place for entertaining special guests who might come to Sussex. It was also in this rink that crowds of people turned out to watch the competition in walking races. The building went out of use in 1885, when the roof collapsed from the heavy weight of snow. The mural shows the reception that was held in the rink for the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General of Canada, when he visited Camp Sussex on Dominion Day in 1881, though Rudolf has taken the liberty of transporting the occasion to the winter. The outer shell of the rink building melts away in his design to afford a view of the arena and the rink itself. He used the light streaming through the cupola and ceiling windows to focus attention on the main figures and to create a warm and colourful environment contrasting sharply with the snow-covered surrounding streets. The exterior is composed of some period buildings, which can still be found on Church Avenue. The artist: Born in Zurich, Switzerland, raised there and in the US, Rudolf Stussi, came to Canada in 1967 to attend Ottawa’s Carleton University and later the Ontario College of Art, including two years in Florence, graduating in 1978. Further art studies in Mexico and London, UK followed. He is an artist with a long experience of mural painting – here and in Europe – as well as a continuing career as an exhibiting artist on both continents. His work also includes animation and illustration. http://www.rudolfstussi.com/
9. First Nations: Wolastokqiyik (Maliseet)
/ Premiers Nations: Wolastokqiyik (Malecites)
Charles Johnston, Winnipeg, Manitoba
31.1 x 3 mtr (102 x 10 ft) First design as submitted by artist. The Mi’kmaq settled in the Maritime region about 2500 years ago. They shared what is now New Brunswick with the Wolastokqiyik (Maliseet), who settled along the Saint John River. The Wolastokqiyik made extensive use of this river system to travel, hunt and fish. It is said that they would cover amazing distances by portaging in their canoes. Unlike the Mi’kmaq, who often moved their camps, the Wolastokqiyik built permanent villages. Here they grew corn, beans and squash. Their closest encampment was in Apohaqui, a neighbouring village of Sussex. Charles’ mural shows the creation mythology of the people, with the powerful figure of Glooscap, who dominates the origins of the Maliseet. On the right side of the mural the Creator pours the Saint John River out of a traditional coil-built clay vessel that resembles the map of New Brunswick. Along the river, people interact harmoniously with the natural elements of the river environment. The artist: Charles Johnston – a full time muralist – received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1984. He is primarily engaged in the practice of creating public art, and has been for almost twenty years. He finds the act of creating public art to be uniquely different from the act of creating personal works for the reason that it engages a larger dialogue between the artist and the community. His work also includes graphic design and sculptures. http://www.vaultgallery.ca/
10. Camp Sussex & the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s)
/Brian Romagnoli, Vineland, Ontario
30.8 x 5.3 mtr (101 x 17.5 ft) The presence of the military dates back to the 1870’s when Hugh McMonagle’s racetrack at Sussex Vale was being used as a training ground for the Militia, not only of the county but for units from around the province, and there was talk of procuring a permanent drill ground somewhere in New Brunswick. In 1879 an option was taken on a 300-acre tract of land and these grounds were transferred to the Department of Militia in 1893. For more than 30 years Camp Sussex was used for the annual training of Militia troops, first in the fall of the year and later for a 10-day period, which included Dominion Day. This was the big day at Camp Sussex. It was the occasion for a “review”, when the grounds were thronged with visitors watching the soldiers going through manoeuvres. Camp Sussex played an even more prominent role during the two World Wars. The Camp, although greatly reduced, is still the headquarters of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princes Louise’s). This regiment traces its origin back to the American Revolution and the Virginia Regiment of Horse. As such it is the oldest regiment of cavalry in Canada. Brian’s mural shows as a central focus the crest of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets of the 8th Canadian Hussars, and the 8th Hussars official mascot, a cavalry horse named “Princess Louise”. A row of archival images includes portraits of HRH Princess Louise, the Marquis of Lorne, the bread ovens, firing the salute and the Armory. The artist: Brian Romagnoli is a leading Canadian heritage artist, designer and muralist. Born in St. Catherines, Ontario, he is a graduate of both the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto and the University of Guelph, and also did a post-graduate study at the British Institute in Florence, Italy. Historical murals have been a central focus and passion for him. Over the past 18 years, he has designed and painted several giant historical murals throughout Canada. An important moment in his career was the 1997 presentation of his mural “500 Years of Royal Canada” to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. http://www.vintagearts.ca/
11. Early pioneer settlers
/ Les premiers colons pionniers
Don Gray, Murrieta, USA 22.9 x 4 mtr (75 x 13 ft) First design as submitted by artist. British Loyalists, who came here during the American Revolution, first settled the Sussex area. Branded as traitors by the American Patriots, they were forced to leave their homes and possessions and were exiled to a wild and unsettled land with very little but the clothes on their back. The arrival of the Loyalists changed the course of Canadian History by promoting the Canadian government for the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario. The first settlers suffered the hardships and loneliness common to pioneers in every age and place. The Loyalists had to adapt themselves to a way of life below the social and economic level they previously had enjoyed. Their struggle with nature in transforming a wilderness into productive land demanded the qualities of resourcefulness, determination and endurance with which they were well endowed. In his design, Don aimed for expressing the vastness of the region and the profound sense of isolation of those earliest settlers. The artist: Don Gray has been a professional artist and muralist for many years. His fine art paintings have been exhibited trough the US in galleries and museums and he has completed numerous murals and public art projects in communities and locales across the US. His work also includes book illustrations. http://www.dongraystudio.com/
12. The Merchants of Sussex
/ Les Marchands de Sussex
Barbara Wilson, Bainbridge Island, WA, USA During the first years of its existence, Sussex was a small village, with most of its buildings clustered around the train station. As a growing village, Sussex began to attract settlers who came to do buisness, built their homes and became permanent residents. Many trades came to set up shop — some of which are still operating now — and Sussex became the main service centre of the County, which it still is today. Wednesday afternoons would find shops closed in those days, their owners and customers enjoying themselves at the hugely popular Sussex racetracks. The artist: Barbara is an internationally recognized artist with experience in Public Art in California, Washington and Canada. Originally from the UK she now makes her home in Seattle, WA, and has been inspired by the city to create many paintings. Her aim is to reveal what can be so easily missed in scenes we pass through every day. In highlighting the ordinary world, she hopes to encourage a new perspective. To show the commonplace as worthy of a second look, refreshing and distilling our vision of the urban landscape. http://www.wilsonmurals.com/
13. The telephone: a New Brunswick invention
/ Le telephone: une invention du Nouveau-Brunswick
Barbara Wilson, Bainbridge Island, WA, USA While credit must go to Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone in the 1870s, he was not the first to send and receive messages over the wires. William McLeod, an inventor of note who lived in upper Sussex at Penobsquis, had made and used a telephone before 1861. It connected his house and shop and was in use many years. McLeod also generated electricity, made his own camera for daguerreotypes; a clock which recorded the months, days, hours, minutes and seconds; and a large compass for woodsmen. In 1891 the New Brunswick Telephone Company installed the first switchboard in Fairweather’s drug store and later in Coggon’s shoe store. The direct dial service came in 1966. The artist: Barbara is an internationally recognized artist with experience in Public Art in California, Washington and Canada. Originally from the UK she now makes her home in Seattle, WA, and has been inspired by the city to create many paintings. Her aim is to reveal what can be so easily missed in scenes we pass through every day. In highlighting the ordinary world, she hopes to encourage a new perspective. To show the commonplace as worthy of a second look, refreshing and distilling our vision of the urban landscape. http://www.wilsonmurals.com/
14. 1898 – Official change of the cancellation stamp
/ 1898 – Le changement officiel de timbre d’annulation
Jean Cannon, Burlington, VT, USA The coming of the railroad in the 1850s had a big impact on the Sussex area. Sussex Station, originally planned in Sussex Vale, was made 3.5 km west of the Vale after objections raised by Hugh McMonagle who didn’t want the railway to cross his land. Growth of Sussex Vale came to a standstill and the settlement around the station grew; in 1904 officially to become a town. One of the first steps of Sussex incorporating into a town was on April 1, 1898 when the word “Vale” was dropped from the cancellation stamp of the Sussex post office by a federal order. The artist: Jean Cannon is an artist, illustrator, and art educator living in Burlington, Vermont. She has been drawing and painting since childhood and has exhibited her work widely over the past ten years in Vermont and New York. Her paintings range in size from miniatures to large murals and theater backdrops. She enjoys collaborative projects and commissions as much as she does working on her own. http://www.jeancannon.com/
15. Logging, lumber camps and sawmills
/ Camps du bucherons et scieries
Fred Harrison, Sussex, New Brunswick The logging industry was a major component of the early New Brunswick economy. Many lumber camps and saw mills were located on the main waterways. Life at a lumber camp was labour intensive and dangerous. Logs were harvested from the forest with horses and sleighs and sent down river in huge log drives in the spring freshets. Men would travel on top of the logs to make sure they made it to their destination. It was a dangerous job and many a log driver lost his life in a logjam. The mural is located on Nicholson Hall, named after Rev. R. Nicholson, a local art teacher who was known for his colourful paintings of early logging in New Brunswick. The artist: Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for twenty years, mainly painting in the London, Ontario area for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theatre, where he was responsible for the décor and where he added two small murals to the lobby area as well. He loves the challenge that large-scale work gives him and the fact that it is constantly interacting with the public.
16. Royal Visits
/ Visites royales
Nestor Madalengoitia, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA Members of the Royal Family have honoured Sussex with various memorable visits, during which the community would bring out the best of what Sussex had to offer. The Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII, visited New Brunswick during his tour of Canada in 1860. The Marquis of Lorne and his wife, Princess Louise, visited Sussex in 1879. In honour of this visit, the name of the 8th Cavalry Regiment based in Camp Sussex was changed to 8th Princess Louise’s Regiment of Cavalry. The first tour of Canada by a reigning monarch was made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939 during which the Royal Train made an official stop in Sussex. In 1985, Prince Andrew opened the Dominion Building as the Town Hall. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited Sussex in 2002 as part of the Jubilee visit to Canada. The Queen opened the new Sussex Elementary School. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nestor-Madalengoitia/287367216639
17. James Daniel O’Connell: the Picnic King
/ James Daniel O’Connell: le roi de pique-nique
Joel Haynes, Great Barrington, MA, USA Growing up in the 1860s with many siblings, money was tight in the O’Connell family who lived in the Sussex area, and young James learned early on that sharing was the best way to survive. As a 12-year-old, he put half of his first earnings in a piggy bank and spent the rest on a picnic for more than 30 children. The so-called Gumdrop Picnic was such a success that O’Connell never forgot the joy and excitement of it. After making his fortune in North America and Cuba, the millionaire philanthropist started a chain of free annual picinics for children throughout North and Central America and Cuba, which earned him the name Picnic King. After his death in 1943, the income from his trusts ensured the continuance of his picnics. Every July, the Gumdrop Picnic is held in Sussex in O’Connell Park. The artist: Joel Haynes has been a professional artist for the past 20 years. As a graduate of The Ringling School of Art and Design, he is academically trained in painting, rendering, design, and illustration. Joel offers custom decorative painting for residential and commercial applications. His art and design are represented in almost every major city in the United States as well as in Mexico, Europe, and Japan. He is a highly schooled, well-rounded artist with a great deal of experience in the decorative arts. http://www.joelhaynesart.com/
18. The Agricultural Fair
/ La foire agricole
Rudolf Stussi, Toronto, Ontario In 1820, the Sussex and Studholm Agricultural Society (established in 1841 and the oldest co-op in North America and possibly the world) had the first of many fall exhibitions. It proved so successful that a larger fair was held the next year. Prizes were awarded for cattle, sheep, pigs, grain, butter and cheese. The Society also instituted ploughing matches and they are still being held to date. Entertainers, boxers, and a merry-go-round were brought in to enliven the show. The fair is still held each year, currently at the Agricultural Museum. The artist: Born in Zurich, Switzerland, raised there and in the US, Rudolf Stussi, came to Canada in 1967 to attend Ottawa’s Carleton University and later the Ontario College of Art, including two years in Florence, graduating in 1978. Further art studies in Mexico and London, UK followed. He is an artist with a long experience of mural painting – here and in Europe – as well as a continuing career as an exhibiting artist on both continents. His work also includes animation and illustration. http://www.rudolfstussi.com/
19. Sussex, NB – “The Snappy Fire Department of the Maritimes”
/Le ministère Snappy feu des Maritimes
Michael O’Connor, Thunder Bay, Ontario Sussex had its first major fire in 1887, when 16 buildings were destroyed. There was neither water nor equipment to fight the fire. When the grammar school burned in 1893 this was such a heavy loss that some businessmen called a meeting to arrange for some form of fire protection. Out of this came the Sussex Fire Brigade. Wells were dug and tanks sunk into them and most of the equipment was built by the voluntary firemen. In the 1890s the “Snappy FIre Department of the Maritimes”, as they were called, began agitating for a water supply not only for the fighting of fires but also for domestic purposes. After much opposition and controversy, the water was turned on in Sussex in 1901. The artist: Michael is a multi-talented artist whose skills have been used by some of the most recognized entertainment businesses in the world such as Paramount Pictures. He studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design focusing on printmaking and art history, later tranfered to the Technical University of Nova Scotia after two years to study architecture. Since 1995, Michael has focused primarily on murals for commercial, institutional and residential clients. http://mjostudio.com/
20. A Sunday afternoon in the park
/ Un dimanche apres-midi dans le parc
Paul Wysmyk, Toronto, Ontario In the 1930s, people from Sussex and surrounding areas came to Sussex to watch the ball games that took place every Sunday afternoon in the park. Dressed in red uniforms, the Sussex Fire Department brass band provided the musical entertainment on those afternoons. There used to be a cluster of elm trees on the current location of the swimming pool and the band is known to have played their Sunday concerts under these trees. The band was disbanded at the start of the Second World War when many of its members went to Europe. The artist: Paul Wysmyk was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1951 and developed an early interest in art. He launched his mural career in Montreal before heading to Europe to learn more about his craft. He later enrolled in art school in Toronto and went on to work in the film business as a scenic painter and also work as a plaster caster forming decorative moldings for cinema interiors with an older Belgian artisan, Oscar Glass, to whom he became an apprentice. Paul established his own studio in Toronto, painting and exhibiting regularly. He again began concentrating on murals in the 1990s, and has since designed and painted murals in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Canada. http://wysmyk.com/
21. Maple syrup harvesting
/ La recolte de sirop d’erable
Dale Fehr, St. Martins, New Brunswick Maple syrup has been part of the area’s heritage since pre-colonial times. As winter started turning into spring, the First Nations would move their families into a spot in the forest and establish “sugar camps” for the month or so that the maple sap would flow. This magic flow inside the tree is triggered by cold nights below freezing and warm days up to 5 degrees Celsius It was the First Nations who showed the settlers how to harvest sap from the trees and boil it. The purpose of the boiling process remains the same today: to remove water making the sap sweeter until it becomes syrup or sugar. New Brunswick holds the third rank in maple syrup production in the country, producing 5 million pounds of syrup a year. The artist: Born and educated in Western Canada, Dale Fehr began transforming spaces into incredible environments from the age of 12 when he built his own house. From there he went on to inspire clientele from large corporations, museums and the tiniest individuals. His extensive portfolio is a feast of creative interiors and public spaces all over North America. Currently he welcomes visitors to his studios and gallery showcase in St. Martins New Brunswick. Artist Statement For me, murals combine the fields of psychiatry, architecture, art and interior design. Creative spaces allow people to honour, dream and live in a wider world. From nursery to grave, murals provide a continuity and vitality achieved in no other way. My mantra is “I view the world through translucent eyes, too opaque to reveal truths, too transparent to conceal lies”. http://www.justimajan.com/artists_dale_fehr.htm
22. 1904 – 2004: the growth of a town
/ 1904 to 2004: la croissance d’une ville
Peter Bresnan, Halifax, Nova Scotia From its humble beginnings as a small pioneer settlement in the 1780s to its incorporation in 1904, Sussex has come a long way. This mural reflects Sussex, that was named in honour of the Duke of Sussex, son of King George III, in a journey through time. It shows the growth of a town that proudly celebrated its centennial in 2004. The artist: Peter Bresnen – born in Montreal, Quebec, now residing in Halifax, NS – received a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design in 1976, and later his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1981. He has been painting murals since 1981, mostly in Eastern Canada. In 1988 he was one of 3 successful artists to paint a mural in Chemainus, BC. Previous to his career as a mural painter, he was a traditional painter of landscapes, seascapes and architectural subjects and had various solo exhibitions. http://www.bresnenart.ca
23. Early ways and means of travel
/ Debut des voies et moyens de Voyage
Paul Wysmyk, Toronto, Ontario History does not tell how George Leonard –one of the first pioneers — in March of 1786 made his journey to the area. He would have probably come by horse drawn sledge or horseback making use of the frozen Kennebecasis River. In summer he would have had the choice of an Indian canoe or a log dugout. Settlers who followed came by Durham boats, patterned after coal barges used by Robert Durham on the Delaware River. The Great Road of Communication was surveyed in 1786; with the coming of coach travel it became the Post Road, which it is still named today. The way of traveling changed significantly for the Sussex area with the building of the railroad. The first automobile in Sussex was owned by Charles D. Mills in 1905. The artist: Paul Wysmyk was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1951 and developed an early interest in art. He launched his mural career in Montreal before heading to Europe to learn more about his craft. He later enrolled in art school in Toronto and went on to work in the film business as a scenic painter and also work as a plaster caster forming decorative moldings for cinema interiors with an older Belgian artisan, Oscar Glass, to whom he became an apprentice. Paul established his own studio in Toronto, painting and exhibiting regularly. He again began concentrating on murals in the 1990s, and has since designed and painted murals in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Canada. http://wysmyk.com/
24. Hugh McMonagle – a prominent Vale villager
/ Hugh McMonagle – un villageois Vale
Fred Harrison, Sussex, New Brunswick In Sussex Corner, Hugh McMonagle’s stagecoach inn still stands, although no longer in use as such. McMonagle was a prominent businessman and politician in the mid-1800s who introduced the Morgan Horse to New Brunswick. His racetracks, one of them being the fastest half-mile track in North America, brought visitors from as far away as Kentucky. He was a driving force to make Sussex the agricultural leader it is today. Being a man who believed in his home county and not shy to let others know what was here, made him the perfect candidate to represent the region on a national scale. The artist: Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for over twenty years, mainly painting in the London, Ontario area for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theatre, where he was responsible for the décor and where he added two small murals to the lobby area as well. He loves the challenge that large-scale work gives him and the fact that it is constantly interacting with the public.
25. 1787: Education’s humble beginnings
/ 1787: l’enseignment des debuts modestes
Wiliam Lazos, Toronto, Ontario Long before New Brunswick’s first School Act was passed in 1802, there were agencies at work in Kings County, which played an important part in providing educational opportunities for the children of the Loyalists as well as the Maliseet (First Nations) children. One of these was the “Company for the Propogation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent in America”, and this company built one of three schools in New Brunswick in 1787 at Sussex Vale. It was located east of the present Trinity Church. The mural symbolizes “The Educator” who points “The Pupil” towards knowledge through education. The artist: Educated in Toronto at George Vanier Collegiate Institute (O.S.S.D. 1983) and the Ontario College of Art (A.O.C.A. 1988), William Lazos captures everyday life with his photorealistic style of painting, using acrylic paints on canvas and other media. With over 200 murals under his brush, he has travelled Canada extensively to paint his murals including Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, New Brunswick and other locales. William Lazos is represented by galleries in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, & London, England. http://www.williamlazos.com/
26. Sussex Vale in the 1850s
/ Sussex Vale dans les 1850s
Carol Poppenga, Lewistown, MT, USA Sussex Vale was thriving in the 1850s. By this time it had become the largest and most important settlement in the county. It had stores, two churches, a school that ranked high among the schools of Kings County, a racetrack and two inns called the “Sussex House” and “Sheck’s”, both buildings still standing strong on their foundation today, although no longer used as inns. At Sheck’s Inn the stagecoach drivers exchanged their horss as they ran the mail route from Saint John to Halifax. The Vale was the voting centre of the parish and the only place for miles around where there was a post office. The mural shows the first glimpse of a traveler en route from Saint John to Nova Scotia would get of this prosperous valley. The artist: Carol S. Poppenga’s artmaking is a life-long pursuit and interest. Her first formal art sale — the work was a pen and ink portrait of a neighbor’s English Bulldog — was made when she was a fifth grade student. By high school, Poppenga’s creative output included original cartoons, strips, and caricatures in the form of posters, flyers, logos, letterheads, greeting cards and commercial signs. Poppenga earned a B.A. in U.S. History and Art (summa cum laude) from the University of Great Falls in Montana. She continued her formal art education at the Alberta College of Art (ACA) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There, she focused on the human form, drawing/painting live models in the studio and at theater and dance rehearsals. Poppenga also drew at the Calgary Foothills Medical School’s teaching morgue. http://www.poppenga.com/
27. Looking Into The Past
/En regardant dans le passé
Bonny Hill and Fred Harrison, Sussex, New Brunswick. The Sharp Family has owned and operated their Corner Drug Store since 1897. The Store was relocated to this building on Broad Street in 1929 after a fire demolished the previous location. The mural depicts images passing by and reflected on the “glass” of the window of the store. What wonders have these old windows seen in years gone past? The figures inside may indeed be Bev Sharp, his father and his old friend Jarvis McQuinn. Their legacy to the Town of Sussex lives on in this mural. The artists: Bonny Hill has been teaching visual arts in New Brunswick high schools for over twenty five years and was recently recognized by the Canadian Society For Education Through Art as Art Educator of the Year (secondary level, 2011). Although she has only been making and showing work seriously since 2006, she has been given four solo shows and an ArtsNB Creation grant since that time, and completed work on a second grant in 2012. Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for over twenty years, mainly painting in the London and Toronto Ontario areas for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theatre, where he was responsible for the décor and where he added two small murals to the lobby area as well. He loves the challenge that large-scale work gives him and the fact that it is constantly interacting with the public.
Many of the stories from “The Story of Sussex and Vicinity, New Brunswick” by Grace Aiton, published by the Kings County Historical Society, and “Historic Buildings of Sussex” published by the Sussex Bicentennial Committee come to life in vibrant colour in these exciting images.
We are grateful for the detailed historical background information supplied to us by Don MacVey and Don Stiles.
A great big Thank You goes out to all of the building owners who – still in the initial stages of the project – dared to take this mural journey with us, by offering one of their building walls. For obvious reasons there would not be a mural project without their support:
Mary Norrad, Mac McElroy, Paul Stiles, Black’s Holdings, Mercantile Holdings, Lounsbury Furniture Ltd., Town of Sussex, Abundant Life Pentecostal Church, Classic Auto Glass & Upholstery, St. Marks Anglican Church, Scotiabank, Alfred Smith, Rick Horton, Bruce Carhart, Dairytown/Mrs. Dunsters, Bethany Bible College/Kingswood University, Bank of Montreal, Miller Family, Mike Bailey.