Stephen Scott, The Definitive Neopostromantic

Stephen Scott scribbles a string of letters along the bottom edge of a newspaper, before tearing it off. “That’s me, that’s what I am,” he says, passing it to me. The letters, all capitals, spell out NEOPOSTROMANTIC. Nearly everything else he’s said has gone well over my head,  but I’m fairly certain this word is as unique as Stephen. I ask him to sign it, a postmodern portrait of the artist, and slip it into my pocket.

Stephen is an artist’s artist. He’s been at it for some time now; having attended the Ontario College of Art, completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Mount Allison in 1978, followed by a Master of Arts in Arts Therapy from Concordia in 1998. He is intensely introspective, reflective, and authentic. His works possess a depth to them that I have only been able to glimpse the near edge of with the aid of a guided tour. “I’m a submerging artist, meaning I’ve been around for a while. More and more and more younger artists are coming out, and I’m feeling that I’m getting to be a little bit senior. I’m over the hill, age-wise; I’ve been at it for a while. I’m supposed to be in mid-stream, established, and not really having to go for those prizes which bring visibility in a hurry.” Continue reading Stephen Scott, The Definitive Neopostromantic

Adam Washburn: Musician In Transition

The first time I saw Adam Washburn perform with his new band, The Elements, was at the Halifax Urban Folk Festival this August, and I was blown away. They have a feel good, folk-pop vibe, that relies as much on electric guitars and bass, as it does on acoustic instruments, and their energetic mix of original tunes was balanced nicely by a cover of “Red Heart” by East Coast power group Hey Rosetta!. I met up with Adam Washburn at the Economy Shoe Shop in Halifax, which, for those not in the know, is not, in fact, a place to buy footwear, but a restaurant by day, and a music venue by night. Continue reading Adam Washburn: Musician In Transition

William Forrestall: 6000 Years In The Making

The classroom assumed an errant look of careful artistry; large tables are crowding the small space and every surface is coated in chalk dust. The congested space resonates with the voices of sixty or more students, all of which are immediately silenced upon the entrance of a man clothed in a forest green corduroy jacket, hazel pants, and a smile that reaches from ear to ear. That man is William Forrestall, a Fredericton based artist who often moonlights as a Fine Arts professor at St. Thomas University. Continue reading William Forrestall: 6000 Years In The Making

Clyde Wray: Saint John’s Storyteller

Clyde Wray is a poet, a writer, a performer, a producer, and a storyteller. When he speaks it’s in the low rumble of thunder, the room trembles, and small mammals go scampering for the hills. Any occasion to read his words is an opportunity lost that you might have heard them aloud. Most importantly though, Clyde is alive, and he wants you to know that. It’s a relatively common condition, and thus a relatable one, but Clyde embraces it with the full of his being; waking at hours most people would consider death defying, “I don’t like sleeping. I’ve been up now since three o’clock this morning. I like being up, I like being awake, I like being able to have a thought, I like seeing the stars and the moon, I like being in the sun, I like to see the sun go down. It’s all very romantic. I like being in life.” Continue reading Clyde Wray: Saint John’s Storyteller

Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

“First of all, this is very much a surprise. In fact, I am so confident that Penny Blacks is not going to win that I am drafting this short speech for Adam to read on my behalf with the full expectation that he will never do so. That being said, I would like say thank you to the committee and jury at the Originals for this honour, and to acknowledge the great service you do our wonderful city by recognizing the individuals and organizations that foster and create art. Although I cannot be there tonight, my friends, my family, my heart, and the lion’s share of my inspiration are there with you. I look forward to seeing you all in October, and, although I cannot speak for Ali, Adam, Chris, and Clinton, I am personally REALLY looking forward to stripping down to the waist, lubing up, and having Adam push me and this lovely statue around the old Liquidation World parking lot in a shopping cart, screaming ‘I’M AN ORIGINAL!!’ at the top of my lungs. And, if anyone says different? Well, I’m sure this thing would really hurt if it hit you on the head. (How are you doing with this, Adam? Can they tell that I never expected this to actually be read in public?) Thank you again. Jessica and The Playdates, this is just as much yours as it is ours.”

The above speech was written by Penny Black’s frontman and songwriter, Jason Ogden, and delivered, verbatim, by bassist Adam Kierstead, in acceptance for Saint John’s The Originals 2014 Popular Music Award. Continue reading Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

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