I am a professional crafts person, working in clay and fibre, not necessarily at the same time. I am a juried member of the New Brunswick Crafts Council, The Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.
Well folks you may recall that on Labour day weekend, your girl Lizzie was dividing her time between being President of the craft council at the festival, and knitting up a storm at the casemates residency. What you may not know is that at the festival was a potter demonstrating. No folks it was not me this time. It was a talented young fellow by the name of Lee Horus Clark. Now Lee makes interesting things with clay, very interesting. And occasionally big things. Very big things. Very Big and hard to transport things. This is where I come in to the story. I have through default and sheer lunacy become the custodian of Lee's latest very large pot. It was supposed to be only a week. The pot is bigger than my kids, and nearly 200 pounds of clay were used in the making. no that is not a typo. it really is 200 pounds of clay.Cool Huh?
Feat don’t fail me now… Well they are here. Tonight is the night, two shows live at the Bud Light Blues tent -acoustic at 6 pm and electric at 9. I have my Thursday pass and I have my beer tokens, I am ready to dance my a** off. I love harvest time in Freddyville. For more than 30 years the groovy, funky, jam-band sounds of little feat have been settin’ toes tappin’ all over the place, now they have come to Fredericton. And I am going to BOTH shows. Yay Me!!!!
This is where I do my happy dance. One of the real joys of living in Fredericton is The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Now in its 15th year, this small town festival has grown to big city proportions. Fredericton is now attracting and producing world class musicians. We will be enjoying such great names as Fruteland Jackson, Matt Minglewood, John Lee Hooker Jr. and a ton more. Again with the happy dance.
Our local talented line up includes Hot Toddy, Big Alice, Barriomatic Trust, Vetch, Petunia, Grand Theft Bus, Isaac and Blewett, and Melonworks. All are worthy bands, some ECMA winners and nominees.
The kids and I attended the kick off concert last night with the STU Jazz ensemble and we will be taking in some shows tomorrow and Saturday, but tonight is all about the mama. And little feat, maybe about the Barriomatic Trust, possibly about Big Alice. But definitely about the Late night Jam. And about the beer. Yup breaking the all but hump day beer ban. It has to be done, they don’t make martinis at the Blues tents, damned peasants. For those interested I have included a link to one of my personal faves from the local scene.
So while I am struggling through my residency, with two kids in tow, I bring along some fluff and needles to entertain the kids. This is what my ten year old kid made for her first attempt. Athree dimensional mermaid. Her second project was a selikie, the kid is a prodigy.sigh.
Bear with me, I am having a moment. I am definately going to get a bit wierd on ya for a while. Forgive me, my next blog will most definately be about knitting. As you may know, I have been artist in residence for the Fredericton Arts Alliance, at the casemates ( Historic Garrison District, former British soldiers barracks) in Fredericton, for the past week and a bit. I began My residency on August 27. My first day in residence a lovely gentleman and his wife visited. He asked me "Who were the first people to settle Canada, and where did they settle?" My response to him was along the lines of, are we including the natives, or do want to know about the outsiders? he chuckled and said "the outsiders" Always the purest, I returned with , "Well that's debateable. It certainly depends on who you talk to, and when you ask" (Little did he know he snagged the chief curator of the museum, and freeky little historian chick, knitting in a casemate) You see the little known fact to the outside world, is that the Vikings were in Newfoundland and established a settlement, long before Columbus even thought about America, and it is strongly assumed that there were outsiders in the north of Canada prior to the Vikings. This kind of surprised the gentleman, and he clued me in on the real question on his mind. He wanted to know about the Acadians, and the expulsion. Touchy subject, and one I am never sure how to approach. It has been at the centre of many of my anxious moments for the past three years. My Heart rate raised, and I began to worry about my wording. I know both sides of the story. I am aware of the cold dry facts as presented by both sides of the story. I have co -curated exhibits based on this involving the froncophone, and anglophone communities, and I am constantly on edge about it. It is not a proud moment in our history. But it happened. I found my tour guide/politician stance somewhere, deep inside. I spoke of the two factions, the expulsion, and the results and repercussions to the people of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I told him of the places that the Acadian people ended up. I told him about being here now. and I said I often wonder about the people who left and what they felt, and how they survived. Making a new life for the second time in a foriegn land. It was then that the kind gentleman told me that he was a descendant of Les Acadiennes. Exploring the land his forefathers had called home after leaving France. He was looking for the other side of the stories he was raised on. Curious about the Geography of Acadia, and the french who are still here. I feel honestly I may have dissappointed him with my neutrality. He and his quiet and lovely wife touched me. I appreciated their interest, and their quest. I have had them and the Acadians on my mind for several days. I truly wonder where the gentleman and his wife are. Are they ok? Were they here when Katrina hit? Were they in back home in New Orleans? I hope to God they were still here in Acadia, looking for their roots. So much of our history in this region is tied with the history of Louisiana. Our Acadienne, are their Cajun. Divided by oaths, words only, blood is thicker than water. They are brothers, and sisters. I have been watching the footage at he gym, while working out. I am horrified. I cannot fathom the complete devastation. I cannot even properly articulate my feelings to my best friend. My thoughts are chaos. I am looking for and not finding the humanity in the US Federal Government. I am frightened for the people and hope that they will make it through this devastating crisis. I do not personally have money to donate to the cause, but I am going to give blood. I encourage all who can, to do likewise. If you cannot, then give school supplies, or money to the schools who are taking in the children of this tragedy. Give your time at a shelter, or a food bank. Reach out to the people who have lost everything and everyone important. Show a stranger you care that they live.