MEET OUR 2022 ARTISTS

Anna Hegert

Anna was born and educated in Germany, and she was exposed to fibre art at an early age. Handwork, a regular part of home life under her grandmother’s tutelage, was also part of the school curriculum, and it laid the foundation for a passion in art and textiles that ultimately lead her to obtaining London City and Guilds Diplomas in Art, Design, Contemporary Embroidery as well as Patchwork and Quilting.

Her strong focus on the arts makes her a passionate artist, teacher, lecturer and writer. She is a full time professional artist, and her work has been exhibited internationally in solo exhibitions and juried travelling group shows. She has received numerous awards for her innovative approaches to fabric manipulation and surface design from across the country, including the Saskatchewan Craft Council, The Grand National and World Quilt exhibitions.

In 2020 Anna moved from Saskatchewan to the vibrant art community in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. When she is not out gathering photographs she can be found in her studio where she transforms woven and non-woven materials into two- and three-dimensional art by drawing constant inspiration from the ever-changing and stunning scenery presented by the Bay of Fundy.

Anna’s exhibit at the Grand Manan Gallery is titled Liquid Scapes: A Deep Dive Into The Enveloping Properties Of Water. Anna says, “Water, and access to its life-giving properties, constitutes an inherent human right. The stress nexus between water, energy and food is ever-present, and we are reminded of the urgency to preserve this precious resource on a daily basis. Drawing attention to water’s life-giving and life-saving properties became the impetus for this body of work.”

Anna Hegert, Icebergs and Cool Breezes

While carefully selecting the materials, Anna became keenly aware that countless communities and their inhabitants dwelling near water often don’t observe energy saving practices. Wasteful water usage and the careless handling of trash often go hand in hand. Bottles, empty food containers and aluminum cans litter the roads and ditches across the country. Such obvious carelessness, juxtaposed against the natural beauty of the landscape, became the impetus for Anna’s artistic expression.

Anna says, “This body of work was initially inspired by the natural beauty of landscapes near water. When observing and recording the translucent and reflective qualities of the water’s surfaces in its liquid, frozen and sublimated states , I would derive tranquility and a sense of peace whenever I immersed myself physically and emotionally. Reducing the distance between two opposing forces I have made it my mission to incorporate used, re-purposed and up-cycled materials to create visual art for deep contemplation and reflection.”

Anna’s website is https://annahergert.me, and her blog is https://fundycontemplations.ca.


Carol Randall

Carol is a fine art photographer who lives in Fredericton, NB. Besides the beautiful scenery found along Fredericton’s walking trails on both sides of the Saint John River, Carol’s canvas includes historical buildings and popular events, draft horses and large breed dogs – all basically found out her backdoor. After a day of shooting, she enjoys the process of converting a simple photo into a piece of art. Carol says, “Mother Nature provides the canvas. I help to make it a piece of art.”

In 1952 when Carol was a young child living in Blacks Harbour, NB she contracted paralytic polio. Two years later her family moved to the farming community of Harvey Station, not far from Fredericton where she was able to start her rehabilitation. In spite of braces and crutches, she prided herself on being self-taught and self-sufficient throughout her life – always pursuing her dreams, whether as a statistical researcher with the National Hockey League, or as an administrator with several NB sports.

After retiring from NB Tourism, she directed her research skills to becoming an author. Her work includes Spares & Strikes: History of Candlepin Bowling in NB, Devon Remembered (4 volumes), and most recently her autobiography, Coming Full Circle: The Diaries of a Polio Survivor.

Carol Randall, Last Post

Throughout the years, photography has been her constant hobby, with inspiration from dogs and horses, guidance from the YMCA and a local photo studio, plus workshops and critiques from fellow members at the Montreal Camera Club and Photo Fredericton, and most of all, the creativity of her photography and artist friends.

Carol is now coping with Post Polio Syndrome, and she is confined to an electric wheelchair (indoors) and a three-wheel scooter (outdoors). Because of the very limited usage of her hands, she can handle only a small camera with a tilt screen. Therefore, the tools of her trade are a Nikon point-shoot camera, several photo editing programs, her scooter, and her hometown of Fredericton, where she enjoys many outings that she calls “Scoot & Shoot.”

Over the past few years her photography has been featured in many local exhibits and sales in downtown Fredericton restaurants and in the City Hall Gallery. She has also addressed the city’s tourism market by applying her photos to several forms of souvenirs (post cards, magnets, calendars, jigsaw puzzles, etc.) that she sells to numerous businesses under the name of Fredericton Keepsakes (www.frederictonkeepsakes.com). Samples of her photography can be viewed at https://carol-randall.pixels.com. Her Email address is carolr@nbnet.nb.ca.


Chris Williams

Chris Williams is an educator who lives in St. Stephen, NB. He was inspired by his late grandmother to give painting a try to escape the stresses of life.

His painting began as a way to capture special memories of fishing (a favourite pastime), and to create gifts for his family. He is a self-taught artist, and he works with acrylic and watercolour mediums. He often uses his painting to help others, and he donates many pieces for fundraising efforts.

In 2021, Chris’s piece Last Light At Southwest Head was the third most popular piece in the Island Art Show at the Grand Manan Gallery, and we are pleased to welcome him back to the Gallery with his own solo show.

Chris Williams, Last Light at Southwest Head

Chris has lived in all four of the Maritime provinces and having a background in Marine Biology, he draws inspiration from the “Maritimer” way of life, outdoor adventures, and local wildlife. His exhibit Beyond the Beach is a collection of watercolor paintings highlighting the local marine life of Grand Manan.

Contact Chris by Email (reelescapeart@gmail.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReelEscapeArt), or Instagram (@reel_escape_art).


David McDonald

David was born in Cornwall, Ontario, and spent his career in forestry working across Canada and the northeastern United States. He finished his teaching career in Fredericton, NB, where he now resides.

During the 1980s, David carved and painted working and decorative duck decoys, and he also did some carvings in stone. Many of his decoys are with collectors across North America. He began painting in 2003, but it was not until 2010 that he began spending a fair portion of his free time in this pursuit. With the exception of a two year hiatus, he has been painting almost full time since retiring in 2013.

David says, “I paint exclusively in oils, originally with a knife although more recently with cloth and brush. My subjects range from still life to landscape to abstract. I have not taken any classes or lessons, but rather enjoy learning through trial and error. I paint purely from imagination. I prefer to paint large format pieces, seldom less than 16 x 20 in. When I approach a canvas I have no idea what I am going to paint. I apply paint somewhat randomly until an object or feeling appears on the canvas. I then develop the painting from there. The finished canvas seldom appears as it did in the initial stages.”

David McDonald, The Clam Diggers

Painting allows David a release of emotion. “Dance like nobody is watching” is how he paints. “Often I will compose a verse or poem and write it on the back of the canvas, he says. “I write these after the painting is completed. They reflect my thoughts on the painting, or what I felt as it evolved. The verse often provides a further insight into who I am. The act of painting – the success and failure – are often more fulfilling for me than the finished product.”

In 2019 David had a great solo show at the Grand Manan Gallery, and in 2021, his painting The Clam Diggers was the second most popular work in the Island Art Show. We are pleased to welcome him back to the Gallery.


Debb Ferris Bates

Debb says, “I have always had a zest for life, and I was known as the artsy one in my family.” After high school Debb took on a creative job at a sign shop in Fredericton, and soon after she started her own graphic design business called Feminine Touch Signs. It was not until the passing of her grandmother in 1998 that she began painting and drawing again, and it was then that she found her true passion. In 2003, she took her first life drawing class at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She fell in love with creating, not only using oil paints, but also with graphite and charcoal pencils. When asked what medium she prefers, Debb says, ” Oh, I love them all!”

Debb has been the Artist in Residence at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in Fredericton since 2012, and she creates portraits of the six new inductees who are chosen every year. Debb’s work is well known and admired by our Gallery members and visitors. Her portrait of Albert Einstein was the second most popular work in the 2018 Square Foot Show, and in 2019 she exhibited more of her extraordinary portraits as part of a group show by six Fredericton women (The Palettes). In 2021 her portrait titled Acceptance was the most popular piece in our Island Art Show.

Debb Ferris Bates, Foxy Lady

Debb’s work has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally as well. In 2020 her submission featuring her son Corey was short listed out of 880 entries in a Canada wide Princess Auto Cover Design contest. In 2019 she was short listed in a Protest Art Contest to create a design depicting the story of Viola Desmond, a Canadian civil and women’s rights activist and businesswoman of Black Nova Scotian descent who challenged racial segregation at a cinema in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1946. Debb’s image was chosen to be part of a display of outdoor murals at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow.

In 2017 Faber-Castell of Germany, one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of office and art supplies, and fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld put out a contest design, with the theme “Karl at Work.” Participants were asked to design what they thought Karl Lagerfeld’s studio looked like. Debb’s design placed in the top 10 amongst 1500 applicants, and was the only short listed entry from Canada.

Debb is well known for her portraits of people, but for her Grand Manan show titled Beauty In Our Backyards, she has created wonderful paintings of animals, old vehicles, and flowers that she has seen in her own backyard, or in the backyards of others.

Debb can be contacted by Email (debbsart5@gmail.com), phone (506-452-7884), or Instagram (@Debbsart).


Janice O’Neill

As a child Janice loved to create, build, color and draw, and a high school trip to Italy ignited her interest in the formal arts and especially architecture. After obtaining degrees in biology and environmental design, Janice completed a Master of Environmental Design in Architecture. Drawing and painting courses at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design during this time led to her first serious venture into painting using watercolors.

Practicing architecture and then moving into public sector executive man-agement, while balancing family life, left little time for self-pursuits. However, the creative spark was nurtured through a sprinkling of painting and creating workshops/courses with professional artists over the years, and delving into oils for the first time at a Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Center was a ‘gotcha moment.’ While Janice continues to paint in watercolor and acrylic, oil is her favorite medium. She loves participating in workshops, exhibitions and en plein air events to grow her art, meet fellow artists and to share her work with others.

Janice O’Neill, Storm Approaching Woodwards Cove

A recent move to St. Andrews, on the Bay of Fundy coast, has enabled Janice to explore the intersection of land, sea and sky in her work more fully. She is intrigued with the dance of art and science that she first experienced with architecture , and which now weaves into her paintings. The intersection of built and natural form within its environment is a common theme in her work. She has two criteria for selecting her subject- it captures her eye through any of color, form, composition or light, and it evokes a strong feeling-a tug at her heart- through its imagined stories.

Landscapes, seascapes and buildingscapes comprise much of her work and she paints both en plein air and in studio. Janice’s work can be found in private collections in Canada, United States and Costa Rica.

Janice says, “My exhibition On the Edge – Bay of Fundy Moments, is a group of works that capture snippets of times past and present along the majestic Bay of Fundy coast in Charlotte County. Places that are not so famous, humble but visually rich and intriguing. The cry of the gulls, pungent seaweed, curious onlookers and the force of the wind enhanced my experience of these special places.”


John O’Donnell

John’s passion for taking pictures began on a trip to Italy in 2006. He is largely self taught in the art of photography, and most of his photos take inspiration from the daily goings-on, and the natural beauty surrounding both his home in Vermont, and his summer home on Grand Manan.

Relatively new to the world of photography, John spent most of his previous adult life teaching physics at Vermont Technical College, coaching baseball and hockey, and raising a family in Central Vermont.

John O’Donnell, Rocks At Red Point

Although John has multiple ties to the Maritimes, he didn’t discover Grand Manan until the winter of 2007. One trip was all it took to decide it was the place to buy a home by the sea.

It was on Grand Manan that John developed a keen interest in birds, aquatic mammals, the patterns of the waves, and the beauty in barnacles, all common subjects in John’s photographs. While John loves capturing the play of fog or light on local landscapes, he also delights in discovering the magic of the minutiae in things like tide pools or wildflowers.


Maboubé Heilscher

Maboubé says, “Painting has held my interest since childhood. The arts reflect the soul of our society and awaken noble feelings. It is an important means to the education and development of humanity. The study of art is a place where we can perceive the nobility of mankind, as well as the decline or the rise of a society.”

Maboube Heilscher, The Old Dock

Maboubé studied various visual arts at the École des Arts du Valais in Switzerland for nearly two years, and she furthered her artistic experiences with diverse instructors in Switzerland, France, and Canada (Fredericton). Their styles and knowledge helped her to study on her own using different mediums such as oil, pastel, watercolor, and wax. Her paintings have been exhibited in various locations in Switzerland, and in and around Fredericton over the last 40 years.

According to Maboubé, the beauty of a painting is in the eye of the beholder. When speaking about art, there seems to be no barriers between countries and man. The word “stranger” does not exist in art, for it is a universe without words, only vast sentiments, and emotions. Without art, the world would receive a fatal blow to culture, society, and progression. Maboubé likes to quote Plato who wrote, “Arts and society are inseparable.”


Marg Currie

Marg says, “I fell in love with the coastal lifestyle, and when I would visit Grand Manan it just felt like heaven. I am so blessed that my partner Joe and I got the opportunity to move to the island. I get much of my inspiration from the beauty of the landscape and the people who live and work here.”

Marg Currie, Whale Of A Time

Marg has found a way to combine her love of photography and painting with yarn as her medium. She spends a lot of time on sourcing beautiful wool yarns both local and from away.

Marg says, “I love working with fibres and using vibrant, and at times unexpected, colours in my work. I have to give credit to my sister Moe for sending me my first rug hooking kit when the pandemic first started. I am now making my own patterns and I am definitely hooked for life!


Melanie Craig-Hansford

In 1982 Melanie studied painting in Florence, Italy for a year, and she graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984, and a Bachelor of Art Education in1985. She taught High School Visual Art in Alberta and Ontario from 1986 until 2004, and in 2004 she took on the role of Teacher and Librarian at LaSalle Secondary School in Kingston, Ontario.

Melanie retired in 2014, and moved to Hampton, NB where she now dedicates time to her two passions: making art and writing poetry. She has been involved in The Arts and Culture Centre of Sussex for many years. I was in a group show there in 2016 and March of 2022. She has taught workshops and classes in drawing, acrylic painting and watercolour, and she has also been involved in many art festivals, and art markets. She will have a solo show at the Saint John Arts Centre in March of 2023. Her illustrated poetry manuscript has been accepted for publication by Chapel Street Editions in Woodstock.

Melanie Craig-Hansford, Cliffs Of Grand Manan

Melanie likes to quote Anais Nin who once said “We see things not as they are, but as we are.” Melanie believes that this is the root of all art. To share the essence of who we are in the hope that someone will connect to that essence. Art becomes the record of our journey to the centre of ourselves, so to speak; a vehicle to communicate the experience of connection we felt when we were making art.

Melanie says, “I was born in Saint John, but I had no idea that the landscape of southern New Brunswick would become so important to my creative process. For the last two summers I have spent time on Grand Manan exploring the many beautiful hiking trails, beaches and vistas, and I have fallen in love with the landscape of this wonderful island.

Melanie’s show titled What My Eyes Can Hold includes landscape paintings in watercolour, ink and acrylic, and mixed media.

Her Email address is craighansford@hotmail.ca


Sean O’Hare

After a dozen or so years living in Canada’s Northwest Territories my wife and I made the move to Grand Manan Island. It wasn’t until 2020 that my interest in wildlife and landscape photography was rekindled.

I think that it is important to find the positives in a situation whenever possible. For example, although 2020 was an awful year, the imposed lockdowns due to the coronavirus helped push me towards picking up a camera after a twenty plus year pause from photography.

Sean O’Hare, Reflection In A Drop

Embracing this new world of digital photography has been a massive learning curve. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s when I was an avid landscape and nature photographer, new technology in photography generally meant what cool new slide film just came out, and how best to shoot it! Today we have an enormous array of digital camera gear, and an even more diverse list of computer programs for editing photos. All come with new sets of skills needed in order to best utilize them.

Although I tend to focus more on landscape and wildlife photography, I also enjoy other avenues of photography such as abstract, still life, and food photography. I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I am enjoying the ride.

Sean’s website is seanoharephotography.com, and his Email address is soharephoto@gmail.com.


Stewart Stein

Stewart Stein is an award-winning photographer based in Toronto, and a 2019 recipient of a Blue Ribbon from the International Federation of Photographic Art.

His passion for photography began with the discovery of a Bakelite developing tank in the basement of his family home in Montreal. Used in pre-digital days to process 35mm film negatives, the tank belonged to his father who used that opportunity to teach Stewart the basics of film photography including darkroom techniques. While Stewart’s “darkroom” is now in his computer, the magic of capturing images and processing them is still as enticing to him now as it was at age 11.

Stewart has travelled extensively including annual trips to Grand Manan since 2013 when he first visited the Island to take a watercolour painting workshop with Barry Coombs. Stewart says, “Stepping off the ferry the first time reminded me of the summer vacations we took as a family in Old Orchard, Maine. The connection to Grand Manan is a link back to some really joyful times.”

Stewart Stein, Fish Light

The painting workshops also provided extensive opportunities to explore GM with his camera and a constant pursuit of images that capture his visceral connection to the island. Of special interest are the weathered heritage structures, the unspoiled nature of the island and its wildlife.

Light figures prominently in many of Stewart’s interests whether photography, watercolour painting or astronomy. Careful observation of the interplay of light and shadow inform both photography and painting. As for astronomy, “Grand Manan has wonderfully dark skies and if you know where to look, you can see one of the most distant objects observable with the naked eye…the Andromeda Galaxy. When a photon of light from Andromeda crashes into the retina at the back of your eye, it is ending a journey that started 2.4 million years ago. Pretty thrilling stuff!”