Monday, September 24, 2007

Lucy Jarvis

Lucy was a bit younger than this when I met her at Madge Smith's gallery and gift shop in downtown Fredericton in 1951 and 1952. I was in town attending Teachers' College. As a sixteen year old I had little interest in that profession, but my parents has insisted that I get out there and do something.

I learned that Lucy had worked at a number of mundane jobs in Fredericton before teaming up with another budding artist, Pegi Nicol MacLeod. The two of them conspired with Margaret MacKenzie, wife of the University of New Brunswick's President to turn the derelict university observatory building into an art centre. During the war years from 1939 until 1946 taught art here and at the Provincial Normal School (later Teachers' College) and traveled the road to self sufficiency by taking up a rural circuit distributing National Film Board productions to the outback. When the war ended the university belatedly recognized Lucy's contributions by making her a full faculty member and Director of Art. She kept this position until 1960. By the time I came into her realm scientists had reclaimed the old observatory building and the U.N.B. Art Centre was shifted into a quonset hut at the back of the campus.

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