Art at the airport

Here at YSJ, another way that we connect to our community is by showcasing some of the best it has to offer.  We have the opportunity to display and share some amazing artwork by local artists– and with different artists being featured all the time, there is always something new to see.

Art Gallery Gallery Cases Welcome Wall Saint John Airport Permanent Collection Archive Galleries

Art Gallery

Toby Graser

To describe Toby Graser’s work over the past thirty years as genuinely expressive, as work which conveys visual strength and as work which flows from within, would appear to be quite accurate. Toby claims that for her ‘the true importance of art lies in the realm of the imagination and of feeling….trying to make visible what is felt as an urge, sensation, an emotional response.
The challenge is to create a work that is complete enough to convey to the viewer a clear and direct image, but to have that image function not as an end but rather he beginning of a continuing aesthetic experience.
She says “like a musician I feel no obligation to mirror the realities of the physical world in my creations, but as in music, the necessity exists to make any artistic statement coherent ,complete and a vehicle of communication.”
Graser always works in series, exploring the imaginative possibilities of a particular combination of shape, colour and texture.
In recent years she has been drawn to collage “for its power to express the sense of something beneath the surface, a peeling away of another dimension, another time, another life.” As a visual artist Toby Graser works hard and works well.
Over the past thirty years she has had more than forty solo exhibitions of her work. A major retrospective of her work toured Canada between 1992 and 1995.
She has participated in countless group exhibitions, exhibiting extensively in the Maritimes, as well as in the rest of Canada and New York
Toby Graser’s work has been the subject of numerous publications over the past two decades. Her work is found in many public collections: The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, The Dep. Of External Affairs, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the New Brunswick Museum.
In Addition she is represented in more than 60 corporate collections in North America and Europe.
- Peter Buckland

Gallery Cases Current exhibit: January 2017 to Present

Sophia Bella

Sophia came to Canada, leaving her home in Slovakia, almost 50 years ago. For many years she taught art in schools in Saint John and later at Belleisle Regional High School. Since retiring, Sophia has had more time to spend on her artwork. Over the years she has worked in many art and craft mediums, including clay, drawing, painting, batik and the art of bobbin lace.
All through her adult life, landscapes and houses in them, have fascinated Sophia. The paintings in this display - depicting Northern Slovakia - are older watercolours that she has re-worked using markers.

Amer Alasali

Amer and his family were welcomed to Saint John in 2016 as refugees fleeing the war in their home country of Syria. Most of the boxes in this display were made before the family came to Canada, when they lived in Syria and Egypt.

The Damascene wood mosaic is one of the oldest and most distinguished traditional handicrafts in
Damascus, Syria. It is used decoratively on furniture and wood boxes. Amer learned the art of crafting Damascene wood mosaic from his father at the age of 15 and has been crafting wood mosaics ever since. The handicraft uses various types of coloured woods including Rosewood, Walnut, Almond and Eucalyptus. You will also find materials like seashells intricately webbed into designs. Being able
to make something beautiful and pleasing from simple materials and watch it take form is a great joy and it Amer's hope that his craft will bring joy to others.


Siyi Xin (Eason)

Siyi Xin (Eason) was born in Beijing, China, in 1975 and became a new immigrant to Saint John two years ago with his family of five. Before he came to Canada, he had a successful career as a professional photographer working for Canon China as a senior consultant and was a member of China Photographers Association.
In his past 20 year’s professional career, he has captured countless images not only from China but from around the world. He feels each photo has its own story and leaves a wonderful memory.
Besides taking photos for his new community, he has been committed to Destination Canada for promoting Canadian tourism with his images, not only for overseas Chinese but also the Chinese inside China. Photos from his lens have captivated hundreds and thousands of Chinese viewers online and helped them appreciate Canada’s beauty, particularly the attractions from the Maritimes.
Mr. Xin and his family have been very active members in our multicultural community since they arrived. The eight photos exhibited here were selected from images of past years’ Asian Heritage Month celebrations taken by Mr. Xin. They form a small window that showcases what a dynamic and diverse culture we have in Saint John.
He has now established his new Kojiabe Image Design Studio and is becoming well known in the community. His motto: images cannot change the world, but they can record beautiful moments.

Welcome Wall Current exhibit: September 2016 – Present

croppedimage160160 brian comeau
Brian Comeau

Brian lives along the Bay of Fundy in Saint John with his wife and three children. His inspiration is drawn from the natural beauty of the Maritimes, with its picturesque landscapes, majestic coastlines and beautiful lakes and rivers. The Bay of Fundy, with its highest tides in the world and rocky rugged coastlines, is a favourite destination for Brian. 

croppedimage160160 rob roy
Rob Roy

Well-known New Brunswick photographer Rob Roy lives and works in the historic Trinity Royal area of Saint John. Although Rob has worked as a commercial photographer, he is best known for his artistic projects, which are particularly evident in his book Saint John (first published in 2004 and reprinted in 2013). This much loved book brings together everyday scenes of Saint John and has been a must-have book for visitors and residents of the city. 

Saint John Airport Permanent Collection

Fred Harrison

Fred says of himself, “I love to paint big.” A native of London, Ontario, Fred came to New Brunswick to take part in the Sussex Mural Celebration. While working here, he became captivated by the beauty of this province, and he is now at home in a small cottage in the wilds of Goshen. 

Although Fred has done many pieces of public art, his paintings can also be found hanging on the walls of many homes in New Brunswick and beyond.

michael mcquay
Michael McQuay

Native to Waterloo, Ontario, Michael worked as a commercial photographer in Toronto for many years. Sixteen years ago, seduced by the open space and brilliance of the Saint John River Valley, he traded urban life for rural. A self-taught artist, since 2001 he and his partner Cyndi Brittain have designed and produced original work from their Queenstown studio.

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