Laurel Green:A Splash of Green!!!

Let’s see. Laurel Green loves the arts and appreciates everything associated with the arts. She’s new to Wolfville… do you think she’ll fit in and find something to do?

Laurel Green is from Upper Saint John River Valley, New Brunswick. She grew up on a Christmas tree farm in a small Scottish farming settlement outside the village of Perth-Andover. I can see the sign now: “Christmas trees for Sale… Have a GREEN Christmas.”

Laurel spent most of her childhood in the woods, playing and developing a love of nature. She says, “My two younger brothers and I would cut and pile firewood, trim trees, garden, tap maple trees, ski, snowshoe, hike and explore all together as a family. When it was too cold or rainy to be outside, my crafty mother always had the perfect art project(s) up her sleeve to spark and nurture our creativity.”

This practice inevitably resulted in Laurel obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. On top of that, she is only a semester away from obtaining her Education degree.

And what does Laurel do? Well… she states, “From a young age, I was artistically encouraged and I have always been captivated by art and music and its ability to describe and define people and places. I am inspired and fuelled by others’ creative passions and I guess I’ve been seeking creatively collaborative experiences my whole life. If I had to put a title on it, I would call myself a Creative Collaborator/Enabler. Nothing brings me more pleasure than to provide avenues for people to discover and reach their unique, creative potential having a hand in strengthening the cultural weave of a community.”

About 7 years ago, Laurel met some like-minded folks who were motivated to create some fun in their beautiful, albeit “sleepy,” little town. Thus, the River Valley Arts Alliance (RiVA) was formed. For 4 years, Laurel was the vice president of this grass-roots non-profit organization and co-organizer of RiVA’s flagship event, the Dooryard Arts Festival, a four-day art and music festival hosted annually on the banks of the Saint John River. Although it was an unpaid position, it was really the starting point of her career.

This hard work with RiVA led to Laurel being hired as the Assistant Director of the Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery (ALMAG) in Florenceville-Bristol, where she worked full-time for a year. At ALMAG, she had the opportunity to do everything from curatorial work to community event planning, facilitating and teaching programming and more. It was an incredible venue for her to foster and nurture the already-present artistic community in the area and provide new and exciting ways to engage people with the arts.

The desire for a new challenge and adventure (and maybe an outrageous love story!) resulted in Laurel relocating to the Annapolis Valley. This is the first time she has lived outside of her beloved home province, and as exciting and stimulating as it is, it has also been a bit of a struggle. After an unfortunate glitch with her initial employment arrangement with another arts organization here in the Valley, it took months for her to find any work at all. Then the job at Harvest Gallery came up and Laurel was ecstatic.

Laurel is currently working part time with Lynda MacDonald at Harvest Gallery, on Main Street in Wolfville, as her Artistic and Sales Associate. She is delighted for this opportunity to collaborate with Lynda and they are brimming with ideas! Laurel is looking forward to promoting and elaborating on the services that Harvest Gallery already provides, such as custom framing, in-house art consultations and hanging services. Laurel also plans to expand on services by maximizing the studio/classroom space downstairs at the Gallery through the development of more art programming for both youth and adults.

You can keep up with Harvest Gallery happenings or contact them through their website: www.harvestgallery.ca or “like” them on facebook. You can reach Laurel by email at gallery@harvestgallery.ca.

Plans for Laurel outside of work include finding ways to use her background in helping community projects. She’s looking into Deep Roots, the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, the Avondale Art Fair and more. She enjoys photography, painting and mixed-media assemblage projects. Laurel is embracing this area’s beautiful and rugged nature as inspiration for these and others projects. She also loves curling! So, between trees and rocks…she’s got nature and sports covered! I heard that Laurel’s efforts in the arts back home made her a fixture in the local newspaper, to the point where her family was shocked when her picture wasn’t in the paper every week. Well, she’s now a feature in OUR local paper, which should make her family giggle. And, I guess after all that, I can see Laurel fitting right in here in Wolfville. Summer is here, so why not paint the town with a splash of Green… Laurel Green!

Mike Butler