Our Canada – Mobiles in the Saint John City Market
Now in its third year, the Saint John City Market “Mobiles in the Market” community art project has grown in both popularity and size and has become a highly anticipated display that excites both citizens and visitors to the Market. Over 400 hand-painted mobiles depicting Canadian icons – the beaver, canoe, loon, maple leaf, and Inuksuk – now hang from the Market rafters, where they will remain on display until late 2015. This year’s project was a collaborative effort between the City of Saint John, the Saint John City Market Merchants Association, local artists, and over 1,450 children and staff, who represent 21 schools from both school districts and a daycare.
Saint John City Market Manager, Kevin Loughery, takes the lead on the project every year, and says that the City and market merchants are pleased with its growth and the uptake it gets from the community, “The project has become a highly anticipated and talked about display that excites citizens and visitors to the Market,” said Loughery. “A tremendous amount of work goes into the project. From start to finish, it engages local children, teachers, local artists, the business community, City staff, and a charitable cause that, in turn, reaches back out to support our larger Saint John region.”
In 2013, the project’s first year, 250 mobiles were hand painted by students across the Greater Saint John area. With more schools now participating, that number has almost doubled.
“The Anglophone South School District is pleased to once again partner with the Saint John City Market. We encourage our students to engage in global citizenship and give back to our community, which is a perfect fit with the Canadiana theme at the Market this year, the Butterfly project last year, and the year before that Hooked on the Market project. Every year we get more interest from our schools and the creativity we are seeing is amazing. Our students and teachers take great pride in the artwork they create and it is exciting for them to know that their talents will be shared with the community and tourists throughout the summer months. We are very fortunate to benefit from wonderful partnerships such as the one forged with the Saint John City Market.”
“The Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain is very excited to have participated in this wonderful project. This was a very positive experience for our students and they are proud to contribute to a project of this magnitude. Thank you for allowing us to take part in this,” said France Maillet, Vice Principal, Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain.
The artwork will be on display in the City Market until late 2015, after which time the pieces will be sold for charity. All proceeds will go to support the annual Harbour Lights Campaign, to help feed those in need through local food banks from Sussex to St. Stephen. Between the Mobiles in the Market project and Market at Night event where the artwork is auctioned, the Saint John City Market was able to donate close to $3,500 to the Harbour Lights Campaign last year.
The public is invited to join market merchants, City of Saint John staff, and representatives from Anglophone South School District and District scholaire francophone Sud for an official unveiling of the mobiles on Monday, June 15 at 11:00 a.m. at the bottom of the market (near the escalators).
Visit the City Market, Monday to Saturday, 47 Charlotte Street, Saint John, NB. www.sjcitymarket.ca