You might have heard of Saint John’s history as a major port and historic city, but did you realize it has some serious street cred as an artistic powerhouse too?
If you know where to look there’s plenty to find. Here are 8 ways to get your culture on in Saint John.
Sarah Jones Gallery and Studio
Sarah Jones’ gallery and Studio was ahead of the tiny house trend by over a century. Sarah’s massive dog fills the small space but there’s still room for her gorgeous paintings of the city.
73 Duke Street, opening hours vary
If the great outdoors is where you find your muse, then hit up Trinity Galleries. Its walls are bursting with brilliant colour from dramatic landscapes by artists like Andrea Blanar and Mark Brennan – whose paintings of places like Fundy National Park will wrap you in the warm glow of a Maritime sunset and transport you miles away from cars, crowds and cellphones.
128 Germain Street, Tuesday – Saturday
Elwood’s Wood Lab
For addicts of all things design, and furniture aficionados, Elwood’s Wood Lab is your new obsession. Packed with mid-century style wooden furniture and lighting, these guys have a flair for restoration and many pieces feature reclaimed wood or other repurposed details. Beautiful and ethical – Brad Pitt would approve.
91 Princess Street, Monday – Sunday
Vinyl fans make a pilgrimage to Backstreet Records. Filled with everything from Dolly Parton to Dr. Dre, you’ll find the latest hipster album or that old classic you’ve been hunting for to complete your collection.
124 Germain Street, Monday – Saturday
If you like to wear your creative heart on your sleeve, then wrap yourself in some Good Fibrations. A store completely dedicated to the wonders of wool, owner and fibre artist Liz Miller sells hand-dyed yarns, and woven textiles including clothing and blankets. If you’re lucky then you might even see the big wooden loom in action.
90 Germain Street, Monday – Saturday
You won’t be able to resist the unique crafts and arts lining the shelves of Handworks Gallery. From the whimsical mugs of MNO Pottery (made just an hour away) to the witchy teapots of Ghita Levin, and the incredible woven patterns that Andrea Butler uses to bring antique chairs back to life – you’ll soon understand why Handworks is more like a way of life than a shopping trip.
12 King Street, Monday – Saturday
Saint John Arts Centre
For history buffs whose imaginations make a beeline for the past, the Saint John Arts Centre should not to be missed. Ever wondered what Saint John looked like in its earliest days? Check out the stunning mural by legendary Saint John artist Fred Ross, commemorating the founding of the city by Loyalists in the 1780s.
The building, which once housed the city’s library, is worth a visit for its architectural features alone – which include the rotunda and the original mosaic tile floor imported from Minton Hollins in Staffordshire, England.
20 Peel Plaza, Tuesday – Saturday
Britt’s Pub & Eatery
All that art appreciation can be thirsty work. Fortunately Britt’s Pub can let you quench your thirst while still basking in Saint John’s art history. In addition to great food and local beer, you’ll enjoy murals on the wall by Saint John-born artist Chris Lloyd, The name of the pub is a nod to one of the city’s most famous artists, Miller Brittain, who had a studio two floors above the pub back in the 1930s.
No starving artists here!
42 Princess Street, Monday – Sunday