Beaverbrook Art Gallery Gets Sweet on Art in Florenceville August 12 and in Edmundston on August 14

Beaverbrook Art GalleryAugust 4, 20160 Comments

Beaverbrook Art Gallery Gets Sweet on Art in Florenceville August 12th and in Edmundston on August 14th


Fredericton, N.B., August 4, 2016 – Join staff from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and renowned artist Franz Spohn in Florenceville on Friday, August 12, 2016, from 3 to 5 pm, or in Edmundston on Sunday, August 14, 2016, from 12 noon to 2 pm, and recreate oversized versions of artworks entirely out of an uncommon medium: gumballs!

In Florenceville, participants will work together to recreate celebrated Canadian painter Alex Colville’s Boy, Dog, and River during the Festival of Flavour. This free event will be open to all, and is being organized in partnership with the Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery. Members of the public of all ages are invited to take part in the creation of this large mural, which will measure nearly 6’x10’ when it is complete, and which will incorporate over 19,000 gumballs arranged in 150 acrylic tubes. 

In Edmundston, participants are invited to take part in creating a 12’ long version of Claude Monet’s Waterlilies as part of the area’s Fête de l’Acadie, using more than 25,000 gumballs and 200 acrylic tubes. This free event is open to all, and will take place at the New Brunswick Botanical Garden.

Participants will receive a clear acrylic tube, as well as a long paper strip indicating the colour of each gumball to be inserted into the tube, and in what order they appear—so guests work with Spohn to create these artworks. With each participant or group responsible for a single tube, participants can watch the gumballs be transformed by their community’s efforts into the final image.

Although not a common artistic medium, gumballs are something artist Franz Spohn knows well. This American mixed-media artist is known for his stunning artistic creations made from candy, ranging from portraits made from ice cream sprinkles to these much larger gumball murals.  His work has been displayed publically throughout North America since the late 1970s. He describes the process of these murals as “Art Alchemy.” Franz Spohn is also a dedicated art educator and currently teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.

“What I find extraordinarily fascinating and of value is the process itself,” he says. “Not so much in the physical construction of putting gumballs in tubes, but with the sense of community and cooperation. It is only through the communal effort that this happens. My tube of gum may not look like anything but a random assortment of individual pieces of gum, but within the context of the whole (everyone else's tubes) an image forms—especially when you step back. The group helps each other and transforms these common, "worthless" items into something quite remarkable and precious. This act of transformation also indicates how a bonded community can create something out of nothing; the value is essentially in the community and not the material goods.”

Spohn has led numerous public art making sessions in this style all over North America, including three as part of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s pre-renovation event on January 23rd, where children and families recreated van Gogh’s Starry Night in the afternoon, and adult guests recreated Lawren Harris’ Lake and Mountain; and C.M. Coolidge’s A Friend in Need, better known by its series name, Dogs Playing Poker in the evening in a boisterous and bustling event space. “Spohn’s collective approach to art turns visitors into co-artists and engages them in an entertaining and energetic way,” says Beaverbrook Art Gallery Director/CEO and Chief Curator Terry Graff. “In our role as the art gallery of New Brunswick, we are always looking for ways to connect New Brunswickers with visual art, and connect with other communities. This collaboration with Spohn, and with these two wonderful New Brunswick institutions, helps us fulfill that goal.”

This project is organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and made possible thanks to the generous support of Ann McCain Evans, and by the participation of the Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery, and the New Brunswick Botanical Garden. These events are free and open to all members of the public.


Media: High-res images available upon request.

About the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and International works of art. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery “enriches life through art”. As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enriches life through art.
La Galerie d'art Beaverbrook enrichit la vie par l'art.

About the Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery

ALMAG is a non-profit, community art gallery operating on the banks of the St. John River in Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick. The gallery operates year round, exhibiting local and regional artists and offers a broad range of educational programming. The gallery provides a professional venue and cultivates a broader appreciation and knowledge of the arts in New Brunswick. To learn more, please visit, or call 506.392.6769.

Media Contacts

Jeremy Elder-Jubelin
Manager of Communications and Visitor Services
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
703 Queen Street, P.O. Box 605
Fredericton, NB
E3E 5A6
Phone: (506) 458-2039
Fax: (506) 458-2028

Bryanne Thomas
Interim Director & Curator
8 McCain Street Unit 1
Florenceville-Bristol, NB
E7L 3H6

Jean Aucoin
New Brunswick Botanical Garden
CP 1629, St-Jacques, N.-B., E7B 1A3
Phone: (506) 737-3836

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