ALISON GAYTON . UPTOWN SAINT JOHN COTW . MAY 3-7

photo courtesy of Ann Quigley

You may recognize Alison as a familiar face to uptown Saint John. She adds such a unique brilliance to the city and one can't help but smile and feel happy in her presence. Alison spreads her talents around the city in many ways; she is a potter with her signature mugs available for purchase at The Feel Good Store on Germain Street. She is the current president of Third Space…a funky artist run gallery, presently exhibiting at the New Brunswick Museum, teaches pottery classes and is the manager of Eastward Sales Limited on Union Street.

Let's find out more…

Where were you born?
St. Stephen, Charlotte County

Do you have any formal training?
I was fortunate enough to study pottery at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. It was because of my fantastic high school art teachers that I felt encouraged to pursue my love of craft. It was while studying political science at UNBSJ that I really honed my love of Saint John and vice versa. That's why I started my business:
'I Love Saint John Pottery.'

What has been your favorite project so far?
The Passages + Prototypes series. The New Brunswick Museum and third space gallery are jointly exhibiting a series of contemporary art works. Its so important to try new things, and I have found this project both informative and enriching. Its interesting to be a part of what goes on behind the scenes; I think everyone should give it a try.

Where do you work?…and for how long?
Ive been at 150 Union Street for a year and a half. Im the manager at ESL Art Supplies. Everyone in Saint John has a reason to come through the doors of the Art supply store, and its lovely to see them.

What do you like best about uptown Saint John?
Uptown Saint John is magnetic for goodness. I really love the Saint John City Market. Its important for me to pass through almost daily, just to get my fix of friendly faces, helpful advice, snacks, coffee and a general sense of connectedness. I feel at home with my pottery at the City Market, there is a true sense of belonging about it.

Who is your favourite musician?
My favorite Saint John musician is either Ken Tobias or Gary Flanagan.

What place on earth inspires you?
A couple of years ago, I had a magnificent experience on the water under the Reversing Falls Bridge with the Fundy Baykeeper, David Thompson. As the high slack tide began to empty, I felt the ocean pull at the river. The unstoppable power of the water, coupled with the imposing man-made structures of the bridges and the Pulp and Paper mill left me with a perpetual sense of awe for all three.

Secret indulgence?
I really like talking to random people on public transit and discovering all the things that we have in common; it helps me gain some perspective and improve my social skills.

Do you have any pets?
Crunchy is an only cat.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?
I like to eat breakfast at the Coffee Mill, but often I find myself calling a banana and some red rose tea breakfast.

What is your favourite drink?
Oh, coffee; always coffee.

Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall?
Fall

Do you have a nickname?
I have a lot of nicknames, some of them include: Ali-swan, skittle, me-Alison, Apsom, Muffintusk

What is your favourite hangout uptown?
I love to hang out at the Feel Good store. The vibe is awesome and I learn a lot of things about wellness, life, the universe and everything.

What book are you reading right now?
Tuesdays with Morrie and Animals in Translation

What is your favourite thing to wear?
While I was in Norway, my best friend and her husband wove the most fantastic, enormous, rainbow scarf for me. Its giant and long and warm as the sun.

Describe yourself in three words.
Wondering, Old-school, Raw.

“I 'heart' Saint John”…and Saint John 'hearts' Alison!

Check out the Third Space Gallery: www.thirdspacegallery.ca

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