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Learning (Guiding Principles Series)

by: Deanna Musgrave

Learning is a circular painting celebrating the grey/silver school colour of Maplehurst Middle School which represents activities that foster learning. In this piece, the school’s mascot (a husky) learns by observing nature and butterflies. An abstract shape represents the forming of a dendrite within the brain, which are building blocks to learning skills. The large dendrite points to a basketball net from the playground, as well as a badminton racket." - Deanna Musgrave

This piece is part of Deanna Musgrave's public art project, "Guiding Principles". In 2021-2022, "Guiding Principles" was commissioned by the Province of New Brunswick for Maplehurst Middle School as part of the Public Art Policy for New Brunswick.

To create the underpainting and cloud-like forms of her work, Musgrave applies a process she calls “watermarking” using significant objects, pigment and water to create marks on the canvas collected from the community. The school contributed objects that represented their story or the guiding principles of learning, community, wellness and diversity. 

Small deanna musgrave Deanna Musgrave
Saint John, New Brunswick artist, Deanna Musgrave, is best known for her monumental paintings and public artwork such as, “Cloud” (2015), which is part of the collection of the University of New Brunswick; displayed at the Hans Klohn Commons building in Saint John, and measures 10’ high and 56’ long, as well as, “Nest” which covers the entire pedway between Saint John City Hall and Market Square. Her most recent public artwork, “Mirror” (2019), was unveiled at the Carleton North High School in Florenceville-Bristol and includes two back-to-back 6’6” circular paintings. Her work “Tropos” (2011/19), which measures 8’ high and 48’ long, recently found a permanent home at the University of New Brunswick’s (Fredericton) new Kinesiology building.

Musgrave has had a solo exhibition of her works in each year since her graduation from the Mount Allison Fine Arts program in 2005. Early on in her career, she was selected by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2007 for the Studio Watch Award aimed at introducing promising new artists to the public and later included in “Off the Grid: Abstract Art in New Brunswick” at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2014.

Musgrave is devoted to researching when Art is the Healer™. She completed her thesis titled “Connecting Crossmodal Interactions in Visual Music to create ‘Mindful’ Experiences” as part of her Master of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick. She is also trained in consulting hypnosis and various forms of energy healing which she utilizes to assist clients and create art. Through her part-time position as artist-teacher of collectionArtNB’s “VanGo!” program, she visits schools across the province to share the art collection and lead students in workshops focused on what she terms “Mindful Guided Art.” She looks forward to continuing to research and share how intuition, empathy and healing can be developed and enhanced through transformative art.

Musgrave’s research passions also include the connections between art and music, which she lectured about at Mount Allison University’s Brunton Auditorium, as part of the Sackville Early Music Festival in the fall of 2018. Her art openings often involve musical collaborations with the musicians and composers of New Brunswick.
Her work has been enthusiastically reviewed by the New Brunswick media, and she has won numerous grants and awards from the New Brunswick Arts Board, Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick. Her work is featured in many public collections.

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collectionArtNB currently has approximately 960 pieces of artwork in our collection. These have been acquired throughout the past 50 years.

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