Arts Builder, Writer, and Printmaker Named to Sackville Arts Wall

Arts Builder, Writer, and Printmaker Named to Sackville Arts Wall

August 22, 2023              

On Thursday, October 12, 2023, the Sackville Arts Wall will be expanded with the addition of three new members — Janet Crawford (Arts Builder), Marilyn Lerch (Literary Arts), and Dan Steeves (Visual Arts – Print Making) bringing the number of honorees to a total of twenty-two.

The induction celebration, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday, October 12. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall (doors open at 5:30), and will conclude with unveiling of this year’s plaques at the nearby Arts Wall site on Main Street, overlooking the Waterfowl Park.

Initiated in 2008, the year of Sackville’s designation as a Cultural Capital of Canada, the Arts Wall recognizes the achievements of artists in the Sackville area who have attained international, national, or regional prominence distinction in three classifications: Literary Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. It also honours, in the category of Arts Builder, a Sackville and area citizen (or group) who has made a significant contribution to the cultural and artistic development of our community.

Every two years as many as four new members (one per category) may be added to the wall, as chosen by a jury from among candidates nominated by the public. The first members of the Arts Wall were named in 2009.

Arts Builder, Janet Crawford, is a multitalented artist and arts supporter. Janet has been a musical performer at many Sackville events and has recorded four albums with Ray Legere featuring original songs celebrating Sackville. Janet is also an accomplished visual artist with mosaic works in public and private spaces. Janet was selected as an Arts Builder because of the exceptional contributions she has made to the artistic and cultural development of our community.

This year’s Literary Arts recipient, Marilyn Lerch, settled in Sackville 27 years ago. Since then, she has published six widely acclaimed collections of poetry, and has collaborated with a host of musicians in the Maritimes and beyond who have turned her poems into scores and songs, including performances to festival and concert audiences in Halifax, Ottawa, and Vancouver. Among many accomplishments, from 2006 to 2010 Lerch was the President of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, and from 2014 to 2018 she was the Town of Sackville Poet Laureate.

Dan Steeves will be added to the wall for achievements in Fine Arts (print making). Dan is a graduate of Mount Allison University and has been a professional artist since 1981. He was previously the Printmaking technician at Mount Allison and is also a part-time lecturer. Dan is widely recognized for his work, and it has been displayed in galleries throughout Canada, the US, Europe, Japan and Beyond. He has authored several publications and has received many awards for his work. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts in 2011.