The art of ab­stract

North Syd­ney man to open new art gallery on Mon­day

Cape Breton Post - - News - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

Don­ald (Duck) Squarey al­ways dreamed of open­ing his own art gallery, but a full-time job made that im­pos­si­ble.

But now, since his re­tire­ment a year ago, he has more time to fo­cus on his art­work.

His dreams will be­come re­al­ity on Mon­day when he opens the Neon Swamp Gallery at 5 Court St., North Syd­ney.

“All my life I was in­ter­ested in art — I’ve been paint­ing ab­stract for about 25 years,” said Squarey. “It was some­thing that al­ways in­ter­ested me, so when I did get into it, it just re­ally be­came a pas­sion.”

Squarey, 58, grew up in Syd­ney Mines, be­fore leav­ing the is­land to pur­sue his ca­reer in so­cial ser­vices with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, where he worked for close to 34 years. He moved back to Cape Bre­ton in 1987 and has been liv­ing in North Syd­ney ever since.

The art gallery will fea­ture ab­stract paint­ings by Squarey as well as pot­tery by Zitka Zgola of Wreck Cove and wood­carv­ings by Don­nie White from the North­side.

Squarey is look­ing for­ward to this new chap­ter in his life.

“With Marine At­lantic build­ing their new ter­mi­nal and mak­ing the ac­cess to the main street that much eas­ier for the trav­ellers, I thought this might be some­thing pas­sen­gers would en­joy see­ing in town,” said Squarey. “I think this is a great op­por­tu­nity to have my art ex­posed to a larger au­di­ence.”

Over the years Squarey has par­tic­i­pated in about 15 art shows, in­clud­ing a sold-out show fea­tur­ing his work at Cape Bre­ton Uni­ver­sity in the early 2000s.

“Even though I sold a cou­ple of pieces over the years, I was re­ally just paint­ing for my­self,” said Squarey.

Squarey’s paint­ings will be for sale at the gallery. Orig­i­nal can­vas paint­ings range from a low of $250 to a high of $650. He is also of­fer­ing prints and art cards for sale, all of which are signed.

The gallery will be a sea­sonal op­er­a­tion, run­ning un­til the end of Oc­to­ber. It will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for now, how­ever hours of op­er­a­tion are ex­pected to change in the fu­ture.

“I’m hop­ing at the end of the season it will be an op­tion for the Celtic Colours folks.”

Aside from tourism traf­fic, Squarey is hop­ing the gen­eral pub­lic will like the gal­ley as well.

“I think it’s great for the com­mu­nity. It’s some­thing dif­fer­ent, it’s not nec­es­sar­ily Celtic-themed,” said Squarey. “There is no doubt in my mind that there are peo­ple lo­cally that like ab­stract … but I do re­al­ize it’s pri­mar­ily a more tra­di­tional area for art,” said Squarey.

A pri­vate re­cep­tion to mark the open­ing of the gallery will take place this week­end, prior to the gallery open­ing to the gen­eral pub­lic on Mon­day.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Don­ald (Duck) Squarey stands in front of his work at the Neon Swamp Gallery which he will open Mon­day in North Syd­ney.

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