The art of abstract
North Sydney man to open new art gallery on Monday
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.
Donald (Duck) Squarey stands in front of his work at the Neon Swamp Gallery which he will open Monday in North Sydney.