Silver soiree

Alisha Morrissey
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Eastern Edge celebrates 25th anniversary with auction and show

Gerry Squires, one of this province's most celebrated artists, says he knows what it's like to be a young struggling artist starting out.

"I'm still trying to survive," he says with a laugh. "It's not easy to survive as an artist, you know, it's not an easy life and they need support."

Above, Jean Claude Roy "Cobb's Arm" 24 x 36" framed oil on canvas 2008. Below left, Gerry Squires, "Ferryland Lighthouse," 4 colour lithography, 20" x 15." Below right, Louise Sutton, gultch, acrylic on paper, 15" x 18", 2005. - Submitted photos

Gerry Squires, one of this province's most celebrated artists, says he knows what it's like to be a young struggling artist starting out.

"I'm still trying to survive," he says with a laugh. "It's not easy to survive as an artist, you know, it's not an easy life and they need support."

So in support, Squires and a number of other big-name artists in this province have provided works to be auctioned off at the 25th anniversary gala and fundraiser celebrating the display-only, artist-run Eastern Edge Gallery.

"I've always supported the Eastern Edge Gallery. I mean, they've been there a long time and I know what it's like when you're young and mostly they're dealing with young artists ... and artists that are trying to make it," Squires says.

"I know when I was there, I certainly needed support and there wasn't so much around in those days. But I remember that and I do whatever I can to help."

Though he never showed his work at Eastern Edge Gallery, Squires was a member of the founding committee of the Resource Centre for the Arts, which grew into Eastern Edge.

"To send out invitations and mount shows ... they do it on very little money and they're to be congratulated and celebrated."

The silver anniversary will be celebrated as a fundraiser at the Johnson Geo Centre, with music from The Once and comedy from John Sheehan. As well, live and silent auctions featuring works by past and present members of Eastern Edge Gallery will help raise funds to be put back into running the gallery.

But the anniversary celebration, which has been planned since August, faces some unique challenges, including falling on the same night as no less than three other large events.

Anne Fagan, a member of the board of directors of Eastern Edge Gallery, says it will be a premiere event, but she's also aware that not all the tickets are sold yet.

"It's going to be a fabulous event ... it's 25 years, so it's going to be a big celebration," she says.

But St. John's audiences tend to buy their tickets late, and it's getting close this time, Fagan says.

"We're hoping that a lot is going to change in a couple of days."

Artists with pieces to be auctioned off include Will Gill, Pam Hall, Peter Drys-dale, Bonnie Ley-ton and Anita Singh.

Silent auction and door prizes range from dinners for two, to airline tickets, hotel and spa packages, and a tour of the Boreal Poetry Garden.

As a part of the celebrations, the gallery opened an exhibit Saturday called "Timeline" that also highlights the people who have been a part of Eastern Edge Gallery for the last 25 years.

amorrisey@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Eastern Edge Gallery, Resource Centre, Johnson Geo Centre

Geographic location: St. John's

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