It is a fitting tribute in the 2015 Year of Craft that The Gallery at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design is getting a more personalized name. On Thursday, October 15, the ribbon cutting ceremony will officially celebrate the naming of The George Fry Gallery.
George Fry was an enthusiastic promoter of fine craft and fine craft artisans, achieving recognition for New Brunswick artists across Canada and internationally. George Fry served as Director of Crafts for the Province of New Brunswick from 1976, when it was known as the Craft Branch, and Director of the Craft School (now New Brunswick College of Craft and Design) from 1976-1993.
To commemorate this milestone event, The George Fry Gallery will host an exhibition in honour of George, and his extensive work in theatre, entitled All the World’s A Stage. This is a unique opportunity to be immersed in a creative swirl that celebrates mask making, colour, culture, drawing, design, costume, set design, and storytelling. Characters come alive in vivid colours and pop out of intricately designed books of many playful styles, including the classic pop-up style books and impressively detailed and surprisingly long, and beautifully finished accordion style books (that can also be viewed on his website, georgefrycreates.ca). George Fry was involved in more than 45 exhibitions (many solo) from 1973 – 2011, creating in earnest as a full-time artist when he retired in 1993.
George Fry’s work is held in collections that include the New Brunswick Museum, University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Crafts Council, and the Commonwealth Institute in London, England. In 1992, he was honoured with a certificate of recognition from the New Brunswick Arts Board, and received a national award for a local, special interest television show. In 1994 he collected a founding member award from the Atlantic Crafts Trade Show. He was twice nominated for the Strathbutler Award, and in 2003 was presented with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Then in 2004 he was included in Who’s Who in Canada. He was an Honorary Member of the New Brunswick Crafts Council and Canadian Crafts Council.
George Fry was born on December 26, 1929 in Bromley, Kent, England and died on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at the Saint John Regional Hospital.