About The Dandy
The Origins of a name
In 1882 Oscar Wilde visited and spoke at city hall in Fredericton. As it was described in the October 5, 1882 edition of The Fredericton Evening Capitol the audience “found themselves actually face to face with the stockings and shoe buckles, the lace cuffs and frills, about which so much has been written.” And later in the article his lecture was described as “the good common sense which marked the lecturer’s address was a pleasing contrast to the impression of effeminacy, rather than of the beauty, left by his costume.
Five minutes after the lecture had begun, 25 students from UNB marched in to the lecture “ridiculously garnished (although) they appeared to be decently dressed” Wearing sunflowers in their buttonholes with canes and bouquets and “periodically broke out in uproarious applause, stomping their feet, and mock plaudits as they needled Wilde on his main points.”
Wilde, it is said, was too smart to battle the students, he said “They were highly intelligent looking boys, all of them. They had their fun and I did not mind.”
Whether they were there to mock him for his style and demeanour or they were there showing their appreciation of it, the intent is now lost to history. But what remains is the fact that no one mocks Oscar Wilde anymore.
Fredericton has throughout its history been a Center for fine art and everyday art and will continue far into the future.
So the message to take away is be yourself, make your art, indulge your creativities and don’t be afraid of what and who you are.
Because at the end of the day, if you are ahead of your time, that just means time has to catch up to you.
Early on in the pandemic lockdown, Me, pushing 50, and my daughter, a tween, had a big canvas and decided to do a painting together. Neither of us have what we would call art skills. The rules were simple, paint whatever we want, wherever we wanted until the canvas was full and the painting was done. It took us a number of sessions as the canvas is fairly large. But in the end we had a nice large painting to hang in our living room that, although might not match the decor perfectly, was done by the two of us and we will always have the memory of the time spent making our painting.
To me art isn’t about the skill level of the artist, how well one can traditionally draw or paint. It is about the story behind the art. How it makes you feel when you look at it. The memories it evokes. Much like the memories as a child of baking cookies with your parents but the art lasts way longer than my cookies ever did.
While we may not all be able to paint the Mona Lisa, and the story might not convince the Canadian government to pay 1.8 million dollars for our painting of three stripes, all our art and the stories that go along with it are worthy and meaningful to us.
But maybe some days you just want to paint a picture of a troll doll using a unicorn as an umbrella while donuts rain from cotton candy clouds
And that’s ok too!