The History of Long and Brier Islands

Arts & Artist of Long and Brier Island

by | Apr 2, 2022 | Brier Island, Central Grove, Freeport, Long Island, people, Tiverton, Videos, Westport | 3 comments

Artist of Long and Brier Island (Past & Present)

         When I started thinking about writing my 150th blog, I realized I should write about “ Arts and Artist”. This is a subject I knew something about but isn’t written or talked about much. But first I would like to explain why I started this blog in the first place.

         In 2012 I had two massive heart attacks, ended up in the VG Hospital in Halifax, where I had another attack and ended up with a triple by-pass. After I had recovered from all this excitement and had returned home , one day Dorothy Outhouse asked if Leta and I wanted to transcribe a Ledger of Ship Wrecks that was written by Benjamin Ruggles of Westport from 1867-1929. This took us nearly three years to do this and it was released as a book for the public. The book “Ship Wrecks 1867-1929” is available from the Brier and Long Islands Historical Society. During this time we got used to looking up for missing information in history books and digital newspapers of the time.

         After completion of the book, I started to gather missing information about things of interest around our Islands. Like our telephone, when did it started and by whom. This led to another and another until I had information for nearly 100 subjects about our Islands.

         By this time I was getting up in age and was wondering what could I leave to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was then I realized I could leave them this information about our Islands. I thought on it for some time and felt that a book wasn’t what I was going to leave this information on, it was going to be a thumb drive, something they could carry with them and use it when they needed to. I made thumb drives for everyone, I made them so that they could be used in their computers and also in the language for a TV.

         A little over a year ago one of our daughters said “Dad why don’t you share all this information that you have collected with other Islanders”. It took about two seconds and I agreed this is what I wanted to do and make this information free so all Islanders could read it any time they liked.

         Our daughter Monica made this web site while we were talking on the phone one day. I started my first post on May 16th 2021, less than a year ago. I keep adding to these blogs as new information becomes available. I hear back from some of my readers from all areas of the world. I am surprised at how far the decedents of our ancestors have spread to all corners of the earth and they are very proud to be connected to our Islands.

Now, back to our main topic “Arts and Artists on Long & Brier Islands”

         I have gone through many sources of history about our Islands in the last ten to fifteen years and I have not read about “Arts” or “Artists” from the earlier times. None of these early history writers mentioned in their history anything about these subjects. Did they think an artist wasn’t worthy to included.

         In the early 50’s there was not much entertainment for kids. No TV’s no electronic games, us kids had to find something to do during the long winter evenings. My mother would be doing her crafts that she would sell for us to survive. We would learn from her how to sew, knit, crochet or what-ever crafts she was doing. So eventually all us kids were sewing on moms quilts, knitting mittens, or socks. We even knitted Mary Maxim sweaters from our own wool as we had a sheep farm.

         I remember about 1956-57 a person came to our house and bought one of moms quilts (log cabin design) and it was put on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Boston. Before this I hadn’t thought that what we were making in our spare time was a thing of art.

         I think today, what I do with my hands in my art work goes back to when I was in my younger years. Every artist has a different view of what guided them to be the artist they have become.

          You may ask yourself if you can create a piece of art and I say, give it a try. You never know what abilities you have, till you try.

         Long Island is 15 km by 5 km, Brier Island is 6 km by 2 km. Our population on these two Islands in 2020 was 673, in 1901 our population was 2096.Our population today is only about a little more than a quarter of what it was in 1901. Did they not have a large number of artist then?

         But look at how many artist we have today for the size of our two Islands and todays population. I think it is out of the ordinary. So I thought I would collect the names of our Island “Artists” so other people can see what we have here. I have only collected resident artist and resident artist that have moved away in this blog. Musicians, singers, and entertainers are not included in this blog, they will have their own blog at a later time.

         Definition of an “Artist” according to Oxford English Dictionary is “An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art”.

Here is a photo of a lady that is an artist, that is 101 years old, our oldest living artist on our Islands today (2022).

Mrs. Virginia Crocker Showing her Embroidery

(Just think of the different creations Virginia has accomplished in her life.)

         There is another Islander that should be proud of his accomplishments and that is Hermie Shaw, a former resident of Westport. His carvings have sold all over the world. Some artists have been recognized, I hope other Island artist get recognized too.

Young Anne Murray being presented with one of Hermie Shaw’s carvings.

         In May 1999 the artists of Long and Brier Island held a meeting and formed a group called “The Arts on 217”. From this it was decided to get together and have a display, that would show all of the artist’s work here on Long and Brier Island.

         What used to be Connor Bros. or what most people called “MacIntyre’s Store” was vacant and was now owned by Markus and Catherine Feiel. The group “Arts on 217” decided to put on a show at the vacant store for the public during our yearly “Freeport Days”. Advertisements  went out and in August of 1999 the “Arts on 217” was open to the public for a week. Even a couple of Maude Lewis paintings were on display. I brought my camera and taped the last night, when the singers and dancers were performing. Sorry for the sound quality, a lot of people in this small room.


From pop-up gallery to permanent fixture, Gallery 217 making Digby Neck area an artists’ destination

         “Gallery 217” in Freeport is the successful outcome of a one-week pop-up gallery that opened in 2018.

Monica Stark curator, director “Gallery 217”

         “It had been a lot of work getting it ready to only have it open for one week, so we decided to keep it open for the month of August. During that month, we sold $10,000 worth of art,” says Stark. “That was so far beyond my wildest dreams.”

         The gallery is a project of the Freeport Community Development Association, a non-profit organization committed to fostering community, culture, and economic development on the islands.

         “We have thirty-nine artists who have their work in the gallery. That includes established, award winning, and career artists, as well as people who are just beginning their artistic journeys,” says Stark.

Five fast facts:

  • Gallery 217’s grand opening attracted over 200 visitors
  • The gallery features award winning artists Pat Sollows and Jamie Baxter. Both received the Established Artist Recognition Award from Arts Nova Scotia.
  • There are currently 39 artists on exhibit.
  • It all began as a short-term, pop-up gallery
  • Gallery 217 sustains three valuable community programs

Sadly “Gallery 217” closed indefinitely earlier this year (2022) with hopes of starting up again if more help can be found.

Artist that live on Long & Brier Island or who have once lived there.

         This is a list of artist that reside or have resided on Long and Brier Islands. I have not included the musicians and singers of Long and Brier island in this blog. The list includes the artist name, type of arts, their web sites if any and a piece of their art.

         While getting this blog ready to be posted I felt I would not be doing justice to all our artist of our Islands if I did not try and record more artist names and photos of their work. I went on our local Facebook sites Islanders & Passages and asked for help on this topic. Both Islands came forward with a lot of the names that is included. I was very impressed with Islanders. But receiving so many photos in response meant that I would have to choose what photos would I pick for the artist. I hope nobody is offended with my decisions. There is probably more names that has been left out, contact me and I will add them. The ones without photos of their work, is because I haven’t been able to find any.

Monica Stark    Mackeral Sky Jewelry            Painting,  Jewelry,  Graphic Art, Book Illustrator

Katherine Prime        Painting

Louise Chisholm       Teacher, Textile Art,  Doll Making,   Folk Art (Just a NOTE about this artist; Over the last two decades, Louise has made a quilt for nearly all Long Island babies. She has taught a large number of these children how to design, choose material and make their own quilt. I am sure these quilts are cherished today. In 2008 some of these children she taught got together and made Louise the quilt that is at the bottom of her section here.)

Lorraine Moore Textile Art, Doll Making

Anne Young-Crocker Painting

Bill Lucas    Art Teacher, Painting

Jamie Baxter     Painting

Pat Sollows               Painting

Lawna Sullivan  Painting

Crystal Pyne-Robicheau             Painting

Pat Crocker                Painting

Margaret Rockwell    Painting

Colleen Collins  Mandella Rock Painting

Sandra McGill    Painting, Sculpture

Rodney Stark   web-site Fundy Vist Arts Painting, Stained Glass, Author, Model Boat Builder, Movie Maker, Jewelry

Leta Stark  web-site Fundy Vista Arts  Teacher Stained Glass, Stained Glass, Engraving, Textile Arts, Author

Christine Callaghan   Sculpting, Doll Making

Andy Moir Wood Working


Helen Teed                 Photography

Nathan Outhouse Chain Saw Carving

Doris Hooper    Painting

Doreen Hooper-Bower   Painting

Delta Hooper Deceased       Art Teacher, Painting

Florrie Tibert  Deceased      Art Teacher, Painting

Julia Gaudet               Miniature Art, Diorama

Karen Crocker   Jewelry

Kendall Temper     Handmade paper,  Hand-bound Books

Viola Stark-Titus       Deceased   Textile arts

Kadijah Photiades              Painting, Bead work

Krista Moore     Handmade mittens

Sally Schneider Knitting

Loretta Crocker Quilting, Painting, Needle Point

Vicky Graham    Rug Hooking, Felting

Simone Pothier      Beach glass work

Mary Ruggles   Glass Shadow Box, Crocheted Basket & Blanket, Off Loom Weaving, Bead Work Jewelry

Hermie Shaw Deceased       Model boats

Benjamin Campbell Deceased      Rings, Model boats

Holland Titus Deceased                Model boats and Miniature lobster traps

Michael Gower  Painting, model boats

Murray Haight Sr.      Deceased  Model boats

Leslie Powell Deceased       Clocks, Trunk, Game Board

Connie Meunser          Painting

Jimmy Prime             Author

Ben Robicheau          Author

Blair McNeill Deceased                 Author

Donald Outhouse       Deceased   Author

Annabelle Outhouse Deceased  Author

Dr. J. Cameron MacDonald Deceased   Author

Al Rose                Copper Sculpture

Rev. Walter Greenwood     Deceased  Author

Ronald Gaudet Deceased     Model Boats

June Farnsworth       web-site JMF Artwork  Painting, Author

Jessie Swift               Painting, Sculpting

Rachel Outhouse                Jewelry, Art from the Outhouse

Mary Brown-Thurber Deceased   Painting

Nina Barnaby  Painting, Sterling Jewelry, Sketching, Sand Stone Sculpture

Ann (Thurber) Tibert   Deceased  Painting

Baptist Church Sewing Circle 1950 (To many to name all) Quilting

Caroline Norwood Deceased Author

Mildred MacIntyre Deceased    Painter

Alicia Munro-Prime   Jewelry

Mary Lou Blackford   Deceased    Painting

Wilfred Dakin   Deceased  Painting

Shane Titus       Art Teacher,  Painting, Drawing

Kathy Cossaboom-Best   Painting

Liz Cavanagh    Painting

Myles Crocker                  Jewelry

Monica Crocker           Painting,  Jewelry

Katharine Feiel      web-site   Katherine Feiel       Dressmaker

Siegfried Rempel            Photography

Jane Zdansky           Painting

LeighAnne Outhouse    Painting

Sherry Outhouse                Painting

Christopher Prime             Author

Virginia Crocker  Needle work, Quilts, Quilted Wall Hanging, Knitting


Marion Denton-Bustin  Painting

Vic Denton   Wood Working, Fret Work

Isabel Powell-Tibert  Quilting

Albert Bailey  Model Boats

Arnold Titus (Duffy)  Deceased Mini Lobster Traps

Raymond Thurber  Deceased      Whirly-Gigs

Wilfred Dakin  Deceased     Painting

Charlene McCullough Deceased Painting

Bette Morehouse   Sculpture

Cory Thurber      Fret Work

Blanche Thurber Deceased            Quilts

Fred Brooks Deceased Model Boat Building

Helen Blackford       Deceased       Painting

Harold Thompson    Deceased  Model Boats

Rosina Outhouse      Deceased   Painting

Viola Garron              Deceased   Quilts

Susie Glavin          Deceased          Quilting

Helen Thurber         Deceased     Author

John Outhouse Deceased  Model Boat Building


  1. Shelley Scheible

    Thank you for writing this! I keep learning so much about the islands and our past and current residents. So much talent mentioned in this blog.

  2. Rodney Stark

    Stop by often, this blog is updated when new information is received.

  3. Jared Handspicker

    I see a few cousins on the blog. Just wondering if it’s still active?


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