Samantha Battaglia to create MODL’s next Art on the Trail project

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>LINKED IN, PHOTO</p><p>Samantha Battaglia has a degree in Fine Arts as well as a Masters of Science in Ecological Design.</p>
  • <p>FACEBOOK PHOTO, TEICHERT GALLERY</p><p>Oil painting on wood by Samantha Battaglia.</p>
  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Artist Gillian Maradyn-Jousey created the first Art on the Trail installations, on the Bay to Bay trail from Mahone Bay to Lunenburg.</p>
  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>The first Art on the Trail installations were completed by artist Maradyn-Jousey in 2018.</p>

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) is launching another Art on the Trail project to encourage people to be active outdoors while enhancing their experience there even more.

The municipality recently announced that the local the artist, Samantha Battaglia, will create its next Art on the Trail project, and that it will be on the Bridgewater to Mahone Bay trail.

"Samantha hopes to construct an art piece that will create a destination on the trail for the public, to marvel at its unique form, light and natural material," the municipality noted in its newsletter to residents.

MODL's Art on the Trail was started in 2017 by Britt Vegsund, the municipality's active living coordinator. Her vision was to have a local artist design, plan, create, and install public art on municipal trails to encourage outdoor physical activity while connecting trail users and art.

"It is our hope that showcasing a specific art piece along the trail will create a new or renewed perspective of the trail from residents and visitors, while promoting the trail and our local art community," MODL's communications officer, Sarah Kucharski, explained to LighthouseNOW in an email.

Battaglia brings a unique combination of attributes to the project. She holds a Fine Arts degree in painting, sculpture and critical theory from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), as well a Master of Science in Ecological Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design.

She was the recipient of the 2013-2014 NSCAD Lunenburg Community Studio Residency Program and the 2014 White Rabbit Open Air Arts Residency. She has also taught drawing and painting throughout Nova Scotia, working in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Lunenburg Makery and the South Shore Waldorf School.

Currently, Battaglia has her own business in landscape and restoration design and planning, and also works as the new climate change project coordinator for the Coastal Action ecological group.

Battaglia primarily practices as an oil painter, exploring the perils of urban space and visual fragmentation as a response to urban structures.

LighthouseNOW reached out to her for a comment on the new project, however she was reluctant to speak about it at this stage.

"As of right now the sculpture is in very preliminary phases. I'd prefer speaking about it in the fall, once it is a more realized concept," she explained in an email.

Recreation Nova Scotia is pitching in $5,000 for the 2020 Art on the Trail project.

The municipality's first trail artwork was the Riverbank Habitat by artist Gillian Maradyn-Jousey on the Bay to Bay trail from Mahone Bay to Lunenburg. That project received $5,000 in funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and, according to Kucharski, the sculptures has been "hugely popular" with visitors to the trail.

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