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Moncton 100 Monument (Joseph Salter)

Moncton 100 Monument

Artist:

Claude Roussel

Inauguration Date:

December 30, 1990

Location:

Bore Park, Moncton

Description of the work:

The Moncton 100 Monument was unveiled on December 30, 1990, during the City of Moncton’s centennial celebrations. The monument is 20 feet high and 80 feet long. The base of the pool and the bow are constructed of more than 200 tons of concrete covered by black granite slabs engraved with the names of all the mayors of Moncton, past and present, with enough room left over for the next 100 years’ worth of civic leaders. The hardy nature of the concrete, granite and stainless steel artwork means that even the youngest Monctonian can expect their grand-children to enjoy the presence of this statue for many years to come. (Source: Moncton Times and Transcript; December 26, 1990)
“I wanted to capture both the spirit of the past with the bronze statue of the first mayor of Moncton and the sense of the future with the very modern and sleek sails that give us a sense of progression, productivity and monumentality.” (Source: Claude Roussel, Moncton Times and Transcript; December 26, 1990)

Symbolism:

Claude Roussel’s Moncton 100 Monument abounds in symbols closely linked to Moncton’s history.

Standing at the foot of Bore Park and inspired by a ship theme, this monument depicts Joseph Salter, who was Moncton’s first mayor and is also remembered for the important role he played during the shipbuilding era of the 1800s. The location of the monument near the Petitcodiac River, and its proximity to the former site of Joseph Salter’s shipyards, pays homage to this important chapter in Moncton’s history.

The magnificent bronze statue of Joseph Salter that leans slightly forward symbolizes the progressive, forward-thinking vision of Moncton’s first mayor. The ship’s concrete and granite hull at the base of the monument represents the people of Moncton, whose determination and will are unwavering. Three triangular steel structures pointing upwards located at the back of the vessel are sails symbolizing the community’s equilibrium, strength and stability.

A Word on Artist Claude Roussel

Born in 1930 in Edmundston, New Brunswick, internationally renowned artist Claude Roussel was introduced to sculpture by Paul Carmel Laporte, the pioneer of visual arts in Madawaska. He went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal from 1950 to 1956. In Edmundston, he was the first artist to offer art courses in the province’s Francophone public schools.

A Canada Council for the Arts grant in 1961 enabled Claude Roussel to go to Europe to study, travel and produce artwork for a year. In 1963, a second Canada Council for the Arts grant gave him the opportunity to be the artist in residence at the Université de Moncton. There he was a pioneer in visual art courses and established an art gallery in 1965. As a committed educator and prolific artist, he has 46 solo shows and 119 group exhibitions to his credit, and has produced over 30 works of monumental sculpture. Throughout his career, he has received numerous prizes and distinctions including the Order of Canada in 1984 and the Order of New Brunswick in 2002, and was named on several boards of directors of art associations.

Claude Roussel retired from teaching in February 1992 and now is devoted to sculpture and painting in his studio in Cap-Pelé.

A true leader in his field, he has created about twenty indoor and outdoor public art works in Moncton, more than any other artist. Mr. Roussel has played a key role in establishing contemporary art in Moncton.

Joseph Slater Close Up

 

Joseph Slater