Sussex Vale was thriving in the 1850s. By this time it had become the largest and most important settlement in the county. It had stores, two churches, a school that ranked high among the schools of Kings County, a racetrack and two inns called the “Sussex House” and “Sheck’s”, both buildings still standing strong on their foundation today, although no longer used as inns. At Sheck’s Inn the stagecoach drivers exchanged their horss as they ran the mail route from Saint John to Halifax. The Vale was the voting centre of the parish and the only place for miles around where there was a post office. The mural shows the first glimpse of a traveler en route from Saint John to Nova Scotia would get of this prosperous valley.
The artist: Carol S. Poppenga’s artmaking is a life-long pursuit and interest. Her first formal art sale — the work was a pen and ink portrait of a neighbor’s English Bulldog — was made when she was a fifth grade student. By high school, Poppenga’s creative output included original cartoons, strips, and caricatures in the form of posters, flyers, logos, letterheads, greeting cards and commercial signs. Poppenga earned a B.A. in U.S. History and Art (summa cum laude) from the University of Great Falls in Montana. She continued her formal art education at the Alberta College of Art (ACA) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There, she focused on the human form, drawing/painting live models in the studio and at theater and dance rehearsals. Poppenga also drew at the Calgary Foothills Medical School’s teaching morgue. http://www.poppenga.com/
4 Needle Street
Sussex Corner, NB