A true hidden gem in Fredericton’s Tannery, the Dandy Paint Lounge is a wonderful place to spend a few hours stretching your creative muscles.
As Fredricton’s premiere paint lounge, the Dandy offers a wide variety of mediums for artistic expression including canvases, vinyl records, and even ukuleles. Included in the price of admission are paints, brushes, palettes, water, and more—leaving the rest up to your imagination.
Fortunately, for those who shudder at the idea of imagining a sprawling vista of their own design, Duncan—the owner of the Dandy—is equipped and ready with printers and light boxes to trace any design you desire onto a canvas.
Not only has Duncan curated a wonderful assortment of art supplies, and art itself—adorning almost every wall—but he also built much of the Dandy’s permanent furniture. Most notably a countertop laminated with pennies near the bar.
Of course, what would any type of lounge—paint or otherwise—be without refreshments? The Dandy is stocked with a small, but impressive, assortment of beverages, including two seasonally rotating offerings from Picaroons on tap. The bar also boasts coffee and tea for those less inclined to go for a pint.
For those simply looking to relax and play the audience while their friends paint, the Dandy has a beautifully decorated sitting area. Picking up odds and ends from around the bazaar that is facebook marketplace and Kijiji, Duncan has curated a wonderful little corner that offers comfort to both human and canine patrons.
When asked about the name, “The Dandy”, Duncan offered an interesting piece of Fredericton history, explaining that the name was inspired by Oscar Wilde’s visit to the city in 1882. Upon visiting Fredericton Wilde was heckled by some residents and students from UNB, who called him a “dandy” insulting him for being flamboyant and gay. However, Duncan pointed out:
“If you read the articles after he spoke everyone was quite impressed with him as a person and as a speaker. So it’s like, don’t worry about what anyone thinks of you, just do whatever you feel like and the world will catch up.”
Duncan also made sure to consult members of the queer community in case the name was still seen as offensive, but the derogatory connotations of “dandy” have faded over the past hundred and twenty years. Now, the name is an homage to Wilde and pursuing one’s passions despite what others may think.
Duncan said that his expectations for what people would want from a paint lounge were subverted. He expected huge demand for large standing easels à la Bob Ross, however, the majority of patrons prefer the small tabletop easels, or the table itself.
When asked about the average patronage of the Dandy, Duncan explained that Fredericton’s art enthusiasts are incredibly diverse. He hosts children’s birthday parties, college and university students’ Friday nights, and all-ages workshops.
Duncan also emphasized his flexibility regarding hours. If people are having fun and enjoying themselves he is willing to stay a little later than closing—genuinely understanding that the creative process can not be rushed.
For our readers who feel they have done everything Fredericton has to offer, the Dandy is a must-see. Without a doubt, the only fault of the Dandy is the fact that not enough people know about it, so be sure to check it out.