. There's no way that Peter Powning was born of blood, guts and bone like the rest of us. He was surely forged deep below the earth's mantle from organic ingredients which came together to create a man stronger than steel. He is a super man of the art world, and that's just one of the reasons why we hate him. . Last week I was in the riverside city of Freddy Beach. My wife, the artist, suggested that we visit a gallery that hemmed the commercial York Street landscape with a subtle sign that whispered Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts. Somewhere, somehow my wife had heard that a new exhibition of Peter Powning's work was on display and we must see it. We bought time by feeding one hundred cents into the hungry parking meter in front of the gallery, and in we went. . My first impression of Powning's work, from an arm's length, was, surprisingly, not visual. It was aural. It was the clang of the industrial age meeting the new age of enlightenment. It was stone gloves reaching to the past and pulling it to the present, and beyond. It was the sound of a roaring forge, hammered copper, brutalized bronze and submissive glass. For all the deafening clatter that went into Powning's body of work, there was an incredible calm that came out of it. . Upon closer inspection, this time visual, I discovered an incredible sense of harmony in his work. Strange bedfellows, like books and streams, became one, as though they were always meant to be. Incredible vision on Powning's part...a curious and delicious mind. I'm not sure that any of this kind of talent can be taught, or bought. I'd like to suggest that it was there when he broke through the crust and joined we mortals. . There was a pensive peacefulness to the exhibit, and I felt awash in inspiration. I was, in a multitude of certain terms, in awe of this man's artistry. I felt happy to live in Peter Powning's world for a few brief minutes, before returning to my own, a better man. . Peter Powning has enlightened me personally, and darkened my doorstep figuratively. About fifteen years ago a letter was written to the editor of the Telegraph Journal. It was a thoughtful letter penned by Powning himself. In it he poetically, yet firmly, bemoaned the scourge of dusk-to-dawn lights. He said something of the effect that they robbed the countryside of the night. He was right. . His letter appeared about a year after my wife and I moved to Cambridge-Narrows. In our yard was a dusk-to-dawn light that bathed our home in an eerie pumpkin juice cast. We were blind until we read Powning's words. The next day the light was gone and we discovered that we could see more, not less. Powning be praised, blessed is the night. . Yesterday my wife and I were back in Fredericton, having coffee with someone who understands the arts and knows how to express her feelings. I told her that she had to go see Powning's new body of work. Her reply: . "I hate Peter Powning." She didn't stop there. "I hate his wife, too", she added. . There was a pause. A smile. Then an explanation for words so lovingly harsh. . "He's too perfect. He's too talented." . I thought about this for a few seconds and then chimed in, "I hate him too!" . Invidiousness, or more simply stated, envy. All three of us were collectively staggered by the vision of this one artist who lives in the backwoods of New Brunswick. We wanted to be Peter Powning, if just for one day. Peter's wife Beth, no slouch herself, is a talented author, brilliant photographer and undoubtedly fifty-three other things that I don't know about. I suspect she's the kind of woman who could turn spruce needles into strawberry jam. There's a certain irony in that comment, because Peter Powning was described in a recent article as an alchemist. Apparently it sprints in the family. . So, we don't hate the Pownings. We love them, though my friend took one parting shot at Peter by decrying "he even looks good in a beret!" . How many men do you know who are infinitely talented and look good in a beret? Seriously, how many do you know? This guy is one of a kind, like his work. You can see it at Ingrid Mueller's gallery in Fredericton, but only until November 7.