Sadness felt countrywide following death of N.B. artist RM Vaughan
Richard Vaughan was last seen near his home in downtown Fredericton on Monday, Oct. 12. He was reported missing the following day. (Courtesy Finding Richard RM Vaughan/Facebook)
HALIFAX -- Shock and sadness is being felt countrywide after the loss of well-known Canadian artist RM Vaughan.
Vaughan's body was found on Friday, 10 days after he was reported missing.
He was 55 years old.
Vaughan, who is originally from Saint John, N.B., was well-known throughout the LGBTQ+ arts communities in Canada and even internationally.
He lived in Toronto, Montreal, and Berlin, making many friends along the way.
“You don’t want that kind of news but it had been 10 days and it wasn’t looking very good,” said long-time friend Nathaniel Moore.
Vaughan moved to Fredericton in March, taking on the role of writer in residence at the University of New Brunswick.
“He wrote about everything. He wrote about parenting, he wrote about mental illness, he wrote about pop culture, he wrote about art, and I think he was like, a really hard-working journalist,” said Moore.
Police say Vaughan was last seen near his home in downtown Fredericton on Oct. 12. He was reported missing the following day.
According to police, Vaughan’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
Fredericton poet laureate Jenna Lyn Albert plans to honour Vaughan at Monday’s council meeting by reading one of his poems.
“Richard has been such a major influence for a lot of us,” said Albert. “As a young queer writer myself, I remember reading one of Richard’s poems in an anthology and thinking this is what poetry can be. It can be gay, and fun, and free, and address really difficult issues.”
Moore is also planning his own celebrations, saying he plants to make Vaughan a character in his next book.
Moore believes Vaughan left in one of his favourite T-shirts that friends and family have not been able to locate. He says the T-shirt reads ‘my art will go on’.