Thursday, August 25, 2011

Community Threads: Day 7

The countdown is on. One more week before my solo exhibition Wholeness opens and since the Community Threads project is part of the exhibit and there are a lot of things to get done before. Barb Hilts popped by hoping to chat with me about those exhibition details, alas I had to stay anchored to Alice's Attic to get everything ready for next week. Barb, herself a fibre artist and Gibson Centre gallery curator, must be recognized for her important contribution to this project. She invited me to submit a proposal to the Gibson Centre for an exhibition and then it snowballed from there.
There's nothing like working in a team and today we worked really well together. I think the best kind of art is one that involves lots of other people, with all their gifts and talents that they bring to the table. Actors, singers and even musicians get to experience collaboration with others, but it doesn't often happen for craftspeople and visual artists. For me this is a revitalizing and refreshing way to work together with others to make all of this happen.
Lots of people showed up to lend a helping hand and we don't have pictures of all of those who did show up today. Here Nicolas Rodrigo volunteered to continue working on the cartoons for the tapestries, enlarging the designs into the size of the finished piece. The picture above, from left to right, Corrie Parsons, Nellie Waterson, Jean Kazmierczak and Janet Fayle and I know that Nathalia Smugden also came to help out with finishing my tapestries. Elisabeth Bishof worked on one of the smaller tapestry looms. She said that she enjoys the preparation more than the weaving, but thought she might like to try the tapestry. Dawna Beatty worked on a guild weaving project.
Our main challenge today was figuring out a way to position our cartoons on the gobelin loom so that they would remain attached while weaving. I think it took about 6 of us to devise a method, without making permanent physical adjustments to the loom that is only lent to us. Finally we found a way and we were ready to start weaving. In this photo from left to right, Jada Needles giving a massage to Sandi Nemenyi who is beside Linda Needles. We must thank Linda for taking many of the photographs that we used for the designs of the tapestries. The two people who started the first few rows of the tapestry weaving was Lucy Tavares and Sandi Nemenyi and Sharon Robinson made movies and took pictures of the events as they unfold.

Here, Nada tries her hand at tapestry weaving.

We had many special guests today. Above you saw that Jada Needles joined in on the weaving, but her brother Clark also came along and stayed with us for the day.
Here, the president of the South Simcoe Arts Council tried her hand at weaving on the tapestry and said that she could stay all day. It made her forget about everything else.

We were also very pleased that Angela Drainville, the Executive Director of the Gibson Centre, joined us with her son, Cohen.

Sandi Nemenyi sits with Chris, who was looking longingly at wanting to try her hand at the tapestry weaving. Alas, she broke her arm (or wrist) while out jogging on a trail. Not only that, she fell on it twice on the same jog! Ouch. That had to hurt!

Sandi shows the design she is translating into tapestry.

Linda Needes brought in the Alliston Herald dated August 16 which features a great article and pictures of the project. My scanner isn't working right now but as soon as it is I'll post it on the blog, hopefully in the next few days. Linda Needles spoke to one of the Gibson Centre board members last and they would like to visit and see our progress.Someone from the historical society also approached Linda, said they'd like to come to the Gibson Centre for one of their monthly meetings, possibly in February or so, in order to see the tapestries and hear the story of them. Now that’s community outreach!

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