Friday, September 2, 2011

Community Threads: Week Eight

It took two days to set up my solo exhibition. Barb Hilts, a well esteemed fibre artist and gallery curator for the Gibson Centre assisted me in hanging all the tapestries and other related fibre work. The show and setting work well together. It would have been a gruelling task to try to set this alone so I am thankful that Barb was able to assist me. I have several new tapestries never before seen in an exhibition for those of you who may be wondering if you've seen them all before.

While we were setting up, these two lovely ladies were preparing lunches for people who came to the eating area of the Gibson Centre. On the left Thelma, a volunteer at the centre and on the right, Audrey Gibson, whose family donated the historic building in which the Gibson Centre is situated.

Also while we were setting up the exhibition, Executive Assistant, Marsha Slack. Each month a ticket is drawn to win $1000.

We continued to mix the colours for the tapestries and we manage to get one full tapestry done each session we get together. From left to right, Elisabeth, Jean, Valerie, Allanah and Nicolas. Nicolas also made up a tapestry butterfly dance which he demonstrated for us! Very cool moves! We should have put on some up beat music. Sharon Robinson, Nicolas' mother was there as well as Chris. They gave us plenty of moral support and gave us some welcome distraction from our tasks. Janet Fayle and Valerie Splaine continued working on creating the cartoons with the overhead projector. Sharon Robinson emailed to say: "Thank you ..... for bringing this whole new exciting and learning project and experience to our community!"

On the last day of setting up my exhibition, Barb helped me to bring the gobelin tapestry loom from the third floor to the main floor exhibition area. This is the loom, shown here, that we are using for our Community Threads tapestries . Here Chris at the right, stands beside Sandi Nemenyi, and beside Sandi, Linda Needles. They, as well as Janet, have taken a real leadership role in this project.
Corrie Parsons is shown here starting on weaving the third tapestry. Elisabeth Bishof continued with it when Corrie was ready to move on.
Elisabeth became totally entranced while tapestry weaving and discovered that she really enjoyed the process.

While I was setting up the exhibition, I met Susan Menzies, who is has been the resident artist at the Gibson Centre for the last three years. She has also worked in animation and enjoys mentoring young people.

Next week Snap magazine will be coming to the Gibson Centre to do a story on the Community Threads project and my tapestry exhibition. Hope you all come out and put yourself in the spotlight for this momentuous occassion.

In closing I'd like to tell you about Sharon Robinson. She takes donations of knitting yarn for the CFFC, (Canadian Food for Children) whose friend, Frankie, is down in Guatemala working with the premie babies while traveling and visiting many clinics sponsored, opened and run by the CFFC. Frankie is a neonatal nurse and teacher at Mount Sinai Hospital and two other Toronto Hospitals. It is her 5th trip to one of the 22 countries that the CFFC assists in donations and medical aid. When Frankie returns from each trip with photos of these beautiful villages where communities living in such poverty and no hope, Sharon and her community get are more motivated to do what they can to help. Mother Teresa's motto inspires them: we can't change the world, but we can bring light and hope. Sharon and her friend Frankie hope to have 3000 baby gift sets and they have already prepared 2030.... these gift sets include a baby blanket, receiving blanket, cloth diapers, plastic diaper pants, pins, hats, booties, socks, face cloth, soap, undershirts and sleepers. All donations are accepted for all sizes of babies, children, adults, medical supplies and art and school supplies, food and dried eggs and flour and cereal etc. The high schools do a soap and salt collection several times a year and the teenagers are remarkable in their dedication to make it as successful as possible.... Any donations can be droppbed off at the Gibson Centre, attention to Sharon Robinson.

Sharon writes: "On behalf of Frankie (who is truly a huge force in helping keep CFFC running) and CFFC we are very thankful and appreciate all the ladies from our guild, who have donated so much beautiful quality materials, fibres and clothing of such excellent quality." Sharon and Frankie are always appreciative of any donations no matter how small or big as it all goes directly to the those we promise to serve and help.

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