Thursday, October 24, 2013

Community Threads tapestries project coming to completion

Has it been over two years now that the Community Threads tapestries project commenced, and if I include planning and writing up the grant and then doing the report it will be a total of 3! Time has flown. I went into Alliston to visit the Gibson Centre and Linda Needles, the Managing Director of the project, was doing last minute preparations for the exhibition. Here she is working on a display to show the process of the entire project. Initially the plan was that I was coming to help them hang the tapestries for their upcoming exhibition, but when I arrived, though disappointed I wasn't involved in hanging them, the tapestries were already hanging, and the lighting highlighted their magnificence. Linda kept everyone focused on weaving the tapestries and without her ongoing direction and positivity, I wonder if these tapestries would ever have been woven. She's been tireless and indefatigable in that pursuit, and now she can stand proudly as 9 tapestries have been entirely completed and 3 more are almost done. 
Discussing and preparing the exhibition,  from left to right, Linda Needles, Lynda Mitchell Reynolds, the Executive Director of the South Simcoe Arts Council  and Ann Berman.
Though I took pictures of the exhibit I don't want to reveal it all and instead hope you will join us at least for the reception Sunday October 27 between 2-5 pm, 63 Tupper Street West, Alliston, Ontario, Canada, so that you can be awed and inspired by them. In attendance will Loree Lawrence, the Ontario Arts Council officer for the grant I received to undertake this initiative. A handful of weavers were particularly persistent in their weaving contribution and hope they will receive the recognition they deserve. To my knowledge (though forgive me if I have left anyone out), we have to thank Corrie Parsons, Valerie Splaine, and Elizabeth Bishoff  who were relentless and others too made considerable contributions to the project. One panel is being woven entirely with handspun yarn by Jean Kazcmierczak who will be at the opening reception weaving. Another panel was woven entirely by Sandi Nemenyi who is the President of the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners. 

Instead of helping hang the tapestries, Linda Needles filled me in on all the media attention they received for and the various tv, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews they have had as a result of the Community Threads project.Maija Hoggett, shown here on the left, and a reporter for  The (Alliston) Herald, interviewed me about the project for an article she is writing, which she is hoping will appear in time to let people know about the opening reception on Sunday.
On display will be two of the remaining panels which will be woven during the reception. I'm thrilled that the project has been in my mind a great success. It has generated a lot of new members for the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners. It has attracted a lot more people to tapestry weaving, and finally, the project garnered a lot of enthusiasm from the community and raised esteem and confidence among the guild members, as well as increased  regard and respect from the community

Tapestry contest:

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