Artists on a mis­sion

An­napo­lis Val­ley Dec­o­ra­tive Artists con­tinue to sup­port com­mu­nity, foster tal­ent

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUN­TYNEWS.CA GREENWICH Kirk.starratt@kingscoun­tynews.ca

They are a group of dec­o­ra­tive artists on a mis­sion to give back to the com­mu­nity.

Es­tab­lished 23 years ago, the An­napo­lis Val­ley Dec­o­ra­tive Artists (AVDA) paint­ing guild was or­ga­nized as a group of peo­ple with a com­mon in­ter­est in paint­ing. It cur­rently has 48 mem­bers and new re­cruits are wel­come.

AVDA mem­ber and art and gift sale chair­woman Brenda Parker said that, ex­clud­ing the sum­mer, the group meets every month at the Greenwich Fire Hall to paint, learn new tech­niques and work on sev­eral com­mu­nity ser­vice projects.

These in­clude paint­ing small mem­ory boxes for the Val­ley Re­gional Hos­pi­tal to be given to fam­ily mem­bers of still­born ba­bies. They also paint boxes for the SPCA and Hope for Wildlife, and paint tiles for the Cana­dian Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion. Parker said the mem­bers “firmly be­lieve in giv­ing back to our com­mu­nity.”

The group has been sup­port­ing the hos­pi­tal for sev­eral years, be­gin­ning with paint­ing mu­rals for the pe­di­atric ward.

“They ex­pressed a need for some­thing a par­ent of a de­ceased child can put lit­tle me­men­tos in of the child, so that the child’s mem­ory is not for­got­ten,” Parker said. “It’s just a way of us of­fer­ing some sup­port to Val­ley Re­gional in all that they do.”

The artists found a sup­plier of small, wooden boxes and be­gan paint­ing them as mem­ory boxes for the hos­pi­tal. They also paint boxes for var­i­ous char­i­ta­ble causes. These boxes are a lit­tle smaller and are hinged. The artists do­nate these to the var­i­ous char­i­ties, which, in turn, sell them to raise funds.

Parker said the AVDA is very sup­port­ive of those who want to learn. She has al­ways had an in­ter­est in paint­ing and got into dec­o­ra­tive art to learn the ba­sics. When she joined the AVDA, it opened her world to all sorts of ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The guild brings in an artist to put on a three-day work­shop each year and there are other, shorter sem­i­nars held through­out the year. The mem­bers also go on oc­ca­sional paint­ing re­treat week­ends.

“It’s re­ally ex­panded my knowl­edge and my com­fort in paint­ing,” Parker said.

Art and gift sale

Each year dur­ing the first week­end of Novem­ber, the mem­bers show­case their tal­ents at the AVDA Art and Gift Sale. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for mem­bers to sell their art, which can in­clude Christ­mas tree or­na­ments, wall art, paint­ings, fur­ni­ture, metal art, pick­les, carv­ings, and more.

One of the group’s main an­nual fundrais­ers is a quilt draw. Tick­ets are sold for sev­eral months lead­ing up to the sale with the draw tak­ing place at the sale, this year on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. Each year, a quilt with a dif­fer­ent theme is de­signed and var­i­ous mem­bers each paint a block.

The quilt is pieced to­gether and hand-quilted to cre­ate a one-of-akind, use­able, wash­able piece of art. Parker said the ac­tual hand quilt­ing is done by two other groups, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween the Kingsport Quil­ters and the VON’s vol­un­teer quil­ters.

Vis­i­tors to the art and gift sale will have an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a piece of art. The two projects be­ing of­fered this year are a win­tery owl paint­ing and a fall leaf paint­ing. Be­gin­ning at 10 a.m. Nov. 3, the owl takes about an hour to com­plete and costs $5. Be­gin­ning at 1 p.m. Nov. 3, the fall leaf piece takes about two hours and costs $10. No prior paint­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary and all sup­plies are pro­vided.

Parker said they’ve found in prior years that fam­i­lies en­joy tak­ing part in the paint­ing ex­er­cise to­gether.

“We’ve had young fam­i­lies come in, (they) all sit down and do a paint­ing to­gether. It’s kind of neat,” Parker said.

Space is limited, so those wish­ing to try their hand at paint­ing are asked to con­tact Parker at bparker@techshop.ns.ca to pre-reg­is­ter. Par­tic­i­pants can still reg­is­ter at the sale on Nov. 3 if spa­ces re­main avail­able.

KIRK STARRATT

An­napo­lis Val­ley Dec­o­ra­tive Artists mem­ber and art and gift sale chair­woman Brenda Parker with the quilt guild mem­bers have been sell­ing tick­ets on as a fundraiser. The draw takes place Nov. 3 at the art and gift sale.

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