After meeting weekly to paint, Millie’s Marvels show work at Cornwall Public Library art gallery
Millie Kikkert likes meeting people and she also enjoys making things with her hands.
So in 2011 she organized a creative craft session at Burnside Presbyterian Church in Clyde River.
“I wanted to get a group going for the ladies in the church,” says the 85-year-old New Haven resident, with a sweet smile.
The session was such a success with the “three or four” women in attendance making pretty lights out of glass blocks that they decided to meet again the next week. At the next session, the women brought their knitting along.
“Then they got the idea to start painting because I’ve been painting for years,” says Kikkert.
Fast forward six years, and the painting group has grown to a dozen or more women who get together on Tuesday mornings for creativity and fellowship at the church.
“We usually start at 9:30 and paint until about 11. Then there’s lunch – ham and cheese sandwiches and cinnamon rolls – followed by cups of tea.”
Now, after many creative mornings, they are showing their work in a new exhibition, Millie’s Marvels.
“As you can see, they all picked it up,” says Kikkert, pointing to the paintings that line the walls in the Cornwall Public Library gallery, located at the Cornwall town hall, off the Trans-Canada Highway.
Audrey MacPhee of Clyde River is one of the women whose work appears in the show, which continues until Sept. 8.
“It’s marvelous because Millie inspires all of us. I never held a
paint brush until Millie encouraged me,” says MacPhee, standing next to her work, “Papa’s Place”.
Group member Lois Gass agrees.
“Millie has a lot of positive energy and gives us lots of ideas and extra help if we need it,” says Gass, standing next to her work, “Family Mailbox”.
Besides receiving inspiration from Kikkert, the weekly sessions provide respite, a needed back from the stress of everyday life.
“When I started coming, we had our own business so I found it very relaxing. I still do,” says Jean Beer of Cornwall.
And, after retiring from work, it’s also a chance for fellowship.
“I love seeing friends every Tuesday morning. It’s a ladies morning out,” says Ada Drummond, with a warm smile.
While everyone benefits, perhaps it is Kikkert who receives the greatest blessing of all.
“Art and friendship is a great combination. It just brings joy to my life and it keeps my art active.
“It also gives me something to look forward to each week. So I’m not sitting home worrying about myself.”
Millie’s Marvels showing their work at Cornwall Public Library art gallery
Millie Kikkert shows her painting, “Blockhouse”. The 85-year-old New Haven artist is the driving force behind Millie’s Marvels, a group of women who get together for painting and fellowship at Burnside Presbyterian Church on Tuesday mornings. Their group art show is currently on view at the Cornwall Public Library art gallery.
Audrey MacPhee holds her painting, “Papa’s Place”, at the Cornwall Public Library art gallery. She’s a member of Millie’s Marvels.
Lois Gass shows her “Family Mailbox” painting.
Donna Clow and her “Cabin in the Snow”.
Betty Watts, and her painting called Lakeside.
Ada Drummond shows her fawn painting, “Mom, I’m Lost” at the Cornwall Public Library art gallery.