Artis­tic Har­mony hits the right notes

Artists paint and dec­o­rate old in­stru­ments to raise money for lo­cal char­i­ties


Con­sider it a mar­riage of art and the arts. In­stru­ments that have out­lived their use­ful­ness are be­ing re­pur­posed and reimag­ined, to serve as works of art

Jen Power re­cently trans­formed a gui­tar into an in­tri­cate piece, with del­i­cate cir­cu­lar pat­terns. It would make an ideal wall or man­tel dec­o­ra­tion.

Power’s cre­ation is part of an e ort to raise money for the Marigold Cul­tural Cen­tre, along with other groups, and she’s one of 15 lo­cal artists con­vert­ing un­needed in­stru­ments, from gui­tars to ukule­les, through Artists in Har­mony.

“I think it’s in­cred­i­ble that it in­cor­po­rates the down­town com­mu­nity, busi­nesses, artists and also lo­cal non-prof­its and char­i­ties,” said Power. “I love to do unique art projects and sup­port the com­mu­nity.”

e dec­o­rated in­stru­ments were dis­trib­uted to be dis­played in stores by Lori Hol­man from the Marigold Cul­tural Cen­tre and David Mingo of Mingo Mu­sic Sales. ey will be auc­tioned through the Artists in Har­mony Face­book page from Nov. 5 to 18.

e vi­o­lins, ukule­les, ban­jos and gui­tars in­cor­po­rate bright pat­terns. One fea­tures a draw­ing of a 1960s-style hip­pie van. Power’s uses an east­ern-in­spired ‘man­dala’ de­sign, em­ploy­ing oil-based paint mark­ers to dec­o­rate the old gui­tar.

Such geo­met­ric de­signs are usu­ally cir­cu­lar in na­ture and the word ‘man­dala’ it­self means ‘cir­cle’ in San­skrit, the lan­guage of an­cient In­dia. Man­dalas them­selves rep­re­sent the con­nec­tion be­tween one’s own in­ner world and the wider out­side re­al­ity.

“I prob­a­bly spent about 14 hours in to­tal, work­ing on my de­sign,” said Power.

Groups be­ing sup­ported by the artists in­clude the SPCA, Way­ward Cats So­ci­ety, ird Place Tran­si­tion House, Slate Youth Cen­tre, Sco­tia Pool, Cobe­quid Arts Coun­cil, Marigold Cul­tural Cen­tre and the Colch­ester East Hants branch of the Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion.

A pre­vi­ous Artists in Har­mony drive in July raised more than $2,000 for lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“I think it’s great,” said Hol­man. “As a not­for-pro t, it’s nice to see the com­mu­nity sup­port­ing us and the lo­cal artists in what­ever way they can. I think the project it­self brought peo­ple to­gether.”


Lori Hol­man from the Marigold Cul­tural Cen­tre and David Mingo of Mingo Mu­sic Sales show o some of the brightly-painted in­stru­ments ready for auc­tion in a fundrais­ing e ort through Artists in Har­mony.

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