The “Makers of Hedley” are going to let us in on their secret lives this weekend. They’re coming out of the closet in a very public way. Talking with a few of them last week, I sensed their excitement at finally finding the courage to cease hiding a vital aspect of who they are. The “Makers” are talented, but in most ses, unsung amateur artists.
Karen Cummings has a bold vision for shining a light on the work of these creative individuals. An artist herself and an organizer with marketing skills, she and fellow artist, Penny Escott, have put together a Makers Tour that is a first in Hedley.
“Often people have difficulty admitting they are artists,” Karen said. “They fear rejection. That’s why we’re lling ourselves Makers.” The term does lower the expectation level and is apparently comfortable for those participating. This weekend, June 8 and 9,? they will open their homes, studios and workshops to the public.
Linda and I chatted with several Makers recently and found they are an eclectic collection of individuals practising diverse art forms. Maura Halliday, a pretty brunette silversmith, is a young mother. Before she and her husband moved to Hedley last fall, Maura worked in the movie industry specializing in prosthetic sculpting, painting and air brushing. “I love stones and silver,” she said, holding a display featuring intrite jewelry. “All my creations are handmade. My son Dusty is a year and a half and he wants to get his little fingers into the materials I work with. That’s unhandy so I work at it only when he’s sleeping.” She looks forward to meeting people and chatting with them.
Karen emphasized this will be a fun event. “It’s very much about meeting the artist. We want people to come and get to know us. The tour is free. There will be items for sale but you don’t have to buy anything, just come and enjoy.”
Tap Nevalainen, once a builder of high rise structures, will display an intriguing array of wood creations. His fully loaded logging truck invariably draws my attention in his workshop. There are also a couple of other trucks, plus very authentic appearing bird houses, ndle holders and barbeque scrapers. “I like to challenge myself by making something different,” he said. “Working with wood is fulfilling.”
Karen’s medium is fabric and she loves splashes of colour. The creations adorning her walls seem to challenge the viewer to ponder their meaning, but for her that isn’t what they’re about. “The important thing,” she said, “is does it make you happy.”
Eva’s medium is quite distinct from the others on the tour. “I’ve been making fudge since my kids were young,” she said. “I got the recipe from my grandma. She watched me making a batch one day and offered to show me a simpler method. I’ve used her ingredients and process since then.” Her varieties include Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Orange and Ginger, White Chocolate Cranberry and Lemon. “The fudge is mouth watering yummy,” she said with bubbly enthusiasm. “It’s addictive.”
“By seeing the creation and talking about it,” Karen believes, “ our life gets bigger. That makes us more inclusive. We come to realize not everyone is like us. As we become bigger, we n appreciate what is not familiar.” She paused a moment, then added, “there’s so much lousy stuff happening in the world. Seeing creative works n give us a more positive perspective.”
The tour will feature productions of 10 Makers, each site being identified by the presence of a pink flamingo. A map n be obtained at the Country Market and the Hedley Museum. Lunch consisting of a gourmet sandwich n be purchased at the Country Market. The Museum’s Tea Room will serve its highly acclaimed lemon and apple pies, and also coffee. Free tickets will be offered for 2 draws for $100.00 gift baskets. Visitors n enter the draw at every site, for a total of 10 chances. Sunday morning from 8 to 10 the Seniors’ Centre will serve it’s popular $5.00 Panke Breakfast. Doors for the Makers Tour will be open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The Makers Tour will provide an opportunity to dialogue with some pretty innovative thinkers and view what they have been creating behind closed doors. It may even inspire some timid souls to believe they too n create something that will bring enjoyment to others.