Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Morning Artists

Good Wednesday Morning,

About a year ago my friend Jeanne invited me to join the Wednesday Morning Artists. As a writer, getting up to work on my newest book has become a habit since I retired a couple of years ago. I will tell you that I did protest the time it would take to go out and be social first thing in the morning, especially when I was not a painter - although I did a lot of artistic things including writing, composing, making jewelry and sculpting some pretty sexy mermaid dolls (among other things!). I was wrong.
The Wednesday Morning Artists rock. Yes, we do meet at 8 a.m., which is pretty early for me to get out and be social, but I find I am truly enjoying the experience.
What do the Wednesday Morning Artists do? A lot! Each December the members of the group hang a 'small works' show at the Dorchester Center for the Arts here in Cambridge. What fun it was to participate in hanging the show and attending the following reception.
In January, Cambridge had a devastating fire which destroyed nearly a city block of stores. The stores were in the historic district and the owner agreed to restore the facades for the re-build. The window areas were boarded up and huge props installed to shore up the stone and brick fronts of the damaged storefronts. Then the Wednesday Morning Artists came front under the leadership of mosaic artist Jen Wagner.
Jen proposed that we create a mosaic to camoflage the ugly chipboard masking at the front of the building. Her plan was to do the mosaic so that each chipboard panel was a stand-alone piece of art. She asked the Wednesday Morning Artists to come out and help. She also invited everyone in town and every passerby to glue a piece of crockery, glass, or mirror to the mosaic. She canvassed every business that sold tile, glass and mirrors for materials and begged for cash to buy the mastic and grout. What fun it was to go downtown on Saturdays to help stick glass on the evolving mural. (I brought beads!) Mothers brought their children and friends brought friends. (Check out the photo above.)
In the end, a great deal of effort went into the mosaic mural, and it generated an enormous amount of interest in the group - and about art in general. I went a step further and organized a variety show with live auction to raise funds for the group, adding another dimension of art to the mix.
Today Jen and a committee of fine artists are going through the permitting process to create a second mural in Cambridge. Several members of the group have studios downtown, and businesses are hanging art created by members of the group. We even collect gifts for the clients at Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care Center and created a wreath full of mini paintings to support Pleasant Day's Festival of Wreaths to support days of care for clients who have few resources.
Which brings us full circle, getting ready for December's Small Works show at the center for the arts. I love being part of such a creative and supportive group. With more and more of the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, having things to do is a blessing. I know it helps keep me healthy.
So, what's going on in your town? Terry

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