THE ART BLOG
Article for the Elk Valley Herald
by: LeAnne Cheswick
I was an imaginative child. I was forever building things in the backyard, drawing animals, daydreaming about living a secluded artsy life in the mountains. Then came real life. Graduation, a two week-turned-ten year move to Alberta, boyfriends, and a husband. My last artwork was dated 1998. One day, I promised, I would use my natural creativity again.
Fast forward nearly 20 years (yikes, really??). I found myself - both in the literal and symbolic sense, living a new life in the hidden gem that is Elkford BC. I’d been on a journey of self discovery and healing, after some unexpected life turmoil. So when I saw a weathered paper taped to a window touting Adult Pottery classes offered at the Elkford Arts Council, taught by Tathlina Lovelin, I knew why I randomly ended up in a secluded mountain town. That elusive “one day” had finally arrived.
Wait a minute, you say. Tiny Elkford, that place at the end of the highway where miners commute for work, has an Arts Council? I’m telling you it is true! Since 2012, under the direction of Teri Cleverly, the Elkford Arts Council has been providing art classes and art experiences to people of all ages and skill levels at the Elkford Art Studio located in the heart of town.
Let me tell you, I was in awe when I entered the studio. I gazed upon a fully stocked and furnished pottery studio, everything a potter could need from glazes, tools, wheels, a slab roller, and a kiln. And best yet, a network of mentors and instructors ready to take this complete beginner under their gloriously muddy wings and offer support and guidance in my pottery education. I was so excited, I even forgot that I was an introvert. Since then I have unearthed the fact that I have the soul of a potter, and will never look back...
The Art Studio also tempted my desire to try drawing again. With both trepidation and enthusiasm I enrolled in a watercolour and ink class taught by Katherine Russell. In painting class we utilized the supplied easels, tables, natural lighting, top notch instruction, and student comradeship. I learned much from that course, including the insight that my heart has needed this creative expression, and artistic companionship, for many years.
I have now been in Elkford for 6 months and so much has changed in my life. I am honoured to be elected to the board of directors of the Elkford Arts Council, I have discovered some natural talent for turning mud into mugs, and I have found a group of like minded friends and mentors. I have found my favourite place to be, and I have found my home.
If you have followed me this far, then I imagine you have an interest in local arts! I am excited to share the news that the Elkford Arts Council is hosting a two day intensive linocut workshop with Michael Hepher of Clawhammer Press, April 22-23. The last day to register for this unique opportunity is April 2, so don’t delay! I invite you to come join us and see for yourself that the Elkford artistic community is truly one of a kind.
For more information about the Elkford Arts Council, including registering for our upcoming workshops, classes, and happenings, please visit www.elkfordartscouncil.blogspot.ca, find us on Facebook, or contact any of our board members (contact info can be found on the website).