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Annual art show raising funds for Historic Medway Head Lighthouse

Artist Barbara McLean will be one of two featured artists at this year’s Medway Head Lighthouse Art and Craft Sale.
Artist Barbara McLean will be one of two featured artists at this year’s Medway Head Lighthouse Art and Craft Sale. - Contributed

Once again this year, artists from all over Nova Scotia are coming together for an event to raise much-needed funds to help restore and preserve the historic Medway Head Lighthouse near Port Medway in the Region of Queens.

Victoria Fraser, one of the event’s organizers, explains this marks the ninth year for the Medway Head Lighthouse Art & Craft Show. Last year, she says the event raised approximately $6,200. She estimates the show has raised in excess of $32,500 since it began.

“That’s a great testament to the community and the organizers of the show,” she says, adding that this year, the organizers hope to surpass last year’s total.

With an opening reception scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., the art and craft show will run daily from Aug. 17-25 and will be open to viewing between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The show will be held in The Warehouse at Port Medway Lighthouse Park and in Seely Hall at 1640 Port Medway Rd., adjacent to the Port Medway Lighthouse Park. It will feature traditional crafts, which Fraser says will include hooked rugs, ship models, baskets, ironwork and quilts (old and new). Crafters will be on site throughout the weekend doing demonstrations.

In total, Fraser says, they expect about 65 to 70 crafters will take part in the show. They are expected to come from throughout Nova Scotia including Truro, Halifax, Lunenburg, Shelburne, the Valley, Pubnico and, she adds, from the local area.

Metal artist Timothy Gillespie from Sable River is the second artist featured at the show.
Metal artist Timothy Gillespie from Sable River is the second artist featured at the show.

Featured artists

Two of the featured artists at this year’s show are Barbara McLean and Timothy Gillespie.

McLean is a graduate of Graphic Design (Sheridan College) and has a BFA with a major in fine art (NSCAD University). She has taught painting courses for the NSCAD University Extended Studies Division and for art associations throughout Nova Scotia.

Her work has been purchased by the Nova Scotia Art Bank, GPI Atlantic, and multiple times from Shannex Corporation. Her paintings can also be found in many private collections across Canada, USA and Korea.

McLean’s large abstracts and landscape paintings are charged with energy and optimism. They engage the viewer with confident intuitive brush strokes. Dynamic gestures often lead into areas of more subtle investigation. There is a sense of mystery in many of the pieces hinting that a discovery is just beyond view, perceivable if only one could look long enough.

She believes that life’s darkest moments are to be experienced, learned from, and made use of. Underlying all is courage and a zest for life. It is a compelling personal philosophy presented through the medium of paint.

Gillespie, a native of Winnipeg, became enchanted with Nova Scotia during a visit here in the 1980s and, after considering the purchase of the current Seely Hall site in Port Medway, settled on a century-old riverside home in Sable River, where he lives and works today.

He owned and operated art galleries in Sable River and Shelburne and was a founding member of the Osprey Arts Centre, Shelburne County Arts Council and Annual ArtGigs Show & Sale. He served as inaugural chairman of the Nova Scotia Arts Partnership Council and for 15 years has been a key member of the organizing team for the Shelburne Whirligig & Weathervane Festival.

Gillespie’s creative product over the past 30 years has included work in ceramics, three-dimensional constructions, screen-printing and metal fabrication, among other modes. Today, he works in works in metal and minerals.

Recent work in large and smaller sculptures in steel is borne of his fascination with the detritus, labour and materials of industrial production, harkening back to his many visits as a very young boy in Winnipeg to a chain-making factory, where, with rapt fascination, he watched all essential forge and fabrication work done by hand.

His works in steel and other metals evolve in part from recognizable industrial fixtures and objects, which are re-imagined as self-sustaining sculptures, calling on the visceral memory of how we came to this place at this time. The marble, sandstone and slate sculptural pieces draw on his awe of the power of the sea.

His work can be seen in galleries and shops in Nova Scotia, has appeared over the years in many solo and group shows, and is included in collections in Canada and the USA.

vernon.l.oickle@eastlink.ca

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