Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Creativity in us—Carolyn R. Wilker

On the weekend I spent an enjoyable day with two friends at “Christmas in Paris”—an event we had never attended before.
I’d heard about it and decided it would make a good day trip. Doris and Amanda’s schedules were free and so we set out Saturday morning for Paris (Ontario, that is). Driving country roads instead of main highways, we watched the panorama of trees with coloured leaves, many still on the tree and the ground carpeted with more.
We’d done our research before setting out. For a toonie, paid at any location, we gained admission to all six locations, the proceeds going to the “non-profit organization (Kindred Spirits Artisans) and help fund these wonderful events the public enjoys every year.”
 The website invites us into the festivities with these words:
Our vibrant community shares the joy of the holiday season by opening our homes and hearts! Participate in a unique shopping experience and select your gifts from the work of our artist and artisans!

Kindred Spirits Artisans of Paris began as an incorporated organization of people who share common interests in raising “the profile of the arts in the local community.” Founded in 1990, local newspapers announced the initiative of people “from a variety of artistic disciplines as a cultural renaissance,” an event that has continued over the past twenty-three years.
We arrived under heavy skies and the likelihood of rain, but at first it was just chilly. We’d be indoors and out so rain did not much matter, for the spirit was bright and the houses and buildings hosting the events were decorated gaily, reminding us that Christmas is indeed coming. For those who wanted to do Christmas shopping, it was a perfect opportunity to purchase handmade crafts from the artisans. Having been a craftsperson myself, I'm always interested in seeing how artists combine materials to pleasing effect.
 I hear it coming—Christmas is so commercialized. And it is, but for us that day, it was simply an opportunity to go somewhere together, see the works of wonderfully creative people who live in the community and surrounding area. We were not disappointed, although too many scented items precluded me from wandering and looking inside one large venue at the golf course, but I invited my friends to see what they could find while I enjoyed the outdoor scenery from the raised verandah.
Over all the six sites, we saw glasswork and creative stitchery, beadwork, wreaths, metalwork, ornaments, silk scarves, and so much more. I marvelled at the ingenuity of many of those artisans—the pictures made with wool roving, felted and embroidered to make a natural scene; and gourds that had been dried and made into ornaments. Among all those items, I found some special treasures—ornaments, a winter wreath and art card—to bring home.
 In the middle of our tour, we sat talking over lunch in the main part of town, and then looking around in the stores, and by this time it had begun to rain.
Thinking on the array of beautiful things made by those artisans reminds me that God invested the same creative expression in us that he himself did in creating us. Our creative gifts are meant to be used, whether with words or artistic forms. Celebrate that creativity this season and all year long and share it with others as a gift from our creator.


Carolyn R. Wilker, editor, storyteller and author of Once Upon a Sandbox



Tracy Krauss said...

I love the idea of 'raising the profile' of artists in the community. As an artist and executive member of my local Arts Council, this is something we try hard to do. I love the sound of this particular 'craft fair' and wish i could attend. maybe next year! (It's a long way from BC...)

Peter Black said...

Hmm, Carolyn, I wasn't aware of Paris, Ontario's "Christmas in Paris" (Something to keep in mind.)
Thanks for sharing your enjoyable experience there. Yes, God has invested His creativity in us - gifts to be used for His glory and to benefit others. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I suppose my reply is okay yet, even if it is late. Thanks Tracy and Peter for your kind comments. Though artists may not (read "don't") receive the high profile that some other areas of employment do, I believe it's still worthy of recognition. We saw some beautiful works of art that day. And the event was well attended. Paris has attracted a following for the event over the years. Any such endeavour takes time to build.

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