After Beattie Haven spent the week sprucing up their spacious basement, people filtered in early Saturday morning to start painting 8 foot by 8 foot murals depicting quilt block patterns that signify stories of the founding of Wardsville in 1810. Soon after, Bev Shipley, MP for Lambton – Kent – Middlesex, arrived with a very large cheque for $33,100. Your Wardsville community association was awarded a bicentennial grant through the Government of Canada’s ‘Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage’ program.
Wardsville’s founding is being marked by 30 barn quilt murals depicting the life of Mr. and Mrs. George Ward. The painting and installation will be done prior to Father’s Day weekend when there will be a celebration of history, food, and forefathers.
Wardsville is engaging citizens in their community through performing and visual arts, as well as through the expression, celebration, and preservation of local historical heritage. The idea is to increase opportunities for local artists and artisans to engage with their communites and to increase exposure to local historical heritage.
Artist-in-residence Rick Sommer demonstrated the art of transferring the geometric design over to an 8 foot square canvas of special plywood and then the tops came off the paint cans. Local artists Steve Sitler, Janet Quinton, Rosemary Cranney, and Scott MacKay were on hand to assist. By the end of the day, 30 participants had completed 5 more canvasses to add to the one already mounted on the Thamesville Credit Union branch in Wardsville. Twenty-four left to go.
Denise Corneil, the project coordinator, urged the participants to organize a painting party. “Church groups, service groups, the firemen, businesses, choirs, girl friends – all are welcome to book an evening to paint a barn quilt. We now have a group of leaders who can supervise an evening of painting. We’ll get some instructions up on the wall. It’s all about learning and having fun.”
Doug Reycraft, Mayor of Southwest Middlesex and John Kavalaars, Councillor, were on hand. Mr. Reycraft congratulated the group on their determination to revitalize their community. He also took the opportunity to thank the Government of Canada for the gas tax transfer which in Wardsville’s case, will be used to pay for a sewer treatment plant upgrade this year.
Issued by Mary Simpson, Secretary and Past President, Your Wardsville
March 15, 2010