The weather was pretty snowy and there was a whiteout going on around 1pm today as I cleaned off my car and drove to Cornwall Square to check out the Art Hive ” Art 4 all” event going on today.
Set up on the ground floor of the Mall I found a group of some of my favourite artist friends, Yafa Goawily, Jane Macmillan, Jade Thompson and Richard Salem who is executive director of Your Arts Council of Cornwall and the SDG Counties (YAC). They were joined by people of all ages creating art. I was very surprised to see Pikachu there as well, busily creating.
As the description attached to todays event on Facebook says:
“We are very happy and excited to invite our community to join us in our Art 4 all event at the mall – Cornwall Square – Let’s get together to have fun and create art . This event is open to everyone and all ages – free – just bring your beautiful soul to practice art . Art is a way of communication and connecting – and these days – the most important thing we need is to be connected…”
I have to admit, I have had a rough couple of months with my dad recently passing on October 3rd and my oldest son Kristian on November 24th. I have days when I really don’t feel like leaving my house and today was one of those days so I did have to push myself to go out but once I got there and chatted with Yafa Goawily, I could feel the positivity radiating from this special lady who is a ray of sunshine wherever she goes. She is always caring about everyone around her and just talking to her for a few moments made me feel happy that I chose to come out.
Yafa, with her family, moved to Cornwall from Montreal, 2 years ago at the beginning of the Pandemic but in this short time she has certainly made Cornwall her home and has connected with so many people. As she told me today, “A lot has been going on that we really can’t control and at first she worried about everything going on in the world but realized she could only make a direct difference in the world that directly surrounded her. Connecting people with her Love of Art is what has helped her stay positive and she certainly has made many, many great connections in our community.
Art Hives exist in many communities, but what exactly is an Art Hive?
“An Art Hive is a community art studio that welcomes everyone as an artist”.
Cornwall Art Hive was begun by Yafa shortly after she arrived here as she believed Cornwall could benefit from the kind of group that she had experienced in Montreal. Believe it or not but the Cornwall Art Hive events initially took place in front of Yafa’s own house for the first year and she used her own materials. Yafa was at this point new to Cornwall and this was at the beginning of the Pandemic so it was a safe space where neighbours could come together to create and share (with masks on of course) but at the same time connections were formed through Art. This was great for the warm months and luckily Yafa met artist Linda Geisel at the first Art Walk that she attended and asked Linda if the group could start meeting at 125 Pitt Street Studios (which Linda was a part of). Of course Linda said yes and the Art Hive started to grow with a location that people could create in once a month. A Committee was formed and YAC (Your Arts Council) started to contribute some funding to help with the cost the monthly online “Visit the artists studio” to support local artists and also with the cost of materials etc. Yafa tells me that the Cornwall Community really helps a lot as well.
If you check out the “About Us” section on their Facebook Page you will find this short paragraph:
“We get together to create Art – all are welcome – there is no right or wrong in Art – there is only accepting and welcoming – opening to the Art energy.”
The Cornwall Art Hive has two programs:
1. Visit to the artist studio (online) – Taking place the first Saturday of every month
2. Meet in person to create art. Everyone is welcome, all material is furnished – Taking place the third Saturday of every month from 1-3pm (for now meeting at the Cornwall Square and then when the weather gets nice these meetings will be held outside at Lamoureux Park).
Join the Cornwall public Library and the Cornwall Art Hive in this self exploration within the arts! On Saturday, February 26, the library is happy to welcome children in the 2nd floor Story Time Space and let them discover multiple art supplies! For more information go to http://ow.ly/XCwy50HSeKp
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