Finding Creative Community

I am writing this week from our resort in Invermere, where we are enjoying our long awaited spring break vacation! We've camped on a sandy beach, gone on a few hikes and hopped in some hot springs. Feeling incredibly grateful for the beautiful province that we get to call home and are fortunate enough to enjoy.

I'm writing today to share a bit more about an event happening in Prince George that I will not be able to attend in person - but my quilt will be there on display!

The Neighborhood Time Exchange | Downtown Prince George (NTEPG) was the very first place we visited upon moving here in January. I had been following what was developing for the space for at least a year prior to it opening as it is a partnership program with Living Labs from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, and Downtown Prince George.

Emily Carr also has classroom space to develop at the Wood Innovation & Design Center where my partner Paul is currently completing his masters - and while we were not able to attend the same 'campus' together this year (Emily Carr hopes to have the space ready with program offerings by 2018) the NTEPG has been a space for me to connect with other artists and the projects they have been working on during their residency.

As I completed my own artist residency this past August in the City of Fort St John Passive House - this concept for immersion in a theme of creative work has been fresh in my mind.

I have written previously about the Passive House here, and about launching my Artist Residency in that house here.

What's interesting, is that the work I started in Fort St John last August - carving a series of blocks inspired by the Peace region that I will always call home, printing over 60 square feet of patterned fabric/yardage by hand, and then sewing them together into a quilt -took me until recently to finish.

The quilt fabric was printed in the City of Fort St John Passive House, sewn together after we moved into our place at Airport Acre, and then machine quilted, bound and finished here in Prince George.

The second place I visited upon moving to Prince George, was the Two Rivers Gallery, as I signed up for an art class as a way to engage with other creatives while spending the year here.

Frances Gobbi led a group of us through her class titled Foster Your Creative Spirit, and for each Tuesday evening in January, I was able to walk to the gallery and engage in a creative activity just for fun - it was such a great relief through my transition to working from home where I was spending all week self-directed - to just show up and have Frances tell me what to do for a couple of hours.

Once the class ended we exchanged info and have kept in touch, developing a friendship over our common interest of creative arts and our thoughts on living and working as artists.

Frances is the last artist in residence through the NTEPG, and I was able to take my own projects to the space over the last three weeks and Frances and I would work on our own projects in the company of one another in the large studio space.

Over the course of the month Frances has created a series of watercolor quilt blocks, as well as held evening creative classes free to the public. There was even a collaborative watercolor quilt painting event, that I was happy to attend right before we left on this vacation.

It really was happenstance that my quilt is on display at the event this evening, as the more we worked together and learned about each other and the work we were both doing, it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to share the story of our connected themes of work in the space that was created to foster collaboration. 

It's unfortunate I won't be there, but I know Frances is a great host and I am delighted to be there in creative spirit! Thank you so much to Frances and Roanne Whitticase of the NTEPG for the opportunity.

Again, you can learn more about the house that inspired the work, and more of my process on my Instagram:

Passive House

Creatively Sustained Quilt

And really, this quilt project in the passive house really helped me develop 'Creatively Sustained' into the guiding manifesto that I outline in more detail here