GREENWICH, NS - They are a group of decorative artists on a mission to give back to the community.
Established 23 years ago, the Annapolis Valley Decorative Artists (A.V.D.A.) painting guild was organized as a group of people with a common interest in painting. It currently has 48 members and new recruits are welcome.
A.V.D.A. member and art and gift sale chairwoman Brenda Parker said that, excluding the summer, the group meets every month at the Greenwich Fire Hall to paint, learn new techniques and to work on several community service projects.
These include painting small memory boxes for the Valley Regional Hospital to be given to family members of stillborn babies. They also paint boxes for the S.P.C.A. and Hope for Wildlife and they paint tiles for the Canadian Mental Health Foundation. Parker said the members “firmly believe in giving back to our community.”
She said A.V.D.A. members have been supporting the hospital for several years, beginning with painting murals for the pediatric ward.
“They expressed a need for something a parent of a deceased child can put little mementos in of the child, so that the child’s memory is not forgotten,” Parker said. “It’s just a way of us offering some support to Valley Regional in all that they do.”
The artists found a supplier of small, wooden boxes and began painting them as memory boxes for the hospital. They also do paint boxes for various charitable causes. These boxes are a little smaller and are hinged. The artists donate these to the various charities, which in turn sell them to raise funds.
Parker said the A.V.D.A. is very supportive of those who want to learn. She has always had an interest in painting and she got into decorative art to learn the basics. When she joined the A.V.D.A., it opened her world to all sorts of educational opportunities.
The guild brings in an artist to put on a three-day workshop each year and there are other, shorter seminars held throughout the year. The members also go on occasional painting retreat weekends.
“It’s really expanded my knowledge and my comfort in painting,” Parker said.
Art and gift sale
Each year during the first weekend of November, the members showcase their talents at the A.V.D.A. Art and Gift Sale. It’s an opportunity for members to sell their works of art, which can include Christmas tree ornaments, wall art, paintings, furniture, metal art, pickles, carvings and more.
One of the group’s main annual fundraisers is a quilt draw. Tickets are sold for several months leading up to the sale with the draw taking place at the sale, this year on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. Each year, a quilt with a different theme is designed and various members each paint a block.
The quilt is pieced together and hand-quilted to create a one-of-a-kind, useable, washable piece of art. Parker said the actual hand quilting is done by two other groups, alternating between the Kingsport Quilters and the V.O.N.’s volunteer quilters.
Visitors to the art and gift sale will have an opportunity to create a piece of art. The two projects being offered this year are a wintery owl painting and a fall leaf painting. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3, the owl takes approximately one hour to complete and costs $5. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3, the fall leaf piece takes approximately two hours and costs $10. No prior painting experience is necessary and all supplies are provided.
Parker said they’ve found in prior years that families enjoy taking part in the painting exercise together.
“We’ve had young families come in and mom and dad and the kids all sit down and do a painting together, it’s kind of neat,” Parker said.
Space is limited, so those wishing to try their hand at painting are asked to contact Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-register. Participants can still register at the sale on Nov. 3 if spaces remain available.
If you go
- This year’s A.V.D.A. Art and Gift Sale takes place at the Greenwich Fire Hall on Nov. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- On Nov. 3, there will be a variety of desserts, tea and coffee served, which is included in the $3 door fee. There will also be door prizes awarded throughout the day.
- If you attend on Nov. 2, your door fee will cover a second visit on Nov. 3 if you save your ticket.
- For more information on the A.V.D.A. or the art and gift sale, call Brenda Parker at 902-582-7549 or email email@example.com. Or, call A.V.D.A. president Sylvia Fullerton at 902-542-5800 or visit the guild’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Annapolis-Valley-Decorative-Artists-1569407853288425/.