Local artist bringing Culture Days to Amherstburg

By Joel Charron

On September 30 through October 2 join Canadians in hundreds of cities and town across the country and participate in activities that celebrate the creative expression in the    Amherstburg community called Culture Days.

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

Margaret Walschots will be demonstrating the art of Pysanky during Culture Days during Sept. 30 - Oct 2 at the Gibson Gallery.

Annual, Canada-wide Culture Days events feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community.

In Amherstburg, local artist, Margaret Walschots will be demonstrating Chinese Brush Painting and Pysanky Artistry at the Gibson Gallery.

Walschots said the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) approached her about the idea of participating in Culture Days.   The OAC helped Walschots finance an art show held at the Gibson Gallery that featured the art of Pysanky.

“I’m very excited,” said Walschots, who is the only person in Amherstburg who is performing demonstrations for Culture Days. “I’m very passionate with what I do. I’m just an ordinary woman who just loves art and gets great pleasure from practicing the art that I like to do.”

Culture Days is a collaborative movement that relies on the participation of the community. Culture Days drives a large-scale, multi-layered, annual, national communications and public relations campaign designed to help inspire and catalyze greater public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities.

“I’m also very passionate about passing things, that I like to do on to other people because they may pick up on it and pass it on to other people as well,” explained Walschots.

The first annual Culture Days event was held in September 2010 in over 700 Canadian cities and towns and, by all accounts, was a great success.

According to Walschots, Culture Days is the largest collective public campaign put on by any art and culture community.

Culture Days will begin on Sept. 30 with an exhibit and Demonstration at the Gibson Gallery stating at 12 p.m. On October 1 she will perform Pysanky Artistry demonstration at 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. On Oct. 2 she will be demonstrating Chinese Brush Painting from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.

“I’m hoping to spark the interest in other people and motivate them to come in an watch what I do,” said Walschots.

Walschots added that the two techniques that she will be demonstrating are “self contained” and don’t require a lot of space and money to perform, something that she think could be very appealing to people.

Walschots also thanked the Gibson Gallery from allowing her to use their space.

“I’m very grateful to the Gibson Gallery,” she said.

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