Local artist brings culture to A’burg through art

By Joel Charron

This past weekend the Gibson gallery hosted Culture Days, a nationwide celebration of arts.

Local artist Margaret Walschots said the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) approached her about the idea of participating in Culture Days. Walschots helped sessions in pysanky, the art of decorating eggs and Chinese brush painting.

Culture Days kicked off on Friday and ran until Sunday.

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.

Annual, Canada-wide Culture Days events feature free, hands-on, interactive activities

Local artist Margaret Walschots demonstrates Chinese brush painting at Gibson Gallery

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.

“It’s a good way to get people out and try new things,” said Walschots.

Walschots also mentioned that the idea is to create art and to get the public involved, free of charge.  People can not only observe but also participate in creating art.

“There are simple forms of art that everyone can participant in,” explained Walschots. “These techniques have been around for hundreds of years.”

She said pysanky helps promote a cultural heritage including her own and the Chinese brush painting also aids in promoting culture.

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.

Walschots noted that she hopes she passes her passion of art on to others.

“I’m just an ordinary lady, who picked up a few things on my own,” said she. “If people are willing to practice, they will be just as successful as I am or any body else can be.”

“In the olden days the scholars wanted the younger people to pick up these skills and pass them on so not only they would learn patience but some dexterity,” she continued “This just adds more beauty to the world.”

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