"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Friday, April 28, 2017

“Elizabeth Bishop’s Beginnings” Permanent Exhibit: Progress

In 2015, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia created an ad hoc Elizabeth Bishop display in the sanctuary of St. James Church in Great Village. Pulled together quickly, this display was meant to presage the permanent exhibit that the society began to plan during the winter of 2016. It was located at the back of the sanctuary. When some of the old pews were removed at the front, the display boards were repositioned in the spot where the permanent exhibit would go.
(The sanctuary space before cleaning, with ad hoc display.
Photo by Patti Sharpe)
In the fall of 2016, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia initiated its fund-raising efforts and began to prepare the space allotted to it for the exhibit. The ad hoc display was dismantled and new track lighting was installed in November.
(The new track lighting. Photo by Patti Sharpe.)
(The clearing and cleaning commenses. Photo by Laurie Gunn.)
As the Exhibit Committee discussed the issues, it was decided to begin modestly and learn the capacity of the space. The committee decided room to house not only a Bishop exhibit, which the committee entitled “Elizabeth Bishop’s Beginnings,” but there was also room for a small art gallery. Bishop’s immediate maternal family included two professional visual artists and Bishop herself enjoyed painting, so an art gallery made sense. The gallery component is called “Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop,” the same title used for the collection of EB100 Writing Competition winners the EBSNS published in 2013 with Gaspereau Press.

The Exhibit Committee commissioned Great Village woodworker and carpenter Garry Shears to build two display cabinets for the exhibit, which he worked on over the winter of 2017. As soon the cabinets are in hand, we will share photos of them. Garry is a fine craftsman and we know these cabinets will be both beautiful and functional, the perfect containers for the precious objects in the exhibit.

The committee decided that the first exhibition in the small gallery would be work by Colchester County artists, and invitations were extended to a half a dozen local artists. Profiles of the artists involved will appear on this blog in the weeks to come.

On 15 April 2017, the Exhibit Committee and some EBSNS board members gathered in St. James Church to do additional preparation of the space. During that session, it was decided that another pew needed to be removed, so arrangements were made for that to happen.
(Clean-up day, April 2017. L. to r. Judith van Duren, Cathy Mazur,
Sandra Barry, deep in discussion. Photo by Laurie Gunn.)
(Laurie Gunn's hooked rug hanging is as colourful
as the stained glass windows. Photo by Laurie Gunn.)
In addition to the items on display, the EBSNS will also sell some of its merchandise: our popular fridge magnet and postcard, for example, and various books. To help with this aspect of the space, Garry Shears has made a wooden lock-box.
 (EBSNS magnet.)

The next post will explain the concept of “Elizabeth Bishop’s Beginnings” Exhibit.

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