The Beautification Committee of the Coboconk, Norland, and Rosedale area has consistently brought new initiatives to improve upon the visual aspects of living in, and visiting, the area. Each season brings many exciting projects, and new this summer season is the banners that decorate the towns. With the help of local talent, each banner that is seen overlooking Coboconk, Norland, and Rosedale are hand crafted works of art. Artistic expression has long held an important role in society by bringing communities together, opening discussion, showcasing local talent, and reinforcing values. The Coboconk, Norland & Rosedale banner project has done just that.
The project is the compiled effort of both artists and small business owners. The banners were sewn and grommeted by Dinah Wlson of Dinah’s Decor, and were then primed on both sides and given to local artists Brenda Mulholland, Ian Ball, Gail Mcfadden, and Denise Livingstone to complete. In effect, each banner is two very large paintings. The painted banners showcase a number of different pictures, including animals and landscapes that reflect the natural elements of the area. One of the four artists, Brenda Mulholland, is experienced in mixed media and was inspired by the chance to work in a completely new medium and display. Her two banners, the snowy owl and the grey jay, can be seen in Coboconk and were inspired by the Canada 150 theme. However, the banners hold more meaning to Brenda than to just be visually pleasing. The banner project has strengthened the importance of art in small communities. Reflecting on her background in teaching, Brenda says that one of the roles that art has in our community is to educate, stating that “everything we do teaches somebody, whether we know it or not. It is a community effort”.
Responsible for the bulk of the creations, Denise Livingstone of The Cricket’s Handbag is very excited about the project and hopes to add to the number of banners next year. In the Fall, the Beautification Committee will check over each banner for wear and fading “so that we can adjust our creative process, if necessary, to add to the longevity of each banner”, says Denise. The committee is also looking for more participants to contribute their painting skills for future banners.
You can see more creations from Brenda Mulholland, Ian Ball, and Gail McFadden during the 32nd annual Victoria County Studio Tour taking place September 23-24, and September 30-October 1. The free self-guided driving tour includes 33 local artists at 24 studio locations.