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Creativity continues at Antigonish’s Arts House

Artist Nellie Fraser using the open studio time at The Arts House, on the morning of Sept. 10. The open studio time is every Tuesday morning.
Artist Nellie Fraser using the open studio time at The Arts House, on the morning of Sept. 10. The open studio time is every Tuesday morning. - Richard MacKenzie

Fall and early winter programming for all ages

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

After a successful and very busy summer, The Arts House in Antigonish is ready for the same traffic, fun and creativity this fall and into the early winter.

In fact, courses for both adults and youth/young adults have already started and, as organizer Beth Latwaitis stressed, all the information as far as course details, dates and times, as well as the registration forms to sign up, can be found on the website antigonishartfair.ca (organizers of the popular summer fairs also look after The Arts House).

“If people really want to see what is going on, they should Google The Arts House and our programming is listed there; and our registration forms are listed there,” Latwaitis said, adding “and it’s changing daily as we’re developing them [courses].”

As for some of the programs for youth, she noted pottery will be offered for the first time, and that popular summer instructor Diana Hatchette, an education student at St. F.X., is still involved and is putting on a tie dye, tapestries and textile course, starting soon.

Latwaitis also noted Grant Lounsbury’s 2-D animation and drawing, and Jeryka Berger’s cake decorating, “with an artistic bent of course,” as other programs kids would have a creative blast with, and parents should check out.

With adult courses, she noted master potter Pat Foote’s Monday and Wednesday sessions, retuning instructor Cori MacInnis doing one on watercolours and later on portraits, and new instructor Frances Guinnane on slab clay creations. 

“And Rachel Power is joining our team; she will be instructing starting in October,” Latwaitis of the popular local artist.

She added The Arts House is developing into what organizers “dreamed of.”

“A space for people – of all ages – to come and be creative … and it’s happening.” 

Other programs she noted was a Friday drop-in session led by Carol Anne Landry on qigong, and the open studio sessions Tuesday mornings, “where people can just drop in and paint,” she said, as artist Nellie Fraser was doing Sept. 10, as Latwaitis and colleague Mike MacEachern spoke with the Casket.

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Other functions

Both Latwaitis and MacEachern noted the facility, which is located in the former Antigonish Visitor Information Centre building on Church Street (Antigonish Market Square parking lot, close to Boston Pizza), is becoming a busy place for ‘creative’ birthday parties, as well as other social functions, such as anniversary parties and office get-togethers.

MacEachern noted they did get a liquor license for a recent anniversary party, so that is an option for a renter. 

“It’s all inclusive, they just come, show up,” Latwaitis said of the creative birthday parties.

“They can have a theme and decorate it for that, but then we have an artist who makes it a ‘creative’ birthday party. Whoever is having the party can say they like clay, visual art, tie dye … whatever they want,” she said, adding there are “not enough Saturdays in the month” for the demand, now that word has spread about the fun and creative take on a birthday celebration.

With the Christmas season not too far away as well, Latwaitis and MacEachern noted there are thoughts being put together for creative events where folks could come and make presents.

“So, in a recycling world, having people make things themselves, rather than always purchasing them,” Latwaitis said, noting folks can stay tuned to the website for more on the idea.

She credited MacEachern for coming up with the gift certificate idea.

“To a child or adult to enroll in one of our courses,” she said.

Both also mentioned the dance studio which is available to rent and is already being taken advantage of by one highland dancing squad. 

With thanks

Latwaitis began by stressing the importance of the website to stay up-to-date and informed on The Arts House activities, she concluded by stressing their success is due to the support of the entire community.

“Grateful to the community for supporting us, because if they didn’t come, we wouldn’t be here,” she said. “And to the artists who have come through the door and helped us out or are looking for some work. It’s all those partnerships you can form and this is a small town, we need to be helping each other out.”

The Arts House off of Church Street, in the Market Square parking lot, by Boston Pizza. File
The Arts House off of Church Street, in the Market Square parking lot, by Boston Pizza. File

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