From June 17-19, the Cumberland Crossing Inn is hosting the second annual Summer Solstice Artisan Show, featuring both local and out of province talent.
Event organizer Kimberly Roblin-McKay was enthusiastic artists and vendors were setting up Friday afternoon.
“We’re just trying to get the artists out, with the Covid restrictions coming down,” Roblin-McKay said. “(The goal is) getting people out, and getting some new artists who have never showed their artwork before anywhere, so we’re pretty excited to have a few new artists, for the first time, to show up.
“They stepped out and they realized their artwork is not to be kept in a little dark room. It’s to be put out into the public so the world can see their talent. We encourage them to continue on, keep going, and to keep doing more shows!”
One of the newer artist teams is that of Jessica Rabbitskin and her daughter, the co-founders of Princess Heartbeat and Designs. The company started with a seemingly lifetime’s worth of experience in the area of beading with Jessica, who taught her daughter the artform as well. However, their artistry goes well beyond the beadwork. Included on their table were original designed t-shirt patterns, made through the use of HTV (heat transfer vinyl), which is a process of “print and cut, and a lot of ironing.”
Rabbitskin admits that she’s “looking to evolve into sublimation, and maybe screenprinting. We’re still new.”
Even experienced artists, such as Roblin-Mckay’s husband, Earl McKay, are always experimenting with different art forms. At one point in his artistic endeavors, a friend sent him a tooth from a killer whale. His friend knew he would find some use for it in his artistic endeavors, which included Mckay painting a picture of a killer whale on said tooth, once it was firmly glued to a slice of elk horn.
“My friend didn’t want any money for the tooth,” said McKay, adding “She told me “Do the artwork, and send me a picture of it.”
One corner of the room was taken over by an older man and his two nephews who all share the love of painting.
“I’ve been painting for several years,” said Solomon Colomb, adding humbly, “I never took it serious about my art. My kids, they watched me do this.”
Columb gestured towards the two tables next to him, that were full of their own painting, adding, “the boys have their own work.”
His nephew Dino Columb has a vast array of his own handiwork, with several boxes of his other compact-sized paintings nearby. Dino was proud to state, “I got into artwork when I observed my uncle.”
There are several other artisans present, including Genevieve St. Denis, who is a supplier of beading and fabric supplies in the lines of First Nations designs. Having been in business for over 2 years, she has also diversified into making “some homemade scrub tops, and homemade bags, small totes, and mini-totes.” St. Denis also makes original beaded guitar straps.
As the Artisan Show is also running on the day of the annual street fair in the downtown district less than a block away, Roblin-McKay is ready to “invite people to come and see what’s really out here and have a look, and maybe take some of it home.”