|Editor’s note: How do you say thanks? Who to ask and where to start? Those were my questions when I started to put this tribute together for publication on July 2, 2017. That turned out to be a difficult task, as there are literally countless friends of the Center, artists and craftsmen and most of all -- appreciative students who could be or should be asked. What to do…? I took the easy way out! I asked Chris Murray, Photographer and a Trustee of the Arts Centre to help. Together we bring you a tiny taste of why we appreciate this special place!
My relationship with the Thousand Islands Arts Center dates back several years when I began to enter my photography in their annual Art of Winter and Along the River’s Edge exhibits. This culminated two years ago in my solo exhibition “The St. Lawrence: Our River, Our Islands”.
I have a deep love of the Thousand Islands and the opportunity to exhibit a collection of images from a place of immense personal significance was an honor and experience I will never forget. I have always enjoyed my interactions with the center and have found the staff to be a pleasure to work with, which is why, when asked to be a member of the Board I responded with an enthusiastic yes. I am now in my second year on the Board and first as Treasurer. I have enjoyed my time as a Trustee and consider it a privilege to be part of such an important and wonderful organization.
No community is complete, without an active and vibrant arts scene, a role the Arts Center fills splendidly in Clayton through its education programs and yearly exhibitions. Moreover, the Center is renowned for its collection of textiles from the 1900’s renaissance of American handweaving. Rich in history with an impressive pedigree, the arts center is an invaluable part of the community.
Tributes from Friends….
The Arts Center has been a special place for me since being introduced to it by my mother in 1975: Special because of the fine art and quality of work presented by the diverse artists over the years. Special because of the exposure to a wide range of art to all ages through classes. Special because it's a wonderful and happy low key museum open to all.
Prudence Matthews, Fishers Landing
What is special about the ART CENTER is its ability to bring out the best in us I believe creativity and beauty are at the top of the list...years ago I took a course in creating something out of cement ...if you can imagine . I made a rather large boat planter for our yard. My rug hooking friends spent many happy hours on the front porch each one creating her own masterpiece out of a little piece of herself. Bringing out our very best. Love and gratitude for all those who have made this Center such a success.
We asked Ken Deedy, Grindstone Island, about the Tea!
The Emily Post Tea is held biennially to honor the memory and work of Ms. Emily Post of Long Point, Grindstone Island. Ms. Post was a formidable woman who had a passion for the art of weaving. She was also a wonderful organizer. Because of her efforts, the River is blessed with the Thousand Islands Arts Center, Home of the Handweaving Museum in Clayton.
Ms. Emily Holt and her daughter, Caroline Holt Larson, (and family) host a fundraising Tea at their home. This year it is on Wednesday, July 12th. (See Tea at Miss Post’s Cottage–July 12, 2017)
Funds raised at each Tea are used for the benefit of TIAC. One-half goes to the Emily Post Endowment for future grants and one-half of the proceeds is used for current grant support. The Post fund has been used to improve electric wiring for exhibits, to buy equipment such as a Slab Roller for the Pottery Studio and to help to pave the driveway.
Most importantly, while providing support for a terrific organization, it also provides a striking afternoon of old-world gentility in a fabulous River setting. And, did I say, it is great fun too!
Gail Richardson, Trustee & Immediate Past Chair
The Thousand Islands Arts Center is a unique organization with its dual nature.
On the one hand, a local promoter of arts and crafts in the greater River community while at the same time the preserver and protector of our renowned handwoven collection giving TIAC its Museum status.
It has taken many "hands" through the years to "weave" this duality together to create a unity of purpose.
What a jewel in the midst of one of nature’s most beautiful works of art - a treasure built on years of devotion to the works of hand and heart, preserving, promoting, educating and celebrating.
Happy Birthday to TIAC and all the hands, which built it to live on for generations - and continue to do so. Thank you all.
The Art Center and Handweaving Museum is a cultural gem, especially for a textile artist. As a Canadian, there isn't anything around that can provide the same quality of shows, workshops and resources, and most of all, wonderful friendships with like-minded people.
Bill Rogerson, Executive Director, Aquatarium, Brockville, ON
Happy 50th Anniversary to what is a cultural gem in the 1000 Islands! Your service to the community is truly inspiring.
Susan W. Smith, Editor, wwwThousandislandslife.com
My association with the Thousand Islands Arts Centre is strictly personal, and I must admit, I never expected to be sharing this story with our TI Life readers but here goes: My link is with the Annual Antique Show – this year will be their 53rd Annual Show!
It was back in 1992. I was a widow, and I had found a single father who knew how to cook and sew! I lived in Montreal, QC he was in Ottawa, ON. I told him that he did not have to worry about getting married until I started to redecorate his house. Well, that August we went to the Show and I fell in love with a “dusty rose pattern” china coffee set, Coffee Pot, Creamer, and Sugar Bowl. He bought it for me. The next weekend I was in Ottawa and suggested that we go to IKEA and buy a book shelf for his kitchen for the Coffee Set. We did; he put it together, and at the end of the day he said, “By the way, I accept.” We were married the following April and next April we celebrate our 25th anniversary.
So, speaking strictly personally, that purchase made a big difference in my life and certainly my husband’s life. But there are so many more stories about the ways that the Arts Centre has made a difference in the lives of artists, teachers, visitors and most of all, to the fabric of the small town of Clayton, NY.
As I said above, no community is complete without an active and vibrant arts scene, a role the Arts Center fills splendidly in Clayton, through its Education Programs and yearly exhibitions. Be sure to take advantage, by visiting, signing up for a course or submitting your art works, for an exhibit!
By Chris Murray
TI Life readers were first introduced to Chris Murray Photography in July 2010 and then in January 2011 he wrote “Thousand Islands Rocks”, providing a unique perspective on the Island’s geology. Chris is also a past winner of our Thousand Islands Life Photo Contest! Thankfully, he often shares his beautiful photographs with TI Life on Facebook. His unique shots of the Adirondacks and the Canadian Rockies are outstanding. All can be found at Chris Murray Photography.