This year’s honouree for Heritage Day – a holiday happening Monday, Feb. 18 in the province – is Maud Lewis.
The renowned folk artist who was born in Yarmouth County and who later lived and painted in Digby County until her death, is also being celebrated through various activities planned by the Western Counties Regional Library at its branches in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Digby counties.
The following events are planned at the library branches:
• Author Brenda Thompson will be discussing and reading from her book A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia in Digby at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, in Lockeport on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and in Clare on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. The poor house, formerly located in Marshalltown, was near Maud and Everett Lewis’s home and where Everett worked as a night watchman.
• Enjoy an afternoon with Maud Lewis in Yarmouth on Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. and Weymouth on Feb. 21 at 6:30-7:30 p.m. The afternoon begins with an excerpt from the play Maud directed by Hal Theriault, with Brian Isles playing Everett. This will be followed by a talk about the research that went into the writing of the play.
• There is a screening of the film Maudie starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke in Barrington on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m., in Clare on Feb. 15 at 1:30 p.m., and in Shelburne on Feb. 26 at 6:15 p.m.
• For those wishing to try their hand at painting, there will be Painting “A la Maud” in Digby (902-245-2163) on Feb. 16 at 10:30 a.m. (register by Feb.13); in Shelburne (902-875-3615) on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. (register by Feb. 20) and in Lockeport (902-656-2817) on Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. (register by Feb. 27).
At the art gallery in Yarmouth: Sharing stories
The Yarmouth branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will be celebrating Maud Lewis on Nova Scotia’s Heritage Day Feb. 18.
The gallery will be open that day from noon to 5 p.m. where people can visit the Maud Lewis exhibit.
As part of the day there will also be a Maud Lewis Show and Tell Story Circle, from 1 to 3 p.m.
The Friends of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Yarmouth say they are pleased to present a Maud Lewis Story Circle in honour of the folk artist as part of Nova Scotia’s Heritage Day.
The program will include a Show & Tell circle where a dozen people will share personal stories related to meeting Maud, being inspired by Maud, or having information regarding Maud.
The audience will also be asked to bring items of interest related to Maud Lewis and to share their stories.
Join the Yarmouth County Community Health Board and Yarmouth Recreation for our Heritage Day Wellness Walk on Monday, February 18 at 3 pm at Maple Grove This year’s theme is Maud Lewis.
Stamp of approval
The Nova Scotia Division of the Arthritis Society is celebrating Heritage Day by launching a special stamp honouring Nova Scotia Folk Artist, Maud Lewis.
The limited-edition stamp will available for purchase at the Arthritis Society (Halifax office) and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, while supply lasts.
Maud Lewis, was born Maud Kathleen Dowley to John and Agnes Dowley, in the town of Yarmouth, March 7, 1903. Maud lived with her husband Everett Lewis in a small house in Marshalltown Nova Scotia. She spent most of her life in pain from arthritis that left her hands and body deformed.
Although she had so many barriers to overcome, her folk-art paintings garnered much attraction and interest. Maud achieved national recognition in the mid 60’s, becoming known as one of Canada’s best-known folk artists. Her art and restored house are on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
“Maud’s special gift was that, despite lifelong struggles with poverty and rheumatoid arthritis, she saw the world through eyes of innocence, hope and wonder, and she was able to share that vision with others through her art. She showed us that there are few things more powerful than the human spirit”, said Susan Tilley-Russell, Executive Director, Atlantic Region of the Arthritis Society.
“Heritage Day is an opportunity for all Nova Scotians to celebrate our province’s culture and honour the contributions of exceptional Nova Scotians,” said Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage Leo Glavine. “Maud Lewis has a special place in the heart of Nova Scotians, her spirit shines through every one of her famous paintings. It is only fitting that on Heritage Day, we celebrate this incredible ambassador of our province’s culture.”