“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order … the continuous thread of revelation.” Eudora Welty
I asked Rebecca where the idea for Wingmaker germinated and this is that story …
Karon had developed the name some time before. If I had been in charge of the name, we’d still be waiting!
Sharon, Karon and I sat down one day and kicked around Wingmaker Studios? Wingmaker Collective? Wingmaker-A-Salon? Wingmaker Collaborative?
We wanted a name that would allow the inclusion of more than just painting and ceramics. The literary arts. A meeting place. A place for open discussion of ideas. It seemed collaborative was the right word and the concept came from our first collaboration.
So … we ordered graphics. Mike (my husband) helped me lug wood home to make the support for the graphics Karon had developed. I sawed, sanded, painted and with his help installed the wooden signs. We made them fit in with the signs of our neighbors. So we showed up on our own schedules. Sometimes we saw on another. Sometimes not. The space itself seems to have an energy that is supportive, for lack of a better word. Karon and I started to discuss ways to illustrate, for lack of a better word, our gratitude at having such a wonderful space to work in. We decided to have an open house in October and also offer a workshop with The Artist’s Way and Art of Possibility as the texts. We sent out emails to our friends and contacts and as if by magic when the second Tuesday of January 2011 rolled around we had twenty people show up and enroll in the class. About fifteen stuck through the thirteen weeks. It was amazing, if not daunting.
Wingmaker just began to unfold. Evolve. That’s our tagline ‘An Evolving Experiment’ … I thought of that. Finally something. Karon told me I could develop a website and I did. We started meeting people and grew contacts and because of the workshop we held, we met the fourth person in our collaborative, Martha Whitfield.
From a mutual friend connection (I think this is right), Martha met Caroline Coolidge Brown. She was looking for a space to teach Visual Journaling workshops and fell right in step at Wingmaker. Her art has broadened our exposure in the community and she continues to expand the workshop topics that she teaches.
Karon’s heart is mostly in her writing and at her urging we held a poetry reading and open mic, which through her hard work, drew a respectable crowd. Another group of souls to Wingmaker. She encouraged me to ask Dede Wilson if we could hold a reading for her new book of poetry and it was a delightful event with about thirty people in attendance. From that grew a request by Kathryn Schwille, Gail Peck and Dale Neal to use the space for a reading the afternoon of Mother’s Day. There were close to thirty people at that event!We now have one writer planning to use the space as a location for an established class that she had been teaching in her home.
So the way artists get to Wingmaker, they just land here. We have an agreement amongst the studio artists that we all get to meet anyone that wants to join the space on a permanent daily basis and that we need to be in agreement that the personality works in the group. My one rule: Real low or no drama.
So, I’m reeling a little bit about Wingmaker and find myself struggling with keeping time focused on my work. I hope, much as Caroline has with her workshops, that other individuals will take a lead role in planning events for their particular passion and that I’ll be able to fade into the woodwork. I am introverted by nature and am happiest when I have a brush, a pen or a dab of clay in my hand. I love the energy of the events and the joy that people seem to ooze when they are gathered in the space.”
Kim’s note ~ In recent weeks, three of these women have received various honors. Karon Luddy was awarded first place in the Kakalak 2013 anthology for one of her collages. Rebecca and Caroline were both selected as two of nine CSA artists in the inaugural Community Supported Art program.
Tomorrow I’ll throw A Writer’s Window wide open and begin introducing you to the women who embody Wingmaker Arts Collaborative: An Evolving Experiment.