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Textile artist donates to grandmothers’ cause

Ardith Chambers’ One Gift At A Time was produced for an exhibit to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation. -
Ardith Chambers’ One Gift At A Time was produced for an exhibit to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
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By Catherine Gilbert

A truly exceptional exhibit of textile art has been circulating the Western provinces for the past few months and is due to arrive at the Campbell River Museum Feb. 8.

Not only is the work exceptional, but the artists who produced the work did so with the intent of giving to a cause. In this case, the cause is one that has been taken up by participants in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign - launched by the Stephen Lewis Foundation to financially assist grandmothers in Africa caring for children orphaned by HIV and AIDS.

Ardith Chambers of Courtenay is one of the artists who produced textile works for the show called ‘Turning the tide, one ripple at a time.’

She heard about the opportunity to participate through her membership with the North Island Quilters For Community Awareness. Most of the members are from the Comox Valley, a number are from other communities in B.C. and four are from Manitoba.

Each year they choose a non-profit organization to donate work to and last year they decided on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers group in Courtenay, the Glacier Grannies, of which Chambers is also a member. In total, 30 artists participated and 52 pieces were produced.

Chambers has been a quilter for the past 40 years and recently took up textile art. Each piece of art took her about five days to make. Her pieces are stunning and vivid and each one evokes a different aspect of the challenges faced by families in Africa. She found inspiration for the works in a gift she was given that came from Africa and from the Turning the tide theme. Working alone, Chambers produced pieces that were fairly small with the intent of making them affordable, as all pieces from the show will be auctioned off in Victoria March 12, with proceeds going to the campaign.

Maria Vox, co-ordinator for the quilter’s group, offered guidance and fabric, and had the artists’ pieces framed.

The Glacier Grannies co-ordinated the show and looked after shipping the exhibit to other locations in Canada.

While the pieces can be viewed on the Glacier Grannies website, they should be seen together and in person to experience the full impact of their beauty and significance.

Don’t miss this one time opportunity to see them in Campbell River before they go on auction in Victoria. Admission to the Museum at Campbell River gallery is free and the museum is open 12 to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. Ardith Chambers will be on hand for the exhibit’s Opening Reception at the museum, organized by the Campbell River Grandmothers to Grandmothers, Feb. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m.

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