A funny thing happened to me in Madoc this morning. I’d jumped out of my car to take a photo of another of the mysterious colourful signs that have popped up all over the village recently. My mission was to add the picture to last night’s post (which is here, newly expanded with said picture and another one), which was about that very same mystery: signs proclaiming things like ART, and PAINTING, and POETRY, and CULTURE, in super-bright colours, posted on hydro and telephone poles all over little Madoc. As I wrote last night, this is a mystery that clearly has an arts orientation to it; and since I think a vibrant arts community can be the making of a village or town or city, and since I also love a mystery, I was intrigued.
And apparently I was not alone. As I was getting back into the car after taking the picture, a woman I didn’t know who was turning the corner in her own car stopped me and said, “What are those signs? I’ve been seeing them all over town!”
“That’s just what I’m trying to find out,” I told her. “It’s a mystery, but I’m trying to get to the bottom of it!” And we both went on our way.
It wasn’t very much later in the morning that the mystery was solved, thanks, as so often happens, to the wisdom of the readers.
You might have already read the comment on last night’s post that led to the answer, but in case you haven’t, here it is. It comes from Anthea Reitav:
Let me help you out! The signs are done by artist Diane Woodward as a promotion for a newly forming group called Madoc Friends of the Arts. We are having a meeting Thursday, March 5, at 5:30, and are always looking for a new people. At present planning is underway for a March 27 venue at the Madoc Arts Centre … We have a wealth of artsy people hidden away in this community who would love to share their talents. Our goal is to support them and show what a vibrant, interesting community we have.
Well bravo, Anthea and Diane and all who are behind this initiative!
You might know of Diane Woodward, especially if you live in our area. She is a Madoc artist who paints all manner of colourful, fantastical things, and has made quite a name for herself in doing so. (I found a ton of articles about her in a quick online search just now; among them are stories and posts here and here and here.) What’s especially cool is that she uses the interior of her handsome Madoc home – and I mean the entire interior, like: every surface – as a canvas for her work, and so her home is well-known locally as “The Painted House.” (I once had another stranger stop me on the street in Madoc and ask me directions to it.) Here is a video about Diane and her home:
Anyway, I could not agree more with Anthea when she says that “we have a wealth of artsy people hidden away in this community.” That’s certainly something that Raymond and I have noticed since buying the Manse in Queensborough three years ago, and especially since moving here a year and a half ago. We’ve met and admired the work of painters, photographers, wood carvers, writers, quilters and so many more. I think there is something about the rugged beauty and quiet lifestyle of central Hastings County – right around the north of 7 area – that attracts creative people. They seem to find inspiration from the landscape and the clear air – and, of course, from fellow artists.
So all the better if such people are getting together and talking about sharing their talents, supporting each other, and in the process helping build, as Anthea puts it so well, “a vibrant, interesting community.”
Now (says Katherine, donning her Nancy Drew guise): on to the next mystery!