The Maudified House in front of the Yarmouth town hall will be the site of a ribbon cutting this Saturday. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
By Eric Bourque
An official launch of Yarmouth’s “Maudified” houses is still set for Saturday, May 24, despite vandalism that caused some damage to two of the structures.
The launch is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Yarmouth County Museum, with town crier David Olie leading the way to the town hall, where Mayor Pam Mood will cut the ribbon on the Maudified house there.
Participants will then head to Alma Square – the site of another of the houses – and to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s western branch, where people are invited to view the Maud Lewis exhibit that has been set up.
The project – a celebration of Maud Lewis, the renowned folk artist from Yarmouth County – consists of 11 small houses that have been painted in the Maud Lewis style or “Maudified.”
Early last week it was reported that two of the houses – the one at the corner of Water and Commercial streets and the one at the ferry terminal – had been vandalized.
Said Wendy Majestic, the Maudified house project coordinator, “Fortunately, Dan Earle and Ivan Blades (two of the project’s core volunteers) were at the waterfront gallery, so I was able to get hold of them and they were able to go over and assess the damage.”
Both houses sustained damage to their doors. For the one at Commercial and Water, the door was removed in order to be repaired, Majestic said, while “the other one was sort of fixable onsite, the one at the ferry terminal.”
It was found there was a problem with the screws on the hinges and that was to be addressed, she said. The latches on the doors also would be adjusted so that they catch easier.
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The Maud Lewis house project is an initiative of the Friends of Yarmouth Art Gallery. The plan is for the houses to remain at their various locations for the summer. Ten of them then will be auctioned off at Th’YARC on Sept. 14 while one will be awarded through a raffle. Proceeds will go to the gallery’s children’s art fund.
Commenting on the status of the Maudified house project, Majestic said, “Our brochure is in the final stages of being produced, so we hope to have our brochure available for the launch. We’re working on our map game, both the GPS version and what I call the street location version too.”
While the houses have signs that give the name of the artist who painted it and its sponsor, there is little else onsite as far as information about the project is concerned.
“I think that’s something that we really need to look at,” Majestic said.
Born in South Ohio in 1903, Maud Lewis also lived in Yarmouth and later resided in Marshalltown, Digby County. She died in 1970 at the age of 67.
An official opening of the Maud Lewis Homecoming exhibit at the AGNS western branch in Yarmouth is scheduled for Friday, May 23. On that evening five new shows at the gallery’s Yarmouth branch – including one featuring works by the late Nelson Surette, another Yarmouth-area-born artist – will be officially launched.