Project has ‘brought community together’
By Eric Bourque
They have been part of the local landscape for months – the little houses painted in the style of renowned folk artist Maud Lewis (or “Maudified”) – and on Sunday, Sept 14, at Th’YARC they will be auctioned off.
That is, 10 of the houses will be auctioned off, while one will be awarded by raffle. In any case, it promises to be a great evening, says a spokesperson for the Maudified house project.
It will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and viewing of the houses, with the auction itself scheduled to get underway at 7.
“We’ve got entertainment, we’ve got great food, we’ve got wonderful door prizes,” said Wendy Majestic, the Maudified house project coordinator.
The evening’s grand prize will be a cruise for two on the Nova Star.
An initiative of the Friends of Yarmouth Art Gallery group, the Maudified project was embraced by the community and has been a great success, Majestic said.
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Project goals included raising money for the art gallery, with a particular focus on the children’s art fund, helping ensure that all children, regardless of the financial challenges they might face, have access to art classes and the like.
The project also was meant to promote Maud Lewis, the Yarmouth County-born artist who ended up moving to Marshalltown, Digby County, but who spent about half her life in Yarmouth, Majestic said.
The project also was a chance to celebrate the local artistic community and to provide another attraction for tourists. In these respects as well, Majestic said, the project has been a success.
Practically wherever she went, she said, someone was talking about the Maudified houses and offering to help.
“This project has been incredible,” she said. “It’s brought the community together … People have taken ownership of those little houses. They’ve been looking after them. It’s brought a sense of community and a lot of enjoyment.”
The fundraising component will really happen Sept. 14 with the auction. (The evening will begin with a brief youth theatre presentation called Mostly Mauds, written and directed by Linda Marie Coakley.)
“Whatever we raise (at the auction), it will be a success just because of the enthusiasm it’s garnered in the community,” Majestic said.
Even Arthur, the powerful windstorm that tore through the region in early July, wasn’t enough to knock this project down, even though it did level the Maudified house that had been out at Cape Forchu. Thanks to a community effort, the house was rebuilt. The plan is to put the funds from the sale of the house towards an art scholarship fund to help students studying art at university or community college.
“So many good things have come out of this project,” Majestic said. “The enjoyment, the artists, the volunteers. It’s just been amazing.”