By Eric Bourque
A spokesperson for the Maud Lewis house project says the initiative has been well received.
Individuals, businesses and groups have offered to sponsor houses, while others have helped – or will be helping – in other ways, says project coordinator Wendy Majestic.
A project launch is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7, at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Western Branch in Yarmouth from 6 to 8 p.m.
The idea is to build 10 small houses and to paint them in a “Maudified” fashion, paying tribute to Lewis, the renowned folk artist who was born in South Ohio and later lived on Hawthorn Street in Yarmouth before moving to the Digby area in her thirties. She died in 1970.
The first house was donated by Home Hardware and the plan is to have nine more houses.
Majestic was giving an update on the project Jan. 21 at the Yarmouth Mall, where Dan Earle, Ivan Blades and John Allan were working on the first house.
“What we’re hoping to do is have two different work days and (gather) about 10 to 13 people on each day to help assemble the other houses,” she said.
The first of those work days is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the mall, with the second planned for Feb. 23.
“We’ll be putting out a list of tools that people need to bring,” Majestic said. “We will be providing lunch and stuff like that.”
The houses are seven feet, eight inches long, four feet, two inches wide and seven feet high, she said.
The project is an initiative of the Friends of the AGNS Western Branch Society. Majestic says they would like the houses to be finished in time for the arrival of the new ferry.
“I haven’t got an exact date (for completion), but we’re looking at probably the middle of April,” she said.
She and others involved in the project see much tourism potential in the Maud Lewis houses. Among other things, there are plans for a self-guided walking tour to find the houses, which will be located at various sites.
Things generally are proceeding as Majestic had hoped, she said, “and it’s thanks to everybody on the committee. Sandra Phinney has been just amazing with keeping me on track and keeping the project on track too … The community response has been incredible. For us to get all 10 house sponsors within a very short period of time … the people that have come on board, it’s just wonderful.”
The following are house sponsors: Yarmouth Home Hardware, Jim/Dawn MacLeod, City Drug Store, Yarmouth Mall, Yarmouth Rug Hookers, Web.com, Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, Vaughne Assurance, Ocean Breeze Estates, Town of Yarmouth, IMO Foods/Kersen Seafoods, Tri-Star, Adcor Marketing (Tim Hortons), Carl and Nancy Doty.