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New arts collective hoping to find roots

In an effort to build on Canmore’s sense of community while allowing citizens a chance to turn their hand to the arts, The Purple Tree Arts Collective is hoping to take root.
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In an effort to build on Canmore’s sense of community while allowing citizens a chance to turn their hand to the arts, The Purple Tree Arts Collective is hoping to take root.

The collective is the brainchild of Adrienne Lawlor, who sees the arts collective as a place where, “people can come in, get messy and build community. It’s about building community around creative projects.”

Having found a space above Avens Gallery in Canmore, a number of six-week, arts-based courses begin Jan. 17. These range from poetry to dance/movement to painting.

Much like a cool band name, The Purple Tree Collective came by its moniker honestly. A youthful acquaintance of Lawlor’s came home from school with a painting of a tree one day; a purple tree. “Her teacher said if she wanted it to be realistic, it couldn’t be purple.

“I say, if a child wants to paint a tree purple, why not? Kids spend a lot of time with computers and on screens and I’d like to see them get back to creating things with their hands.”

Lawlor would also like to see adults get back to creating things with their hands and that’s why collective courses are open to one and all, young and old, beginners and experienced. Her background is as an occupational therapist who uses art as therapy for kids with delayed development.

“We want people to celebrate the creative process, whether it’s poetry, painting or crafting for a cause,” said Lawlor. Students will have the opportunity to create crafts which can be used to donate to causes like Calgary’s The Mustard Seed.

“It’s about going beyond ‘me’ to the greater ‘me’,” she said. “I’m really excited about this. I think it’s something the community needs and groups like Community Cruisers have said we could work together to find a permanent space.”

To kick things off, the collective’s courses will be offered in a space above Avens Gallery in Canmore, but a permanent home of about 1,200 square feet would be ideal, said Lawlor.

Among those hosting courses are poet Dave Eso, painter Chrissy Nickerson and dancer Danielle Leigh-Maron.

The courses, said Lawlor, will be available at minimal cost. “We want to keep it accessible for all, some are by donation. It’s another way that people won’t have to leave the valley to do something they enjoy.

“There are so many talented artists and creative people in the community… and when you bring people together, great things can happen.”

For more, or to register for courses, visit thepurpletree.ca or call Lawlor at 403-609-4078.



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