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Gwen Martinuk :: The Little Lake :: a community felted fibre exhibition

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

felt :: feutre canada member Gwen Martinuk, has spent the past several years working with the Salmon Arm community to tell the story of the historic McGuire Lake. Read Gwen’s account of how building community participation has created this stunning felted fibre exhibition.

The Little Lake Art Installation has been a major project over the last few years and has involved several hundred community members in Salmon Arm. As the lead felt artist, I have taught many beginner felt workshops for those that wanted to participate in the project to make mega water lilies and pads. I also taught many children how to felt rocks, so they could be included in this community project. Once they caught on how easy it was, the staff at the gallery continued teaching them by the dozens.

I have dyed hundreds of grams of wool to be used in the flora and other parts of the project and enjoyed working with many community members at my home studio and at the Salmon Arm gallery.  The water was pre-felted by an 80-year-old tapestry artist who had never felted before. The results are stunning!  Once she learned how to use a bamboo mat to make it all go faster, several months later the water was born. Melissa made the life-sized felted heron, which is really beautiful.

The project has been a resounding success, bringing a record number of visitors to the gallery. This Little Lake Art Installation will be running until December 14th. So, if you’re in the neighborhood, drop in to see this amazing exhibition that has brought Salmon Arm and the surrounding communities together! Please visit the the Salmon Arm Arts Centre website for photos of the exhibition opening and community celebration.

The Salmon Arm Arts Centre is located at 70 Hudson Avenue, NE.

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