Drawing Inspiration from our Local Heritage

Doon Heritage Village, Ken Seiling Waterloo Regional Museum

Many of you might not know this about me, but before I wanted to work as an Artist and Art Teacher, I wanted to work in heritage and museums. I went to the University of Guelph and earned a BA with a double major in History and Studio Art.  I also have a diploma in heritage resources management.

These last few months, during the Covid-19 lock down, I have hosted several live paint nights in cooperation with local museums featuring inspiration from their historic buildings. With my socially distanced digital students, we painted the Waterloo School House with The City of Waterloo Museum, The Wash Haus from Joseph Schneider Haus, McDougall Cottage and the church in Doon Heritage Village (Ken Seiling Region of Waterloo Museum). All four paint nights were a success and I truly enjoyed sharing both of my passions with my followers.

Student work from my life class featuring the Spring Haus at Joseph Schneider Haus

Ever since I was a child, learning about history was one of my favourite things. I adored reading Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. When I first moved to Kitchener after graduating, I reached out to the Joseph Schneider Haus looking for volunteer opportunities.  I started volunteering on their “Friends” board and later became chair of the Folk Artist in residence committee. It was a tremendous experience and I loved every minute of it. I met so many amazing people and learned so much about the history of Kitchener-Waterloo. I stepped down a few years ago to focus on family and buildling my art career.

I actually got my first big break as an Artist in 2016 when the City of Waterloo Museum purchased my sketch of the Corduoroy Road. Since then I’ve tried to merge my love of history and art whenever I can. 

I continue to return to these places for inspiration. There is something about the atmosphere of these special places that forever speaks to me. These places remain a lot like my paintings, almost frozen in time.

The live classes are still available through the regional museums social media pages. Be sure to check them out. And you can bet as soon as things return back to normal, I will be returning to these places for inspiration in person.

Quiet Sunlit Room at the Joseph Schneider Haus

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