Painter Jenny Wolpert is collaborating with Michele Franklin, Hope fabric artist, for the September backroom show ‘Feels Like Home’ at the Hope Arts Gallery. (Submitted/HDAC photo)

‘Feels Like Home’ art show a collaboration between Hope painter and fabric artist

Works by Jenny Wolpert, Michele Franklin on display at the Hope Arts Gallery from Sept. 4 to Oct. 25

Jenny Wolpert and Michele Franklin join to offer a display of diverse talents for the Hope Arts Gallery backroom show running from Sept. 4 to Oct. 25.

‘Feels Like Home’ celebrates the artists’ personal gratitude for places of safety, security and happiness; places and times of simpler pleasure. Jenny and Michele’s art and craft reflect a calmness born of living in a beautiful environment. Work created using traditional skills passed down through generations of homemakers as they turned a building into a nest are shown alongside acrylic paintings. But home is not just the feelings generated by location. People and history play into it. And cats will appear!

In her 21st Back Room show at the Hope Arts Gallery, Jenny shares paintings which depict places where she has felt at home. Some are rural scenes of her childhood, but locales around Hope are featured as well. Mt. Cheam, a cranberry bog near Rosedale, Rhododendron Flats, and our beloved Othello Tunnels, make their way onto canvas. The focus is on details in nature, both the grand and minute. She depicts both as invigoratingly wonderful and precious. Jenny’s predominant interest in the natural landscape is generated by her personal photographic diary of over a hundred thousand images: a hundred thousand memories of wonder found in travel and hiking trails across North America. Jenny has been a Hope Arts Gallery artist since its inception twenty three years ago.

Michele is a longtime resident of Hope, known for her fabric creations, and as the proprietor of ‘The Shepherds Pillow’. In keeping with the theme of ‘Feels like Home’, she will be showing pillows, cushions and hats using natural fibers such as wool, linen and cotton. She uses wool as well as alpaca from local farmers in B.C. and Alberta which she hand spins, dyes and weaves.

Michele has become known as “the wool lady” or “the hat lady” in the re-creation world. For over twenty years she has researched the garb of the past and now fashions historically correct hats from the early 5th to the 17th century. Those hats have been featured in commercials, music videos, a Mongolian museum exhibit, the New York Historical Society, a museum in Britain and even a Viking short film. In Canada, the Asian Art Research Co. and the Amazing Canadian Fashion Magazine have featured her work.

Restrictions and book rules about how fabric and fibers should be used are not accepted in her world. They are merely a challenge to her creativity. Michele is self-taught, but has seen fine historical garments that guide her recreations and she gives great credit to the Spinners and Weavers Guild that aided in her learning.

Michele’s message is: If ever there was a time to be environmentally responsible and buy locally, this is it. And be true to yourself. Putting her values into action, she uses recycled leather and furs along with local natural fibers in her products. The natural fibers will last a very long time and then decompose without damaging the environment.

Her websites are theshepherdspillow.com and intriguingdesigns.net. Purchases can be made through http://www.etsy.com/shop/micheleshats. She attends many markets around the province. Check out her calendar.

Hope Arts Gallery at 349 Fort St. is open Friday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is operated by the Hope and District Arts Council and run by volunteers. Pandemic protocols are in place for your protection. Due to the pandemic and restricted space in the gallery, there will be no artists’ reception.

For information, call 604-869-3400 or email hopedistrictartscouncil@gmail.com

Arthope

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Michele Franklin, Hope fabric artist, is collaborating with painter Jenny Wolpert for the September backroom show ‘Feels Like Home’ at the Hope Arts Gallery. (Submitted/HDAC photo)

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