Artisans Unzipped: New Dundee potter’s creative thinking helps to showcase local artists at TheMuseum

Friday, March 18, 2022

Local potter Rosemary Arthurs uses publicity for The Rolling Stones UNZIPPED exhibition to draw attention to local creative work at an artisan market

Potter Rosemary Arthurs in her New Dundee studio, where she created work that will be showcased at an artisan market in TheMuseum. (Photo Nigel Gordijk)

Potter Rosemary Arthurs in her New Dundee studio, where she created work that will be showcased at an artisan market in TheMuseum. (Photo Nigel Gordijk)

Artistic professionals from Wilmot and beyond will be showcasing their work at an artisan market inside TheMuseum in Kitchener on Saturday, March 26. It’s hoped that visitors to the popular Rolling Stones UNZIPPED exhibition that’s currently on display will also take time to browse the unique creative wares.

New Dundee potter Rosemary Arthurs set the wheels in motion to make the event happen after she heard TheMuseum’s CEO David Marskell on CBC Radio, discussing a $100,000 grant that had been awarded by the Region of Waterloo to help cover the exhibition’s marketing costs. She wondered how that attention could be used to support small businesses like hers that are outside of Kitchener.

“He said in his interview that he wanted to include the region somehow, so I thought, maybe the township could get involved in a good way,” she recollected. “I called him, and he sounded eager to involve people.”

She contacted her local councillor, Angie Hallman, whom she thought could use her own community network to help bring the idea to fruition.

“That led to David (Marskell) and me having a conversation about doing a vendors’ market at TheMuseum,” said Hallman. “It will showcase local artisans and what they offer. He was pretty excited about that.”

Hallman collaborated with Rachael Kuntz, TheMuseum’s Adult Programming Manager, to recruit local artisans for the event, offering them the space for free.

People who pay for the UNZIPPED exhibition will be able to explore the market when they visit. Members of the public who only want to see the vendors can pay $5 to attend the market only.

TheMuseum, at 10 King St. W., Kitchener, is offering Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette readers a 25 per cent discount for tickets to the UNZIPPED exhibition on March 26 and March 27, 2022. Guests can use discount code TMARTMARKET25, either at the door or at, and the code is valid for one use per guest.

Kuntz said, “We’ve had thousands of visitors, and about 40 per cent of those were coming from other regions. We really wanted to showcase the wonderful talent of this region with that audience.”

Applications remain open to creatives from the tri-cities and four townships in the region, said Kuntz.

“We’re still getting a few, but there’s good representation for the various townships, for sure.”

She suggested that there’s a natural link between an exhibition that’s focussed on the art, music and fashion during the Stones’ six-decade career and local creative talent.

“There’s definitely a really nice connection there. Art is such a big part of this exhibit. Our whole fourth floor is displaying the wonderful artwork over the years of The Stones.”

UNZIPPED features work by Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dior, and Martin Scorsese, and Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood has a concurrent exhibition of his paintings in TheMuseum’s Uptown Waterloo gallery.

TheMuseum has been operating at less than 50 per cent capacity due to public health regulations, but Saturdays are still the busiest day of the week, with several hundred visitors expected.

Kuntz said, “We’re really hoping to have a good crowd for the artists to be represented to.”

Arthurs thinks this will be an opportunity to help promote artisans like her.

“Generally, people don’t know that we exist, because we’re far out from the main cities. The more involved people are in arts and crafts, the better society is,” she said, paraphrasing American curator, author and historian Glenn Adamson.

A positive outcome of the market would be sales of her pottery, as well as “letting people know that New Dundee is on the map, that there’s a few things happening in New Dundee.”