Art student Katherine Gilmour (right) painted this raccoon for her dear friend Ada Johnston (left). Gilmour is one of Michael Schutte’s (middle) very first painting students.

Parksville Museum: so much to do

The Parksville Museum will host an artisan market in Craig Heritage Park

All sorts of interesting things are happening at the Parksville Museum and Archives located in Craig Heritage Park.

New for this year is the artisans market which runs on Sundays in July and August.

David Haynes Vice President of the Parksville Museum and Archives Society said the first one took place July 5 and while they had a few glitches at their inaugural market, he is confident it will become as popular as their Friday night farmers’ market.

“We had 375 people through the gates. I guess I am spoiled because the average attendance is 750 for our Friday night farmers’ market,” he said.

He said he knows there will be some growing pains but once people find out about it, he expects it will be hugely popular.

“We have some world caliber artists at our market,” he said and they are trying to offer a wide array of artisans who work in all kinds of media.

Along with about 23 vendors in place for the season, they will have musicians and other entertainers.

Haynes said they are working hard to make the museum a focal point in Parksville.

“We want the museum to be a destination for learning and for interesting things. For too long it has languished in just being a building that you drive by.  We want it to be a place you drive to,” he said.

He said they have other ideas they hope will bring people to the site at the south end of town, including a makers’ market for inventors.

He said they have invited Dave Kasprick from Red Cod Forge to demonstrate the art of blacksmithing and are constructing a building for him to work out of.

“We also have a woodworker who is going to do classic woodworking in the woodwork shop.  We are looking at a cartwheel worker.  We have two lathes, one for spokes and one for wheels.”

He said eventually he would like to see a log house constructed on the property but that is way down the line.

“This is where the museum needs to be… we are a community.”

Plans are also underway to create a mural of the history of the museum.

Painter Michael Schutte who opened the Academy of Fine Art in the Tryon Room at the museum in May has offered to paint a cougar on a giant rock.

The cougar represents the first settlers in the area.

In fact one of their buildings was built by pioneer James Craig in the thirties and houses memorabilia of Craig’s prowess as a cougar hunter, including a mounted cougar and other family artifacts.

Schutte said he and his wife Els, who creates paper art, are thrilled to be teaching and creating at the museum and he is looking forward to helping develop the attraction so it will continue to thrive and prosper.

“For the museum I donated paintings and prints which they can sell for their benefit. This summer I will start working on a mural about the history of Craig Bay, including a giant cougar,” he said.

Both artists will be doing demonstrations during the artisan markets and in the fall will resume their art workshops including a special course in cartoons and animation for youth.

Michael teaches the techniques of the Dutch old masters while Els does workshops in paper crafts.

She has even made special diorama cards with scenes of the museum.

The museum is located at the south end of Parksville at the junction of Highway 19A and Franklin Gull Rd. adjacent to the Tourist Information Centre.

The market runs Sundays 1-5 p.m. until August 30.

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