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Friday, December 17, 2010

The spirit of participation is alive and well at wwp

Yesterday evening's members' holiday party was so much fun and a huge success. The night started off with a vernissage in the sunroom. On display were paintings done by participants on the recent painting autumn colours weekend (see our October post for more details), and over glasses of bubbly the artists gave wwp members an insight into the thought processes and practical processes that underlay their works. This act of sharing was in keeping with the overall philosophical theme of the evening - participation - and set the tone for our showcasing of the creative side of wine women and philosophy, and our celebration of what we have produced as a group this past year.

Moving through to the salon we listened to the wwp band, The Elegant Hedgehogs. Formed less than 4 months ago, and growing out of an impromptu band jam weekend (see our August post for more details) at the Nurtury, band members Wendy (guitar), Heather (clarinet), Sue (clarinet), Sherrie (guitar), and Linnet (flute) not only looked very elegant in their 'hedgehogs rock' T-shirts (bought specially and arriving just in time for the occasion)...The quintet also showed just what comes of that old mantra - "practice, practice, practice" - and a passion for playing together. The segue between the band's three pieces and the wwp choir's contribution to the evening was an ensemble rendition of The Rainbow Connection. This was only the second time that the band and choir had joined forces (the first was a run-through rehearsal last week) and the result was amazing. Choir members Kathy, Linda, Janice, Marian and Linnet then proceeded to entertain us with some wonderful numbers, ranging from the soulful Down to the River to Pray to the foot-tapping Sunny Side of the Street. Choir director Kathy and pianist Linda then organized us all into a participatory Carol singing session. After warming up our voices on those familiar old chestnuts of the holiday season, the seasonal sing-song culminated in wwp's now 'traditional' singing of The Christmas Gloria in two-part harmony. We were great! Or at least, so the resulting high fives that followed this year's glorious rendition of the song would indicate.

After a break for some festive refreshments, we had a visit from Ms Claus (Pat) and her faithful elf (Sue) who gave out presents in true Santa style! Towards the end of the evening we gathered to talk about the proposed table runner for the Nurtury. Each member explained the significance of the piece of fabric she is contributing to the runner that will celebrate the 2 year mark of wine women and philosophy. We all took inspiration from the beautiful quilt that Sheelah is currently working on with her quilting group, and Sheelah gave us some ideas as to how we might pull our own quilting project together. Liz suggested that we should make a weekend of it - sitting round the fire up at the Nurtury, drinking some wine, doing some applique, and sewing up the runner. Not surprisingly, there were many keen takers for this idea.

As ever a big thanks to everyone who participated in last night's salon - we really are blessed with wonderful members! Two years on, we feel that we are in the midst of a special collective energy and truly believe that wine women and philosophy is being nurtured and propelled by more than just us. It is so rewarding to see our dreams for a women-driven pedagogy emerging out of what we have created together. We are delighted to welcome new members Barbara Ann, Nancy and Brenda to the fold. And, in addition to them, we want to thank Marianne, Kathy, Wendy, Heather C, Bernice, Janice, Carolyn, Pat G, Sue, Elizabeth, Allannah, Heather D, Marilyn, Patrice, Sheelah, Rose, Linda, Marian and Sherrie for making the party something special to remember.

If anybody took photos of the evening please send them along. As you can tell, we were too busy having a good time to take more than this one photo of the band and choir warming up - hardly a representative picture of this entire evening's participatory action! And for those members who have yet to drop off their fabric for the table runner, we're waiting...

We wish all our members and supporters a very happy holiday. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Evening at Astri Prugger Design on December 9th

Many thanks to Astri and to all the women who dropped by Astri's boutique - Astri Prugger Design - on Victoria Avenue last Thursday evening. Over glasses of bubbly we exchanged ideas and shared stories...We also got a good look at Astri's latest creations, which confirm for us that a place on her upcoming Discover Your Inner Fashion Designer weekend with us (Feb 18-20) is one of the hottest tickets in town. It's certainly the best way to beat those winter blues, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Warming up for wwp members party...

The wwp choir and wwp band came together last Wednesday evening to do a run-through of the pieces they will be performing at the annual members' holiday party this Thursday evening. They'll each be performing three numbers, and will combine for a fourth. The band's t-shirts have arrived in time for the gig - hedgehogs rock! - and choir member Linda has stepped in to play the piano on short notice while choir director Kathy nurses her frozen shoulder...So it is looking like the show will be going on!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Judy Chicago in Glass










Last Saturday, 6 wwp members paid an impromptu visit to see Judy Chicago's latest exhibition in Montreal - Judy Chicago in Glass at the Musee des Maitres et Artisans du Quebec in Saint Laurent until January 9, 2011.

Our interest in Judy Chicago had been rekindled when we celebrated her seminal 1970s The Dinner Party installation at one of our summer salons...We were interested to see what Judy Chicago was up to these days.

You have to make a reservation to see the show...For $7 we got a great tour from art history student, Claude, who shared her enthusiasm for Chicago's works in her latest medium of choice - glass - and also taught us a lot about the church in which the museum is housed. The exhibition is small and the pieces are thought-provoking. As usual, Chicago's work has a strong conceptual element to it - always motivated by inequities in the world, be it women's lack of visibility in art and other public spheres, or be it the lack of tolerance of diversity and acceptance of 'otherness' in our world. Some of us weren't sure that they liked the work itself...But you have to admire Judy Chicago's ability to pour her heart and convictions into a wide range of artistic forms and to constantly expand the parameters of feminist art.

Thanks to Wendy and Heather for getting us organized to see the show. Great photos, Wendy!