The following travel reflection was offered by John Boylston, dedicated art supporter and father of our talented Caroline.
For the month of February this year Caroline attended an art program in Invercargill, New Zealand, about as far South on the South Island as you can go. It takes 5 plane trips and about 21 hours of flying to get to there. It is her third time there and as New Zealand seasons are 6 months out of phase with ours, their February is similar to our August.
The program there is called CS Arts and has 40 clients, much the same number as Spindleworks, however as they only have one small room, which is used by other programs, they run their program differently. There are only 3 days the program operates (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) with 2 sessions each day (a morning and afternoon session). As each client attends only one session a week, each session has between 6 and 8 clients, and only painting is offered. CS Arts makes an exception for Caroline, as she is only there for 4 weeks, and allows her to attend all sessions given in the week; she therefore gets to meet all 40 artists.
As the same room is used at nights the manager and her one staff have to take down all the art materials every night and put it back up the next morning. Each year CS Arts has an art show at the In Invercargill Museum, a museum that is visited daily by hundreds of tourists and New Zealanders as it is associated with their beautiful Queens Park. Caroline prepares pieces for the show at Spindleworks and takes them to the show for exhibit. This year she sold 2 of the three pieces displayed. The opening of the show is attended by many of the artists and Caroline’s favorite “refreshments” are served. On the last day of the program CS Arts held a going away party for Caroline with two cakes. On one was “Miss” and the other “You”, Caroline’s favorite note phrase.
Caroline anticipates the trip and is always excited about starting at CS Arts as the program is a small group and there is more interaction with clients and staff, however, the art choices are limited to painting only. The art show is the big deal as it is similar to Brunswick’s 10×10 show, except that there are introductions in a lecture type setting where she gets introduced as a visiting artist from the US. If the local press are there she gets interviewed and has been in the paper and on local TV.
At about 2 weeks into the program in NZ she starts wondering, on our trip into CS Arts, how everyone is doing at Spindleworks. While it is a long trip, my goal with Caroline is to get her as exposed to her profession as possible and, to that extent, I think the effort is worthwhile.