"It Felt Like We Made It!" by Jenny Hawk

"It Felt Like We Made It!" by Jenny Hawk

On Mother's Day weekend MP StudioWorks hosted a 3-day art even to unite artists, sell artwork and celebrate motherhood.

When MP StudioWorks was still in the incubation process, a little over a year ago, discussion centered around how to make a space that nurtured creative community and collaboration. When we opened the doors last summer, I naively expected to see people rushing in to claim their spot in our beautifully spacious, well lit, free studio space. It didn't happen that way. For the first several months (to half a year), the studio was sparsely populated. People would come in and express interest but there was rarely follow up.

It was hard not to get discouraged. Regardless, we continued plugging along. As months went by, artists began to come by the studio. I realized that the vision our small focus group had labored through was shared by a lot of people in the area. Soon there was commitment, and the MP StudioWorks Collective began to take shape.

Today we have a solid base of visual artists and potters who are committed to using the studio in a way that will not only benefit their personal art making practice, but also further the cause of artistic community.

The Mother's Day Art Show and Sale was conceived by one of our studio hosts. From start to finish, Michael spearheaded the event, pushing for its success. This was one of our first forays into community planned events. The exhibition included a wide array of painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media and pottery. In addition, our artisans set up a table of handmade wares. During the three days there were painting and sewing demonstrations, live musicians, refreshments, and flowers for the Mothers. It was a community event in every sense of the word.

Friday evening after the opening reception, as the last of the guests left, we (the artists) gathered. There was no agenda, no one had told us to stay for an extra hour. Stories surfaced, some talking about the days of their youth, others throwing jokes back and forth, debriefing the day, light guitar strumming in the background. I was taken back to my undergrad days, sitting in the art studio after putting on a show with my classmates and the similiar feeling of camaraderie and pride in the accomplishments we achieved together. 

In that moment, it felt like we made it.

Author: Jenny Hawkinson is a Community Life Assistant at the Mission Possible Coop in Vancouver.