MP StudioWorks: From Dream To Reality
- Thursday, August 1, 2013
By Shelimar Lakowski ~ MP StudioWorks Potter in Residence
Dream: Mission Possible CEO Brian Postlewait, dreams of an art studio in the DTES for the residents and members of Mission Possible. Not knowing what shape it will take he began conversations with Ray Norgren who was on the board of JustWork at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church. Ray had worked with another board member, Shelimar Lakowski, to create and build the church pottery studio social enterprise. In September 2011 the Union Gospel Mission moved their thrift store to a larger location down the block. In October Mission Possible moved into the old store location leaving the Princess Ave location with the MP social enterprises and storage.
Work begins: Shelimar & Ray bring passion and assorted skills to create a comfy and eco friendly pottery. The old damaged flooring was used to make countertops, shelves, wall repairs and a table etc. Ray brought in second hand equipment and Shelimar brought discarded office furniture and customized it to use in the pottery.
Enoch and his many friends also chop up old wood scraps and flooring to make tables and stools for the art space. Many volunteers cleaned, sanded and painted to pull together a wonderful spacious working gallery, art center and pottery.
Welcome everyone: The building upgraded the electricity and in September 2012 we had our official Grand Opening and Sale. We are a hit. Many visitors, MP members, family and neighbours have come through over the past year.
Reap what we sow: More than 50 members are currently using the creative spaces. Many have found life changing benefits of community building, making friendships and giving back by volunteering. Potters are making goods for local orders and sales, gaining transferable skills to other work and building confidence by passing on skills to others.
Thank you: To Brian for your dream and allowing all of us the chance to make it come true.