The Sybil Andrews Cottage in Willow Point was bustling with activity Tuesday as the Campbell River Arts Council, along with the City of Campbell River, the Museum at Campbell River, the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society and the Friends of Sybil Andrews Cottage Art and Garden Group all gathered together for Sybil Andrews Day.
Sybil Andrews Day was proclaimed by the city in 2007, and ever since, people have been gathering on her birthday (April 19) at her cottage – now the home of the Arts Council – to celebrate her life, her art and her impact on arts and culture in the region.
“While she wasn’t born here in Campbell River,” admited Mayor Andy Adams to those gathered, “she certainly spent a great deal of her time here, and I think the fact that all of you have gathered here today shows she really left her legacy on arts and culture on our community.”
The centrepiece of this year’s event was Andrews’ linocut print, Fleece.
Only eight prints were made of Fleece as trial proofs, but Andrews wasn’t happy with how the colours were turning out, so the printing blocks were destroyed and no more prints were made, so it truly is a rare piece. One of the eight (#2) is housed at the Museum at Campbell River and was on loan for the day.
“Well before her death, Sybil had made arrangements for her collection to go to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary,” Sandra Parrish, executive director of the Museum told the crowd, “but as she was approaching that time in her life, and she was really beginning to downsize and distribute things, she decided that she wanted some things to remain here in the community, so we’re very fortunate at the museum that we have been able to preserve and present a good collection of her prints that she did while she lived in Campbell River as well as a large number of her drawings and sketches she did throughout the community.”
The print depicts the shearing that was happening at Hudson Farm while Andrews and her class wandered the grounds, as they frequently did. The positioning and repetition of the numerous figures bent over at their work shearing the sheep shows Andrews’ love of naturally-curving lines and forms.
For more on Sybil Andrews, the Arts Council or any of the other groups involved in the preservation of the property in where Andrews called home, visit crarts.ca