• Hunter Cresswell

Chelsea art collective turns 10

New chapter beginning this fall


The La Fab art collective in Chelsea wants to throw one final bash in its current home to celebrate its 10th anniversary before starting a new chapter in a new location.


On Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. La Fab will host a 10th anniversary celebration outside the collective’s current home in the St. Stephen’s rectory in Old Chelsea.


(From left) Church purchase financier Sandy Foote, La Fab treasurer Danielle Pronovost, La Fab board president Glen Foster, La Fab board member Danielle Gingras, and Mill Road Community Space performance arts director and purchase financier Roberta Walker on the steps of Grace United Church in Chelsea, which La Fab will move into this fall. Low Down file photo
(From left) Church purchase financier Sandy Foote, La Fab treasurer Danielle Pronovost, La Fab board president Glen Foster, La Fab board member Danielle Gingras, and Mill Road Community Space performance arts director and purchase financier Roberta Walker on the steps of Grace United Church in Chelsea, which La Fab will move into this fall. Low Down file photo

La Fab communications director Jovette Champagne said there will be free abstract and sumi painting workshops, a t-shirt painting workshop for kids, face painting, and caricature drawings by La Fab artist Luc Alain, who also happens to be The Low Down’s cartoonist who goes by the pen name Sneuro. There will also be sculpting and jewelry-making demonstrations and live music. A documentary on the collective’s history and a new logo – La Fab’s current logo features the rectory – will also be unveiled.


“It’s going to be our way of celebrating our 10 years and starting a new chapter at Grace United Church,” Champagne said.


Because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on the number of people who can take part in a workshop, links to register for the free workshops will go online on La Fab’s website in the coming weeks.


“We want to have art everywhere and we want the community to take part,” Champagne said.


There will also be a exposition of the art of the founders of La Fab: Olivier Bonnet, Kevin Burke, Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre, Uwe Foehring, Carol Froimovitch, Margit Hideg, Diane Lemire, Reid McLachlan, Marie-France Nitski, Carmella Karijo Rother, and Elizabeth Ruthledge. Their works will be displayed in the rectory gallery from Aug. 7 to Sept. 5, with a vernissage on Aug. 7 from 2 to 5 p.m.


The show and 10th anniversary celebration will be a final hurrah before the collective packs up and moves to another historic church just down the road.


La Fab board president Glen Foster said the collective took ownership of the Grace United Church on Mill Road on June 30, and that renovation work on the building is underway.


The heritage church was built in 1875 and was home to the Mill Road Community Space, the United Church congregation, and the Chelsea Nearly New Shop.


Foster said he wants to turn the church into a community art hub, and is very excited about including performance arts into La Fab’s repertoire by folding the community space into the collective.


He said La Fab hopes to move in around October.


The church will be transformed. On the lower level will be nine studios for member artists – which is the same number as in the St. Stephen’s rectory – and a workspace and a classroom.


“The downstairs will become a hub of creative activity,” Foster said.


In the upstairs portion there will be a boutique, gallery, and more studios. The work to update the 1,200 square-foot stage and performance space is housed in the part of the building that was built in 1875.


“Its renovations are being handled by experts on heritage renovations,” Foster said.

For more information visit culturechelsea.ca.