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Sew Sisters continue to evolve

A conscious community co-operative, Sew Sisters Artist Guild Society in Cumberland continues to evolve. - Photo submitted
A conscious community co-operative, Sew Sisters Artist Guild Society in Cumberland continues to evolve.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Sew Sisters Artist Guild Society (SSAGS) has undergone many transformations during the past three years as this conscious community co-operative continues to evolve.

Facilitating community projects to create places where people can display their "skills, talents, and abilities ... whilst teaching others," SSAGS acts as an umbrella para organization, assisting local service providers, community leaders, educators, musicians and artists with marketing, media and materials.

Two affiliated studios serve as launch zones for new ideas, product sales, services and events. Studio A, Studio B and their shared Community Garden are located in the 2702-2704 block of Dunsmuir Ave. in historic downtown Cumberland.

Studio A, formerly the main hub and retail location of over 100 SSAGS member artists, lends itself as a studio workshop to resident artist Daniel Arsenault.

Daniel designs and creates high quality leather products, ranging from bags to wrist cuffs to specialty items under the name of Daniel's Details, and is available by appointment at 250-702-0758. He has also contributed his skills as chef for numerous SSAGS fundraisers and holds the title of Studio A co-ordinator.

Studio B, initially intended as a practice space for healing modalities and later converted to a music studio currently houses a boutique eco-salon Virgin Hair, an art gallery and furniture show-room. The location also functions as a versatile space for special events such as last year's second annual artist benefit for resident photographer Ron Pogue and most recently the Cascadian Crusaders' Great Plastic Roundup book launch after-party.

Studio B co-ordinator Paulina Maj has been with SSAGS as a founding member since 2010 and serves as SSAGS board of trustees chair and sergeant at arms.

Paulina works as a creative professional and is senior stylist in the Virgin Hair collective, where she promotes a more sustainable approach to the beauty industry alongside junior stylist Kaila Rain and esthetician Gillian Brooks.

For more information, call 250-400-HAIR (4247) or visit virginhair.ca.

Brooks, instrumental in Studio A's 2012 renovation, is also known in the community as the artist behind the three new murals in downtown Cumberland. She is currently exhibiting work in the Studio B Gallery, curated by Sonia Stastny.

Sonia has just finished presenting local author Lee White's work and is preparing for the 10 Under 100, a group exhibition of 10 artists with works under $100 (or so) each.

In the spirit of the holiday season, the opening reception of this exciting exhibit will involve festive treats, live music, and a bonfire this Friday at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Sonia at 778-889-1605.

Also involved in the running and maintenance of Studio B is Brett Ferdinandi, designer and fabricator, the artist responsible for the studio's look and much of the furniture and cabinetry used therein. Brett is a member on the SSAGS board of trustees and acts as Studio B co-ordinator alongside partner Paulina.

Andrew Brandon Emmerson, founding CEO of the society and the face behind the name, took a leave of absence as of June 2013 to continue his education as a student of the International Butler Academy in Europe. Just a phone call away, Andrew is always ready and willing to assist the guild with information, ideas and support.

SSAGS is seeking:

• Individuals with permaculture and organic gardening experience to get involved in the Phase 2 planning and working of the community garden;

• A talented hair artist to join the Virgin Hair collective;

• Website developers to assist in revamping the guild's website;

• Visual artists looking to display their work.

For general inquiry, e-mail cvsew.sisters@gmail.com or call 250-400-4247.

— Sew Sisters Artist Guild Society

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