Filed under: Uncategorized
I love to get up in time to see the sun rise. That, apparently, is around noon these days, is it???
Sometime around 7:30ish last night I lay down on the bed to relieve my aching body so I could rise again and continue the work preparing for the Art Crawl this Friday (tomorrow!). Well now. Was I ever surprised when I opened my eyes and it was past 2 am! I was about to turn out the light and roll over when the next day’s schedule ran through my mind and I realized that if I didn’t get the brochured put together that night I wouldn’t have any other chance before the Art Crawl. Out! Out of bed! I did the mental calculations and thought, “Yeah…enough sleep…I won’t keel over…probably not.”
Time passes quickly when you’re busy concentrating ( and cursing quietly, fa la la la la). Around 5am I went to make myself a cup of coffee and reached for the decaf like I always do when it’s dark out, then glanced at the clock and thought, “What the hell? As if I’m snuggling back under the covers any time soon.”
There’s a lot to do between now and Friday, much, much more between now and the first week of the New Year changing Monkey Hill Creative Arts from a brick-and-mortar gallery to a fully functioning online enterprise, and I’m getting it all done a bit too slowly for my liking because I’m somewhat scattered from being stressed and tired, but I do dearly love Monkey Hill and what it is all about. It is a sincere privilege to be doing this. I am honoured by the people this initiative has brought into my life and the respect it brings to “Monkey’s” memory.
Yesterday, someone else working with artists with developmental disabilities told me I’d ‘made her day’, that I was ‘a Godsend to her’ just knowing that she was not alone in her work, that someone else “truly understood” and was trying to carry the message and to help. She didn’t care how successful our initiative was yet; she didn’t even ask. To me, it was like being given $100,000 to keep going.
I was thinking of that woman when I dragged myself out of bed at 2 am to work the rest of the night through to finish the informative brochures to hand out at the art gallery during the Art Crawl this Friday, December 14th.
Stephanie Kirsten Hansen http://www.worthworks.com
Filed under: Uncategorized
You know what is the best website building program in the WORLD?!!! The one I USED to have! (argh) I lost it when I crashed my computer way back. *sigh* The program was the original Macromedia MX so I bought the brand new Adobe CS5. Oh wow. I’ve been struggling to learn this one for…months. It is winning over me. I’m an English major. It don’t speak English!!!!!!! Not English as I know it, darlings.
The Monkey Hill Creative Arts website will be the main workhorse for the business now that the brick-and-mortar gallery is closing (and believe me, it is breaking my heart to close the door! *sniff*) Although I will be busy in my work with The Tiger Group, Monkey Hill is as much at the centre of my life and soul as our daughter was and we’re just picking up steam with the initiative.
I spoke to the wonderful director of the Creative Spirit Art Centre in Toronto today – what an angel! She is very excited to join up with Monkey Hill to promote their decades-long running initiative. Ellen has been running this Centre for 20 yrs at least and, now turning 70, she is worried about who and how the initiative will keep going when she can’t. Not thinking one whit about what is her own due! Oh no…just about making sure the work goes on. I love this woman. She *is* the Creative Spirit, I don’t doubt.
Usually these few days before an Art Crawl on James St. (which is this Friday evening) my mind is filled with getting all details taken care of…the food table, the wine, everyone’s business cards, last minute extra hung offerings hung (which means shifting existing art displays!), windows and floors washed, napkins, plates, all those things available…but I realized this is my last chance to hand out all kinds of flyers and cards to the crowds to keep them in contact with Monkey Hill when we move out of the physical eye of the public. AGH! PANIC! Suddenly, I thought the time I had to ‘renovate’ the website was moved up FAST.
Unfortunately, my mind only works just so fast. And the lines of communication. I don’t do anything without the feedback of others. It may seem so to some people, but I am not a lone voice speaking for all persons with invisible and developmental disabilities. Not at all. And so the website will have to be a placemarker for now of what is to come. It will be set up to let people know what will be filled in with the art and voices of others, as well as my own. Other artists with invisible and developmental disabililites will show their art, their faces, and relate their own thoughts and feelings about their art, and if they wish, about their lives with their particular limitations and strengths and possiblities.
I was getting myself wound up into a perfect tizzy and my body was in agony over the increasingly elaborate plans for my last big Art Crawl. I came to my senses an admitted that I’m not the very best at everything and people who will only respect me if I *am* perfect aren’t the people I really need around…none of us need that. So the food table will consist of yummy cheeses and crackers (some of the favourite Danish cheeses from my youth, as I am Danish), and chocolate covered maraschino cherries (in memory of my Gramma, I used to get a box of them for Christmas every year for years after she passed away when I was a little girl, to soothe my aching heart), some nice wine for the guests, and some yummy hot drinks for the cold night. Simple, comforting, friendly…the way I like my life to be, the way I like to treat people, the way I want to be remembered.
And since it’s easier for me to build a flyer in two days than a website, I will put onto a bunch of flyers everything the new website will entail and encourage people to look for the launch and list their names and email addresses so I can get in touch with them. Look at that…almost like I’m giving myself a break and living within my own limits. Learnin’, learnin’, learnin’…
I’ll be in touch…thanks for sticking with us.
Oh…and I am going back to using my maiden name in my art with The Tiger Group, but keeping the Kirsten (my mother loved that name, and so do I)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, Art Bus, art tour, associate, Callie Archer, craft, Deb Dicker, developmental disabilities, disabilities, exhibit, gallery, Hamilton, intellectual disabilities, invisible disabilities, James Street North, Keith Green, L'Arche, new show, new venture, Pearl Company, Tiger Group, tour
In the time monkey Hill Creative Arts has been operating at 243 James St. North, Hamilton we have enjoyed great success thanks to the participating artists and patrons who have embraced the intiative to enhance awareness of invisible and intellectual disabilities through the visual arts. We had a rental agreement until January 2013 only, unfortunately. Cynthia Hill, my dearest friend, the building owner, will be taking over the gallery space again as of January 1st and I wish her the best. We thank her very much for this most enjoyable time in the gallery.
December will be our last show in a brick-and-mortar gallery, though be assured the initiative will continue online at our website www.worthworks.com and we sincerely hope we have your continued and growing interest and support. The December Show will be our most spectacular to date! CALLIE ARCHER, DEB DICKER, L’ARCHE HAMILTON, KEITH GREEN, STEPHANIE KIRSTEN HANSEN (HILL) (myself), will offer a colourful, thought-provoking exhibit absolutely filling the gallery to capacity.
The show will run from December 1st to December 30th to cover the entire Holiday Season. Opening hours will be from NOON FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS, and SUNDAYS until 6pm. We will be open FRIDAY EVEININGS as well.
I will not be leaving James North! In January I will take over Directorship of The Tiger Group’s 2nd Gallery just a few doors down from Monkey Hill @ 275 James St. North. I was invited into The Tiger Group and am now an Associate member of The Tiger Group. I am looking forward to exploring working with a group, though it will be a shock to my system after running my own art business for so very many years as a ‘lone wolf’ artist and being ‘chief cook and bottle washer’ of two art galleries, first the Worth Works Studio promoting the work of artists with disabilities only, and then Monkey Hill Creative Arts, our daughter’s legacy. Already I am enjoying collaborating the collaboration and finding we have so much to share with each other. I think this is going to be a very positive, and hopefully, a long-lasting venture.
BUT FIRST! Monkey Hill has a FANTASTIC show to share with YOU! Don’t wait for The Art Crawl to come out and enjoy to the show. We will likely be changing up the art to replace what is sold in the first couple of weeks of December so DO come back for the Art Crawl. THE ART BUS is a great way to go! Check out THE PEARL COMPANY website for that delightfully inexpensive and fun tour that winds up at the end of the evening at The Tiger Group’s main gallery at 335 Barton Street with wine, treats, and of course, the stunningly talented art of my colleagues.
Stephanie Kirsten Hansen (Hill) firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed under: Uncategorized
MONKEY HILL CREATIVE ARTS NOVEMBER 2012
The song says it can be sad to see October go, but not if you’re me. Not this year. First, October laid me out flat with a terrible head and chest cold, like most of Hamilton, and then it sent me scrambling non-stop to catch-up. Yes, the cold blue skies were beautiful, but….ohhhh. November was a welcome sight!
The November Art Crawl was wonderful! I met an abundance of interesting and friendly people, as always. I’m delighted to be back in the gallery business. I’ve missed the crowds more than anything else. Besides promoting the work of my fellow artists, Monkey Hill promotes the awareness of invisible and intellectual disabilities, but there are so many gallery-goers with their own unique awareness and experiences of varied life circumstances shared openly that I’m not sure if we’re doing more giving or receiving, but whatever the case, with each week we’re open we have more and more to pass on to others through Monkey Hill. What a gift.
After being in the business of art for 20 years I have become accustomed to parting with my work with ease, but every now and again there is a piece that I give me some pang to relinquish. One of the pieces sold this crawl was one of those pieces special to me. Happily, it was purchased by a gentleman who seemed to truly appreciate all aspects of “Mixed State” beyond merely the aesthetic value.
A “mixed state”, a mental condition part of bipolar disorder, is a state wherein a person experiences mixed feelings of both mania or hypomania and deep depression. Those of us thus afflicted merely refer to it as Hell. Those living with us thus afflicted refer to it similarly. After showing this piece once before, briefly, and describing what a “mixed state” is, 99% self-identified as ‘occasionally bipolar’ and unanimously voted to rename Monday “Mixed State Day”.
Now that Monkey Hill has ‘found its feet’, I’m enjoying a more balanced schedule between my artwork and gallery management. *big exhale* Right now I’m having a good time planning a regular weekend afternoon poetry and author/book reading series beginning in January.
For views of some of the art currently showing at Monkey Hill check out are main website at www.worthworks.com
And don’t forget! Monkey Hill rents gallery space to artist for $100 / 6ft of space, no commission, hung salon style, so you’ll hang lots of art in that space. Contact me at email@example.com or 905-929-8380 if interested. Booking now for January onward.
Monkey Hill Creative Arts
243 James St. North
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 2012, art, artists, blessings, books, coffee, coming soon, compassion, crafts, creative arts, gallery, Hamilton, inclusion, James Street North, October, open weekends, sculpture, sold, sw, sweets, tea
The gallery renovation and grand opening during the Hamilton Supercrawl darn near did me in, but I’m finally rested and throughly enjoying my new role as volunteer facilitator and resident artist. The artists participating in the gallery this month are a joy to work with and the patrons who have purchased art so far this month (only 14 days in yet?!) have been delightful to meet.
The work of artist Keith Green of Urban Chaos www.urbanchaos.ca has been a hit and interest is growing daily. Happily, Keith will be returning in October with new work for us all to enjoy.
Linda Towart at www.lindatowart.ca has awed the audience with her sculptural masterpieces. We are lucky to have seven of her very best works available until October 2nd. You’ll be lucky if you ever see these prices on her finest sculptures again so I do suggest you make your way down to the gallery at 243 James St. North. Linda has rented wall space for her display so no commission goes to the gallery. The above “get it while you can” statement was for YOUR benefit, not mine!
The various artists of L’Arche community centre for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities have enchanted patrons with their wonderful visual arts collection. So much of it has been sold I keep having to move the remaining pieces around so the display doesn’t look so barren! L’Arche will also be returning next month with new work for sale and enjoyment. Their homepage is www.larchehamilton.org
And I…(artist nom de plume Kirsten Hill)…have enjoyed seeing at least 10 pieces of my artwork sold so far to benefit the gallery and its intiatives. I am happy to be able to help get the gallery off its feet, but more than that, I was happy to hear so many people tell me how delighted they were to finally be able to afford to take home some “real” beautiful art that was always out of their price range. I never want to undercut my fellow artists who work so hard for a living, but for the grand opening month I wanted to do something special; I donated my art to the gallery and set very affordable prices to give everyone a chance to bring art into their lives. Art should not be a privilege nor for the privileged. Everyone deserves to have thoughtful, thought-provoking, reflective beauty in their homes.
Being disabled myself meant spending at least half of my adult life in deep poverty. That’s how I started in the arts. If I wanted anything beautiful in my home I had darn well better learn to make it with my own two hands. No one was more suprised than me to find out I had the ability to do so; the skill came with time and practice.
Monkey Hill will always provide creative arts for every wage group. There will always be something worthwhile for $2, $20, $200 and more. The gallery’s mandate is about inclusion, not just regarding invisible and intellectual disabilities, but simply the beauty of compassionate inclusion.
Blessings to All…and I hope to see you this weekend. We’re open Friday nights from 6pm to 10:30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Coffee, Tea and sweets, books for sale, and comfy seating!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, artists, gallery, Monkey Hill, new, now open, renovation, transformation
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, blessing, coffee, gallery, grateful, gratitude, Hamilton, happy, hot chocolate, lounge, nourish, Ontario, rest, success, weekend
The grand opening weekend of the Monkey Hill Creative Arts gallery at 243 James Street North in Hamilton, Ontario was a grand success and for that I am deeply grateful. My artists are happy, the patrons were entertained, and I am TIRED!
We will be open every Friday evening from 6pm until 10:30, and every Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm. We will have couches and chairs for comfortable seating, books for sale and a resource section of writing and art books not for sale that patrons can use to take notes. Free writing materials will be provided for that purpose. We will be selling coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soda as well as a small selection of dessert and pastry treats to enjoy while perusing the books. Monkey Hill hopes to create a welcoming and relaxing place to rest and nourish onself. Art is life and life is art.
And…well…honestly…I don’t want to sit in the gallery all weekend by myself just waiting for people to walk in and look at the art. Truth, darlings. I am a social creature by nature. The coffee and desserts are not for the purpose of making money. They are really about my personal enjoyment of having people around. We will most *certainly NOT* be charging frou-frou coffee shop prices for our bevvies and yummies!
I’ve been online today hunting down the best place to buy delicious syrups patrons can add to the coffees and hot chocolate if they like. The prices may not be exhorbitant, but that doesn’t mean we won’t offer a few nice frills like syrups, whipped cream, and sauce toppings. Life is short. Enjoy it we must.
Now…time to get to work on some of those personal touches for the gallery I didn’t have time to get to in the rush to get the door open in time for the Supercrawl. Ta!
Blessings to All…