This morning, I’m celebrating Wendy Lees and the Love Art in Calgary tours that she provides, here in the city. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to enjoy the intimate and generous experience of visiting KOAC. Harry Kiyooka and Katie Ohe directed a magical tour of their property, studios and home and today I am still ruminating about the conversations, the practice and the encouragement received. Grateful!
Katie and Harry have done so much for our community and, both visionaries, they have a commitment to leave an amazing legacy for all of us. But right now, they need our support, both monetary and philosophically. Calgarians need to see themselves as both beneficiaries, but also contributors to this dream. I hope that my readers will take the time to visit the website and explore how they can be a part of this.
We began our tour with the wondrous drive out to the property under an amazing chinook arch. The light and arch contributed to the aesthetic experience of being on the edge of the city, looking west toward the mountains. Good conversation, laughter and shared philosophies are always a part of a Love Art in Calgary tour and this time, I reconnected with a like-minded woman, Sharon, who I had met on a previous workshop at the Esker Foundation and Melissa, who has a long history of Gorilla painting with me. So much fun.
Melissa and I went for a wander to look at a couple of the sculptures on the property before the tour of Katie’s studio began.
Walking to Katie’s studio, we stopped and had fun, listening to Katie’s stories and being present to her larger-than-life energy!
I think this woman is such a role model for us. She is so full of warmth and has such a generous nature. And…she says that she writes a lot of reference letters! :0)
Katie Ohe, when speaking of her sculptures, touches them in such a special way and speaks about them in that manner, also. It is evident that she has a very close relationship with the materials and knows and loves the process of creation in a very intimate way. I cherish listening to her speak of her art.
Next, we went to Harry’s studio, a treasure trove full of discoveries and large canvases.
Harry is such a gentle and kind man, with such enthusiasm for the vision that has been forming over such a long period of time…a vision and partnership shared between Katie and him. He is a huge promoter of KOAC and has announced that tickets are available for the next big fundraiser.
Next, the two artists invited us into their home and we sat and snacked and shared a coffee break, while being surrounded by amazing works of art, as well as an extensive collection and library! Phenomenal!
I will never forget the strength of Katie’s hand wrapped around mine, as I thanked her for the afternoon. What an amazing woman!