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Wednesday, 30 January 2013
N.S. Fibre Arts Festival Volunteer: Dwight Gallagher
Featured Festival Volunteer: Dwight Gallagher
By: Joan Beswick
This image from the Waterloo Region Museum says it all – volunteers are indeed a ‘gift to the community’. Like many community organizations, the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival depends almost exclusively on volunteers. Volunteers staff festival committees, contact artists, develop programs, liaise with local businesses, deliver brochures, arrange publicity, prepare exhibits, give demonstrations, serve at festival headquarters ... and do a myriad of other jobs, all of which are crucial to the success of the festival. We are totally indebted to our festival volunteers, and over the next few months, this blog will feature some of them, people who work behind the scenes or in the forefront, who donate their time and skills and are rarely acknowledged for all that they contribute. Some are fibre artists themselves. For others, fibre is part of the daily diet, a hook is for hanging clothes, and needles are for inoculation. But they can organize, write, make contacts, do the groundwork – everyone has something to offer, and we thank them all.
One of the volunteers at headquarters during the 2012 Festival was Dwight Gallagher from Springhill.
Like many fibre artists, Dwight got started because of the influence of friends and family. About ten years ago, he took a course for beginning rug hookers with two colleagues from work. Then, inspired by his mother-in-law’s quilting, he used his artistic skills to adapt quilt patterns to make hooked mats.
Dwight now dyes his own wool and has a ‘stash’ in the basement. He can be seen at Frenchie’s searching for hooking materials. Indeed, he shows all the signs of being ‘hooked on hooking’, including being always ready to offer support to others, as can be seen in this whipstitching demonstration at festival headquarters during the 2012 festival.
Dwight is now the Cumberland County area director for the Nova Scotia Rug Hookers’ Guild and he is a much appreciated festival volunteer. Many thanks to Dwight and all festival volunteers – you are a gift to the community – we could never do it without you!