Catherine Melnychuk knows art. She’s a long-time supporter of the AGA. Currently, she’s a member of Curator’s Circle, our philanthropic membership level and a regular attendee of our annual Art on the Block fundraiser. This year, for the first time Melnychuk is donating a work of her own to be bid on at this event. We sat down with her to talk about the one-of-a-kind scarf that she’s created, which could become yours after Art on the Block.
Melnychuk has been weaving since she was just 14 years old. For her, it’s both a pastime and a passion. “I do this for the joy of it. It’s not a living. It is my joy” she explains with a smile. And you can be assured that this scarf is unique. “I can honestly say I’ve never made the same scarf twice” Melnychuk confirms. For me, once a piece is complete “whatever the idea was, I’ve done it”. She then moves on to her next vision.
The piece Melnychuk will be donating to Art on the Block is called “Rivulets” and she describes it as an “art piece” due to the complexity of the design and the quality of materials. The wrapped skein, for example, was hand-dyed using indigo which is a natural dye.
Melnychuk notes that the details in the scarf are meant to look similar to rain dripping down a window pane. To get that effect is painstaking work. “You’re looking at 35 and 40 shots back and forth per inch” which takes a great deal of time. The scarf itself drapes as if it were liquid to further the effect.
“Rivulets” was created using ikat, which a controlled way to create a resist. The silk and the warp are made of two different kinds of yarn, which reflect off of each other and mimic the way water reflects light. This is why every time you look at this accessory it’s slightly different, based on how the light plays off it. “It reads differently from a distance and up close. It can be dressed up or dressed down”, Catherine muses that she thinks it would look amazing with a denim jacket to add a luxe touch to an otherwise ordinary outfit.
When Melnychuk goes to buy art at events like Art on the Block, she looks for something that speaks to her. “If there’s something that jumps out and invites me, factors like having the space and budget seem to matter less” she admits. For her, those works bring a sense of joy, and continue to do so every time she sees them.
Melnychuk believes that there is beauty and artistry in many things, whether art or art-inspired. “Art is not confined; if it speaks, it speaks.”
Melnychuk hopes that “Rivulets” will speak to you, and we’re sure a few of the other 100+ artworks and art-inspired items will also be calling out to you during this year’s event on Friday, May 24. Get your tickets today at http://artontheblock.youraga.ca.
“Whatever speaks to you, whatever makes you happy, whatever puts a smile on your face, it’s not wrong.”