Neighbourhood Walks and Talks: Lucille Crighton – A Textile Arts Hall of Famer & Gifted Gardener in the Beach
Now a well established successful artist, Lucille has a substantial backlog of orders and does not have to worry about where the next project is coming from. Her marketing consists of four art shows a year: twice a year she participates in the popular One-Of-A-Kind Trade Show in Toronto, while another two times a year she is a key participant in the Beach Studio Tour.
The Beach Studio Tour is organized twice yearly by a group of about 15 to 24 local artists in the Beach who open their homes to the public free of charge for three days in May and October of every year. Pottery, stained glass, jewellery, photography, fine art and textile arts are represented, and the artists welcome the visitors with demonstrations of their crafts and an opportunity to learn about the creative process.
A whole rainbow of colour
The artists that participate in the Beach Studio Tour collectively shoulder the arketing and publicity effort to promote this event. They fundraise and sell advertising in their flyer in order to pay for an advertising campaign. Brochures have to be designed, a mailing list needs to be maintained, PR work needs to be done in order to publicize this event and attract visitors from all over the city and beyond. As a result, a lot of work has to be split between different artists. But the Beach Studio Tour has turned into a very popular regular event in the neighbourhood that is a successful marketing tool for local artists.
During the studio tour Lucille hires someone to give a tour of the looms and answer questions, and her dining room becomes a showroom for her creations. Usually she also features guest artists and during the last few years well-known local photographer John Dowding has showcased some of his work at Lucille’s home. She also hires someone to help her on the main floor so potential clients have a chance to talk with the master artist herself and be custom fitted or to discuss future projects.
But Lucille is not only a gifted textile artist, she is also an avid gardener. Horticulture is extremely popular in the Beach, a neighbourhood with many talented gardeners. Lucille volunteers as the librarian at the Beach Garden Society and a member of the board which meets once a month. The society brings in expert guest speakers who talk about such topics as shade gardening and planting perennials. Lucille’s garden was recently featured in Gardening Life magazine.
Lucille Crighton is an all around creative person, whether it be in textile arts or horticulture and garden design. She is a one-of-a-kind Hall of Famer and a good example of the creative talent in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood.