If you spent any time at The Wharf at Quidi Vidi Village this summer, you probably spotted our Art Cart. The mobile arts kiosk, beautifully crafted by the team at local business Kildare Renovations, hosted a number of fine art and craft makers throughout the season, giving them a chance to promote, display and sell their work (which included everything from jewellery, clothing and prints to greeting cards, mugs and table runners) while making connections with the community.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
“I always love seeing so many local businesses come together and support one another.”
“I would definitely do it again and am still working on restocking my mug rugs and row house items.”
“It was great to be out in an area that was busy with locals and visitors.”
“It gave me the opportunity to get in touch with a lot of people I haven’t been able to see since the pandemic started.”
Now, the Art Cart has found a new home inside the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation (QVVP), as part of the Merry Makers Market Series. Every weekend until Christmas, from 10am to 4pm, the cart will host a different vendor, giving holiday shoppers even more local gift options to choose from as they visit the QVVP’s resident makers.
For Kildare Renovations, who designed, built and donated the materials for the Art Cart, getting involved with this project was a perfect fit. Having moved to Newfoundland from Ireland in 2009, “I know what the struggle is like to start on your own,” says owner Dermot Kearney. Knowing it’s not always easy making a living in the arts, he adds, this project offered a small chance to give back to a sector that offers so much.
“I do appreciate it. I enjoy the arts…It’s something I don’t think we should lose. It’s something that if people just gave up because they couldn’t make a living from it, we’d miss out on so much. So in whatever way we can support and help artists out, that’s what we’re there for.”
This isn’t the first time that Kildare has collaborated with the arts, having also worked with sculptor Luben Boykov on a piece located in The Battery in St. John’s. “I like working with artists. I like working with creative people…working with creative people is always something that I bounce off and get energy from, ” Kearney says.
“Since I moved here, Newfoundland has been great to me,” he adds. So part of Kildare Renovation’s focus is on giving back to the local community, whether it be the arts, the Boys and Girls Club, the Rotary Club, the Autism Society, or local breakfast clubs.
And while Kearney says he wouldn’t consider himself an artist, creativity does come into play in his line of work.
“Our company motto is ‘Rethink your space.’ So it’s all about just rethinking what you do. It’s being creative with what you have. And that’s where I get where an artist comes from,” he says.
“I do love seeing younger people coming into it and getting energized and feeling they’ve got support.”