Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff
A local B&B owner is transforming her Church Street home into an art gallery to raise money for a children’s art fund.
Kim Hedge, a former community health worker and a registered massage therapist who moved to Stratford last year after purchasing the Grandville Manor, has been collecting and hanging artwork throughout her residence in preparation for this weekend’s event.
She anticipates having close to 100 pieces – paintings, big and small, sculptures, photographs and books – many from artists in the Kitchener-Waterloo area where she most recently lived.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of the work will go towards developing informal art sessions for kids that Hedge plans to run at her B&B this summer.
She has experience working with at-risk children and families in her former job and, through her own personal experiences, says she has developed an appreciation for the healing power of the pen and paintbrush.
“I look at it this way: art is therapy whether you enjoy looking at it or actually using it to express yourself.
“To use it as a way to express what may be going on inside ... that does become therapeutic.”
Having met so many new people in her short time in Stratford, including guests at her B&B, Hedge says she was inspired to try something new.
She got the idea to start a kids’ program from the paintings of several of the artists whose work will be on display during the gallery.
Looking at the brightly coloured pieces hanging on walls in each room of her house, Hedge says she is thrilled to be able to provide a venue for artists whose work has yet to reach a wider audience.
“You’ll see a lot (of works) from one artist, (Kitchener’s) Vicki Henrich. She was my guest here and we talked about art ... about where she was in her life and how that was reflected in her painting.
“I believe all artists are like that. They express their soul through their work, and I ask myself, why can’t we have that for kids?”
The gallery takes place at 157 Church St. Saturday from 2-7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.