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Artisans Create Grand “Mother Ginger” Costume

Submitted by Susan Joy

NORTH FORK — Early in the summer of 2015, Marij Bouwmans, a prominent artist residing in North Fork, had a vision. Inspired to manifest an ambitious project, involving 20+ artisians, she put out a calling for knitters and crocheters. With much foresight, Marij began the journey to hand-craft a magnificent dress of grand proportions.

Time was on Marij’s side, as this project was intended for display during the Christmas holidays, in the foothills town of North Fork. Replicating the “Mother Ginger” costume from The Nutcracker Suite ballet, a dazzling performance will come alive, in this mountain community.

Marij’s request was for each person to create a 12” x 30” section from any type of yarn. As the sections were completed and collected, a vast array of colors, textures and patterns defined each artists talent. When I crocheted my section, I felt a deep connection with the other crafters, though I did not know who they were. Many crafters were from North Fork, Oakhurst, Clovis and Fresno, as well as beyond the borders of the United States. Sections were airmailed from as far away as Canada and the Netherlands.

This project is also a fund raiser for The North Fork Studio, a non-profit community center. The Studio promotes and supports cultural, educational and other events and programs for the people of North Fork. To date, the “Mother Ginger” project has raised over four hundred dollars. For a donation, various supporters have their name and/or business information aesthetically displayed on the dress.

Come see “Mother Ginger” in action, at the Song of the Seasons holiday concert. The North Fork Community Choir and the Sierra High Mountain Chorale will perform old favorites and new holiday music this Saturday, at 7 p.m. in Kennedy Hall at the North Fork School. Aimee Smith-Cox will promenade the grand gown, as “Bonbons” emerge from underneath and hip-hop dance.

After the performance on Saturday night, the “Mother Ginger” project will be on display, in the showcase window of the old Sierra Video storefront, on Main Street. The window will be lit from 5 to 8 p.m. during the holiday season. A black backdrop will give a shimmery effect and dynamic contrast, to the bold and various colors, when the spotlight is upon it.

The Artists:

Ann Kennedy, Connie Popelish, Corry Bouwmans, Jackie Sloan, Jose Bouwmans, Nynke Hartman, Julie Kono, Kat Tooms, Kathy Patterson, Lois Betty, Shella McKay, Adawn Bawdon Kouklis, Mieke Bouwmans, Pat Peddicord, Petronella Gurule, Ruth Rosenthal, Susan Joy, Tinie Van Der Helm, Veronica Konings and Simone Konings.

The Engineer:

Thomas Gallagher Mother Ginger: Aimee Smith-Cox The Bonbons: Milo Gurule, Sophia Kennedy and Ellie Johnson.

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