“I didn’t know I could be an artist until 1982!”
Ann Haessel produces extraordinary work. Her latest show, which is on at the lower gallery at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary until March 27, displays more than 80 pieces that are for sale, with profits going to the Rotary Club to buy school supplies for students in Cambodia.
“Most of the work you see was produced since 2002. I’ve done a lot of shows over the past 20 years. Three in New York City! When I started, I had a lot of support and encouragement from family and friends,” said Ann. “My mentor was a 100-year-old gallery owner who told me that I was going to make it.”
Ann, who moved into United’s Garrison Green community three months ago with her husband Walter, describes her work as textural, unique and created serendipitously. “I don’t have a plan for each piece. It just comes from somewhere and I go from there.” Ann buys material in shops that most people pass by, and her work includes plastics, metals – even bone and cactus.
Much of her work is in three dimensions. “It’s just a style that has evolved over time,” she said.
“I’ve never seen work like this in all my years of working with fabrics,” said Wendy Martin, an accomplished quilter, who also lives at Garrison Green. “I like the three dimensions. Working in layers, it’s just fantastic!”
“I’m in awe of her work,” said resident Phyllis Graham, looking at one of Ann’s pieces in the gallery. “There are thousands of threads! I’m just amazed at the fine detail.”
During a special trip to the gallery, Garrison Green residents bought six of Ann’s pieces. Ann and Walt moved into Garrison Green because of the variety of programming. “It was the right time, the right place and the right direction for us,” said Ann. Does she have any plans to stop producing her unique artworks? “There’s no age restriction on creativity. My suite is filled with my favourite pieces and I’ve brought enough art supplies when we moved that I can continue if I want.”
Photos and video by Sherana Productions
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