Cranbrook Arts’ “Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants” arrives

Book retells the story of Cranbrook Ed and the Sells Floto Circus Elephants though the vision of local artists

Cranbrook and District Arts Council’s first book, Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants, has arrived, after nearly two years in the making. The book features a story by local writer, Norma Kroeger, illustrations by 14 local artists as well as art by emerging artists from Gordon Terrace Elementary.

The book is already available for sale at the arts council’s 1013 Baker Street gift store.

In honour of the achievement, the arts council is hosting a free book signing on Sunday, December 15th, from 1 – 3 pm at the new arts council building, 1401 – 5th Street North. The original art works will be on display and most of the artists will be available to sign copies of the book, which will also be available for sale.

The book project was an elephantine one for project coordinators Yvonne Vigne, Laverna Peters, and Lynn Taylor, all of whom deserve huge congratulations.

“Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants” recounts the story of the 14 pachyderms who escaped from the Sells Floto Circus in 1926 in Cranbrook — in particular Charlie Ed (later renamed Cranbrook Ed) — and who wandered the wilds of the local backcountry for days.

But it’s never been told like this. “Fourteen Trumpeting Elephants” is a project of the Cranbrook Arts Group, a consortium of artists under the auspices of the Cranbrook District Arts Council. Eleven of them have banded together to retell the story as a children’s art book in 14 chapters — each chapter illustrated by a unique painting in the individual artists’ styles.

The artists describe the book as an embellished story of historical facts, aimed at children 12 and under. The story is told by a grandfather and his grandson as a crowd gathers around them. It describes local events and places, and the reader can follow the antics of the elephants as they experience freedom in the wild.

The book is divided into the following chapters (with the illustrating artists named):

• The group gathering to hear the story (Dawn Fenwick)

• Elephants stampeding (Laverna Peters)

• Mary in the Apple Tree (Ann Holtby Jones)

• Elk (John DeJong)

• Telegraph Dispatch (Lynn Taylor)

• Picnic with Huckleberries (Dane Fenwick)

• Bear Introduced (Laverna Peters)

• Maude and Rudy and the Model T Ford (Monique Culbertson)

• Old Miner On A Horse (Ann Holtby Jones)

• Loggers (Yvonne Vigne)

• Charlie Swimming Along The Steamship (Sam Millard)

• Indian Elephants (Bill McColl)

• Charlie Climbs Fisher Peak (Ann Aitkenson)

• Fall Fair (Yvonne Vigne)

• Champagne and Miss Paterson (Josie Rousse)The project was made possible by Columbia Basin Trust and the Kootenay Foundation of the Rockies. Thanks to both organizations for supporting the arts in our community.

Helen Duckworth, Gallery Coordinator for the Federation of Canadian Artists, is quoted in the book, stating, “This charming book is a testament to the power of collaboration across the visual arts and written word.”

In other Cranbrook Arts news:

Nov. 5-30, The Gallery at Cranbrook Arts (1013 Baker Street) is showing “Mixed Media Madness”, featuring acrylics by Charlene Venier, fibre art by Darlene Purnell, and encaustic mixed media by Tara Mercer. y, November 16, 1-3 p.m.

Upcoming at Cranbrook Arts’ new location, 1401 – 5th Street North (beside the bowling alley):Monday Painters – 10-1, Nov. 18 – Dec. 23. Get together with other painters with works-in-progress. Bring your own supplies. Facilitated by local artist Bill McColl.

Felted Scarf Workshop – Sat., Nov. 30, 10-4. Popular local instructor Barb Guillen will facilitate nuno felt scarf making. Be prepared to leave the day with a beautiful scarf.

Paint a Ceramic Christmas Ornament in an afternoon with Yvonne Vigne. Sunday, Dec. 1, 1-3:30. Get in the Christmas spirit!

Register for workshops at 1013 Baker Street (open Tues.-Sat. 11-4:30) or through Eventbrite at Cranbrookarts.com

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