Thursday, October 14, 2010

Artist and Author Shares Her Childhood Memories of the Depression

Wellington County Museum OCTOBER 14, 2010 ABOYNE – On exhibit from October 16, 2010 to February 20, 2011 the Wellington County Museum and Archives is pleased to present Allie’s Kids: Illustrations by Lois Beams MacKenzie.

Inspired by Ms. MacKenzie’s published memoirs in 2009, fifteen original framed illustrations highlight her family life in the Depression and her mother Allie’s struggles raising a large family.

In the 1990s, Lois joined the Elora Memoir Group and began recording the story of her life. Her illustrations are a remarkable expression of those memories and we are delighted to share some of them in this exhibition.

Born in 1923, Lois’ father was killed in a sawmill accident in Fergus when she was just five years old. Her mother remarried and bore several more children in the 1930s. Life with Lois’ stepfather was harsh and jobs were non-existent. During the Depression, the family moved twenty-two times in twelve years, each dilapidated house worse than the last. Lois’ memoirs present vivid and honest recollections of the hardships of poverty. Her great zest for life allows her to embrace the warm memories of simple pleasures and family love.

Though untrained, Lois is a gifted artist and writer with the unique ability to bring memories alive in visuals and the written word. Copies of her book, Allie’s Kids, are available at the Museum’s gift shop.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora, and it is open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays.