TOOLOOSE de LeTREK
artCentral’s Patron Gnome
Have you met TooLoose de LeTrek, artCentral’s Patron Gnome? Oh, you really must! He is a merry little fellow making the rounds through the artCentral community, traveling to one studio and then another. Quite likely TooLoose’s ancestry originated in the United Kingdom when Sir Charles Isham brought 21 terra-cotta figures back from a trip to Germany and stationed them around the gardens of his home. Symbols of good luck, originally gnomes were thought to provide protection, especially of buried treasure and minerals in the ground. They are used today to watch over crops and livestock, often tucked into the rafters of a barn or placed in a garden.
TooLoose’s exciting visit at Andrew’s Blue Bunny studio began with a road trip to Springfield’s ArtsFest where as honorary foreman he supervised the installation of Andrew’s booth. Back in his temporary Joplin home, surrounded by a lush green lawn, TooLoose was given the gig of feeding Andrew’s lovely alabaster doves. He also oversaw the delivery of art works to be shown on the MSSU campus by members of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC). Dropping off my own entry, when I mentioned that TooLoose needed a traveling valise, Andrew magically, generously produced and gave to TooLoose a favorite vintage wooden chest large enough to accommodate TooLoose’s naptimes and to carry his very small belongings.
As the day came for TooLoose to move on to the Rose Cottage Studio of Emily Rose, alas, his leave-taking was not entirely graceful as documented by the photo I received. Emily is on the picture’s left, leaning back, pulling with all her might, her hands firmly glasped around TooLoose’s hat and head. Andrew on the right on Tooloose’s other end, is seen tugging away with biceps bulging as he does his best to delay the sweet gnome’s departure. Apparently Andrew was suffering extreme separation anxiety! In his words, “Though the hand off was difficult, I finally relented!”
Today TooLoose is finding life pleasing with Emily and her three fascinating felines. Outside her cottage door there are moonflowers to be admired every night before being tucked in with a red blankie; freshly brewed coffee to be sipped each morning; cat conversations to be enjoyed through the day; and brushstrokes to be made each time Emily approaches a new painting. Life is delightfully diverse! What can possibly be waiting just ahead?
Hopefully the transition will be a bit smoother as TooLoose packs his valise and moves on to the studio home of Brenda Sears Hayes, fiber artist and maker of arts in many magical dimensions. One of Brenda’s most recent works of wonder is a wee journal custom created just for TooLoose. The front cover features the image of one of TooLoose’s European ancestors. Put together as three miniature folios bound around with an embroidered ribbon, the little pages are replete with hidden secrets and discoveries waiting to be found and marked with fabric dangle-downs embellished with a very old skeleton key. Surely TooLoose will gather a plethora of stories spending time in Brenda’s studio with her two adorable pugs and their amusing antics.
The Missouri Arts Council has certified artCentral as an ArtSafe Space with CDC protocols observed by all who visit Hyde House. Masks are to be worn and social distancing is to be practiced as we all do our best to keep one another safe and healthy.
For more information call (417) 358-4404. Weekend Gallery Hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m.