Mary B Jenkins has lived in Almonte for eight years Things have not been easy years for the young mother of two, transplanted from the shores of Massachusetts and who still misses the sounds and smells of the sea, but Mary Jenkins has in many ways made her plate.
Others this summer will show their pleasure and loyalty to Almonte during the hectic ten days of celebrations planned for Homecoming week August 10, but Mary Jenkins has chosen a more personal way to pay tribute to her adopted town. For the past few months Mary has been exercising the vocation that brings her more satisfaction than any other – the vocation of artist She has produced a series of pen and ink drawings depicting 40 local landmarks, both old and new.
These have been printed as hasty note stationary and are now on sale in eight local stores Mary hopes they will appeal not only to the passing tourist, but also to local residents to whom the scenes are as familiar as daily life. Mary Jenkins’ style is not strictly realistic; on the contrary, she sketches how she sees the world about her with a great deal of feeling the cards at the same time are evidently drawn with their function in mind, they are highly decorative and nostalgic.
Mary Jenkins has strived to include all the standard landmarks that we think of in connection with Almonte; the old post office, the townhall, the Auld Kirk, and all the local churches But she has also drawn subjects that, while familiar to us, we might not have considered artistic material. Mary’s decorative touch however, has formed even such mundane sights as the arena and the newer public schools, into warm pieces o f nostalgia.
The mixture of new and old is very satisfying. Views that stand out are, for instance, of the Dalai Lama Bakery, The Almonte Gazette office, the Hub, the Superior Restaurant These views make many common sights in Almonte seem worth preserving and appreciating.
“The drawings were my way of saying thank you to the town ol Almonte, my way of doing something for the people,” said Mary in an interview last week Mary Jenkins lives with her husband, a mathematical genius, she says, and her two children, in a house the couple designed themselves Robert Jenkins is also an arnst; he paints abstract paintings and has shown them in galleries in Ottawa.
The Jenkins came here when Robert was hired to work in applied math for Ihe federal government they had met in New Haven. Connecticut, at an exhibition Mary Jenkins says there are many types of art she would like to do. She has worked timing maps and other graphic works, making prints, and is even now designing decorations lor next Christmas She is also drawn to literature, and a few years ago wrote a regular column called ” Inner thoughts” for ihe Carleton Place Canadian, which she also illustrated with line drawings. Today the Jenkins arc devout Christians, a faith they have found has changed their lives and seen them through many spiritual hard times.