October 2015: Lily Crawford 

You’ve probably heard of Lily Crawford, met her at a local cultural event, seen her work as part of the Brant Studio Tour, or popped into the Crawford Collective on King Street in downtown Brantford; did you know, though, that Lily only started creating her mosaic masterpieces four short years ago?

Lily Crawford with Amanda McKenzie and Dean Ellis

In 2011, Crawford came across a piece of mosaic garden décor and fell in love; she says the “wheels starting turning” and within a short week she had picked up various supplies to make garden ornaments of her own. Through what she calls “a LOT” of trial and error, her pieces have evolved from primitive flagstone garden pieces, to fairly complex mosaics that incorporate stained glass and salvaged windows.

In 2014, Crawford took the leap and became a member of the Brant Studio Tour, and she credits this experience in developing a greater sense of confidence in her art. Soon, Lily was ready to grow again, and began talking about her ideas of creating an artist collective, and opening her own “real” studio. The result was the opening of The Crawford Collective (4 King Street, Brantford) on February 28, 2015. This new commercial gallery provides an opportunity for artists to showcase and sell their work, and boasts 15 local artist members as well as housing Crawford’s own studio.

As Crawford’s career as an artist, and now business owner, progresses, she continues to appreciate the role that other local artists have played in her career, and her confidence as an artist. “I consider myself very fortunate to count Arlene Laskey as not only a friend, but also someone who mentored me. I would not have had the confidence to evolve to where I have without her support.” The other members of the Collective inspire her daily as well, and she notes that she is grateful for “not only the extraordinary work they allow [her] to represent, but also their faith, ongoing help and support.”

Lily’s studio at The Crawford Collective is a stop on the 2015 Brant Studio Tour (October 3-4, 10am-5pm). Stay tuned for mosaic workshops, to be offered at the Crawford Collective in the near future as well.

Photo: (L-R) Amanda McKenzie, Lily Crawford and Dean Ellis, holding one of Crawford's mosaic works.