Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story and photos by JENNIFER NAUGLER
Growing up in New Brunswick, and with a keen interest in photography and art, Madeleine DeWolfe attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and began living in Halifax. A marriage and family took her to Ottawa where she put down roots and settled for 16 years, but she always knew that she wanted to get back to the East Coast.
In 2016, recently divorced and ready for a change, Madeleine came to Nova Scotia and began touring around, spending time in a few different areas of the province, looking for one that felt right. Nova Scotian writer, Sheree Fitch, suggested Madeleine look to the South Shore.
The South Shore, and Bridgewater in particular, had a similar feel to the area Madeleine grew up in. The river, proximity to the beaches, and the affordability were all key in making it feel like it could be home.
After looking at some real estate options on the South Shore, Madeleine booked a hotel for the weekend in Bridgewater and stayed during the Afterglow Art Festival. After living in Ottawa for 16 years, she had never experienced the friendliness of people like she had here. The next weekend she bought a house in the town of Bridgewater.
Spending time on her art, Madeleine only needs to step out into her garden for inspiration. She feels fortunate to be in an area with such wonderful access to walking trails, parks and waterways. She’s also learning more about herself and spirituality which is helping her be more creative. She appreciates the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips just waiting to be accessed. She’s especially grateful to the Acadia Entrepreneur Centre, CO3, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Visual Arts Nova Scotia. Madeleine loves being in an area filled with entertainment and creativity. She credits many like-minded people and organizations that have helped her on her journey, including Art Happening, Afterglow Art Festival, Bridgewater Photography Society, Margaret Hennigar Public Library, Second Story Women Center, Lunenburg Art Gallery, Shore Line Gallery, East Wind Gallery, and the Port Grocer. Madeleine recently had a Mixed Media Intuitive Art Exhibit, inspired by nature, at the Port Grocer in Port Medway.
Madeleine wasn’t necessarily looking for a job, but being the daughter of a former hardware store owner, Gow’s Home Hardware and Furniture felt like home when she was there, and a friend suggested she apply when they were hiring for their new store. Madeleine recently began working there in a parttime position which has given her more confidence and flexibility to do things she might not have done otherwise. Career changes are not always easy, but Madeleine feels grateful for the opportunity to try something new. Madeleine describes moving to a new area and giving herself permission to explore different mediums and techniques in her art as having helped her grow both as an artist and as an
individual. It has forced her to step out of her comfort zone and given her the confidence to pursue her dreams.
Living on the South Shore, Madeleine is still surprised over how friendly people are and how much they look out for each other. There is no shortage of things to do. She feels at peace and happy. “Sometimes I think that people who have lived here their whole lives don’t realize how good they have it.”