Magiolly and Me – a friendship blossomed through art

February 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Said Ricky Schaede, “Our kids’ classes have been very high numbers so far – our registrations have been very good.- so we would like to keep that up.” 

We were talking to him as he was on the GO bus coming back to Orangeville from Toronto later in the afternoon, about his work and relationship with Orangeville’s favourite arts supply shop, Maggiolly, at 158 Broadway.

The history: “I started working at Euphoria 2013; Maggiolly was next door and [owner] Emilia had me work in there too. We developed a relationship. We’ve been pretty close personal friends; I’m friends with her daughter Sara, too. I went to their home, painting together, at the shop and at the house.”

As he became more involved with working in the arts supply shop, Mr. Schaede said, “One of the big changes I made, I [reworked] the website. I made a platform where people can see what our programs are and register and pay on-line. I updated the website and put nice visuals on it.”

Staying with the online presence, “I helped create a new email marketing and nice newsletters so people can know what’s happening and sign up for classes.

“A couple of years ago, when Michael’s opened, we decided that the focus needs to be on the classes and we sort of extended the program.. Our arts programs in the summer focused in on the art classes. I do the classes for kids and also teach drawing for adults; that’s going great. I’ve got a group that keeps coming back and that’s really good. I just teach them new things all the time. There is a lot to learn about drawing; we just keep covering new territory.

“And, just recently,” he added, “I was promoted to manager officially, taking on more responsibility. … Emilia’s been running the business for 25 years. She’s still totally passionate about art and the importance of it in the community.”

He continued, “Over the years, I’ve been changing things. I would like to offer more classes, keep expanding, more different instructors. We’ve had Roselyn [Levin] with a mini-studio at Dragonfly] many times. Her class is coming up in March. It has a lot of registration but there is still room.” 

The spacious room at the back of the shop where the art classes are held holds, “depending on the class, anywhere from 11 to 16 people. The studio was expanded some years ago.” 

He said it would be “great for other artists to use the space for private lessons for their own students. We would welcome those inquiries.

“What it has meant to be involved with Maggiolly is getting interested in art. I went to Maggiolly and I bought paint and canvasses. It was 2011 and I bought my first art supplies. I didn’t know I was going to be an artist at that time. In 2013, when I had started to paint, Emilia had given me a place to belong and allowed me to come into my own as an artist and to become who I am there and as part of who I am as a whole.”

He continued, “What makes Maggiolly special is, it’s a true small business. It’s way different from the big stores. It’s about people and genuine relationships, I would say – like a community hub not just an art store. The classes contribute to that because there’s lots of people come back; lots of regular customers and students.”

He reflected a moment to consider the influence being part of Maggiolly has had on himself: “What’s so great is to work as an instructor. My job helps me grow as an artist.

At Maggiolly, I’ve used everything in the shop. So, I’m working in every different medium- oils, acrylic, watercolour – sculpture. I don’t think I would be working in all those mediums if I weren’t working there. 

“One of my goals this year is to learn about human anatomy. We have life drawing starting in May. Not a live models but projections, which is almost as good. There’ll be an instructor there to talk about anatomy, all the different muscles. I must learn how the body moves.” 

The young man does have ambitions. “I’m just going to keep making art, producing work and showing my work. I’d love to have solo shows at galleries. I want to start incorporating people into my art. That’s missing.

“I like living here,” he commented, “I have a good apartment and I don’t feel the need to leave in order to succeed.”

As Mr. Schaede’s art is filled with fictional and fantastical images and animals, he reckons, “Toronto is not necessarily a place where I would want to show my art because the real scene where I would want to show is not in Toronto, it’s in the States, in California.” 

For Maggiolly, “Just like what I said – more community, more connection, – more classes. I want to keep working on the craft and learning in more and more and keep working as a painter. I have the best possible job to do that.”

For March break, he explained, “There is a single day art camp and each day there is morning and then afternoon projects – two hours each – ten different projects – sign up for all ten or pick and chose. It’s fun. Lots of kids sign up for all ten.”

Emilia Perri gave her thoughts on what a benefit it has been to have Ricky Schaede “on board. He works in a lot of different capacities. The kids love him. He’s built up kind of a following among adults that are excited about drawing. That was something that was hard to do before. Lori Smith gets people excited about drawing too. It’s the basis for art – drawing informs your art – whatever it is.”

She continued by saying, “It’s been great having him develop the classes on line – brought us into the 21st Century. A small business has to keep moving. People want to be artists but they need those drawing skills and we have those classes now.

“I have a good friendship with him. My daughter created True Nature Media Company and they get along really well. They’re always on me how I’m old-fashioned in my thinking but I have been running this business all these years. 

“Offering people art classes is all part of it, selling supplies and bringing Ricky on board here, he is really good for the business. He has great people skills and really good teaching skills which he’s developed that here at Maggiolly. He can really take control of the class in such a friendly way no one every feels intimidated. Private lessons they love him too.

“I’m very glad to have him here. He becoming more involved in the business aspects here, what to order and not to order, what sells better in the summer.

“We’ll continue to sell supplies, different kinds of paper and colour in paints. People love feeling the difference in paper – thicker, finer.”

She added, “and, when they come here, they want to make art and that’s our focus and that’s what I’m all about, really encouraging beautiful people to make art.

“I’ve had so much pleasure creating art and I see that in Ricky – he is making art for himself and how passionate he is about being an instructor. That makes me happy to see.”

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