Monthly Archives: June 2017

Nostalgic Tour

They were from Shanghai and Beijing and Shenzhen and Kunming and many other places I have visited.  I had the pleasure of taking a Chinese community group of Winnipeg residents on a tour of the Picasso exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery last week.  I lived in Hong Kong for six years and so it was interesting to find out where people in the group came from and to compare notes about their home cities.  I had visited most of them. 

chinese tour group at wagIt was my first tour with a translator and so I had to give information in small bits and then wait while it was translated into Mandarin. Hearing Mandarin spoken again, and talking with the tour participants about places that I had come to know, made me nostalgic.  It was a nice feeling though. I’m not sorry I live in Canada now but chatting with my tour participants from China brought back fond memories of the time I spent in Asia. 

Other posts………

Dancing in Shangri-La

Ai Wei Wei

Stick Stick Men

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Bark in the Park

We decided on the spur of the moment to go to the Goldeyes game on Saturday night. We just live a couple blocks  from the stadium and thought we’d pick up a couple of tickets at the box office just before the game.  Were we ever surprised to see a very l…..oooong line up of people waiting to get tickets.  The reason the game was so popular?  It was Bark in the Park night.  Fans were encouraged to bring their pooches to the game and they were lined up to get their dogs’ complimentary tickets and their ‘doggie bags’ of treats. 

I found it fascinating to ‘dog watch’ and ‘people watch’ as we waited for a chance to buy our tickets.  It was interesting to note the many different kinds of dogs, the many different ways people interacted with their pets and the way the dogs interacted with each other.

The Goldeyes were trying to set a world record for most dogs at a ball game established by the Chicago White Soxs last year at 1,123.  Saturday night the Goldeyes only had 852 dogs registered, but that was still an awful lot of dogs. I’ve been to lots of Goldeyes games but this one was certainly the most unusual.

Other posts…….. 

Once in a Blue Moon

I Slept With a Champion Last Night

Remembering Rudy York




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A Scary Story

joe talirunili

A new display of Inuit artwork on the mezzanine level of the Winnipeg Gallery includes this popular piece called Migration by Joe Talirunili. It tells the story of a harrowing time in Joe’s childhood. I found many different versions of the story on the internet but here is my compilation. Joe and his family and some friends were going back home on their sleds after a celebration on an island in Hudson’s Bay.   The ice under them began to break up and they were trapped on an ice floe. They had to work fast before the ice floe broke up further, but they managed to use the wood from their sleds and some seal skins to make a boat that got them to shore.  The shoreline was made up of very steep rock and so they secured their boat with a rope and waited.  The wind blew incredibly hard for almost a week making it too dangerous for them to leave.  They nearly starved to death before the weather let up and they were able to find their way home. Some people lost their lives at various points in the tragic story.  Joe made some thirty carvings of this adventure all called Migration. One of Joe’s Migration sculptures was featured on a Canadian stamp in 1976 the year he died, and in 2006 another sold at auction for $278,000 the highest price ever for a single Inuit artwork. 

Other posts about Inuit artists………

Getting to Know Oviloo

Transferring the Real to the Unreal

Falling in Love


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There’s More to the Shakespeare in the Ruins Site Than I Thought

Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park St. NorbertI’ve been to the former Trappist Monastery site in St. Norbert many times to watch productions of Shakespeare in the Ruins. But I didn’t know anything about the history of the place. I also didn’t know that behind the area where the theatre productions are held there is a garden and cultural centre.  One of my Winnipeg Art Gallery colleagues helps to maintain the beautiful green space around that cultural centre and she told me about it recently.

Ready for the play to begin

So when we attended the Shakespeare in the Ruins production of Romeo and Juliet on Friday night I made a point at intermission to go and find the cultural centre and its surrounding garden.  

The current St. Norbert Arts Centre was once a guest house for the Our Lady of the Prairies monastery which was established in 1892 for about forty Trappist monks fleeing from religious persecution in France. At the monastery they ran a bakery, greenhouse, sawmill and blacksmith shop.  They had bees and cows and sold meat, milk, cheese and honey. They also devoted themselves to prayer and contemplation. So it is fitting that the garden around the former guest house is called a meditation garden. It is a beautiful place to walk and think. 

The lilac bushes in the garden smelled wonderful

 I was all alone in the garden during intermission on Friday night. It was lovely and quiet. A century ago it was a quiet  garden too, because the Trappist monks only communicated by sign language.

I realized after reading more about the St. Norbert Arts Centre on their website that there is also a vegetable garden, orchard, ceremonial grounds with two sweat lodges and kitchen building which I didn’t see. I’ll have to look for those on my next visit. 

Other posts………

Dorothy’s Garden

Plants That Talked to Me

Home Grown in Newfoundland


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My husband’s grandfather and his brother during World War I in Moscow where they served as medics

To the outside world we all grow old, but not to our brothers. They know us as we always were.- C. Ortega

My grandfather and his brothers. Grandpa is in the middle.

Without a brother you are like a person rushing into battle without a weapon- Arabic Proverb

Our sons

Because I have a brother I will always have a friend. – Unknown

My father-in-law and his brothers

Oh how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. – Psalm 133:1

My brothers at our cabin at Moose Lake 

A brother is a gift given by nature. ~Jean-Baptiste Legouvé

My husbands grandparents meet with their brothers to discuss family business in Moscow during World War I

When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life. -Antisthenes

My husband and his brothers. 

Your brother is your best link to your past  ….Baz Lurhmann

Other posts………

Baseball Legacy

I Love my Siblings

Terrified Times Three

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A Waterfall on the Library

I walk past Winnipeg’s Millennium Library several times a week, but yesterday I happened to look up at just the right spot and noticed for the first time that there was a waterfall on the library.  himmer waterfall winnipeg

It was cascading off a ledge on the side of the building and glimmered and sparkled in the sunshine.  It appeared to be moving and flowing.   When I got home I found out the artist who made it out of plywood, plastic and sequins is Theresa Himmer. Theresa is from Denmark but works in Reykjavik, kind of fitting since Manitoba has such a significant Icelandic population. 

waterfall theresa himmerThe art work is called Waterfall #2 because a similar piece by Himmer called Waterfall#1 was installed in Reykjavik in 2006 but was dismantled in 2014. The artist says it “playfully investigates the relationship between artificial and natural landscapes. “

waterfall artOne of the things I love about Winnipeg’s downtown is all the interesting public art. I’ve sometimes said living here is like living in an art gallery. Himmer’s Waterfall#2 is a cool new addition to that art gallery’s collection.  You can see a video of the waterfall moving here. 

Other posts…….

I’m Living in an Art Gallery

The Millennium Library

Katherena Vermette on the Wall

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Picasso – Not Really a Family Man

seated woman 1926-1927

Seated Woman by Pablo Picasso 1927

It has been suggested that this work by Pablo Picasso currently on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is actually a portrait of the great artist’s family. Version 2If you look closely you can see the three intertwining heads of Picasso, his wife Olga and their son Paulo.


By Pablo Picasso – Agence Photographique de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux

Picasso also painted this portrait of his wife. She was Olga Khokhlova a ballet dancer from Russia. Picasso met her when he designed the costumes and sets for a ballet she was performing in Paris. 


Portrait of Paulo by Pablo Picasso -1923

Picasso and Olga’s son Paulo was born in 1921.

seated woman 1926-1927

Seated Woman by Pablo Picasso 1927

Interestingly the painting of his family currently at the Winnipeg Art Gallery was made the same year Picasso began having an affair with a seventeen year old girl, Marie-Thérèse Walter. As he was painting a portrait of the people in his family intertwined together…. he was in the process of breaking his family apart.  

Version 2

Lithograph of Marie Therese – 1928 Pablo Picasso – currently on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Olga left him when she found out about Marie but stayed married to Picasso till her death in 1955, largely because it was the only way she could continue to force him to provide her with financial support.   Sadly Paulo, who was Olga and Picasso’s son, became an alcoholic and died in 1975.  Paulo’s children remember going begging at their grandfather’s door for food and money and being turned away. 

Seated Woman by Pablo Picasso 1927

Seated Woman may be a family portrait but it is not a happy one. Picasso wasn’t really a family man. 

Other posts……..

I’m Shattered

Who’s Twiggy

Picasso Acrostic 

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