I did The Wave recently. Together with three friends I set off for Manitoba’s Interlake to explore the galleries and homes of local artists. Alluding to the proximity of Lake Winnipeg, visitors were invited to get ‘drenched in art’ as they did a driving tour of the areas near Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, Selkirk and Sandy Hook, stopping along the way to explore the work of jewelers, quilters, woodworkers, painters, sculptors, and potters.
Although more than forty artists had the uniquely designed wave logo displayed on their properties we only managed to fit in nine studios during our tour. But what a variety those nine represented
Evelyn Richter uses clay to explore the curious. I couldn’t resist buying one of her fluid and cleverly constructed figures immersed in books. My friend was drawn to the pieces inspired by hearts.
Not only Evelyn’s studio but her beautifully landscaped yard feature all kinds of intriguing work- everything from an artistically constructed scarecrow in the garden to a quartet of buried shovels in the flower patch, their handles lined up in a soldierly row.
I’d seen Heather Lair’s quilts on display at the St. Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery so I was excited to discover more of them at the Mermaid’s Kiss Gallery. Heather is a landscape artist who uses carefully selected materials to stitch together stunning recreations of the vistas around Lake Winnipeg. Quilting is a traditional art but Heather explores it in a new and lovely way. It’s as if she paints with fabric.
We enjoyed meeting Milli Flaig-Hooper who gave us a tour of the studio where she produces hundreds of cards out of recycled paper collected from churches, schools and other community places in Winnipeg Beach. Her pastel color schemes and unique designs had us all getting out our wallets to make purchases. She has named her art enterprise The Paper Firfrildi after the Norse word for butterfly. Her biography states that Milli’s successful business has proved that Down syndrome and autism can’t limit a person’s creativity.
We watched artist Jace Richarde at work on a sketch of the renowned Canadian canoeist Don Starkwell and his two sons as they set off on their epic adventure that would be recorded in the book Travel to the Amazon. Richarde also makes interesting jewelry and specializes in painting portraits of animals. He is in the process of painstakingly covering a bleached bison skull with tiny words, symbols and images important to the First Nations community.
We took a break from touring to enjoy lunch at the Beach Boy restaurant in Gimli overlooking the lake. The thing to try is the fish and it didn’t disappoint. Then we were off to painter Joanne Gulluchasen’s farm. I was anxious to meet her in person having seen her exhibit at the Mayberry Gallery last year.
Joanne’s family homestead was charming and she was pleased to see us.
Every room in her little house was filled with art much of it a reminder of a rural 1950’s childhood. Her genuine hospitality provided a perfect ending to our tour.
Although many of the artists featured delicious snacks to munch on as we viewed their art, we still managed to find room to round off the day with ice-cream enjoyed with our feet in the sand along the lakeshore in Gimli.
There will be another Wave tour the August 31weekend so you still have one more chance to explore the artists of the Interlake this summer.
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