22nd Annual Manitoulin Art Tour attracts visitors across the Island to take in the creative talents of our artists

Diane Glasby with her oil works at the South Bay Gallery and Guest House. photo by Michael Erskine

MANITOULIN—Exhibiting in the Manitoulin Fine Arts Association (MFAA) Manitoulin Art Tour is always a great experience for artists, providing not only a chance to show off their work to potential patrons, but also an opportunity to meet and chat with a wide range of art lovers from across the globe.

This year’s event was another great success, according to the artists and LAMBAC Art Tour coordinator Carolyn Dearing. “I think it was a success again,” she said. “There were numerous artists and lots of visitors coming to take part in communities across the Island.”

Ms. Dearing took on the coordinator’s role when it appeared that there was no volunteer to take over when the previous coordinator moved to Houston, Texas. Ms. Dearing noted that the Manitoulin Art Tour is “a great economic driver for communities all across the Island” and that should the MFAA need LAMBAC’s services to coordinate next year’s event they would be happy to lend a hand.

The average art tour venue sees a fair number of visitors, but there are also periods of quiet. “They seem to come in spurts,” laughed long-time contributor Lorraine Loranger of Bay Estates. This works out well for the artist, as she uses much of the down time between visitors to work on her latest creation, a finely detailed pencil drawing of a fox in winter.

Diane Glasby was set up inside and out at the South Bay Gallery and Guest House. Coming from an Ohio family with deep artistic roots, Ms. Glasby pretty much has oil paint in her blood. “I have pretty much always painted,” she admitted, her statement backed up by the quality of her works on display.

A little way up the road in Manitowaning, Mira Jones represents a younger up-and-coming artist. A found art piece, featuring beach glass and an amazing assortment of orphaned keys woven into a marvelous found art mobile was set up outside the Debajehmujig Creation Centre along with a range of Ms. Jones’ watercolours, photography, sculptures and jewellery.

Photographer Peter Baumgarten is familiar to most readers of The Expositor, which has had the pleasure of publishing a number of his outstanding works over the years. “Every photo has a story,” noted Mr. Baumgarten. In one work, a pair of swallows are setting up shop in a roadside birdhouse, flanked by a ‘keep out no trespassing’ sign. “I had passed that birdhouse so many times over the years, I always thought to myself ‘if only there were birds’,” he said. One day he saw a bird flutter to the post. “I parked my car and waited there about 20 minutes for the shot,” he recalled. “What you don’t see is the lady putting her laundry on the line wondering to herself what the guy with the camera hanging out his car window was up to.”

Dani Ortman knows textiles, having studied patterns from across the globe, and she utilizes her vast knowledge to create stunning original works of art masquerading as scarves. Each scarf creation shows her meticulous control of her craft, but even for a master weaver each work represents many hours of craftsmanship to create. Although she has literally travelled the world in her pursuit of her craft, Ms. Ortman has settled firmly into her new home in Sheguiandah.