La Cloche Art School celebrating 30 years of inspiring creativity with alumni show

WHITEFISH FALLS— With this year’s edition, the La Cloche Art School has been running for three decades and to celebrate this milestone the popular summer art colony will be hosting an alumni show.

To commemorate the longevity of the art school, the organizers have organized an alumni show that will feature a number of former students exhibiting their works.

“Since the show covers the artists’ development through their careers, people have an opportunity to see how they have grown in their craft and share their journies,” said organizer Ellen Lewis.

The La Cloche Art School took its name from the La Cloche Art Show, which began several years, but is only tangentially connected. “A lot of our students have exhibited in the show,” she said. “I walked through the exhibits this year and counted 20 different artists that I know have taken part in the classes over the years.”

Although the La Cloche Art School classes usually work in watercolours, often the artists themselves have moved on to other media, making for a varied group of exhibits.

“There are people working in fabric, glass and oil,” said Ms. Lewis. In all there will be 20 different alumni artists displaying their works.

“The idea was, number one, to celebrate the 30th season of the art school and second, to ask the artists to share their artistic journeys,” she said.

The art school runs for two weeks in the summer, the first week from July 13 to 17 and the second from July 20 to 24 and costs about $175 a week,” said Ms. Lewis. “But we do have one-day openings as well.”

The school normally has between 15 and 24 artists taking in the classes, which include landscape painting and drawing in the picturesque area where the Whitefish River travels through the La Cloche Mountains and into the Bay of Islands—an area that provided huge inspirations to Canada’s famed Group of Seven.

The on-location plein air sessions are instructed by artist Richard Edwards of Kagawong. Mr. Edwards is a well-recognized artist in several media and works individually with both beginners and advanced artists following a short in-class session. “Richard is comfortable with children as well as adults,” noted Ms. Lewis. “He is a fantastic instructor.” Ms. Lewis explained that Mr. Edwards took over the instructor role from John H. Smith in 1990 and that he “is still going strong.” Following the short morning class, Mr. Edwards travels through the group giving one-on-one instruction and advice.

After a day of painting in the field, at around 3:30 pm, the art school attendees gather for a critique of their work and debrief on the day’s session.

The alumni show will take place from July 25 to 26 at the Whitefish Falls Community Hall from 11 am to 5 pm on the 25th and from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday and admission is free.