MANITOULIN— The Expositor caught up with Manitoulin Art Tour organizer Helen Siksek during a break at the LaCloche Art School where she was taking some time to “paint for herself” following the busy Manitoulin Art Tour weekend.
“The Manitoulin Art Tour went really, really well,” said Ms. Siksek. “There were a lot of visitors. I don’t have all the numbers in from all the locations yet, but the places I have checked in with have reported hundreds of visitors, a lot of them from off the Island—there were especially a lot of people from Sudbury.”
The compliments from visitors were universally positive, noted Ms. Siksek. “I received emails from people saying how much they liked the art map and how useful it was.”
The key element of the tour, however, is the number of artists who were on hand for the visitors. “A lot of people said how much they enjoyed the opportunity to meet the artists,” she said. “They said they knew the art, had seen the art at different shows and venues but had never before had the opportunity to meet the artists.”
“It is a great day,” said a beaming artist Peter Bering, who was holding forth upstairs at Turners of Little Current. Both Mr. Bering and Pierre AJ Sabourin of Killarney’s Sunset Rock Studio were meeting a steady stream of visitors and discussing their very different works and techniques.
Meanwhile across town, on Red Mill Road, Julie Glaude, whose day job is a portrait artist, was working on a landscape at her easel as people stopped by to visit.
“I normally do custom portrait paintings, so this a great opportunity to exhibit the work I like to do for myself,” she said.
Farther afield, at the art tour’s most northern end, Beth Bouffard, Kathy Dolan and Merle Canjar were doing double duty, spending time just up the road in Whitefish Falls at the alumni show celebrating the 30th edition of the La Cloche Art School.
“It’s hard to be in both places at the same time,” laughed Ms. Dolan, “but we are doing our best. The response from visitors has been very positive.”
One of the key responses comes in the form of little red dots on the artwork indicating a sale, and there were plenty of those blossoming on the label cards throughout the weekend.
“This is great,” said Andrew Manitowabi, whose woodburning creations were on display at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. Mr. Manitowabi and fellow artist Mark Seabrook were on hand when excursion visitors off of the cruise ship St. Laurent came for a tour of the facility. The major display at the OCF featured Little Current artist Duncan Pheasant, who has been enjoying tremendous success in recent years.
Many of the galleries and artist home studios that participated in the Manitoulin Art Show are available throughout the summer season and contact information can be found within the July 15 edition of The Expositor or by contacting the Northern Ontario Art Association at www.noaa.ca.