Two MSS students join La Cloche Art School

WHITEFISH FALLS—Tripods are blooming along the banks of the Whitefish River, as students of the 31st edition of the La Cloche Art School are working under the tutelage of renown Manitoulin artist Richard Edwards—and this year the group is including two Manitoulin Secondary School students.

Grade 12 graduates Rebecca Dawson and Tommy Wiwichar came in at the top of their art class this past year and one of their rewards for their hard work was being able to take part in the workshops.

“We told them to send us a couple of their best students,” said La Cloche Art School organizer Ellen Lewis. “Teacher Ina Wesno sent us the first and second top students and they are taking part in the school.”

The inclusion of the young students has really added an interesting flavour to the proceedings this year. “We have three generations of artists taking part this year,” said Ms. Lewis.

The landscaping painting and drawing classes take place where the Whitefish River flows through the La Cloche Mountains into the Bay of Islands.

Instructor Richard Edwards, whose Edwards Studio has been a mainstay fixture above the Billings municipal offices in Kagawong for more than 20 years, is taking the students of the La Cloche Art School through their paces at the Bay Villa Lodge in Whitefish Falls.

Mr. Edwards has been painting professionally since 1970 and his paintings grace public and private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.

It was Diane Tremblay of Espanola who came up with the original idea for the art school 30 years ago, and along with Donna McDonald and other members of the Espanola Art Club, the project was driven forward into reality. The founders universally credit the school’s success and longevity to Ms. Lewis, however, even through she is always quick to try and place the credit on others.

The first week of classes were taking place this week (July 11 to 15) but there is still some room in the second week (July 18 to 22) for those looking for a great mid-summer diversion.

The school costs $175 a week, or $40 per day, and there are plenty of rain-proof vantage points in the unlikely event the skies cloud over.

“I have a great porch on my cabin overlooking the river,” said Ms. Lewis. “If the rain starts coming we just scamper under the shelter.”

Judging by most of this summer to date, rain is not much of a concern in any event.

Those interested in taking part in the 31st annual La Cloche Art School may contact Ms. Lewis at (705) 603-8606 or by email at