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Boreal Jam offers Mix of New and Returning Facilitators.

 

Artists, musicians, writers, and actors of all skill levels are invited to the Boreal Mixed Media Jam, a multi-disciplinary arts festival slated for September 1st and 2nd. The festival will be held at Moosehead Hall, about 20 minutes west of St. Walburg, Saskatchewan.

Workshop facilitators are confirmed, and Jammers can look forward to a mix of talented, experienced art professionals, including some who held workshops at last year’s festival. Returning facilitators include Don Happner and Dawn Schumilas, who will lead guitar technique and songwriting workshops. Oriol Dancer, based out of Medstead, will teach paper-making and fibre-preparation techniques. Jammers will also be invited to collaborate with local artist Doug Taylor on a contemporary sonic/sculptural/trash assembly. Jammers can even silk-screen their own Boreal Jam t-shirts, with some help from visual artist Cam Forbes, and participate in a multi-media workshop with Dale and Laura Budd. Marj Uhlig and Mladen Loncar will guide Jammers through the intricacies of soapstone carving. “All of these artists were absolutely vital in creating the supportive, inspired atmosphere that made last year’s Jam a success,” says Lisa Guenther, a member of the organizing committee. “We are thrilled they’re back for a second year.” “We’re also excited about the new facilitators that will be holding workshops for the first time at this year’s festival,” says Guenther. “These artists will increase the range of workshops available to participants.”

American-born theatre artist Courtney Siebring is a newcomer to the festival. She will invite actors and non-actors to use theatre as a tool to explore their senses in her workshops. Jammers can also fatten up their writing with author Lynda Monahan, as they learn how to pump juicy, sensory images and descriptions into their words. Painter Linda Moskalyk will help participants create their own personal reflections of nature by experimenting with watercolours, acrylics, and collage.

“The great thing about the Boreal Jam is that it is accessible to artists of all skill levels, yet even experienced artists will have a chance to develop their skills and generate new ideas,” says Guenther. “Come to the Boreal Jam, and we’ll give you a chance to tap into your creativity, participate in great workshops, and meet like-minded people, all in a beautiful, rural setting.”

For more information or registration forms, call (306) 845-3454, email
borealjam@gmail.com, or visit http://borealjam.wordpress.com.

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From the crest of the hill, the bonfire’s flames and the swirl of bagpipes filled the evening air, creating perfect counterpoint to the blazing sunset that saturated kilt and drum with brilliant hue and cast long shadows onto the endless Saskatchewan parkland below. For most of the spectators, this demonstration of Pit-fired pottery at Pat Grayston’s Riverview Arts Studio near Shellbrook was the opening event of the Parklands Artisan’s Tour, held this year on June 24 and 25. For us, however, this event was an extension of an Art Holiday that began in August of 2006 when we camped at Riverview Arts Studio and studied handbuilt pottery.

I first heard about the idea of Art Holidays from my daughter who was studying Design at Langara College in Vancouver. At the time, one of her Art instructors was offering a group holiday package where participants would stay at a country villa in France and study painting. I was intrigued. It seems that most of our holiday plans are so passive – we go and look at things, we listen to music , we hike and boat a lot but we seldom do anything really creative. When my wife met Pat Grayston at one of her pottery exhibits and came home with the idea of learning pottery as an Art Holiday – I was in!

 

susan1.jpg The PDF brochure from www.riverviewarts.com describes the Art Holidays this way: “Take a unique and fulfilling holiday at Riverview Arts for an hour, a day or a week. Here you can relax, enjoy, learn and create in a scenic, rural getaway. Riverview Arts features a fully equipped painting, pottery and printmaking studio. You can unwind on wooded, secluded trails with animal sightings, bird watching, wild flowers, and wild berries. You can work individually or take lessons. Groups are welcome and group pricing on lessons is available. You can take lessons in Pottery, Papermaking, Etched Copper Bowls, Printmaking, Painting and Drawing.”

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Our group of three elected to study handbuilt pottery. We camped on site for three days and learned the basics of several different styles of handbuilt pottery construction. We then returned home for a few days, allowing time for our pottery projects to dry slowly as well as giving us some time to catch up on our gardens and yard work. Back at Riverview Arts the following week, we learned about glazing and firing and participated in the firing of Raku Pottery. Our days were full and our evenings around the campfire were tranquil. Quite frankly, I can’t remember a more enjoyable holiday. There are plans in the works for a pottery studio in our own backyard, but meanwhile, Riverview Arts offers incredibly reasonable rates for lessons and the use of studio space and kilns as well as Raku and Pit firing. There’s no need to go all the way to France when you can take an exciting Art Holiday right here at home in beautiful rural Saskatchewan.

 

Photos: top: PA Highlanders perform in front of Pit Firing at Riverview Arts left: studying handbuilt pottery right: Pat Grayston removing Pit-fired Pottery. Below: Video of the PA Highlanders

Boreal Art

 

Boreal Art is part of ‘Boreal Connections Magazine’ featuring submissions about Art, Photography and Video from the Canadian Northwest. You may send submissions for Boreal Art to: borealtravel@hotmail.com