2011 Manitoulin Art Tour

Held every year on the 3rd week-end of July the Manitoulin Art Tour showcases a wide variety of art, this year with over 80 artists in 32 locations across the island.

Art Tour displays included painting, photography, sculpture, fiber art, dream catchers, and for the first time, interpretations of the spoken word. Painter Nancy McDermid and fabric artist Frankie Misner responded to 2 of Ann Elizabeth Carson’s poems in water colour, photography and collage.

A part of the Southbay Gallery in Southbaymouth was set up as a “Country Kitchen”, with McDermid’s paintings and Misner’s wall hanging interpreting the poem. Another area was similarly designed as a lakefront beach in response to Carson’s poem “Lake Mindemoya”.

The Art Tour is one of the highlights of the summer season and there was a steady stream of viewers following the Art Tour map to even those locations, like the Southbay Gallery, that are at either end of the island. I gave several readings over the week-end. Books were sold, paintings admired and bought with many livelydiscussions about the overlapping intersections of visual and written art.

Lake Mindemoya

Smooth reef water stretching from point to point
encircles the wind-stirred surface. A fisherman beyond,
a paddler and a loon within, the first morning traffic
before the wind picks up and gulls snatch at glitter
on the wave-tops for breakfast.

Hummingbirds in their whirring flight
enliven the air, heavy after yesterday’s storm.
A few grey cloud patches still hang in the sky
like the residue of last night’s dreams trying to push
their way through my pen onto the page.

I’d like a day of silent sunshine in my soul
looking to the sky for direction.
But the bees are beginning to bother the clover, a chipmunk
eyes my toast crumbs, her quivering nose inaudibly reminding,
like the hummingbird’s up and down head between wary sips,

that silence is just a pause — for food or a quick breath, maybe
a shaft of spirit — intermissions and thin openings in the warring
daily buzz.

– Ann Elizabeth Carson


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