| Jul 31, 2008

Feature Article - July 31, 2008

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Feature Article - July 31, 2008 Great Art by Nature Lovers at Spectacular Bon Echo ParkBy Julie Druker

Young budding artists at Bon Echo Art Show,Kelsey Lemann, Michelle Marcil, Robert Hall and Courtney Lafleur.

The Friends of Bon Echo Park did another fabulous job with the 13th Annual Art Exhibition and Sale. The sale is a one of a kind event that takes place in Bon Echo Park, renowned for its majestic landscapes of towering rock cliffs, eastern pine trees, Mazinaw Lake and historic pictographs.

Located in the park and nestled in a clearing surrounded by stately pine trees, the exhibition has maintained its juried theme of “Original Art, Canadian Nature, Wildlife and Countryside” since its first inception.

After having spent some time examining the art work, speaking to the artists and their patrons, one soon comes to realize the deep interconnected relationships between these artists, their work, their inspirations, and their patrons. And it is not coincidence that many of these relationships are connected specifically to this very special place, Bon Echo Park.

Stoneware and porcelain potter, Karen Twiddy-Taylor of Plainfield has been participating in the show for 7 or 8 years. She has been camping at Bon Echo since she was a child, and, as her sister puts it, “Since before you had to call up and make reservations”.

It is no wonder than that much of Karen’s work has been inspired by her camping experiences.

Her functional pottery is decorated with fern leaf images. Her sculptural work is done “on site”.

“All of the canoes, turtles, birds and fish are done when I am out in the bush. I take 30 lbs of clay with me out on a canoe trip and I just paddle out to somewhere to some crown land and set up and do clay,” she said.

A patron in Karen’s booth explains how she and her extended family have similarly been meeting in Bon Echo for 25 years for their annual reunions.

In the next artisan booth, it is the pictograph-like imagery in the work of Betty Ryan-Marok, a paper artist from Rigaud, Quebec. It was her interest in pictographs that brought her to the exhibition

“I googled ‘pictograph’ on my computer and the Bon Echo show came up”, she said

It made perfect sense to her to bring her pictograph inspired works to a show in a place that has the ancient originals permanently on display in the park.

Another artisan, Rita Woodburne, from Corbyville, an equestrian who rides for pleasure is inspired by animals and creates her images of mostly horses, but also birds and wolves using pencil crayons.

Rita camped at the park for the duration of the show. This is the first show that she ever did and she expressed her appreciation to the Friends of Bon Echo who “do such an awesome job with this show.”

The event also featured art activities for kids, including acrylic painting of ceramic forms and carved sculptures out of soap stone.

There was an exhibit of reptiles as well, and live music. The Friends of Bon Echo had their own booth and were selling raffle tickets for handmade afghans, a kevlar canoe, a kayak and a framed print by Group of Seven artist A.J. Casson.

The Friends have published two books, one of which is called Massanoga: The Art of Bon Echo, (1999)

For more information about Bon Echo Park and the other services it offers go to: www.mazinaw.on.ca/fobecho or call the office at 613-336-0830

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