Manitoulin Art Tour celebrates 25th anniversary

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MANITOULIN—Christine Mick of PAINT S-CAPES Social Painting Events is one of the many talented artists who will be taking part in the 25th annual Manitoulin Art Tour.

“I’m so excited,” Ms. Mick, of Silver Water, told the Recorder. “I had contacted Marion (Hester), organizer of the event, letting her know I was ready to share my passion and highlight my favourite acrylic and very unique ‘stained-glass-effect’ creations. Taking part in the art tour has been my dream since I began my workshops on Manitoulin Island in 2015.”

“This year marks our 25th annual Manitoulin Art Tour,” Ms. Hester told the Recorder. “We have a total of 54 artists in 37 locations set up all over the Island including Meldrum Bay, Manitowaning, South Baymouth and Little Current, to name a few. And there are lots of new artists taking part this year.”

“We will have artists of all kinds, from pottery, jewelery making, fine arts (acrylics, oil, water, pastels), woodworking and photography, to a wide array of fibre arts (quilts, yarn, alpaca). We have a few new ones, including ‘upcycled art’ from food and mixed media (stained-glass-effect).  In Providence Bay, Dylon Whyte will be exhibiting his father Jack Whyte’s art collection,” said Ms. Hester.

“Although many artists are new, some have been with us since the very beginning,” she added.  

Ms. Mick is best known for her unique and popular “stained-glass-effect painting,” which she refers to as “zenful and addictive.” Her workshops for all ages have a particular focus on “healing through art.”  As a member of the Algonquins of Ontario, she enjoys working with First Nations communities all over her catchment area.  She credits Elizabeth Laford, program co-ordinator at the Sheshegwaning Health Centre, for initiating the youth with her stained-glass-effect technique, as well as acrylics. She is now busier than ever, teaching both media all over the Island as well as the North Shore and Sudbury. “Kids love it … just as much as the adults and elders do,” she said.  

Her public and private paint parties have continued to book up this summer. With a professional background in program development, crisis intervention and counselling, she has devised an effective team building/conflict resolution model that has received excellent reviews from agency participants such as the M’Chigeeng finance department’s first annual planning retreat, and a staff retreat in Sault Ste. Marie for the St. Joseph’s Anishnabek School in Sheshegwaning to name a few. PAINT S-CAPES has also been offering family paint socials with agencies such as Kenjgewin Teg’s Mnidoo Mnising Sharing and Learning Centre and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre.
“One of my pet projects has been teaching my acrylic ‘Turtle X’ing’ as a way of educating children and the public about the importance of our turtles safely crossing the road during their nesting and migrating season,” said Ms. Mick. “I will also be offering a “red dress” stained-glass-effect workshop for the front-line staff of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls program at Noojmowin Teg Health Centre. The red dress is a strong symbol of awareness regarding the plight of First Nations women and girls all over Canada. As an Algonquin woman and former VAW (violence against women) worker, being part of that campaign means a lot to me. I hope to take this to all communities across Ontario someday, maybe even Canada-wide, because we need to continue to advocate in honour of all our missing and murdered sisters.”  

Other upcoming workshops include an acrylic three-part “summer series” at Manitoulin Golf  (June 26/July 31/August 21); cost is $40 and includes all materials.  There is a two-part acrylic series with front-line workers, sponsored by Raising the Spirit Mental Wellness Team this month. They will be learning acrylic techniques to share with their clients.   

She is offering another stained-glass-effect rock painting workshop, this time for Haweater Weekend in August (sponsored by the Little Current Lions Club), identical to the one she did in Little Current on Canada Day (sponsored by the Business Improvement Area). “It was a big hit with the kids and parents, so we’re looking forward to doing it again,” she said. 

For Manitoulin Pride and Sudbury Pride, she is teaching her original acrylic “Catching Rainbows.”

“It’s stunning and will be a really fun piece to do. Everyone is welcome.  You don’t have to identify as LGBT2-SQ to participate, as diversity is encouraged,” she added. Both locations are proudly sponsored (La Fromagerie in Sudbury July 10) and (The Island Jar August 17). 

Her latest addition to her ‘summer series’ is with some very popular campgrounds, including Obejewung Tent and Trailer Park (July 27), Stanley Park Campgrounds (Aug 10), Gordon’s Park (TBA), and Mississagi Lighthouse (TBA), and a few more in the works.

Behind the scenes, she offers commissioned paintings.  She will paint your favourite photo on a 16” x 20” canvas for $85. “It’s my own therapy. It forces me to slow down and stay in the moment.”

Chris resides with her wife Terrie and their little ‘feather ‘n fur menagerie’ on Silver Lake Road, surrounded by healing cedars and awe-inspiring sunsets in the quaint community of Silver Water.  All events and her photo gallery can be seen at facebook.com/PaintSCapeSocials and more information can be found by calling or texting 705-929-2352. PAINT S-CAPES is #3 on the Manitoulin Art Tour.  

The tour takes place July 19 to 21, from 10 am to 5 pm daily.

Brochures are now available at local restaurants, hotels, businesses, information centres, and other similar establishments. The tour map and a list and bios of the artists taking part can be found online at ManitoulinArt.com.