Everything is possible…
Exhibition reception, Legacy, AGSR, with four paintings by Laureen Marchand on the right (photo: Robert W Harwood)
For two days the sky has been white. We’re in permanent twilight. The trees are thick with hoar frost, so full there is little distinction between branch and air. Heavy fog reduces visibility to almost nothing. Yesterday power was out in large areas of southern Saskatchewan, because the beautiful frost causes power lines to oscillate so forcefully that poles and cross-arms break. In rural areas, no power means no heat, no running water, no Internet. The temperature is -6 C/21 F and the humidity sits at 97%.
This time of year in Saskatchewan we run on weather. The days are drawn in and dark is lengthy, and whatever the conditions are, they always makes drama.
Last weekend I had planned to celebrate. The Art Gallery of Swift Current, in my nearest centre, is hosting a final art exhibition of the city’s centennial year and the gallery’s 40th. It’s called Legacy: A Swift Current History of Visual Art. The exhibition surveys the artists who have shown in Swift Current over the past 40 years and allows the community to reflect on the artists’ legacy and inspiration. I’m delighted to have four pieces in the show and the gallery was hosting a festive reception.
And artists need to enjoy these occasions. We have so much solitary time, so much wrestling with angels, often so little feedback, that we need to commemorate all the outside affirmation we get. So graphic designer and photographer Pamela Woodland, writer and photographer Robert W Harwood, and painter Catherine Macaulay, who also has work in the show, and I had planned to make the 125 km/75 mi journey to attend a party.
Not this time. December weather is itself. Freezing rain, fog, bad highways. It wasn’t my preferred kind of travel day.
Pam and Bob were feeling braver. With some last errands to do before escaping Saskatchewan winter for a two-month house sitting tour in the kinder regions of British Columbia, they went anyway, finishing their afternoon at the gallery.
As Bob said about their driving experience, “It wasn’t a great ride, with ice forming on the road as we approached the town, and areas of pretty intense fog both there and back – visibility of maybe forty feet in places. I kept a wary eye out for deer…that drive [home] took about two hours.”
Two hours to make a trip that normally takes an hour and a quarter. I was very glad Pam and Bob had been there in my stead and equally glad I hadn’t tried.
But still, I feel like celebrating. My artwork is in the world, there are good people who see it, and amazingly, I have the opportunity to make more.
What will you celebrate?
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