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Left to right: Margaret Delainey, Shirley Rumble, me (Nikki Jacquin), and Marie Potts.

Three cute little two room stone cabins sit in front of Kenosee Lake to the west of the chalet. The chalet is quite stately and quite an  unexpected site on the prairies. Visiting here as a child I remembered playing on it’s lawn that transported me in my imagination to far off places, perhaps Switzerland! Once built as part of a make work project of the 1930’s in Saskatchewan and housing the workers, these cabins are now home to local artists and several visiting artists through the May to mid Sept. season. Margaret Delainey, Shirley Rumble, and Marie Potts are the long time artists. Various guest artists filter in through out the season. Some this year included;Grant & Brenda McLaughlin, Sarah Johnson, Marion and Don Evans, Peggy Windmill, and Florence Langford will be here with her work at the end of August.

Unlike other residencies I have been a part of, this one has an invaluable bonus; the community of artists who share cakes and painting stories over coffee and lunch breaks. For someone like me who is accustomed to working in the isolation of my home studio, this has been a real treat.  These lovely artists are generous in sharing much they have learned about creating art and life in general, often with spoonfuls of humour that I will miss when I return home! Thanks gals for welcoming me in. You all have a special place in my heart. I hope you do all to preserve the character of your community that artist John McFarlain and Father Fry started back in 2001, a warm and welcoming place to all. That is what makes it so special!

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This photo I took on a hike along the Beaver Lake Trail and may become one of my future copper paintings. Moose Mountain has a hire a hike program and I enjoyed many bits of information they shared as I was accompanied along the trail. This service is free of charge but based on availability of the park interpreters. I still have yet to get used to the idea of possibly meeting a bear while hiking on my own. Not quite there yet.

While here I enjoyed the award winning Golf Course and was even treated to a ride around in search of a few photos to paint.

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On this trip I also discovered what the Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party is. Last year I stayed clean being I wasn’t in the market for any pampered chef nor Tupperware. Well I investigated this year and had a blast! What the Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party is, is a music camp with a large selection of super talented instructors in attendance from all over the country. You can study any number of stringed instruments or vocal work at any level. Each evening there are performances open to the public beginning at 7 pm. Located at one of the church camp sites admission is just $10. per adult and you get some great talent for your money. After the performances, I was invited to the mess hall where a square dance was being held (free of charge!) Don’t worry if you have not square danced before. Lessons are included! Following that is a bonfire jam session. At about 10 pm I had to call it a night being I had an art class to teach the next day.

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It has been a full 9 days and I plan to return if invited again next year. Through my stay these past 2 years, 30 folks were introduced to painting and drawing through my art classes. This year 88 people plus (not all signed the guestbook) visited my temporary studio and were introduced my work.

Side Note: The fourth cabin up the hill from the three forward cabins was my studio space last year but is in need of restoration after a hard winter. I hope funds will be found soon to repair it so it too can be put to creative purposes too. I think it would be great if we as guest artists could help pitch into the cost or if all of the involved artists could work on some fundraising initiative or event to help this along. I certainly have valued my stays here. I think it could be possibly very helpful to visiting artists to have one room set up as a living space and the other as a gallery space. Who knows from what distance you may have artists coming from in that case bringing new methods and inspiration to this area.

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