We Look Forward to Greeting You

by Laureen on April 23, 2014

???????????????????????????????Beautiful valley

A day of sun, a morning of rain – the valley is gleaming. In winter in Val Marie, we turn to each other. In spring, thoughts are of summer visitors.

At Grasslands Gallery, my pride and joy, the walls are bare, and the art and craft are resting on the floor. I’ve been patching and painting, getting ready to re-arrange and re-hang everything. Three new artists are joining the gallery this year and everyone has fresh art to show. You’ll see artwork by almost 30 artists inspired by the Grasslands experience. It’s going to be gorgeous. Grasslands Gallery opens May 15 in time for the long weekend. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 5:00 pm until September 20.

Prairie Wind & Silver Sage, Val Marie’s provincially recognized ecomuseum, is preparing for a May 8 start-up and will be open 7 days a week from then until September. The museum is shining, two new art exhibitions await, prairie-themed books and gifts are re-stocked, the Internet is ready to use, and staff are polishing their latte-making, treats, and breakfast skills. This museum isn’t musty or leftover! You should visit.

Of course, you’ll need to eat when you get here. The Val Marie Hotel serves very day except Sunday, great food from breakfast to supper and the best French fries in southern Saskatchewan. The Harvest Moon Cafe is open weekends all year, and as of May 1 you can sample their delicious, house-made, fresh things to eat for lunch and supper 7 days a week. Both restaurants are licensed. Whitemud Grocery is our community-owned success story. The store provides staples, fresh produce and specialty items at competitive prices, along with wine, beer and spirits, and surprising little gifts.

There are nice places to stay, too. The Crossing Resort and Campground, tiny perfect self-catering guest suites or campsites on 30 hectares of pristine prairie on the edge of Grasslands National Park. The Convent Country Inn, bed and breakfast in a beautifully restored building. Don’s Place, fully furnished self contained suites, 1 km north of Val Marie. The Rosefield Church Guesthouse, bed and breakfast in remote tranquility. Sky Story Bed & Breakfast, environmentally friendly accommodation in a peaceful setting. Frenchman Valley Campground, beautiful in the heart of the park. The Village of Val Marie Campground, well-maintained and fully serviced, with shade.

Of course, Val Marie itself and Grasslands National Park are at the heart of it all. The long hills roll in all four directions. These hills hold and provide for bison, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, mule and white-tailed deer, pronghorn, coyotes, some snakes including rattlers, the rare Mormon metalmark butterfly and short-horned lizard, an amazing number of hawks and owls and other birds both ordinary and uncommon, and an awful lot of cows. Quiet, safe, welcoming. Look at the space, the green in spring, the gold in fall. Look at the sky, so wide it has no ending. At night, that sky is alive with stars.

And always, the safety, that feeling of belonging. Let me know when you’re arriving. I look forward to greeting you.

*   *   *

Know someone who’d like to see this? Please feel free to pass it on!

The blog is a series of posts from one artist/art gallery owner’s life in her community in one of Canada’s most beautiful and remote wilderness regions. To receive updates with beautiful images, stories about the Grasslands and its artists and inspiration every week, just put your email in the box on the right. We never share your email address.

Share/Bookmark

{ 0 comments }

You Are So Beautiful

by Laureen on April 18, 2014

014-Marchand-ImmaculateLaureen Marchand, “Immaculate”, 2014

You are so beautiful…can’t you see?

018-Marchand-You-are-so-beautiful-4-webLaureen Marchand, “You Are So Beautiful”, 2014

We have such limited ideas about beauty. Think of roses. Perfectly formed, perfectly shaded, perfect for such a short time. Their beauty, and their brevity, is why we love them. But if beauty brings love, the fading of beauty must also bring the end of love. Or must it?

034-Marchand-Late-SeasonLaureen Marchand, “Late Season”, 2014

Both the woman and the artist I am search for another way to see what’s beautiful. The paintings in Beholder, a major solo exhibition of my artwork on view at the Art Gallery of Regina until May 12, 2014, represent the results of that search.

003-Marchand-Light-HeartLaureen Marchand, “Light Heart”, 2010

In the paintings in Beholder, beauty has already passed. But in its place we see a wholly different kind of beauty. Is beauty always present, if we can only see it? When the human spirit becomes entangled in human feelings, can the knots be untied?

012-Marchand-Summer-DressesLaureen Marchand, “Summer Dresses”, 2011

The paintings in Beholder are for sale. You can see a complete catalogue of the exhibition on my personal website at www.laureenmarchand.com. Just go to the Paintings tab and click on Beholder. To inquire about purchase, use the contact form on the site or email me directly at laureen@grasslandsgallery.com, or phone 306-298-7782. Or contact staff at the Art Gallery of Regina.

??????????????Laureen Marchand, “Three Sisters”, 2012

Can’t you see how beautiful you are?

*   *   *

Know someone who’d like to see this? Please feel free to pass it on!

The blog is a series of posts from one artist/art gallery owner’s life in her community in one of Canada’s most beautiful and remote wilderness regions. To receive updates with beautiful images, stories about the Grasslands and its artists and inspiration every week, just put your email in the box on the right. We never share your email address.

{ 4 comments }

May You Always Be At Home

April 17, 2014

Close family in Grasslands “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” American poet Robert Frost  thought that in 1905. “Any place I hang my hat is home”, said the song by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer in 1946. Me, I think home is what you […]

Read the full article →

I Believe in Spring

April 9, 2014

Snake Creek near Val Marie in Spring Spring in the prairies comes like a surprise One minute there’s snow on the ground, the next there’s sun in your eyes (Connie Kaldor, “Spring in the Prairies”, from Wood River, 1992) The great Saskatchewan-born singer/songwriter Connie Kaldor sure has it right. On a day like this you […]

Read the full article →

Artist at Work: Laureen Marchand, Finding Beauty

April 3, 2014

Laureen Marchand, “Three Sisters” (oil/board) Occasionally in this spot I introduce the artists who exhibit with Grasslands Gallery. This week I’m celebrating a major event in my own artistic life.   Being an artist is all I’ve ever really wanted. When I was in grade two and my family transplanted us to Edmonton from the small […]

Read the full article →