Amazing Sky By Sherri Grant
Photographs exhibited in the Cloakroom Gallery
Sherri Grant is first and foremost involved in agriculture, and she and her husband Lynn, along with Lynn’s brother Dean, operate the Grant Ranch near Val Marie, an 11,200-hectare spread with 1,600 head of cattle and harvesting both annual crops and forage. Grant Ranch celebrated 100 years in 2010. In the early 1990s, in a desire to show others the beauty and diversity in the prairies, Sherri Grant began taking photos of wildlife and flowers around Val Marie and soon had a photographic collection of over 70 species. This has evolved into her current passion for the mystery and magic of the night sky. Sherri continues to capture the beauty she sees in her area
My Mother’s Apron by Madonna Hamel
Exhibited in the Museum Gallery
Madonna Hamel, BA, BFA, studied performance and literature. Her performance pieces/monologues/collages have been published in literary journals such as Capilano Review, Room, Fireweed, and others. As a journalist she contributes to CBC radio and the Globe and Mail. Her radio documentaries have won awards, including the New York Festival of World’s Best Radio. In Quebec she fronted the band Aunty Maddy and worked as a backup singer, touring professionally in the United States. She continues to write songs and is currently working on a book, Habits, Orders & Vows, about faith as an inheritance. Her mother was born in Val Marie in 1930.
Artist Residency Program
In 2016, Prairie Wind and Silver Sage proudly hosted its Artist Residency program in partnership with Grasslands National Park, funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and Sask Culture/Sask Lotteries. Out of a wide range of applications, the residency selection committee proudly announced four artist residencies which took play between July and September
Rodger Mitchel – Jay, New York; July 14-24
Roger Mitchell, award-winning poet and teacher, was writer in residence July 14 to 24. During his residency Roger Mitchell led the Grasslands Weekend Writing Experience workshop and offered daily drop-in office hours in Grasslands National Park and at Prairie Wind & Silver Sage. Roger Mitchell is the author of eleven books of poetry and a work of nonfiction, Clear Pond, which won the John Ben Snow Foundation Prize, as well as the holder of many other honours and awards.
Bren Simmers – Brackendale, BC; August 7-17
Bren Simmers was a poet in residence August 7 to 17. Her Poetry Machine brought the gift of poetry to all ages, and the Words and Music Open Mic she hosted at the Val Marie Hotel was described by those in attendance as a wonderful, magical evening. Bren Simmers is the winner of the Arc Poem of the Year Award, a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize. Her first book of poems, Night Gears, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2010. Hastings-Sunrise, a book-length poem about her old East Vancouver neighborhood, was published by Nightwood Editions in 2015.
Melissa Goodchild & Kevin Grady – Saskatoon, SK; August 29-September 8
Together Melissa Goodchild, clarinet, and Kevin Grady, percussion, are Duo Carmine Jewel, named after a dwarf sour cherry developed by the University of Saskatchewan; individually they both also perform with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. During their residency, Goodchild and Grady gave concerts in Val Marie and in Grasslands National Park, free participatory outdoor improvisation sessions, and interactive group recorder lessons and percussion instrument creation activities. All performances and workshops focused on the natural beauty of the region, inviting curiosity about instruments and sound and how they bring experiences to life.
Valerie Zink – Fort Qu’Appelle, SK; September 10-26
As a photographer in residence, Valerie Zink gave workshops to school students as well as to grown-ups of all levels of photography experience from across southern Saskatchewan. Focusing on the sense of place, she and her workshop participants explored the streets, surfaces, and histories of Val Marie, the gateway to Grasslands National Park while being empowered to take control of their cameras’ capabilities. Valerie Zink has studied at Dalhousie University and the International Centre of Photography in New York. Fault Lines: Life and Landscape in Saskatchewan’s Oil Economy, her collaborative book of photography and text with Emily Eaton (University of Manitoba Press), has recently been released.