Shellmouth Artist's Retreat


Well, I am counting the days now until the annual Shellmouth Artist's Retreat. This event is a week long time of meeting old friends and welcoming new ones, eating like kings and queens and of course, painting. Shellmouth is situated approximately 25 minutes north of Russell, Manitoba, and is a tiny hamlet situated in the Dropmore River Valley. It is a very picturesque setting for the hordes of artists that converge on the place every year. The only real obligation the artists have to live up to is to cook one meal for upwards to 30 people (and then clean up!) The Retreat is a non-instructional event where people are free to do whatever type art their heart desires. Of course there is much learning going on as everyone mingles about to see what others are up to, and this is a valuable learning tool in of itself. The art making reaches a feverish pitch by the weekend, at which point we have a public viewing and wind up party. We have been fortunate to have the organizers sister, Sandra Hollenburg and her husband Jack perform live music for us at the dance. They are called Silk and Steel and sound fantastic. Jan Layh, the organizer, has been putting the Retreat on for over 8 years now and it has not decreased in popularity at all, in fact there is a waiting list to attend. The energy levels at this Retreat are way off of the scale and the Art that is produced is a wonderful thing to see.

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