Monday, 9 August 2010

Day in Val David

Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful day in Val David, just 75 kilometers north of Montreal. I went specifically to visit one show - Val David, being a world recognized ceramics center, was holding its 40th anniversary exhibition of ceramics from local and regional artisans. It's a beautiful and varied show, well worth the visit and judging by the size of crowd, extremely popular. But for me the real treat was seeing an exhibition of art in situ set in the mountain just north of Val David.

The exhibition, Les Jardins Du Precambrien, sponsored by the Fondation René Derouin, consists of large environmental pieces spread over a 3.2 kilometre trail. Unlike Mark Twain's dictum of golf being a good walk spoiled, this is a good walk enriched, with thoughtful pieces along the trail evoking impressions of time, memory, voyages, origins and thought itself. Often an exhibition of this type gets bogged down by its own polemical stance but I didn't get that sensation here, perhaps because René Derouin, one of Quebec's greatest artists, is the Artistic Director and knows how to maintain a balance between art and politics.

This is Les Jardins Du Precambrien's 15th year. The exhibition continues until October 11. If you're planning a trip to the Laurentians before then, fit this in your schedule.

At the risk of sounding too arty farty this time out I got to tell you I'm reading Michael Gross's Rogues Gallery, “The secret story of the lust, lies, greed and betrayals that made New York's Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art”. If you think the pursuit of Art is always a fine and noble deed, read this book.


Shopkeeper, rue de Seine, Paris

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