Nature As Muse: a poetry, visual art and nature immersion workshop series

 Art takes nature as its model – Aristotle We all make meaning through reflecting nature’s wisdom in different ways. Are you curious to explore how you can connect with your environment through the lens of poetry, music and art? Would you like to become part of a creative process that can artfully animate the Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s new Prairie Living Room, located at The Forks in Winnipeg this past summer? No former artistic experience is needed.   You’re invited to virtually join a diverse community in the creation of a nature-inspired poetry and visual art project. During a series of 6 FREE virtual workshops led by Canadian artists Renée Michaud and Laura Barron, you will explore and write different forms of poetry that we will transform into an outdoor visual art installation. During each online workshop, we will also step away from our screens and take a walk in nature to inspire our writing. The final creative products will be created in YOUR vision, as participants’ interests and passions will inform which modes of visual art can best display your creative writing (on wood carvings, rock paintings, with accompanying photography, etc.).   Participants aged 18+ are invited to register for these inclusive workshops by January 25, 2021. Priority will be given to Manitoba residents, however, anyone interested is encouraged to register. Don’t delay as there are only 20 spots available for this free series! Registrants are invited to attend all 6 workshops though flexible attendance is possible. Workshops will be held on Zoom potentially on Wednesdays from 4 PM – 5:30 PM CST – however, we can collectively adjust the schedule as needed: February 3: Exploring Poetic Forms & HaikuFebruary 10: Concrete Shape PoemsFebruary 17: Poetry-inspired Visual Art-makingFebruary 24: Elements of an Indigenous Legend March 3: Free Verse (option to include accompanying music)March 10: Poetry-inspired Visual Art-makingSunday, March 21: Virtual Poetry and Art Sharing Event on World Poetry Day (optional)We’re looking forward to connecting with you soon through art and nature! About the artist facilitators:Renée Michaud is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist (Poet & DJ) living and working on unceded Algonquin-Anishinabeg territory also known as Chelsea, Québec whose community-engaged arts practice is dedicated to social change in the areas of environmental sustainability, gender equality and mental health and well-being. Renée is an International Coach Federation candidate, Work & Wellness Coach to creatives, facilitator and Founder of Uneety Coaching and Creative Co. She most recently collaborated on a community place-making project, turning a used shipping container into a vibrant community hub in Vanier (Ottawa), Ontario. Self-awareness, open-mindedness and empathy are important values in Renée’s work that centres around community-building, creative expression and appreciation. Laura Barron is a musician, writer, facilitator and community artist. Her diverse 30-year career as a flutist has brought her from the Yukon to New Zealand, highlights of which include solo appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and several performances at Carnegie Hall. With a doctorate from McGill, she served for 10 years on the faculties of the Universities of Oregon, Wisconsin & Northern Arizona. Now harnessing her experience as a performer and teacher, she is the Founder / Executive Director of Instruments of Change, a Vancouver-based non-profit leading numerous community arts initiatives that engage with incarcerated women in Canada, at-risk youth in India, educators in Zambia, and many other diverse groups. She also brings all of her professional experiences together in her new writing project, Song for Two Cellos, a novel based on the healing power of music.  Renée Michaud and Laura Barron’s artist-in-residency with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation is part of the FUTURES/forward community-engaged arts mentorship program, generously funded by the McConnell Foundation. FUTURES/forward is an initiative of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) and Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP), an arts organization with a 40-year history in Canada and abroad and a pioneer in the field of ASC.