WHITEBEAR - Theresa Fuhr and Mary MacKenzie (also known as Mimi Seton) have been friends and neighbours at White Bear Lake for many years and reside on Clarke Street, overlooking the field where the ball diamond was located.
For years they have been talking about displaying the artistic talents of local residents and in 2022 made their dream become a reality. An open house was held July 23, where in addition to promoting their own work, four other local artists were invited to set up shop for Artists on the Hill.
They included Shelley Leuck, Amanda and Nikita Meyer, and world-renowned artist Michael Lonechild.
Fuhr’s family has owned a residence at White Bear Lake since she was a little girl, and now she owns and operates Art Concepts Custom Framing, an art gallery in Estevan. She has worked with Michael Lonechild for many years and is a huge supporter of the arts in Saskatchewan.
MacKenzie, a lifelong artist, currently paints in acrylics and has gravitated to abstract painting the last few years. She is presently living in Calgary, but Saskatoon was Mary’s home for many years, as she worked in graphic design and illustration. MacKenzie’s family (Seton/Kirk) has had a cabin on Clarke Street since 1927.
Leuck has a cabin on Wayweychapow Drive and in the winter resides in Weyburn where she retired as a registered nurse. She creates and sells boutique style jewelry. Amanda Meyer and her daughter Nikita are neighbours of Leuck. Amanda is the owner of Lake Front Treasures and has been forming her own pottery since 2017. Nikita Meyer is a retailer for Creative Eats, which sells cheesecake in a jar.
Lonechild, now in his 60s, started painting when he was 15. In his younger days, his specialty was old buildings and over time developed his work by adding hard-working Indigenous people to his art.
“I have been painting for over 50 years and in my older days I used oil-based and watercolour paints. Recently, I have converted to acrylic only as it dries faster and without an odour. I love painting and have been proud to showcase my ancestors over the years.”
Recently, Lonechild has added vibrant colours to his work, resulting in a spectacular finished product. Many local residents have a Lonechild painting or print proudly displayed on their walls. Lonechild’s work is well-known in North America as well, and has participated in art shows in Toronto, Denver, and Washington, D.C.
He has been sponsored by Pan Canadian Oil and attributes much of his early success to long-time Carlyle resident Bill Ramsey.
All the artists were extremely pleased with the success of this inaugural event.
“We have seen a steady stream of customers and onlookers. I have really enjoyed the turnout and the day,” said Leuck.
MacKenzie was also pleased on how the day turned out.
“I was so pleased to see so many come out for our event and share stories of the lake. We also learned that White Bear Lake is home to many artists and that there is a significant interest in art.”
Fuhr was beaming by the end of the day.
“Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined such a wonderful turnout. We are already planning for year two in 2023.”