If you have never taken in First Fridays in the Exchange you are missing not only a celebration of the Arts in Winnipeg, but a celebration of all that is great in ‘The Exchange District”, from the restaurants to the great shops and patios. Walking in the ‘Exchange District’ on these ‘First Fridays’ has a great feel. The community is vibrant. By now you are asking what does this have to do with where do retired teachers go.
It started when I went to Gurevich Gallery for the opening of Sue Gordon a Winnipeg artist ethereal encaustic work (her medium is wax). Her ‘Far Country’ exhibit is striking and her use of wax as her medium creates texture and each piece is brought to life through the images she is able to create. She now seeks to tell stories of longing associated with the increasingly disconnected world of social media set against her dramatic landscapes. After enjoying her works of Art, some wine and some excellent conversations with fellow art lovers our stroll took us to discover that the Manitoba Institute of Sculptures and Artists was also open for a showing. Having never visited these artists it seemed only logical to explore this hidden treasure.
This is where I met ‘Retired Teacher’ Jean Bachynsky. She is seen below at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2012 with her alabaster statue, Kneeling Figure. She has two of her statues currently at the Hydro Building.
This former Art Teacher’s sculptures are often characterized by big hands and feet and the use of light. Jean and her fellow sculptures were excellent hosts and shared their journey from a piece of stone to these wonderous works of ART.
A former colleague of mine Merle Klyne has just published his first book under the name C.M. Klyne called The Silent March. I have just ordered this book from Friesen Press. His book was highlighted in CBC News and will be my first read this summer. I worked with Merle many years ago when he taught High School English in Ashern, Manitoba. I know from the passion he put into his teaching that his book will be as the early reviews indicate be moving and full of energy and powerful characters.
There is an expression ‘That those that can’t teach”. These are only two examples of ‘Those that Can Teach’. Teaching to me has always about an opportunity to not only share the knowledge we have acquired but to a larger degree to inspire our students. Having never seen Jean teach but knowing she still takes time to teach students and adults find their artistic passions and having taught with Merle I know that they have not only be able to celebrate their individual gifts with their works but have inspired many others to discover their gifts.