Creating And Meeting People: Two Passions!

Marie Clark has known Nicole Côté, one of the four artists who own the Galerie Art libre, and Henri Lamoureux, owner of La petite librairie, for quite a few years now; she likes to drop in every once in a while to admire the works of the artists/owners as well as those of the invited artists, and she also likes to discover the books chosen by Henri for his bookstore.

To see D’Arts et de rêves, Nicole and Henri’s project (two of the three co-founders), take shape in the heart of Sutton impressed Marie who quickly foresaw the potential of this site as a place of healing and inspiration.

In fact, if Marie didn’t already live in Sutton, she would already have asked to stay at the artist residence located in the barn and thus isolate herself from her everyday life, close herself up in her bubble, and focus on her writing projects.

To learn more about Marie and her role at D’Arts et de rêves, continue your reading...

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Who is Marie?

Marie’s career path is very interesting and we learn a lot about the writer, the workshop leader, the coach, and the pedagogue, by looking up her website.

Having studied to become a high school French teacher and then doing her master's degree in literary studies, creative option, Marie now lectures in creative writing at the Université de Montréal; she also offers writing workshops all over the province, in addition to pursuing her own writing projects.

Four of Marie's novels and a writer's notebook were printed via a publisher’s account and two of them won the Prix du Jury at the Grands Prix du livre de la Montérégie. Marie has been awarded several CALQ and Canada Council for the Arts bursaries for the production of her novels and is currently working on a fifth novel as well as exploring the voices of poetry.

Marie won the 2016 Geneviève-Amyot Poetry Award for her poetic sequel, Scié, tu tombes. During the same year, she was selected twice as a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards, in the story category for J’étais trop petit and in the poetry category for Le silence aura soif.

What first led Marie to volunteer at D’Arts et de rêves?

Three facts:

  • Marie likes to meet her current and future readers by sharing with them her journey, her works, her inspirations...
  • Henri organizes and facilitates such encounters at La petite librairie, these always end up being pure moments of happiness which Marie enjoys.
  • One of the contractual obligations of the artists chosen to stay at the residence is to participate in a mediation activity with the public.

This is how Marie envisioned the role she could play at D’Arts et de rêves.

The "5 à 7" meetings with the authors

Marie facilitates the meetings with the authors who reside at D’Arts et de rêves.  How does she do so?  She does her homework by researching the author; she arrives 30 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting; she talks with the author, calming his or her apprehensions if need be...

Her approach is informal, simple, and gentle:  she asks short questions and knows how to fade away in order to give the authors all the space they need to share with us their background, challenges, projects, and work.

Until now, thanks to Marie, we have been able to learn more about:

  • David Clerson
  • Mathieu Leroux
  • Élise Turcotte

There’s also something for Marie in these 5 to 7 meetings because they allow her to not only meet friends or renew acquaintances, but also to meet new authors, to interact with committed people, and to learn from her peers.

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Marie facilitating the 5 to 7 meeting with writer David Clerson.

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Mathieu Leroux

Marie facilitating the 5 to 7 meeting with writer Mathieu Leroux.

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Credit: Julie Artacho
Credit: Julie Artacho

Marie facilitating the 5 to 7 meeting with writer Élise Turcotte.

Entremaille project

Mary tells us that she fell under the spell of haïkus, the smallest poems in the world, a form which she practices with diligence. So much so that she has, for several years, been giving workshops at the École nationale de haïku, whose activities now occur in Trois-Rivières, the capital of poetry. Her writer's notebook, Petites leçons d’orientation apprises dans le désordre (Lessons of Guidance Learned in Disorder), published in 2015, was written in the form of haïbun, a combination of prose and haikus.

Our Suttoner, who adopted this region about twenty years ago, enjoys giving people the opportunity to discover this form of poetry. So in 2016, she was called upon to facilitate workshops for three generations of local residents, as part of Entremaille, a cultural mediation project. You can admire the results of these haïku workshops by exploring the trails of D’Arts et de rêves’ eco-cultural park.

Credit: Isabelle Grenier
Credit:  Isabelle Grenier
Credit: Isabelle Grenier

Entremaille participants exploring the park in search of inspiration and Marie with some of the participants.

Landscaping

Marie’s property features a huge vegetable garden and flowers everywhere!  It’s no wonder she was tempted to lend a hand during the working bee that took place at Denise Potvin’s place on Monday, May 7, 2018 (see Volunteer Chronicle of June 2018).

That day, about 250 young trees and shrubs were dug up and transported to the eco-cultural park, in addition to many perennials.  These trees will be used, among other things, as a visual and sound screen in front of the Hydro Québec pylons and the perennials will be planted to enhance the fields.

Marie returned to the park this summer for another landscaping bee.  It can’t be denied that giving of one’s time to work with a group of friendly people, all wishing to make a difference, ensures a nice outing...

What’s in it for Marie at D’Arts et de rêves?

Marie likes to have, here in Sutton, a network of artists with whom she can talk freely, exchange ideas, share her experiences...  Plus, she appreciates the fact that among the Board and the different D’Arts et de rêves Committees she gets to renew old acquaintances as well as make new ones.

Likewise, Marie enjoys meeting the artists (visual arts, literary arts, and contemporary circus arts) who stay in the residence, because all these meetings generate rich exchanges...

Marie's network does not stop with the artists; thanks to the landscaping working bees and the many activities in which she participates in Sutton, Marie meets many new people.  It is a win-win situation, giving one’s time and meeting nice people...

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Marie during the haïku and poetic lanterns workshop with the artist Jeanne Painchaud…

Marie participating in Sandrine de Borman's workshop.

What does Marie wish for D'Arts et de rêves?

Marie salutes the courage and determination of the three co-founders of D’Arts et de rêves (the third being Joanie Leroux-Côté).  She knows that managing an organization while constantly searching for funds, requesting grants, looking for partners, sponsors... requires a lot of energy and perseverance.  She wholeheartedly hopes that they will find a sponsor to free themselves from this energy-consuming task and therefore be able to focus on the creation of cultural activities.

As D’Arts et de rêves includes the word "dreams", Marie likes to imagine:

  • a dynamic environment, not just a park of static monumental sculptures;
  • a place where villagers and tourists meet;
  • Sandrine de Borman's workshop (see "Meet Sandrine de Borman") enriched by a writing exercise related to the plants, leaves, and flowers found in the park;
  • a place where she could give day or night workshops (the park being open from sunrise to sunset), activities that would combine writing and the sculptures in the park to get even more people to discover this creative meeting place;
  • a haïku festival...

A project for and by the community under the leadership of a dynamic team:  this is what Marie wants to support and she is happy to be among the many volunteers.

In conclusion…

Marie loves the idea of creative places and is happy to contribute to the success of D’Arts et de rêves.

You’ve probably figured out that staying in this artists’ residence would be quite tempting for Marie, but it would not be a good investment for her, as the barn is located less than one kilometer from her house.  What Mary does do, however, is that she organizes her own creative residences.  For example, she regularly takes refuge at L'Abbaye Saint-Benoit du Lac; this Fall, during a three-week trip to France, she devoted all her mornings to writing; and in 2019, she plans a stay at the Abbaye Val Notre-Dame to advance her projects of prose and poetry.

Thank you Marie for bringing your creativity to D’Arts et de rêves.