This past weekend I organized a trip to Val David. This is a tiny town and artist community. It is located north of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains. The original purpose of the trip was to be a part of an art event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Atelier de l’ile. The plan was to print all 40 people’s very big wood blocks with a steamroller.
We arrived in Val David on Saturday after a long car ride. We began our tour of Val David with a trip to the local market. Most of the food is organic. It is grown and brought to the market by the very farmers who grew the produce or meat themselves. The local community takes great pride in their food. They have many specialties like $2.50 mini burgers made of 100% beef. One can also freely sample the different kinds of cheese made in the area. The group ate lunch here and the market closed around 1pm.
After lunch, the kids were full of beans so our next stop was the playground. People in Val David speak English and French. Our kids spoke Portuguese and Korean. Fortunately, playgrounds are a universal language and the kids were instantly engaged by the slide, swings and climbing. Later we followed a nature trail and visited a river where there is a beautiful waterfall. The trees provided shade from the hot sun. The scenery was peaceful and almost magical. The weather was really perfect. Instead of participating in the Steamrolling project, we were able to visit the printed images in the old train station. It is located in the center of town and is now an information booth. Some of the artwork from the steamrolling project is still on display there. We also visited the Atelier de l’ile printing studio and an art gallery displaying the wooden boards used to print the images. It was an interesting process and I tried to explain how we print in English. One of our students explained how they use a similar process to print money in Korea.
The students and I had beautiful discussions, including one memorable one about child care in Canada. Then, after spending several hours in the sun we decided to call it a day. What a lovely trip.