Back from Madeline Island

Thanks to all of you who stayed and chatted while I was on the Island. It was absolutely magical. A wonderful class, amazing participants, and surroundings that I could not get enough of.  The staff of the school, artists themselves, spoiled us with help getting what we needed (an extra tarp? No problem. More paper towels? Sure. Fresh apples, water, soda? Of course–in the fridge in the classroom.) We had a light and airy classroom, open 24 hours a day.  We had beautiful weather until the end, and the rain and cold were perfect for leaving with a tinge of sorrow.

Here are some images so you can have a peek at the week:

MISA Ferry_SmOn the ferry from Bayfield, WI to Madeline Island. Another ferry is still at the dock. The ferry held about a dozen cars.

MISA_Reflect_smA color-corrected version of the sunset reflected in the window of the hotel in Ashland, the night before I took the ferry.

MISABarn_smThe classroom was in this barn, on the top floor. You can see lights on in the room. The room was bright and airy and big. On the ground floor was the hall where we shared meals with everyone at the school–writers, painters, journalers, all of us. Good food, too!

MISALandscape_smLooks like a painting, but it’s a photograph of the view from the South balcony. Yes, our classroom had two balconies. On the second and third day, a pilot flying an ultra-light airplane buzzed this field about eight feet off the ground. As he roared past the balcony, we could see the top of the plane. My jaw was hanging open, so I didn’t get a photograph.

MISAClouds_SmAt the other end of the island is a town park. I went to watch the moonrise. Before that, there was this amazing view of clouds moving in, reflected in the estuary.

Moonrise over Lake Superior

Moonrise over Lake Superior.  Just like that.

MISATurtles_sm Because you want to give them a chance to get to the other side. And you aren’t in a hurry anyway.

MISACemetery_smMadeline Cadotte (who gave Madeline Island its name) is buried here. She is the daughter of Ojibwe (Chippewa) Chief White Crane and wife of fur trader Michael Cadotte.

12715657_133952560724The cemetery is closed to the public, so this is a photo of Madeline Cadotte’s headstone  by historian Paul Wilcox. Madeline died on August  17, 1887 at age 35. Must have been a hard life in those years.

MISAHands_smMonsoon Papers with inked hands. As Lindsay said, “I don’t want to wear gloves. I want proof of life.”

MISA_TableArt_smA table full of art made by meaning-making hearts and busy hands.

MISAARtists_smThe willing artists, each with some of their art. After class some would stay, often till after midnight, working on what pleased them and what called to them. It was a magical week, for sure.

Quinn McDonald is back from a week at Madeline Island School of the Arts, making meaning and exploring the island.