Entries sought for annual art show

The fourth-annual Rainy Lake Impressions art show this year will feature works of art with the dragonfly as the subject.
Previous shows have featured the Rainy Lake mermaid, images from the historic Devil’s Cascades on the north arm of Rainy Lake, and artwork on paper in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the local paper mill.
This show seeks to capture our greatest natural resource and celebrates the natural heritage of our area. Community events invite individuals and families to take part in artistic activities.
On June 10, Bill Morgenstern will lead artists to dragonfly haunts on Rainy Lake. Those interested are asked to pre-register at the Fort Frances Museum (274-7891).
The tour includes an outdoor field trip, coffee break, and slide show presentation. The $10 per artist fee will assist in offsetting the costs involved.
Original artwork, including three-dimensional pieces, will be accepted, as will written creative work.
All work must be ready to exhibit, and the artist’s statement and description of the piece should accompany the submission.
All work is to be received at the Fort Frances Museum, located at 259 Scott St., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 1G8, by Aug. 2.
The art show will open Aug. 4 and remain on display until Sept. 30.
So why dragon and damsel flies? Well, these insects are living fossils. Dragonflies have been flying on jewelled wings for more than 300 million years.
They are insects with personality. They have inspired ideas of design and flight for hundreds of years. Artists and poets celebrate them.
At one time, their wings were as long as a large hawk but now some are as small in length as a Canadian “toonie.”
Some people think a dragonfly is a dragonfly and they are all the same. But they’re not! In North America alone, there are more than 300 species, and Rainy River District can count close to 80.
Each species is unique in colour, size, and markings. Each prefers a specific habitat—sometimes similar but often quite different from that of his cousin.
Dragon and damsel flies emerge from the larval state beginning in May in Northwestern Ontario and continue on into early October.
We all have seen those strange-looking six-legged bugs attached to rocks or reeds by the water’s edge. This is where the metamorphosis begins.
If you watch this menacing looking bug long enough, you will see it split open along its back and give birth to an emergent dragon or damsel fly.
Watch longer. The wings unfold, dry in the sun, and a jewel-winged hunter glistens before your eyes—ready to feed on mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects.
It is the diversity of form, colour, and personality that draws Morgenstern to photograph dragons and damsels. Documentary images are important for the study of behaviour and species identification, but these creatures are works of art in the greater scheme of things.
Morgenstern has long been viewing odonates as art in his photographs.
In related news, the Rainy River Valley Field Naturalists invite you to become an odie-ogier on July 15-18. The 2005 Great Lake Odanata Meeting includes speakers and a community dragonfly event.
The two-and-a-half days will feature field trips on inland bogs and ponds, the Rainy River and its tributaries, and the Lake of the Woods riparian zone.
Check it out at www.rainyriverfieldnaturalists.org

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