Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Walk through the Sculpture Garden at McMichael

A few weeks ago, I took my friends visiting from Montreal to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, very glad to finally have a chance to stroll around the outdoor Sculpture Garden inaugurated in 2011.

A short walk from the parking lot, it features nine monumental sculptures donated by the artist Yvan Eyre. (And I mean big; they weight between 2000 to 4000 pounds!) The loop sinuous trail, which takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, is perfect to generate anticipation as you keep wondering what lies around the next corner. I'd gladly return in the fall to do the surrounding trails.

Outdoor Sculpture Garden at McMichael Canadian Art Collection 

Til death do us apart
The Sculpture Garden sits across from the Group of Seven cemetery where I had the surprise to find natural stones bearing plates with the names of the gallery co-founders Robert and Signe McMichael along with those of six of the ten members of the Group of Seven and their spouses (Lismer, Varley, Harris, Johnston, Casson and Jackson). 

The gallery's website confirms that it is indeed the resting place for them and not just a memorial. The founders truly were art lovers!
While you're there
You don't have to pay admission to the gallery to access the Sculpture Garden. All you have to do is pay the $5 parking fee at the gate. 

You can also admire the artists' shack, the carved rock and the guarding wolves near the main building. And while you're at it, enter the gallery's lobby to see the totem (with a twist... you'll need to have an up-close look to see what I mean).

There's a café on the premises, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Its vast patio is the perfect spot for a glass of wine or coffee with a gourmet cookie. They serve food. I must say we found the grilled cheese sandwich and hamburger with fries quite disappointing but our neighbours seemed pleased with their quiche and salad.

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