Baie-Saint-Paul Symposium: Take 1

I just wrapped up my first week in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec for the Symposium International d’art contemporain. I’m here for a month, as one of 12 invited artists who will be working on our projects all month, relating to the theme of this year, “Art and Politics”.  I’m doing a sugar mural, in my trademark blue azulejo style (it’s not really trademarked… but it’s fun to say that!). This first week has been planning, design, and making the sugar tiles. It’s a modest size of mural (by my standards), at 4’ x 8’. One month is not a lot of time, so I had to consider what I would be able to finish in a one month timeframe. 

It’s a really eclectic mix of artists, from Quebec, Canada, and International. The Symposium is in its 36th year. Our studios are in a former elementary school. My room was clearly the former science lab, as I have this entire wall of shelving cabinets. It's like my own cabinet of curiosity. 

The format of the residency is that our studios are open to the public 5 days a week (Wed-Sunday) from 12-5pm. So while we are working, people come through and ask questions about our project and our process. It’s not solitude working time for those hours!  It’s been very busy, with a lot of visitors coming through. At the end of the day, I find myself really exhausted, since I’m also speaking in french most of the time (to the best of my ability!).  But it’s nice to open up conversations with strangers. I’ve met some really interesting people with interesting viewpoints about my work.  


  • Baie-Saint-Paul is a really sweet little place!  It’s one hour north of Quebec City, and just on the coast, next to the St. Lawrence River.
  • There is a bonafide beach here
  • The artists are staying in a former Nun's residence (my room is the monastic looking photo)
  • amazing sunsets 
  • and surprisingly, REALLY great coffee!

NEXT WEEK’S POST: More details about the project i’m doing.