Toronto based artist Brooke Manning is encouraging the community to write down their thoughts as part of a county-based poem for her Halls Island Residency.

“I like the idea of randomness that this provides, and I really enjoy seeing different perspectives from different humans move in flow with each other,” she said.

Six journals are placed in libraries throughout the county for people to write their own poetry, thoughts and anything else.

The journals will be moved to new locations at the beginning of August and then collected so Manning can write a community poem using the material.

“When brainstorming ideas for my Halls Island community project, this one came very quickly and naturally,” said Manning, one of 11 artists coming to the island this summer.

As part of the residency, artists must hold a community session to share their art or poems with locals to give back for the two weeks they’ve spent here.

“Several years ago, I did a few projects that were similar in nature (to the journals) though for one evening only, and only in galleries,” she said.

The final poem will be Manning’s community session.

“Each artist comes up with their own idea for the community sessions,” said Joan Duhaime, arts administrator for the residency. “So, I’m not sure what the poem will look like when she’s done and in book form.”

The program invites artists to the Highlands and encourages them to recharge their creativity and get inspired by the location.

“We want to give artists an opportunity to expand or reflect,” said Duhaime. “Use the time to attempt, whatever their artistic practice is, and also give back to the community and make that connection with Haliburton.”

The guests stay at a cottage on Koshlong Lake’s Halls Island that was donated by a local family.

All types of artists, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, poets, etc., are welcome to apply.

“The nature was idyllic and very moving. It felt very powerful to be creating work with my partner, Viktor Cahoj,” said Manning about her time in the residency program. “We used the residency to create a book of poetry and photographs that speak to one another.”

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