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Prairie Jaunt

By Amy Greenwood

Question: What is 433.62 km long and takes about six hours to finish? If you said your “To-Do” list you’re probably right, but the actual answer is Manitoba’s PrairieJaunt.

PrairieJaunt is a prairie-wide arts project that was created by artist Amber Andersen and curator Jenny Western. The event showcases the work of Amber Andersen (Moore Park, MB) as well as artists Heather Benning (Sinclair, MB), Shirley Brown (Deloraine, MB), His Legion of Stars (Harding, MB) and Libby Weir (Onanole, MB). Andersen and Western started the project in response to

AlleyJaunt, a Toronto-based event that sees the city’s most unsuspecting locations transformed into awe-inspiring art installations. The objective behind AlleyJaunt is to promote the integration of art into the city; PrairieJaunt echoes this sentiment but instead demonstrates how it can flourish in Manitoba’s more rural areas. The project also documents actual artist interventions that occur during the Manitoba and Toronto jaunts. You see, what makes PrairieJaunt so darn interesting is that it has no bones about hopping from prairie soil to city tarmac: after displaying their full-scale installations on home turf, the artists then need to figure out how the heck they will represent their work at the scaled-down site in T-Dot. Try going from farmers’ flatlands to the confines of a garage. Yikes. The end result is a to-scale micro-sized PrairieJaunt, where they use the provided space to show the geographic distance between each artist’s Manitoba location. A MiniJaunt, if you will, sans sore feet and chafed inner thighs. If lacing up the hikers is your thing, however, be sure to mark next August on your calendar, as there’ll be a whole lotta jauntin’ goin’ on.


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