Rebecca and Emma Lake

Let's Swim!

Private Dock

This Saturday my sister, Chicago-based artist Rebecca Perehudoff, is having an art opening at The Gallery/Art Placement Inc. in Saskatoon. Unfortunately I won’t be there, but she’ll be at the opening and you can see the work here.  

The paintings were inspired by the wild moody area around Emma Lake in northern Saskatchewan where I spent a good part of my summers growing up. It’s a magnet for artists because of the Emma Lake Art Camp (now called the Kenderdine Campus). A lot of British and New York artists made there way up there, including composer John Cage who got lost in the muskeg overnight and had to pick wild mushrooms to eat. Once he was rescued he fried up the rest and fed them to the resident artists. Luckily he just happened to be a mushroom expert so no one got poisoned.

One of my earliest memories there is being involved in a Happening – which was a forerunner to performance art. It was dark. I was six, and my sister Catherine and I, along with some other local kids, were conscripted to dress up in sheets, climb onto the back of a truck and feed people peach slices out of baggies. There was also a dancing naked woman covered in gold paint – I vaguely recall that the paint wouldn’t come off and that a bunch of women had to scrub her down in the communal bathroom. Good clean fun!

I hear that the art workshops are a lot tamer now – and that Happenings are happening no more – but for the artists who venture there,  it’s just as inspiring.


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