Community Projects

Socializing the Art Making Process

Marguerite Larmand is awarded the INDIVIDUAL AWARD OF THE YEAR by

Marguerite LarmandBorn in the farming community of Victoria Harbour, Ontario, Marguerite has been connected to the rural way throughout her career.

Marguerite holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Art and Art History, a Master’s Degree in Education and a Master in the Science of Education. She has taught primary, secondary, university, college, private schools, and faculties of education in Ontario. She has been a practicing artist with solo and group exhibitions since 1975 and possesses incredible abilities in ceramics, illustration, paper, painting, fabric/textile and sculpture.

When asked about her rural upbringing and its influences, Marguerite expressed the following: “Farming is so much about interdependence of the farmer and the rural place. As a child, I was aware of this mutual relationship, and I loved the idea of working with soil, animals, plants, and farm machinery. I wanted to feel a part of the farm and I wanted to be actively involved. These attitudes are the foundation of my art practice. I am not so much an artist making things as I am a practitioner searching for my relationship to, and my role within, a place.”

Since retiring from the teaching profession, Marguerite has continued as an artist and educator in Eastern Europe, across Canada and most fortunately, in our own rural setting – Norfolk County.

Her time spent in Norfolk has resulted in a number of important and meaningful community-based workshops, projects and installations. From these, lasting legacies have been formed and significant connections made – forever reminding us of the importance of our heritage and culture. As a mentor, Marguerite has left all involved with an overwhelming sense of inspiration. She is, as one colleague put it, the real deal.

Following the success of the Soil First! Coat at WHAM, in 2012, Marguerite presented herself as a mentor in a special year-long project. The educational component of Marguerite’s time as a mentor at WHAM brought with it a much larger and meaningful understanding of the connections everyone has to the constructed and natural environment. The mentorship culminated in an exhibition highlighting the projects completed by all involved. As a result of what was learned, many other community-based initiatives have been established – yet another example of Marguerite’s ability to instil knowledge, confidence, and an appreciation for our surroundings.

The Coat projects are excellent examples of Marguerite’s continued initiatives. Invaluable connections have been made at WHAM, the Teeterville Pioneer Museum and most recently the Port Dover Harbour Museum through these community inspired coats – they literally bring the community together. Thousands of volunteer hours have gone into these truly unique creations and numerous public displays and special events have been launched as a result.

Besides supporting the work of Norfolk‘s museums, along with her past involvement at the NAC, Marguerite has also volunteered at the Backus Conservation Area/Long Point Biosphere with the facilitation of a number of community workshops for youth and adults. These workshops saw the creation of incredibly detailed paper lanterns depicting Norfolk’s wildlife. She has also facilitated workshops to educate and bring awareness to the lost arts and traditional crafts such as paper making, blacksmithing, glass etching and many others.

Marguerite continues to actively promote awareness of Norfolk County’s heritage and culture and continues to actively encourage participation in conservation.

James wrote, “Marguerite Larmand plays a significant role in both the heritage & culture of Norfolk County and beyond. She is a highly respected individual whose tireless efforts continue to influence, educate, and inspire. She is always willing to invest time and energy, present thought-provoking discussion and create meaningful and lasting connections.”

Congratulations Marguerite! You are certainly a very deserving recipient of this award.’

Written by Melissa Collver, Director of Heritage & Culture, Norfolk County