There are very few visual arts projects in Knowlton which do not involve, one way or another, Isabelle Daval, painter and sculptor, and owner of Galerie Hors Cadre. The Christmas Market and the Magic Lanterns Garden during the holidays, the Grande exposition des petits chefs-d’oeuvre featuring 50 local artists in November, the local artists performance painting event under the tent on June 24 all bear Isabelle Daval’s signature.

She admits she’s already got several new projects brewing for the next Journées de la Culture festival at the end of September. “Why not this year have an artist working in front of each store? What do you think about providing a map for the Circuit des artistes, like the map used for the Circuit des antiquaires?”

A natural unifier, as she readily admits, the artist-owner of Hors-Cadre is no loner. “Many artists feel the need to work alone, far from the bustle. Personally I need both to devote myself to my painting – I do not do it often enough for my taste – while showcasing other artists in my gallery, and participating in, or initating, creative activities that can attract everyone, whether rich or less fortunate, elderly, adults, adolescents or children.”

A village stamped with the seal of artistic creativity

An exemplary “idea machine”, Isabelle Daval cites multiple examples to show how Knowlton can benefit from its impressive artistic community: “Blessed with an exceptional concentration of creative people, both professionals and amateurs, Town of Brome Lake should take advantage of this remarkable resource. Our local artists should be recognized as real economic agents – poles of attraction, like merchants, boutique owners, antique dealers, owners of inns and restaurants. As you know, to attract visitors, you must create a lively space. I am convinced that our artists, skilled workers, creators, managers of the library, theatre and museum, and others know how to get this done, working together, but also in collaboration with the merchants. The future of Knowlton lies right there.”

Certainly, one should never suggest to her that Knowlton is a dying village. “That viewpoint just does not hold water, and has not for many years,” she declares with gusto, deeply convinced that she lives in an exceptional village, stamped with the seal of artistic creativity.

Translation: Tam Davis

Photo: Pierre Hudon