At 10 am on October 13th, our group visited the R. Tait McKenzie Memorial Museum at the Mill of Kintail in Almonte, Ontario to get a better understanding of the McKenzie exhibit because it was the base concept for the outreach exhibit in which we were responsible for developing, as well as to meet with the curator, Stephanie Kolsters. When we arrived, Stephanie gave us a brief history of the building’s owners, as well as the fact it could possibly be haunted.
Photograph of the Mill at the time of our visit.
Once inside, we were taken directly to the third floor where McKenzie’s sculptures are on display. Our group asked Stephanie a variety of questions about what was expected from us, and if she had any ideas about what she wanted in the project, what type of audience she wanted to aim for, etc. We all took notes. Stephanie also told our group that a local newspaper was interested in our project and wanted to interview us. Lastly, Stephanie went around the room and pointed out the more well-known works of art.
Photograph of the Joy of Effort Medallion - one of McKenzie's more well-known works.
At this point, Stephanie took Kyle, Theola and Sarah Rathwell downstairs. Sarah Anne and Michelle stayed on the third floor to take lots of photos of the art work and text panels. After about thirty minutes, Sarah Anne and Michelle met up with the others, and Stephanie took a nice group photo of us in front of the Naismith Rock – well, it would have been a nice photo if Michelle hadn’t blinked! Sarah Anne took more photographs of the Mill from outside, as well as some photos of the stream and fall foliage surrounding the Mill.
Group Photo (from left to right): Sarah Anne (kneeling), Michelle, Sarah Emily, Theola and Kyle.
Once back at the gatehouse, we discussed different aspects of the project in more detail. Stephanie made clear just how much she liked the pods (i.e. she doesn’t because they are awkward), and she prefers the 6-sided pamphlet to the 2-sided bookmark. We were also taken down to the collections room where we were shown the original moulds that McKenzie used for his medallions. Stephanie also gave each of us our own Mill of Kintail mug. Around noon, we thanked Stephanie for showing our group around the site, and left.
Sarah Anne's Mill of Kintail mug - also available at the gift shop!
Our group then went for lunch, where we discussed how we were going to design the project, the craft/activity and the promotional material. During this meeting, we also established our roles and what exactly we would be doing. We also established that we would design a booth with five banners (one detailing each aspect of McKenzie’s life: Doctor, Athlete, Soldier, Artist and one general one about his time at the Mill), a replica of the Joy of Effort medallion, a craft making medallions, pamphlets and possibly bookmarks with the recipe for the craft on one side. During this meeting, Kyle also suggested a great title for our exhibit: “R. Tait McKenzie: Modern Renaissance Man.”
Visit the official website of the Mill of Kintail - click here!