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Bishop House set to welcome guests from around the world

Twenty-two artists from as far away as Australia have plans to stay for one-week sessions in the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village this summer.
Twenty-two artists from as far away as Australia have plans to stay for one-week sessions in the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village this summer. - SaltWire Network

GREAT VILLAGE, N.S. – Interest in the Elizabeth Bishop House continues unabated with 22 artists slated to take up temporary residence there this summer.

“It’s such a wonderful thing to have it back in the public realm,” said Laura Gunn, a member of the St. James Church of Great Village Preservation Society, which had the house gifted to it last fall from a previous group of private owners.

Bishop, was an American poet and short story writer who spent much of her early childhood in Great Village with her grandparents, her mother and aunts.

The house her grandparents owned is more than 200 years old and is a registered provincial heritage property. The society has now also applied to the County of Colchester to have it designated as a municipal heritage site.

After taking it over last November, the society decided to offer it out to artists as a temporary summer residence on a rotating basis.

“We’re turning it into an artist retreat,” Gunn said.

Artists are from Canada, the United States and Australia and have booked week-long stays this year between mid-May and mid-October.

Gunn said the society is also hoping to offer Saturday afternoon tours of the house between artists’ departures and arrivals.

“It was just absolutely amazing the number of people that are inspired by the church, by the Elizabeth Bishop display and by being able to go into the house,” she said. “Inevitably, someone will knock on the door and just say, can we see inside please. And, it’s like, they are just blown away.”

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