Saskatoon artists occupy Kenderdine campus

A group of artists is unofficially re-opening the U of S Kenderdine campus for four days this week, to draw attention to cuts at the lakeside retreat.

Concerned U of S will sell lakefront retreat

This is the first summer since 1935 that the Kenderdine campus has been closed. Artists fear the University of Saskatchewan will sell the lakefront retreat at Emma Lake. (University of Saskatchewan)

A group of artists has re-opened the University of Saskatchewan's Kenderdine Campus, at least temporarily.

In November, the U of S said it would save $500,000 by closing the Emma Lake artists' retreat for three years. It said the facility needs a complete overhaul, which would require millions of dollars.

The people who used the campus disagree, and they are occupying the site for four days this week, to draw attention to the university's program cuts at Kenderdine. They plan to create artwork during their stay.

"We want to make it very clear, that we want to work with the university at this point," said Degen Lindner. Her father, Ernest Lindner, founded painting retreats at the lakefront site in the 1930s.

"We are not trying to work in opposition, we simply want to work with them and try and find a way to save this campus," said Lindner.

Lindner said Kenderdine may only have been open during summer months, but hundreds of painters, sculptors and musicians have used the site as an inspiration. Biologists and other academics also brought students to summer classes there.

She said the artists won't give up their efforts to re-open the wilderness retreat.

"What we are really afraid of is that they are going to sell it," said Lindner. "It is a large property and it would be a disaster."