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Local café promotes Airdrie artists’ work

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 01:08 pm

Airdrie artist Veronica Funk and Good Earth Café owner Becky Diebolt show off Funk's paintings that will be on display in the café as of Jan. 31
Airdrie artist Veronica Funk and Good Earth Café owner Becky Diebolt show off Funk's paintings that will be on display in the café as of Jan. 31
Matt Durnan/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie artist Veronica Funk will have two of her original paintings displayed at the Good Earth Café on Jan. 31.

The 17-year Airdrie resident and one of the founding members of Creative Airdrie says she is thrilled with not only how much the art community in the city has grown, but how the business community has embraced it.

Funk has had her work exhibited in galleries and public places, and said that she prefers a public forum.

“Art in a public place is just much more accessible to everyone,” said Funk.

“Galleries might be intimidating for some or a little more difficult to get to, so the fact that the business community in Airdrie has been so welcoming to local artists is really nice.”

The Airdrie Public Library (APL) is a leader in this trend, according to Funk, who works as the facility’s art program coordinator.

“They (APL) were one of the first places to display local artists’ work,” said Funk.

“There is over 200 linear feet of space in the library for work to be displayed and there are anywhere from 400 to 1,000 people passing through on a daily basis so it’s great exposure for these artists.”

The library displays six different exhibits per year, for two month intervals and caters to both artist groups or individual artists.

An issue arises, however, with the combination of limited space at the library and high demand from the art community for places to display their work, according to Funk.

She said the library is currently booking wall space well into 2017 and the need for other venues to step up is high.

This is where local businesses like Good Earth Café and owner Becky Diebolt step in and fill that need.

“It’s nice with a business like ours because we have some leeway as far as how we decorate the café,” said Diebolt.

“We have the opportunity to promote and support the arts community and it’s been going really well.”

Diebolt and Good Earth Café Airdrie support more than just painters like Funk, but musicians as well as crafters and artisans.

“We have a lot of artists who walk through our doors and have meetings here,” said Diebolt.

“I’ve been trying to encourage some of our artists to paint on site; there’s also a local jewelry maker (Janie Fontaine) who makes necklaces and things from recycled materials and I always save our coffee lids for her to use when she’s making her jewelry.”

Funk appreciates the local support and has expressed gratitude to places like Smitty’s Restaurant, Pureform Radiology, Sotheby’s Realty, Simply for Life, Genesis Place and City Hall for opening up their doors and walls to local artists.

“The biggest thing for an artist is to have a means to share their work,” said Funk.

“There’s so much talent in Airdrie and to have the support of the business community to help build support for our local artists and help them get more exposure is really appreciated.”

Any local artists who are interested in having their work exhibited at the Airdrie Public Library can contact Veronica Funk at veronica.funk@airdriepubliclibrary.ca


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