Weekend tour gets public involved in the arts
Arts: Galleries and studios showcasing local artists Sept. 29 to Oct. 1
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 06:00 am
Local gallery and studio owners are inviting the public to get up close and personal with artists this weekend.
Bluerock Gallery and Firebrand Glass Studio in Black Diamond, Leighton Art Centre northeast of Millarville and Kristoferson Studio in Turner Valley are encouraging artists and the public to partake in various art-related activities, workshops and discussions in the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta during Alberta Culture Days Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
“We get a lot of people who are traveling through and they are asking for other things to do,” said Bluerock Gallery owner Karen Gimbel. “I think the tour just makes sense and I hope that it grows over the years.”
On Friday, the Bluerock Gallery will unveil This Canadian Place, an exhibition featuring recent work by local artists Blanca Botero-Fuentes and Mady Thiel-Kopstein the public can view throughout the weekend.
Art Church, which takes place on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., allows the public to engage with Botero-Fuentes, Thiel-Kopstein and multi-media artist Dirk van Wyk where they will demonstrate their craft and talk about their work.
“It’s an opportunity for people to get in their car and have more than just one stop,” Gimbel said. “This gives them four stops to make it a full day of art and beautiful scenery. It’s a great offering that the four of us are continuing to cultivate.”
Firebrand Glass Studio is offering glass blowing demonstrations by guest artist Katherine Russell Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s a chance to showcase some rising talent,” said Reimer. “Katherine has worked out of our studio the past couple of years. She’s lived in Australia and you can really feel that Australian influence in her work in terms of the patterns she creates.”
Reimer said participating in the art tour is a great way to engage the public in local art.
“It’s nice to create an event for people to be able to see these incredible arts centres and all the artists’ work that they carry, but also the landscape, especially in the fall when it’s so beautiful,” she said. “I’ve lived in other parts of the world and these kinds of things happen a lot. There isn’t a lot of studio tours in southern Alberta and there are so many artists and interesting art places in this area.”
Reimer said many people don’t realize how much can be done with glass.
“As an art material there is this huge evolution going on,” she said. “Every year people are discovering new things they can make with glass and how beautiful and interesting it is as an art material.”
Chelsey Kehler, Leighton Art Centre executive director, said the public will keep busy with the centre’s Fall Paint Out, featuring artist demonstrations, mini workshops, an exhibition opening, artist talks and plein air art making throughout the weekend.
Kehler said it’s an outdoor painting party that encourages the public to unleash their inner artist. They can enter free workshops on rug hooking, painting, felting, weaving and lino cutting.
“It’s a chance to get people out here to let them try their hand at every kind of art we can think of and they get to interact with others. It’s a way to give back by offering these programs for free to the public,” said Kehler.
Various artists will lead art demonstrations between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. followed by the opening of the Burns Visual Arts Society’s Spontaneous Combustion exhibition from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, artists of varying talents can bring their supplies and join the plein air painting on the picturesque property from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It’s a great chance for them to show off their talents and have a perspective on this amazing area and showcase what we all know and share that with other people,” said Reimer.
Doug Swinton will offer a lecture on contemporary realism and the landscape.
Kristoferson Studio has activities planned all weekend from noon to 5 p.m. in celebration of Alberta Culture Days with suminagashi paper marbling on Friday, itajime paper dyeing on Saturday and paste paper painting on Sunday.
Those participating in the Most Beautiful Art Tour can enter a photo contest for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate at one of the four galleries. More details are available on Facebook by looking up The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta. To learn more about this weekend’s events go to themostbeautifularttourinalberta.com