The community will celebrate its artists later this month at the Airdrie Regional ARTS Society’s Spring Art Show.
“Our spring show is actually the largest art show that we hold all year,” said society president Elizabeth Hall.
The society’s signature event will take place April 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Genesis Place Recreation Centre, corresponding with the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show. According to Hall, this year’s exhibition will be the largest the society has hosted.
About 30 predominantly-Airdrie artists will show their work in a variety of disciplines. Hall said the majority are painters, but there will also be jewellers, other types of visual artists and performing artists.
“We're happy to say that we have a lot of newer local artists joining us this year, and a lot of artists that actually haven't had the opportunity to show their work in public before,” Hall said.
Unless otherwise stated, she said all the artwork will be for sale. Artists will also be available to discuss commissioned works.
The event will also feature live entertainment, door prizes and “art wars” – Hall’s favourite part of the show.
“We have several different artists every year. They do live painting for the two days to create a piece of artwork,” Hall said. “Everybody paints in their own style and vision. The public is encouraged to come in and cheer them on, have a look, ask questions about what they're doing and to vote on their favourite piece of artwork.”
The show also marks the beginning of the society’s Random Acts of Kindness projects, where artists give away or leave artwork around Airdrie for residents to find and keep. Now in its third year, Hall said the project will, for the first time, continue past the end of summer and last throughout year.
“Especially in the in the colder months, that's when people seem to need that little pick me up of finding something happy in their life,” she said. “We decided we're just going to keep going.”
The show, Hall said, is one way of fulfilling the society’s goal of “bringing art to the community and community to the arts,” and provides a cost-effective opportunity for residents to experience the arts without having to pay to visit expensive galleries.
“Artwork and original art pieces, they bring something to everybody's life,” she said. “They mean something different to everybody. The artists are putting a bit of their soul and their life in their creation…and they're giving other people something that they can cherish and enjoy. Visual art changes people and makes the city more like a community. It gives colour and creativity and inspiration to everybody that enjoys it.”
Hall added the event is meant to celebrate the local art scene, and showcase work by people that might otherwise remain in obscurity.
“Airdrie has an unbelievable amount of visual artists and creative people in general,” she said. “I was amazed when I moved here eight years ago by how many [artists] there are and how great the art community is here.”