Featuring local artistic talent

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Sundre and surrounding area residents will have an opportunity at the end of the month to check out free of charge a showcase featuring a variety of paintings and drawings created largely by local talent.

“We usually have around 30 artists,” said Lila Weiss, the Sundre Art Society’s president, adding that past art shows have featured “up to about 150 paintings.”

The society’s annual event, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30 from 1-5 p.m. both days at the Sundre West Country Centre, has a theme recognizing the celebration of the 150-year anniversary of Confederation, she said.

“We’re going to ask every artist, if they possibly can, to choose a painting that for them has a meaning that depicts Canada.”

Those pieces will all be displayed together in an area set aside specifically for this year’s theme, she said.

The society ensures the focus remains on local and surrounding area talent by limiting to five the number of pieces an artist who lives more than 40 kilometres away can display, she said.

“The local artists can show up to 10 paintings each.”

Although there are no photographs, all of the featured paintings are unique ó there are no reproduced prints of originals, she said, adding the media vary in range from oil and acrylic to watercolours, pastels as well as sketch and ink art.

Members of the viewing public who might find themselves captivated by any particular piece are also encouraged to vote on their favourite work of art. There is no actual award for the winner, but the artist does get recognized, she said.

“That’s always fun to see ó we get quite a variety of votes.”

Every year, the society aims to feature fresh art to avoid repetition and to keep people interested in coming back to see what’s new in the local art scene. The only prerequisite for participating in the annual art show is an existing membership with the society, she said.

“There’s no judge or jury to enter.”

Any local artists who might be interested in joining the society is welcome to attend a bimonthly paint in at the Sundre Municipal Library. Members of the society meet the first and third Saturdays of the month ó except for July and August ó from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s open to anybody. There’s no formal instruction, we just help each other.”

For more than 40 years, great support from the Sundre community has kept the society going. There are about 30 members, of whom roughly half make up a core group that is active, she said.

To learn more about the society or perhaps even join its ranks, contact Weiss at 403-638-4269.

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Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel is the editor of the Sundre Round Up and a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.