The Visual Arts Show and Sale is once again open at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede.
Visitors are able to view a variety of submissions and awards at the Cypress Centre in the Fireside Room along with children’s exhibits in the Sierra Room.
“We never know what’s going to catch a person’s eye or catch their fancy,” says Michelle Winger, one of the artists. “It’s just what speaks to your heart when you look at a piece.”
“I love the art show and I think it’s great to support other artists,” says Ursula Maser, children’s art judge and exhibitor. “I just love painting florals and exploring colours.”
“Many artists do their craft because they enjoy the work they do. I like to work with fun colours and just have a fun time just as a hobby,” says Layla Maser, Grade 9 student, as she showcases her “Birthday Cake” piece.
“I just like to do it,” says Grade 9 artist Peyton Haddock as she shows her “Man’s Best Friends” piece.
This year’s Best In Show Piece is James Kirlick’s “June.”
The art for the adult submissions are judged by the categories of by oils, acrylics, water colours, sculptures, pottery and glass, mixed media, and fibre.
“We have a wide variety of talent, ability and skill in the show,” says Winger. “This is not just the work of professionals.”
The children’s art is judged by ages including preschool, Grades 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The children’s art is quite diverse with images of cake, animals, faces and other images inspired by trending popular culture such as Mario and Batman.
“[The show has] got a great range of artists and mediums,” says Ursula Maser. She adds that an additional benefit to come see the show is the how its a nice place to cool off from the hot outdoor grounds while the guests can come support their local artists.
“It’s quite amazing the level of talent that exists in this city,” says Winger. “If you could find your way into the best air conditioned room on the grounds, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised on what there is to see here.”
Spectators can come in and watch artists in action through demo artists such as Fran Lauzon who paints with chalk colours using a picture of Kin Coulee as a reference. and Peggy Dawson who has worked in oil, acrylic and water colour. The ladies sit at a table outside the Fireside Room in the Cypress Centre lobby.
“I just like to come every year and give a demo and show different things you could do with art,” says Dawson as she demonstrates experimentation in calligraphy ink. “I like talking to people that come forward and want to know what you’re doing.”
Winger added the pieces on display can be purchased as well as admired.
“The selling part is very important to the artist because it shows that people value our work and it also gives us the ability to buy more art supplies,” says Winger. “I wish more people would walk into the Fireside Room knowing that they can purchase the pieces that are on display.”
The show would not be possible without the many volunteers that handle intake, hanging, monitoring, take down and returning. There is also a committee of artist and volunteers that make decisions for the art show.
“It has been going for more than 15 years,”says Laura Kennedy, Visual Art chairperson.
The Visual Arts Show will be open for the rest of the week from 12-8 p.m. and all are welcome as long as the pieces are not touched.
By FERNANDO MORENO, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jul 27, 2023