ArtWalk showcases talents of graphic artists
Public library turns in strong showing as first-time exhibit venue
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 06:00 am
Things got pretty graphic at the St. Albert Public Library on Thursday night. While the soothing sounds of live classical music wafted through the air (courtesy of the Kitka violin and cello duo), visitors tried their hands at origami in the building’s lobby while Paul Lavallee and Daniel Schneider had a booth set up just inside the library.
The Edmonton-based graphic comic artists were there to demonstrate their art and show off their wares and demonstrate their illustrative talents to the crowds of people taking in the sights and sounds of July’s ArtWalk night.
Schneider is a self-avowed farm boy and kid of the countryside, and it shows with his cowboy hat, laid-back attitude and easy approachability. He described himself as a freelance artist because “I’ll draw whatever you ask me to draw. If someone pays me, I’ll draw it.”
Before the evening got started, he talked about what people could expect from their encounters with him.
“I will be down there with my artwork. I’ll probably be doing sketches for anyone that comes along that wants to either see my artwork or get a sketch,” he said. He also had some other pieces available for sale.
“Mostly I’ll just be there drawing and chatting with people and doing sketches. Whatever they want to know, I’ll be there to help them find out about comics or whatever they want to know about with art.”
It’s no surprise that one of his projects has a decidedly western air about it. It looks like it was set in a saloon in the Old West but with hyper-realistic details: “basically taking reality and adding a little bit of un-reality to it. The drawings are realistic but there’s just that hint that it’s still comic book styled, with cleaner lines, finer details, more competent work,” he said.
He added that he has some interesting projects lined up, including one collaboration with Andrew Foley, the graphic novelist who originally co-wrote the Cowboys vs. Aliens graphic novel that provided the basis for the movie of the same name last year.
He got this gig through the Canadian Geek group on Facebook, as did Lavallee, a graduate of the St. Albert Catholic High class of 1999. The public can see more of Schneider’s work through his website at www.smashedheadstudios.com and Lavallee’s website at induced.squarespace.com.
Visitors can also check out several pieces of Lavallee and Schneider’s artwork hung on the walls around the library including on the second floor. They will stay up for the duration of the month.
Public services manager Heather Dolman said the response from the public has been very positive to all of the library’s ArtWalk events so far. This is the first year that the venue has been involved in the monthly cultural fair, and it ties in nicely with everything else going on in St. Albert Place at the same time.
“We have a lot of people coming through the library at this time of year for the summer reading games anyway. I think for us, it’s something that we’re learning from too as we’re going through this,” she began. “We’ve been trying to tie our activities with the museum and the WARES people because we’re all in the same building, trying to draw them to all three events.”
The WARES Store (Works of Art Representative of Every Studio) had a live demonstration from the quilters’ guild while the museum had a new selection of photos from the Victor Post collection on display.
Next month, the library will feature a travelling exhibit of encaustic beeswax works called 100 Dresses for Alberta. Artist Nicole Bauberger last brought a show to the Art Gallery of St. Albert in October of 2009. August’s ArtWalk night is Thursday, Aug. 2.
A travelling photographic exhibit called On The Farm will be set up at the library for the last ArtWalk night of the season on Thursday, Sept. 6.
For more information on current and upcoming ArtWalk events, visit www.artwalkstalbert.com.