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Artists About Town

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 02, 2013 06:00 am

EXHIBIT AND FUNDRAISER – This piece by Piper Keyes, a Grade 6 student at Leo Nickerson Elementary School, is part of the How Art Helps Me Grow Art show at Edmonton City Hall this weekend.
EXHIBIT AND FUNDRAISER – This piece by Piper Keyes, a Grade 6 student at Leo Nickerson Elementary School, is part of the How Art Helps Me Grow Art show at Edmonton City Hall this weekend.
Supplied photo

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How the Arts Help Me Grow

Until tomorrow

Free admission
Edmonton’s City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square

Featuring the works of teachers and students including St. Albert’s Colleen Hewitt, Piper Keyes, Pam Wilman, Courtney Kates, Andrea Daly, Ethan Prostebby, Breanne Dagenais, Judy Smallwood and numerous others

All artworks on sale for $150 each in support of iHuman Youth Society
Please visit for more information on the non-profit organization.

A collective of teacher and student artists has collaborated on a new – and very temporary – art show in downtown Edmonton. It’s been up since Thursday but audiences only have today and tomorrow to catch How the Arts Help Me Grow before it ends at City Hall.

“It’s just a short little show,” said Colleen Hewitt, fine arts instructor at Paul Kane High School.

She explained that the event is sponsored by the Fine Arts Council, a project of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

“We sent out a call for submissions to the schools in Edmonton and area, places like St. Albert and Morinville and Parkland. You could submit up to five pieces of student work and then the teacher had to do one too. We got eight schools, seven of them are from St. Albert!”

The council helps to guide schools’ curricula for music, fine art, drama and dance programs. Its website (at states that “The maturing student, who has benefited from a rich fine arts education will learn to appreciate, understand, create and critique with discrimination products of the mind, the voice, the body and the hand.”

The exhibit, while simultaneously demonstrating the talent and vast potential of dozens of students and their teachers, also lends itself as a fundraiser for a local charity that has a lot of relevance to the high school-aged artists therein.

All of the art is on sale for $150 each and all proceeds go to support the iHuman Youth Society. It provides youth arts programming to high-risk young adults from 12 to 24. The society has struggles like many others. It hopes to move to a larger permanent space on 102A Avenue next year but still needs much funding. A break-in and theft of computers from its offices also put a damper on its work, but the staff remains positive.

Hewitt added that the group intends for this show to occur on an annual basis.

“We’ll probably get more [schools] in the future … but this is pretty good for the first time.”

Bookstore backroom-travelogue art wonderland

Ardath Buckaway is a world traveller and she has her slide show to prove it. It just so happens that her slide show is in acrylic paint and canvas, bedecking the walls of the literary landmark in the city’s historic downtown core.

The St. Albert Painters Guild member has brought out her best scenes from some of her circumnavigation. With sites including Venice Beach and Taiwan and a healthy dose of Alberta wilderness, the painter proves once again the power of the beauty of nature and exploring the globe.

“I lived in Iran,” she related, adding, “while the Shah was there” for pronounced effect.

She must have itchy feet to have visited so many of these places personally. The volume of her exhibit demonstrates that she must have an itchy brush as well.

But that was decades ago. She says that she wants to return one day for the beautiful landscape. The opportunities for adding to her collection of glorious scenes that, she says, are the glory of God.

Hence the title of her show. It must be difficult to not conjure up divine invention of such places as the Valley of the Ten Peaks. She has some gorgeous images of the Rocky Mountains around Jasper and Banff, with purple and orange candy-coloured skies and fields for that extra romantic flair.

For Buckaway, painting is pure escapism.

“I’m in another world when I paint. It’s my world! Stress is horrible but when I paint, I simply forget everything around me,” she confessed. “It’s another way of getting through life.”


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