Muralist makes big statement in Boian
Get your cameras ready
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 06:00 am
The tiny community of Boian is barely on the map but not if Karen Blanchet’s art can help it. Located about one hour and 40 minutes northeast of St. Albert, the Romanian settlement celebrated its dying heritage over the summer and Blanchet contributed to the cause with a new mural of an old schoolhouse.
“It’s to commemorate the history there,” the painter began. “That was the biggest settlement [of Romanians]. It’s really diminished now.”
The mural, sponsored by the Canadian Romanian Society, focuses on the harvest and the history of the Romanian settlers around the Boian area, just east of Willingdon. It’s a fine tribute to an unincorporated village that appears to be dwindling in size.
Blanchet said that Boian is now more of a museum than a community. There are only three or four farms that are still active in the area, and most of those are heading to retirement, as there aren’t any family members who are committed to carrying on the agricultural tradition.
Still, there’s a lot of heritage to celebrate.
“There’s a magnificent old stone schoolhouse that they’ve converted into part of a museum. They’ve built this part and added a dance floor and several buildings to house artifacts. It’s really like Fort Edmonton in a way.”
The mural was unveiled on Sunday, July 21.
Calling all photogs!
A local shutterbug wants to get as many people to join him for a special event on Saturday.
Photographer and photography instructor Jim Whitesell said that WorldWide PhotoWalk Day is a good way for photographers of all experience levels to practice their craft, learn some tips and build camaraderie all at the same time.
“There’s no requirement at all as far as skill level. People can shoot with their phones!” he exclaimed.
“It’s just for anybody that has an interest in taking pictures. It’s just a really fun way for people to get together. It’s basically a social event, to get together and take pictures. We walk around and just explore the area, shoot for about two hours and then we meet up afterwards, look at pictures and chat, and just have fun.”
He continued that the event started with Scott Kelby, photographer and author of bestselling books on photography.
“He’s really active in teaching photography … kind of an evangelist for the whole photography experience. For six years now, he’s done this WorldWide PhotoWalk,” he said, adding that there are events being held literally all over the globe all on the same day. “We’ve had one in Edmonton for the past four or five years but I’ve always been out of town. I haven’t been able to do one until this year.”
This will be the first time that the event will be held in St. Albert.
Space is limited to 50 participants. There are prizes as well. Anyone can register for free online at worldwidephotowalk.com/walk/st-albert-ab-canada-downtown.
New shows this week
A couple of local artists have some interesting new exhibits hitting the scene this week as well.
Multimedia artist Brad Necyk has his thesis exhibit now on display at the FAB Gallery. The show runs until Saturday, October 26. The opening reception will be held tomorrow night from 7 to 10 p.m.
FAB Gallery is located at 112 Street and 89 Avenue in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Alberta campus. For more information, call 780-492-2081 or visit www.artdesign.ualberta.ca/fab_gallery.aspx.
To learn more about the artist, visit www.bradnecyk.com.
Painter Pekoe also has a solo show but this one is a one-day event coming this Friday. Better make that a one-evening invitation-only event for the self-described “post-modern abstract surrealist.”
It starts at 10 p.m. on Friday. For more information about tickets, email the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.