This is a big weekend for big shows around town, especially with the annual one-day only ArtsHab and Friends show and sale already taking place at ArtsHab One in downtown Edmonton.
Those who prefer to stick around St. Albert will have no shortage of other big shows to take in at the same time.
First up is Wet Paint, a collective effort from many of the 60-plus resident and non-resident member artists of the Visual Arts Studio Association.
“Everybody’s in Wet Paint,” said artist Carla Beerens. “It’s our show. Most of them should be here on Saturday afternoon [for the opening]. It’ll be a happening, hopping place.”
About 20 of the 64 artists would have works on display, including some veterans and some who are new to the association.
“We do this every year. We have small works around Christmas so that people – if they’re looking for art for Christmas presents – it’s more affordable,” Beerens continued, adding that there will be “all types of art, all types of media.”
The opening takes place Saturday (Dec. 8) afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.
Hidden talents now in full view
If Wet Paint doesn’t satisfy your craving for big group art shows then a quick trip to Campbell Park could seal the deal for you with about 50 artists on the slate.
Hidden Talent Fine Art School always hosts a student exhibition at the end of each session. Instructor Laura Watmough says it provides an invaluable last lesson that often gets missed during regular lectures.
The 20th annual show gives her students that one crucial chance to gain confidence through having others see their work on the wall.
“I’m very proud of each and every one of the students. I want to always give them the opportunity to show in a gallery because that is part of the artist experience,” Watmough said.
She added that as her students progress through their training, they tend to put more and more work into these shows.
One such student artist is Jane Armstrong, who admits to having taken several of Watmough’s classes over the last few years. This won’t be her first time in the student show and it doesn’t sound like it’ll be her last.
“I love it. I signed up for one class and I thought that would be it. Here I am six years later,” she said.
Armstrong has a pop art series of four flowers, well really just one flower done four times with different colour schemes. Andy Warhol would have approved.
“One of the many things you learn from Laura is the use of colour. After I did the first one, I was looking at all of the different other colours … I got excited. One painting became four.”
Watmough is thrilled to see her students taking their lessons and developing their own practice.
“They flower before my eyes,” she said, slyly. “They really blossom. They have the skills and now they’re developing all sorts of different ideas.”
The student show runs Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. each day.
Hidden Talent is located at #107, 25 Chisholm Ave. Call 780-419-2055 or visit www.laurawatmough.com for more information.
Watmough is on a bit of a roll as well with all her lessons. As she gears up to take another group of students to a painting tour to Lake Como, Italy in May 2013, she is also preparing to host an internationally-renowned painter to do two special workshops in July.
Guy Combes lives in Kenya where he pursues his love of painting the rich array of African wildlife. For several years, up until recently, he was the artist in residence at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in New Jersey.
“It’s so exciting,” Watmough said of Combes’ upcoming visit.
The first workshop already has its 15 spots filled but Watmough still has a few spots left for the second one. Call 780-419-2055 or visit www.laurawatmough.com for more information.
Works by resident and non-resident member artists including Pat Wagensveld, Carla Beerens, Al Anderson, Barbara Would Schaefer, Donna Simpson, Gail Seemann, Diane Way, Kristine McGuinty, Linda Van Someren, Heather Howard and Victoria Armstrong
Exhibit runs until Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013
Opening reception today from 1 to 4 p.m.
Many of the artists will be in attendance.
Visual Arts Studio Association (VASA)
25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave., in the Hemingway Centre
Call 780-460-5990 or visit www.vasa.ca for more information.