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Artists About Town

Local painter Victoria Armstrong donated this triptych to the United Church on Green Grove Drive. The symbolism of the Tree of Life has deep meanings to the church and many other world religions and cultures.

Local painter Victoria Armstrong has donated a new and beautiful triptych to the St. Albert United Church. The piece entitled Tree of Life was originally created as a tribute to her late husband, Dan. She was first commissioned to create an image for the Edmonton Earth Day celebration in 2012 and it had become a recurring theme in her art and in her spiritual journey ever since.

“It was a concept that I had never explored before but since then I’ve just become intrigued with the whole idea of it.”

The art also has added significance to the church itself. When Rev. James Ravenscroft met with Dan during his illness three years ago, he noticed one of her Tree paintings and, as an aside, said how much he liked it and would appreciate having one in the church someday too.

“Well, you could always commission me to do one,” she recalled saying.

The Tree of Life concept has connections in numerous spiritual traditions and cultures as it depicts Earth’s family tree so to speak with every creature connected to all others. It’s a theme particularly fitting for the United Church and its all embracing, inclusive stance, where all are welcome and everyone has room to grow, she noted.

This painting is filled with birds of every species that can be found in the province. Birds, she continued, all have different feathers and sing different songs than each other, but they’re all on the tree together.

The artwork will hang over the doors leading into the sanctuary. The church is located on Green Grove Drive.

The Autism Artistry team of brothers Ben and Grant Kurtz have won the Viewers’ Choice prize from ArtWalk St. Albert. The autistic artists – Ben is a photographer and Grant is a painter – were voted as the tops by the public from among all of the outdoor artists who participated during the entire five months of the evening indoor and outdoor visual art extravaganza.

Grant and Ben will not only get the exciting opportunity to exhibit their art in the Rental and Sales Gallery at the Art Gallery of St. Albert during the month of October, they will also be featured as the first ever joint Artists of the Month for the advertising feature that will run in the Oct. 12 edition of the St. Albert Gazette.

Karen Blanchet won the first place prize for her work Foundation from the Federation of Canadian Artists’ exhibit called Scenes from Western Canada. The exhibit ran from Sept. 5 to 18.

Carol Donald’s team won the People’s Choice Award from the Vignettes event in downtown Edmonton.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.