St. Albert invades Whyte Avenue

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It’s the 15th anniversary for the Whyte Avenue Art Walk and its organizer Kim Fjordbotten claims it has never had this size or scope. The representation of artists from St. Albert is growing as well.

“This is our biggest event ever,” she said. “I think that the calibre of art every year just gets a little bit stronger. We have 320 artists participating this year and I think that this is the first time we have ever come across the tracks in significant numbers. We’re making Whyte Ave into a grand promenade that goes from 101 Street all the way to 108 Street.”

The list of participants is substantial, especially when you consider that some of them are world-class talents. Our local representatives include Phil Alain, Janine Karasick-Acosta, Nataliya Bukhanova, Miles Constable, Olga Duk, Stephanie Gruss, Rachelle Lautischer and Andrea Low, among others. Edmonton resident Jessica Thiessen, the outreach assistant and exhibition installer at Profiles Gallery will also be set up for the weekend event. Many of the stellar artists who have had exhibits at our local galleries will also be on hand.

The idea is that the pedestrian attendees will be encouraged to interact with the artists themselves as a way of getting non-artists as close to the process as possible. Even the work that will be on display is meant to inspire anybody to create something.

“This year we really focused on handmade original works. People will be painting and drawing in the streets. People can really see how art is made and go up and talk to the artists. That’s the most unique thing about our event. Instead of where most events you’re making the artists go into an area that needs to be revitalized and hoping people come, we’re taking art right to where the people are. Whyte Ave. is a great, pedestrian-friendly, very educated clientele. I think they really appreciate the artists. There’s lots of opportunity for just getting your art out there.”

Because it’s an outdoor art walk, it might make for an even more interesting and creative time should there turn out to be inclement weather. That doesn’t faze Fjordbotten.

“I always love when it’s raining a couple days before the event. That always proves out pretty good for us.”

Traffic will be diverted on Sunday as the avenue will be closed between 103 and 105 Streets.

Whyte Avenue Art Walk

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
July 16 to 18
Various points on and around 82 (Whyte) Avenue in Edmonton
For more information, including a map and a list of all participating artists, visit www.art-walk.ca

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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.