It’s time once again to lace up some comfortable, well-cushioned shoes because a whole bunch of artists are about to take you for a good stroll.
ArtWalk is back for its 12th season with a wide array of visual delights throughout the downtown Perron District. There will be art in places you probably never thought you’d see it, including an athletic clothing store, a loungewear shop and a swimwear boutique. Oh yeah, there’s an actual gallery in the lineup as well.
There are 11 stops in all. Here is a look at several of the exhibits that will debut for three hours Thursday evening. (They stay up all month long.)
Art in May: the All Members’ Show – Visual Arts Studio Association
There are more than 100 visual artists of all stripes who can proudly show off their VASA membership card. The Visual Arts Studio Association is giving them all a solid shot at the limelight with this all members’ show.
Carol Johnson is one of the fold. She said the gallery space would be fully occupied by many works by her and dozens upon dozens of her associates, offering something for everyone.
“It’ll be a great variety of pieces,” she said, with a heavy emphasis on the word “variety.”
Johnson has long had a fascination with painting wildlife. Her submission is an image of a deer running across a snow-covered field.
Local florist Tammy Kadri has recently been adding a new dimension to these shows. She has created her own floral art bouquets, inspired by the theme and the content of the exhibits.
It’s good for the community and also good business to support the arts, said the owner of Panda Flowers.
“I like for people to see what we do. I like my name to be around too,” she offered.
She intends to continue this practice as it does as much to heighten the visual beauty as the olfactory wonder of each show.
High Energy 19 – Art Gallery of St. Albert
What do you get when you combine the enthusiasm and raw talent of five high schools’ worth of art students? You get high energy and you get High Energy, the gallery’s annual tribute to the achievements of all of the city’s artists still at the secondary education level.
Grade 12 Bellerose student Tayana Savoury said there’s nothing like High Energy to help her and other burgeoning painters and others to be exposed to a cultural scene and develop their creative careers.
“This show is a great opportunity for aspiring artists to show off their talent. It has also been a learning experience for me to improve my art skills,” she said.
Students at école Secondaire Ste. Marguerite d’Youville echoed that sentiment.
“Having collaboration among high schools is important because it demonstrates the diversity of how our minds work. It also shows how each individual views the world through the beauty of art,” explained Nancy Foesier.
“I believe that art should be shared and expressed. Collaborating with other high schools helps stimulate and influence future artists,” said classmate Michaela Jung.
High Energy rivals the VASA show for the wealth and variety of art on display. Along with individual entries, there will also be collaborative works set up. These were made with the philosophy of reimagining iconic paintings as three-dimensional sculptures.
ESSMY’s art teacher Pam Wilman said she looks forward to these challenge projects “and the collaborative spirit of 150 students and five art teachers.”
The collective effort produces a diverse exhibition in a public art gallery, she continued.
“The significance of the art show lies in the collaboration of the high schools in St. Albert, as well as the freedom and personal expression that it encourages,” stated Paul Kane’s Nick Hertz and Kelsey Tamura, who joined forces so much that they issued this statement under the collaborative alias, “Nelsy Tamertz and Kickolas Heruma.”
It will be a packed house as many of the participants will be on hand for the launch. This year, the gallery is also setting up a photo booth in its vault area. People can choose from a selection of artistic accoutrements to enliven the picture sessions.
Spring pottery ssale – foyer of St. Albert Place
Throwing pots sounds like something might make a loud clang but it’s actually the right way to talk about building something out of clay.
The St. Albert Potters’ Guild’s Spring Pottery Sale is an annual tradition, and a popular one to boot. It will feature tables and tables of handmade functional and decorative pieces for around the house or for presents for Mother’s Day, birthdays or other occasions.
You can even meet the potters themselves and watch them as they create new works at the wheel or hand build works of art.
Cynthia Tang-Yeh has been a member of the guild for more than 25 years and loves to get more people interested in how wonderful it is to make exquisite objects out of what was once pretty much dirt.
“It’s quite an important event for us,” she said, suggesting that it’s one of this city’s best-kept secrets. “Some Edmonton people go but not too many.”
Fans of the event often find themselves waiting with bated breath before sales can officially begin on opening day.
As usual, this sale also has a fundraiser table where all proceeds from the donated works are designated to go to Ovarian Cancer Research.
The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Kaytlyne Dewald at Elevate Activewear
It’s a comic book lover’s dream exhibit. Kaytlyne Dewald is a self-described pop culture artist. She takes comic book pages and superimposes her own pictures of popular characters from the entertainment world. The results are colourful, dramatic and perfect for fanboys and fangirls.
“My work is created due to an uncontrollable passion for the pop culture industry and exploring our relationship with characters and worlds that are created,” she said.
Her parents owned a movie rental store and she was “raised on films.”
“I felt that I developed along with the characters I was watching. At a young age I was exposed to the stories of how Frodo overcame the odds and destroyed the ring, how Harry chose to sacrifice himself for the greater good … to be able to experience the story, by reading the book and then taking that adventure to the next level by being able to watch actors recreate what you invented in your imagination, is a really unique thing.”
Her work is more than simple doodles of a person immersed in movies and comics. She said her oeuvre explores the relationship between pop culture and our society.
This is her way of making people feel something. She has an emotional connection to her subjects, as do many of her viewers. She enhances that connection by using the publications in the background with her own interpretation of the character in the foreground.
“I wanted to show the characters coming out of the book pages bringing new life to images,” Dewald said.
Her subjects include such notable subjects as Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Spider-Man and Alien.
Staff art show at the St. Albert Public Library
Victoria Armstrong, Luise Mendler-Johnson, Randy Troppmann and Joanne Root have all contributed to livening up the St. Albert Public Library’s book-lined walls with visual art. They are also staff members who just have too much of their own creativity to keep it a secret forever.
Mendler-Johnson is no stranger to the unique cultural venue. The visual artist first exhibited her works at the library two years ago. Her oil paintings were a strong sampling of the realistic landscapes that she learned from Laura Watmough at Hidden Talent Art Gallery.
Her style has evolved, however; she wants to show the world what she has learned to do with acrylic paints from local teacher Sharon Moore-Foster.
“I have developed a looser, more playful, impressionistic style with a livelier palette. Creating colour and light-filled paintings is my survival strategy for combating our long, monochromatic winters. It’s more fun and cheaper than therapy!” she exclaimed.
She has also contributed to the VASA members’ show.
This event also features live music courtesy of Julia Dolman and Alison Stewart.
Other shows and features
The rest of this month’s lineup includes the following artists and locations:
• Barb Shore at the Cerulean Boutique.
• Megan Pederson at Cloud Nine Pajamas.
• Judy Schafers at the Art Rental and Sales Gallery of the Art Gallery of St. Albert, and
• David Scott, Carol Johnson and Pat Trudeau at the Musée Héritage Museum.
Thursday’s event will also draw in the masses with a selection of food trucks, namely Sailin On, Casa12Doce, Knosh Catering and Orbit.
More information at www.artwalkstalbert.com
1. WARES (SAPVAC store) in St. Albert Place, 780-459-1690
2. St. Albert Public Library, 780-459-1530
3. Musée Héritage Museum, 780-459-1528
4. Gemport at 11B St. Anne St., 780-458-7499
5. Elevate Activewear at 28A St. Anne St., 780-458-1906
6. Art Gallery of St. Albert at 19 Perron St., 780-460-4310
7. Art Rental and Sales Gallery (upstairs at AGSA) at 19 Perron Street, 780-651-7202
8. Bookstore on Perron at 7 Perron St., 780-406-4674
9. Cloud Nine Pajamas at 6-44 St. Thomas St., 780-569-5321
10. Cerulean Boutique at 12 St. Joseph St., 780-459-2583
11. VASA at 25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave., 780-460-5990
ArtWalks take place 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month during the seasonable months:
Participants are invited to pick up a passport and get stamps at every venue as entries for prizes to be handed out after the last ArtWalk in September.