KYLA ex­pe­ri­ence ‘sur­real’ for guest artists

The op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss their art with the pub­lic is daunt­ing for any artist, whether a sea­soned KYLA mem­ber or one of their show and sale guest ex­hibitors

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - PETER LOZIN­SKI

For at least two of Prince Al­bert’s artists, Sun­day night’s KYLA show was a long-awaited achieve­ment.

Painters Kim Mor­rall and Mary McLeod were guest artists at the 39th an­nual KYLA show and sale. They were joined by James Cath­cart, Bon­nie Denny as Rhonda Ras­mussen as guests of the artists’ col­lec­tive, mean­ing even though they don’t be­long to the KYLA group, they were in­vited to show their work Sun­day.

The KYLA show is one of the big­gest fundrais­ers for the Prince Al­bert Ki­wa­nis Club. It fea­tures hun­dreds of works by the 15 KYLA mem­bers and five spe­cial guests.

Sun­day night’s ex­hi­bi­tion in­cluded 371 in­di­vid­ual pieces spread across the Mann Art Gallery and the Rawl­in­son Cen­tre stage.

KYLA leader Cheryl Ring said she was pleased with the turnout at the an­nual show.

“We’re al­ways happy with the show,” Ring said.

“As artist we are stunned when we get the show to­gether. We work with the other artists, but it’s ex­cit­ing to see new pieces com­ing out, es­pe­cially when we get a co­he­sive show hung. We are all so unique and have very dif­fer­ent styles, but it al­ways comes to­gether.”

Ring also opened the show with a speech de­liv­ered on the Rawl­in­son Cen­tre stage. When she con­cluded, the red cur­tain was lifted up, artists in front, art be­hind, to un­veil the ex­hi­bi­tion for all to see.

“In cen­tral Saskatchewan, par­tic­u­larly here in Prince Al­bert, we have a ro­bust arts com­mu­nity. We are very lucky that there are lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to fill our eyes with ro­bust art,” she said in her pre­pared re­marks.

“Orig­i­nal art is en­er­getic. It is a truer, more raw ex­pres­sion of life’s essence. Orig­i­nal art changes lives.”

Ward 2 Coun. Terra Len­nox-Zepp also spoke to open the show. She thanked the artists and the Ki­wa­nis vol­un­teers for putting to­gether the an­nual show and sale.

“I would like to thank all in­volved. It takes many hands to put on an event of this cal­i­bre,” Len­nox-Zepp said.

“The KYLA art show raises the pro­file of the City of Prince Al­bert.”

The show also raised the pro­file of the guest artists.

When Kim Mo­rall first came to a KYLA show years ago, she couldn’t have imag­ined be­ing able to dis­play her work along­side the art group.

‘”It’s a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to get that ex­po­sure,” she said.

“My first KYLA show, I wasn’t even an artist. But once I be­came an artist, it was a goal to be a part of this com­mu­nity.”

Mor­rall said the other KYLA mem­bers were friendly and help­ful, even of­fer­ing help pre­par­ing her works for hang­ing. She said the ex­pe­ri­ence af­firmed that peo­ple do en­joy her work.

“It was a lit­tle stress­ful be­cause I’m not a trained artist, so I some­times won­der if I’m wor­thy to be here,” she said.

“Even though I’ve sold art, and fell like I can con­sider my­self an artist, just hav­ing peo­ple come up to me and say they loved a piece is af­firm­ing to me that I’m in the right di­rec­tion. Even if I don’t sell any­thing, it’s val­i­dat­ing to have peo­ple say ‘great job, I love your work.’”

One thing that be­came clear about Mor­rall and her art is that she doesn’t do small pieces. With few ex­cep­tions, Mor­rall’s paint­ings were some of the largest on dis­play.

“I think it has some­thing to do with my per­son­al­ity,” Mor­rall said. “Most would say I have a big per­son­al­ity, and gen­er­ally I like work­ing on a larger scale. That’s just how I think.”

Fel­low guest artist Mary McLeod also found a theme run­ning through her works on dis­play this year – lots of trees.

“I like trees,” she joked, “I didn’t re­al­ize I did, but I keep paint­ing them, so I must.”

Sun­day night, McLeod was still get­ting used to the idea of see­ing her art on dis­play.

“It’s odd. For weeks it’s been in my din­ing room where I’ve been work­ing on it. Now there are peo­ple look­ing at it. It’s kind of sur­real.”

McLeod said she was ex­cited when KYLA in­vited her to be a guest artist.

“At first I was pretty ner­vous, be­cause it has been 39 years. It’s a tall or­der, but it’s ex­cit­ing.”

De­spite her ini­tial ap­pre­hen­sions, peo­ple were en­joy­ing McLeod’s work. One piece in par­tic­u­lar, with the moon shin­ing through a tree stand, got a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back.

“A lot of peo­ple seem to like that one in par­tic­u­lar,” she said.

“I just paint what I like, and if peo­ple like it, it’s great. Not ev­ery­body is go­ing to like what you do, but that’s why it’s nice that there is a lot of va­ri­ety, a lot of dif­fer­ent tech­niques, types and artists, dif­fer­ent me­dia — it’s crazy.”

Even es­tab­lished artists en­joyed an op­por­tu­nity to di­rectly con­nect with fans of their art.

Chris Dansereau, who only in­cluded wooden and steel works in this year’s show, was seen hav­ing a pas­sion­ate dis­cus­sion with some art fans who were equally as en­am­oured with his work.

That part – in­ter­act­ing with dis­cern­ing art fans – can be daunt­ing.

“I get a lit­tle ner­vous be­cause you never know how peo­ple are go­ing to re­act,” he said.

“It’s nice to see when they do love what you do.”

Dansereau isn’t afraid to work in any medium, but right now he’s drawn to wood and me­tal.

“As a series, I’m ex­plor­ing more meal and wood. I’m putting the pieces out there so peo­ple can see it. I want to see what their re­ac­tions are,” he said.

“I en­joy tak­ing found pieces and mak­ing some­thing beau­ti­ful out of them”


( Above) A pair of art en­thu­si­asts ex­am­ine some of the KYLA pieces Sun­day night. (Be­low) an or­nate jug at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion.

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