Man­i­toba artists’ works on the big stage

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ali­son Mayes

NEARLY 50 Man­i­toba artists are get­ting a boost in pres­tige and pro­file to­day as their works are un­veiled at the Win­nipeg Art Gallery.

The an­nual Man­i­toba So­ci­ety of Artists’ open ju­ried com­pe­ti­tion and ex­hi­bi­tion is be­ing held at the WAG to rec­og­nize the 110th an­niver­sary of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and the 80th an­niver­sary of its con­test and show.

Or­ga­niz­ers say it’s the first time in about 20 years that the WAG has hosted the provincewide show­case for ama­teur and pro­fes­sional en­trants.

“It’s a huge hon­our, al­ways, to get ac­cepted into this show,” says Pat Mccul­lough, co-chair­woman of the event and one of the fea­tured artists. “This year, be­ing at the WAG, the ante is re­ally up.”

The so­ci­ety re­ceived dou­ble its usual num­ber of en­tries be­cause of the pres­ti­gious venue. And the ex­hi­bi­tion is more elite than usual be­cause it’s only half the size that it has been in re­cent years, at var­i­ous venues such as the sixth floor of the Bay down­town.

The show, dis­played on the WAG’S mez­za­nine, has a free public open­ing to­day from 2 to 4 p.m. Af­ter that, reg­u­lar WAG ad­mis­sion ap­plies for the run, through April 22.

First place was awarded to An­drew Gil­lies of Win­nipeg, sec­ond to Shirley Rayner of Win­nipeg, and third to Arthur Os­car of Bran­don. Hon­ourable men­tions went to Peter Gra­ham, So­phie Lavoie, Rodger Lourenzo and Fran Par­tridge, all of Win­nipeg.

The di­verse show of 49 works in­cludes wa­ter­colours, oils, acrylics, mixed me­dia, prints, etch­ings, ink draw­ings, pas­tels, sculp­tures and more. A few of the no­table artists are Luther Pokrant, Jill Brooks and Deb­o­rah Danel­ley. Ev­ery artist re­ceives a small fee for par­tic­i­pat­ing. Al­most all the works are for sale, at prices from $200 to $4,000 (the free cat­a­logue lists the prices).

Most of the 48 artists, rang­ing from a re­cent Univer­sity of Man­i­toba fine arts grad to a veteran in her 80s, are of pro­fes­sional cal­i­bre, the or­ga­niz­ers say. Some earn a liv­ing from their art, Win­nipeg Art Gallery Free public open­ing to­day at 2 p.m. Reg­u­lar ad­mis­sion ap­plies, April 8-22 and oth­ers pur­sue it as a part-time pas­sion.

The WAG is host­ing the show in its own cen­ten­nial year to hon­our the long-stand­ing, mu­tu­ally sup­port­ive links be­tween it and the MSA. “It’s a recog­ni­tion of roots and in­ter­twined his­tory,” says event co-chair­woman Bon­nie Tay­lor, pres­i­dent of the MSA.

The non-profit so­ci­ety, founded in 1902 by artists and art sup­port­ers, played a piv­otal role in lob­by­ing for mu­nic­i­pal and pro­vin­cial art in­sti­tu­tions.

Those dreams were re­al­ized with the es­tab­lish­ment of the WAG — Canada’s old­est civic art gallery — in 1912 and the Win­nipeg School of Art in 1913.

The MSA helped the WAG in its early days to ar­range for loaned ex­hi­bi­tions from out­side Man­i­toba.

Past mem­bers of the so­ci­ety have in­cluded dis­tin­guished artists with works in the WAG col­lec­tion, such as Wal­ter J. Phillips, L.L. Fitzger­ald, Leo Mol, Robert Bruce, Clarence Til­le­nius, Betty Dimock, Caro­line Dukes and Tony Tas­cona.

The works in the 2012 MSA show were cho­sen from 430 en­tries from 191 Man­i­toba artists. En­trants don’t have to be­long to the MSA, which cur­rently has about 100 mem­bers.

The ju­rors were An­drew Kear, WAG cu­ra­tor of his­tor­i­cal Cana­dian art, and Bri­tish Columbia land­scape painter Robert Genn.

Or­ga­niz­ers wanted to in­crease the num­ber of ru­ral en­tries this year. Be­cause send­ing in their works has been a chal­lenge for artists out­side Win­nipeg, the MSA se­cured a new spon­sor­ship from Gardewine Trans­port. The com­pany agreed to ship art­works to and from Win­nipeg at no charge.

The move was so suc­cess­ful, Tay­lor says, the num­ber of ru­ral pieces sub­mit­ted surged from 37 to 108.

Artists from Bran­don, Gimli and Mor­den are among the 10 prize win­ners.

Long­ing, by Peter Gra­ham, which re­ceived an hon­ourable men­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.