15th Annual Art Walk colourful, inspiring SW Alta.
The15th Annual Art Walk and 9th Annual Arts Days was Sept. 2230 much to the delight of those who took it all in Lethbridge.
“We make sure that we have a celebration of arts and culture in Lethbridge and we open our doors and celebrate for the greater community,” said Kelaine Devine, the Communications Manager for the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge. “A lot of time artists are working in their studios, so they're working on their projects and perhaps not sharing with everyone else what they're up to. Arts Days sort of encourages them to show off a little bit.”
Devine says the Allied Arts Council is the main sponsor of the Arts in Lethbridge and puts out a call for artists in the spring through both the website and newsletter.
The cutoff for registering to participate is June 1st because the printed program needs to be created. Devine added there is a small honorarium that artists have to pay in order to be part of the event and participants don’t have to be members of the Allied Arts Council; all creativity is welcome.
“There's a little bit of something for everybody; we know Lethbridge is a really good art city,” Devine said. “There's lots of opportunities to get involved, to participate, and to try your hand at being creative. I think it's really fun and one of the great things to do is we try to keep almost everything free so there's really low barriers to involvement.”
The Word on the Street Book and Magazine Fair on Sept. 22 was the beginning of Arts Days. Several events have happened over the week including the Quilt Display at Lethbridge City Hall, which ran from from Sept. 24-28.
“City Hall has such a beautiful atrium with enough space to do a small quilt display,” said Pjam Swen, one of the organizers of the display. “I think it is always good to have the opportunity to share one's love of participating in a very popular art, past time, or hobby and inspire others.”
Swen adds that she would like to invite everyone to the Festival of Quilts, a much bigger event that will be held on June 14-15, 2019 at Lethbridge College. The festival will feature a Merchant Mall, an auction, and a raffle with two prize quilts shown in Art Walk as the prize. One of the people who came to view the quilt display was an undiscovered artist from Coaldale named Carol Roesler actually took a photo of an owl quilt with the intention of painting it as a portrait later on.
“What I do is that I have six girls, all of them about 11 or 12 years old, that I spoil and they come over to my house and we paint,” Roesler said. “We do watercolor, acrylic, we draw and we learn. We learn from each other and we come up with some great ideas; we have a lot of fun.”
Roesler says that the art she looks has to speak to her and that’s how she gets inspired to recreate it through painting.
“It has to talk to you,” Roesler said. “That’s why I chose the owl quilt that I’m looking at and wanting to paint; that’s why I choose a picture. You have to have a picture you enjoy looking at.
Roesler says when she paints, she sketches the design in and then does the background with acrylics; she believes in working from the back to the front. Roesler’s belief is that one has to see the back of a piece of art and look forward.
“I love nature, I love challenging myself to things, and I love sharing it with other people,” Roesler said.
Another exciting part of Arts Days was different genres/styles of music being performed all over the city, including music from other countries.
On Sept. 27, the Lethbridge Public Library was the venue for a concert called Healing Sounds Series: Music from Many Lands.
The concert was an hour-long series of music from Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Spain that was performed by Andrew Gierulski on piano, Maria Geppert on violin, and Monica Baczuk on flute.
“I came up with this because we are now overwhelmed, just surrounded by music wherever we go,” Gierulski said. “You hear it, but you don’t listen to it. I wanted to put on something where people could come and listen and not be overwhelmed by music from loudspeakers.”
Gierulski, Geppert, and Baczuk took turns performing duets of selections by Anton Dvorak, Modest Musorgsky, Bela Bartok, Michal Kleofas Oginski, Witold Lutoslawski, and Isaac Albeniz.
“We appreciate those who came and hope you will feel inspired to include more music in your life,” Karin Barg, a local musician and commentator for the concert said.
The Art Walk was on September 28 and numerous local businesses participated in the event. The day included several displays of Indigenous dancing at Galt Gardens, buskers performing at both music and dance at several venues all over the city, and many locals made use of the maps provided by the Allied Arts Council and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Other events in Arts Days include a Youth Art Exhibit at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre; movies at the libraries; open mic nights at various venues around the city; New West Theatre’s production of Million Dollar Quartet; a drumming workshop offered to youth by the University of Lethbridge’s Conservatory of Music; gallery strolls; barbecues; and opportunities to mingle.
“We, the Allied Arts Council, love Arts Days,” Devine said. “It's our biggest event of the year and it's kind of I think one of the best ways that we can advocate and promote our local arts community to the wider community.”
Lana Blood dances at Galt Gardens for the Art Walk Sept. 28.
Carol Roesler from Coaldale looks at the quilt Night Owls during the Festival of Quilts at City Hall.
Tristan Blood demonstrates s the Prairie Chicken Dance at Galt Gardens for the Art Walk. Julie Vanessa Munoz dances in the hallway at CASA for the Art Walk.
Buskers play and sing music just outside of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery for the Art Walk.
Andrew Gierulski plays Music from Many Lands on the piano while Monica Baczuk plays the flute.
Amy Douglas from Shaughnessy looks at a wall hanging titled Riding High by Colleen Ward during the Festival of Quilts at City Hall.
Busker Gordon Lee plays a synthesize at the Lethbridge Tourism Center for Art Walk.