By LANA MICHELIN, ADVOCATE STAFF Karen Filthaut, centre, leads an art class with students Shelagh Meston, left, and Therese Marchment in the Gallery on the Alley in Alberta Art and Drafting.

Alberta Art and Drafting is opening a new “teaching gallery” in downtown Red Deer

Gallery on the Alley will attempt to shed light on the artistic process

Alberta Art and Drafting will try to demystify the artistic process, while giving Central Alberta artists more exposure, through a new “teaching gallery” at its downtown location.

Gallery on the Alley will be opening at the back of the store early next month. Artists from across Central Alberta are invited to apply to hang their works in the space — as long as they are also willing to shed some light on their artistic process.

Gallery co-ordinator Barb Hanson said many steps are generally taken before artists end up with their final images. But casual viewers are often left wondering how an artwork comes together.

Painters with works hanging in the gallery will be asked to write explanatory statements about the stages they followed to achieve their end result — or they can provide images taken at various intervals in their painting process to hang beside their finished pieces.

“This offers Red Deer something different. A teaching and learning gallery offers people an opportunity to see the process the artist has gone through,” said Hanson. Since regular art classes are often being held in the same space, she added that viewers can also see the progress unfolding right in front of them, within the gallery.

Alberta Art and Drafting has been exhibiting original local art for the past six or seven years at the front of the store, where art supplies are sold. Store manager Lorette Frank sees the teaching gallery at the back of the store as another way of making community connections, while also demystifying the artistic process and giving area artists more exposure.

It’s a new concept that fits with the store’s philosophy, she added. “We do a lot of teaching as it is.”

Hanson hopes enough art is submitted from professional, amateur and student artists to allow gallery works to be changed every three months. While the space is expected to be fully stocked within two weeks with 25 to 40 two-dimensional works, as well as a display case of Red Deer Pottery Club ceramics, the official opening will likely be held in May.

Hanson believes this city needs more art galleries, so she’s glad Gallery on the Alley will soon be available to support arts and culture in Red Deer.

For more information on making art submissions, forms are available from the store, or email Hanson at

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