Things that go bump in the night are celebrated at a new Halloween-themed gallery show in downtown Red Deer.
Makers’ Emporium in the Frame-It Store is holding a Monster Mash exhibit, featuring original art and fine crafts from 10 artisans from Central Alberta and beyond.
Monsters galore are on display — from pink polka-dotted ones to green antenna-eyed ones — and no doubt, some one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eaters, too.
Most of the colourful, fanged crew are of the fuzzy rather than scaley variety. “They’re made of felted wool and polymer clay,” said emporium owner Matt Gould of the table full of mini monsters by Holly Boone of Edmonton.
Nearby are some monstrous dolls and bears by local Dollyshop Theatre makers Charity Beasley, of Red Deer, and Kristen Guttridge, of Innisfail.
Teddy Protect Me is a painted canvas bear with a profusion of eyes, both on his lop-sided face and feet and stomach. Gould said such eyes have been tattooed on the back of some people’s necks to ward off the evil eye and “cast off evil spells.”
Beasley also created fabric dolls with embroidered features. A rainbow hair doll looks frightened of the watercolour painting she’s leaning against — it’s of a red-lipped vampire by local artist Amanda Howse.
Gould said he gave artists in the show free rein to create whatever monstrous wonders they wanted. Most took the theme quite literally. But Red Deer wood engraver Jim Westergard. a former art instructor at Red Deer College, went in his own eccentric direction with close-up prints of creepy Angler Fish, a Wrinkle-Faced Bat and Solitary Bee Larvae.
There’s also a Westergard print of a human “monstrosity” — a guy wearing goggles and a propeller helmet that he forgot to buckle under his chin in May Day! May Day!
“On this planet there are some freaky darned things that even sci-fi writers couldn’t invent,” said Gould, who made a few items for the show as well.
A leather mask, resembling a cereal box with eye holes, decorated with children’s art, is called I Like to Eat Fat. Gould said a doctor told him a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates is good for the brain.
His oil painting Winter Into Spring also features a mask. Gould said it’s about transformation.
There’s wall art by Roberta Murray of Rocky Mountain House (spooky photos and an ink drawing), Christine Karron of Red Deer (raven painting), Sandy Roenspies of Stettler (owl collages), Jeri Lynn Ing of Red Deer (abstract paintings).
And glass artist Wendy Meeres, of Red Deer, created some spooky jewelry, as did Candice Meyer.
Gould said he wanted to “jump into the season” with a thematic show as the Makers’ Emporium hosts its first extended gallery opening reception Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Whether it’s the monster that haunts you, or a monster you want to cuddle, he believes viewers will find it in the exhibit that runs to Nov. 5 at 5102 47th Ave. (in the Co-op strip mall).