Lacombe art show looks for wide audience

Paintings, pottery, weavings, and decorative glass created by 50 Alberta artists will displayed at the Lacombe Art Exhibit and Sale this month.

Paintings, pottery, weavings, and decorative glass created by 50 Alberta artists will displayed at the Lacombe Art Exhibit and Sale this month.

Now in its 10th year, this April 17to 19 showcase for visual artists is continuing to do what it was originally supposed to — attract more out-of-towners to Lacombe and add to the community’s artsy, creative vibe.

Sandi Stewart, the Town of Lacombe’s community recreation co-ordinator, expects at least 1,800 people to view the exhibit in Lacombe’s recently renovated Memorial Centre. Since this year’s art show will run on the same weekend as the Lacombe and District Trade Show, she anticipates crossover traffic will occur and spill over to local businesses, such as the Gallery on Main.

“I do believe Lacombe is known for an appreciation of the arts,” said Stewart, who believes the annual exhibit nicely compliments the town’s historic downtown and various heritage preservation projects.

Seven Lacombe artists will be among those represented — and this year’s featured artist, watercolourist Sonja Zacharias, comes from nearby Clive.

Zacharias, whose portraits and paintings are in private collections across North America, Europe and Australia, will be running mini-workshops and discussing her personal artistic journey, her favourite improvisational watercolour techniques, and what sparks her artistic inspiration. They will run at 5 p.m. on Friday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Other artists will also be demonstrating pottery, oil painting, digital photography, stone mosaic work and silk embroidery throughout the three days.

Among the Red Deer-area exhibitors are Lacombe pastel artist Georgia Graham, Wanda Whaley of Bentley, who paints on buffalo hide, Rimbey’s Log Cabin Weavers, the Ponoka Pottery Guild, and Blackfalds raku artist Pat Matheson.

The show is also drawing artistic talent from further afield, including Medicine Hat potter Arnie Handley, Westerose oil painter Marcia Schmidt and Edmonton silk embroiderer Marie Xiang.

Not all art is meant to be hung on a wall — Stewart said functional pottery, handcrafted jewelry, batik fabrics, children’s books, bronze and clay sculptures and painted glass will also be available for sale.

A Gourmet Cafe will serve up some light meals and desserts, with proceeds going toward the Lacombe Endowment Fund in support of local culture programs and emerging artists.

A wine and cheese tasting will be offered on Friday between 7 and 9 p.m. And the official installation of Snow Geese, a work of public art in the Memorial Centre will happen at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Stewart said show-goers can also view the works of area high school students and tour the centre to view art in the Town of Lacombe’s permanent collection.

Admission is $3 (children 12 and under are admitted for free) for the show that runs from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Memorial Centre at 5214 50th Ave. in Lacombe.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com