Art shows diversity

Those who went for a stroll around Rotary Heritage Village Park on Saturday were given a visual education to just how diverse art can be.

Red Deer Art-Walk Festival volunteer Lori Baugh Littlejohns tries her hand at watercolour painting as Calgary artist Jean Pederson of Calgary gives her some pointers during the Art-Walk on Saturday at Rotary Recreation Park.

Red Deer Art-Walk Festival volunteer Lori Baugh Littlejohns tries her hand at watercolour painting as Calgary artist Jean Pederson of Calgary gives her some pointers during the Art-Walk on Saturday at Rotary Recreation Park.

Those who went for a stroll around Rotary Heritage Village Park on Saturday were given a visual education to just how diverse art can be.

About 50 local artists set up shop for the 22nd annual Artwalk and brought with them the variety of mediums they use to express their creativity.

Everything from calligraphy to woodwork, jewelry to sketches, paintings to sculptures, pottery to glass and even T-shirt designs were on display.

“It’s a celebration of everything beautiful,” Jan MacDonald said as she browsed the array of artistry being showcased.

“We have such incredible local talent right at our doorstep.

“People like Pat Matherson and Shirley Rimer are recognized everywhere and we have the ability to purchase their wonderful creations.”

MacDonald, an avid raku collector, couldn’t help but laugh at herself knowing full well that at least one of the two raku bowls she bought for wedding gifts would never be wrapped up for anyone but herself.

She bought both pieces from Matherson, who lives just north of Jarvis Bay Provincial Park and works as a ceramist who also teaches courses that are offered through the city.

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of Red Deer’s artists and it’s a lot of fun,” he said of Artwalk.

“There’s such a nice variety of quality work. It’s really kind of neat to see what everybody else does.”

Matherson, who has had a booth at the festival for the past 10 years, likened Artwalk to a reunion of creative types but added the event also welcomes newcomers to join the local art community.

Having volunteered for the event in pervious years, Red Deer’s Pierre Oberg made the move to actually showcase his work this year and received the designation of being one of the day’s featured artists.

The mixed-media sculptor — who juggles his art career with being an enthusiastic stay-at-home dad to his two-year-old daughter Winter as well as being a part-time instructor in the visual arts department Red Deer College – showcased a few of his functional sculptural tables Saturday.

“When artists spend so much time in the studio it’s really a wonderful thing to be able to come out and meet up with old friends and new friends and to just chat with people,” Oberg said.

“We’re very blessed here in Red Deer, we have a fairly large collection of arts and crafts people that live in this area. And to have a day that showcases them is a really nice thing to be involved in.”

Janet Cole, one of the committee members who helped organize the event, said they expected upwards of 3,000 people to attend Artwalk.

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