Suzanne Hermary, co-ordinator of the Red Deer Art Council, welcomes visitors to the new storefront location on 49th Street. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Suzanne Hermary, co-ordinator of the Red Deer Art Council, welcomes visitors to the new storefront location on 49th Street. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Red Deer Arts Council gains visibility, new gallery, with storefront space

The new location is 4919-49th St.

The Red Deer Arts Council is gaining visibility — as well as more creative spaces — at a new storefront location downtown.

The council, which is now at 919-49th St., has room for a new community art gallery, as well as spaces for filming, literary readings and house concerts.

The new 1,500 square foot storefront is much roomier than the tiny office the council formerly occupied above the Scott Block Theatre, said co-ordinator Suzanne Hermary. It also offers a more direct access to pedestrian traffic, she added.

“We’re very excited to be here. We’re hoping people will come in and visit.”

Hermary believes this move helps support the Creative Red Deer networking movement, which seeks to connect various community arts groups so they can jointly lobby to meet the diverse needs theatre, visual arts and pottery, music,and literary arts organizations.

The Red Deer Pottery Club, for example, has already outgrown the renovated space it moved into a few years ago in the city’s Culture Services Building, said Hermary.

Club members are having to go every other week because the demand for tools and kiln firings are so high, she added.

Local theatre groups are also struggling to find affordable venues, even though there are many under-used auditorium facilities in the city.

She believes one solution could be to start a fund that could be accessed by these groups to help offset the cost of these facilities.

“We want to start advocating, joining our voices together,” said Hermary.

Red Deerians who enter the new offices of the Red Deer Arts Council — a non-profit that celebrates and supports arts in the city — will see a community gallery consisting of two 20-foot walls for displaying visual arts.

An Artribute art school student show is closing this week so that a new garden-focused art exhibit can be installed in the gallery next week. The group show by six local artists will display their interpretations of what inspires them about growing flowers or vegetables, said Hermary. The Garden Show will run from July 5 to Aug. 31.

Books by local writers are displayed for purchase at the Red Deer Arts Council office.

As well there is a “green screen” — or a wall painted a particular shade of green that will allow local filmmakers to shoot scenes in front of it, and insert backgrounds of their choice into these projects, said Hermary.

The council also has a small elevated stage area and chairs that can be set up for house concerts this fall. Hermary said the first musical performance will be during the First Friday art gallery reception in August.

Hermary is very grateful for the many local businesses that donated products to help renovate the space and the many volunteers who helped to repaint it.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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