Red Deer artists represented at ground-breaking crafts exhibit

The creativity of three Red Deer artists is represented in Prairie Excellence, a ground-breaking crafts exhibit from three provinces at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

The creativity of three Red Deer artists is represented in Prairie Excellence, a ground-breaking crafts exhibit from three provinces at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

The 35 diverse artworks in the touring exhibit were selected from more than 270 works from 164 artists from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Among them is a piece by local textile artist Matt Gould, who won the best mid-career artist award in the juried show. His work is praised for “challenging stereotypes and perceptions as to what is and is not acceptable as a masculine pursuit.”

Red Deer artists Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur also have work in the exhibit. The couple are dubbed the “dynamic duo of public art in Alberta.” Their latest project, Waiting for Gordon, was installed in front of the Sorensen Station in downtown Red Deer.

The Prairie Excellence display was put together by crafts councils in the three Prairie provinces, and focuses on craftsmanship that pushes beyond conventions. The exhibited works incorporate experimental uses of materials, techniques and forms. And their themes reference important issues, including climate change, gay politics, aboriginal affairs and anti-consumerism.

Lorna Johnson, executive-director of the museum, said the Red Deer region has many fine craft artists. She added that residents of the region are fortunate to be exposed to many artworks that inspire “a sense of wonder and whimsy.”

The exhibit is running to Aug. 26. The opening reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23.

On Tuesday evenings in July (starting July 10), the public is welcome to view the exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m., then mix and mingle with participants and instructors from Red Deer College’s Art and Fine Craft Series workshop.

For more information, please call Karin Richardson-MacKenzie at 403-309-8446, or visit www.reddeermuseum.com.

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