Red Deer’s artistic heritage featured at the MAG

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery opened Reflections From a Century: Artists of Central Alberta this past weekend. This visual art show highlights and celebrates Red Deer’s unique artistic heritage during the Centennial year.

The MAG invited David More, local artist, teacher and mentor, to curate this special show. More has selected 56 works from the collections of the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, as well as, from the studios of many of Red Deer’s working artists.

Fifty-two artists are represented.

More states, “My aim is to highlight some of the visual artists who have made a significant impact on Red Deer’s artistic voice.

“I chose each of the works on the basis of artistic excellence.”

The works are a just a small representation of meaningful expression in Central Alberta over the past century. “Dave was an obvious choice for this show for many reasons,” says Lorna Johnson, executive director at the MAG. A nationally-recognized painter in his own right, More was raised in Red Deer.

Johnson views More as, “Having an innate appreciation of the area, with his own artistic vision rooted in Red Deer’s landscape.

“The works Dave has chosen for this exhibition reveal the very roots of Red Deer’s artistic spirit. Visitors will see just the tip of the iceberg of the tremendous artistic talent that thrives in our midst,” said Johnson.

In the City’s early years, many skilled visual, literary and performing artists lived and worked in Red Deer. Most worked in other occupations to realize a livelihood.

As the community grew, its need for creative expression also grew and the appetite for artistic endeavours expanded.

Currently, professional artists in a variety of disciplines call Red Deer home, said Johnson. They contribute in many ways to the City’s multi-faceted modern society.

The establishment of the Visual Arts Department at Red Deer College in the 1970s produced the largest influx of contemporary artists to arrive in the area, which has contributed to an environment of expressive exploration in all art forms, she said.

Reflections From a Century: Artists of Central Alberta will be open until Aug. 5. The opening reception runs May 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.

More will present a curator’s talk and tour of the exhibition on June 23 at 2 p.m.

-Weber

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