NEW SHOW - Diana Anderson of the Red Deer Arts Council discusses a work that’s featured in the Council’s current exhibit ‘My Kid Could Do That’ at the Red Deer Public Library downtown branch. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

Arts Council explores the often-heard statement – ‘My Kid Could Do That’

Exhibit shows through to April 22nd

A brand new exhibit from the Red Deer Arts Council is playfully exploring the often-heard statement – ‘My Kid Could Do That’. The exhibit shows through to April 22nd.

Diana Anderson of the Red Deer Arts Council said inspiration for the juried show sprung from conversations overheard in art galleries that sometimes include that aforementioned phrase.

Thirty-three pieces by 12 artists were ultimately selected.

“There are often times when we are standing here in the gallery, and you get visitors in who say, ‘My kid could do that’. Especially if it’s an abstract show,” she explained with a laugh. The Council decided to take that very statement and ask local artists to consider how it could be interpreted via their own approaches to creating work – and the results are stellar.

”Our visual arts members take a playful look at abstraction and other non-representational approaches to art – this is a fun and interesting conversation on what art means to you and to the artists.”

Some artists clearly had a blast with the theme, delving into various styles that don’t reflect how they typically work.

As Anderson pointed out, one artist she chatted with mentioned how challenging it was to adapt a fresh approach – but it’s that kind of innovative approach that makes this exhibit so wonderfully varied and fun, she noted.

“They each explored it in their own way,” she said. “Every artist has taken something quite different and unique.”

The works also challenge the notion of ‘My kid could do that’ as what may appear simple to some often breathes with an intricacy that demands a particular level of talent, said Anderson.

“You need to have that life experience to create art, and kids don’t have that life experience.” A closer look at the images brings that notion into sharper focus. These are a collection of accomplished artists who clearly aren’t wary of branching out via various depths of colour, shapes, themes and a stream of vibrant elements that spring off the walls.

“Some of the works refute it, others imagine, well, what would a kid do? Others reflect their experiences with children and how they would interpret that.

“It all came out of their ideas basically about what would a kid produce; what would a kid think? What would I think if I was talking to a kid about could they do this – or not?”

According to a release, My Kid Could Paint That is actually a 2007 documentary film by director Amir Bar-Lev.

The movie follows the early artistic career of Marla Olmstead, a young girl from Binghamton, New York who gains fame first as a child prodigy painter of abstract art, and then becomes the subject of controversy concerning whether she truly completed the paintings herself or did so with her parents’ assistance and/or direction.

Meanwhile, as a helpful guide to the artists’ interpretation of the theme, their artist statements are posted with their artworks.

Local artist Marianne Harris, in her description of Luna Swirl, wrote that the painting was, “A reminder of those artworks that my kids could do and had done those early years, but it still seemed quite unfinished.

“So I took a finer brush and enhanced the marks left behind by the bold swirls, adding hints of burgundy and blues, light grey blues and finally a bit of black.”

She said the painting also took her back to when she was a kid in school and was first introduced to fluid finger painting.

“You will be surprised how they interpreted this and it should make you think that every artist interprets the world differently. But how? That is the question!”

Most of the pieces are for sale as well.

“I really, really am so appreciative of our artists,” said Anderson. “I’m thrilled!”

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