PREPARING – Diana Anderson of the Red Deer Arts Council puts the finishing touches on a new exhibit featuring Council members’ works of art in the Kiwanis Gallery.

Arts Council showcases new exhibit of members’ works

‘Starry Night’ will be on display through to Dec. 28th

The Red Deer Arts Council has unveiled a striking new exhibit featuring the exquisite works of Council members.

‘Starry Night: A Red Deer Arts Council Visual Arts Members Juried Exhibit’ shows in the Kiwanis Gallery (in the downtown library) through to Dec. 28th. It’s also serving as a fundraiser for the Council, with proceeds going to the individual artists as well.

The Council has been ‘dreaming of starry nights as they delve into their creative energy to bring this themed exhibit to life.’

The theme was developed by the Visual Art Committee to give members a challenge to find out what a ‘starry night’ meant to them in terms of their own art practice. The exhibit was opened to all Red Deer Arts Council members and expresses the quality of works of the artist in the membership ranging from emerging to professional.

“Starry night has been interpreted by our artists in a huge variety of ways, which to me is really impressive,” explains Diana Anderson, of the Red Deer Arts Council. “They got really, really creative with some of the interpretations.

“We let them know the theme in early September, and gave them a deadline of the first of November.”

There are all kinds of exemplary styles to take in. “This is the first theme that we have come up with for this,” said Anderson. And works featured range from paintings in acrylic and water colour, prints and shimmering raku pieces to stunning samples of intricately-designed jewelry. “It’s really a broad spectrum.

“What’s interesting is some of them are brand new – hot off the press. And some of the artists didn’t have time to produce work, so they went looking through their portfolios to see if anything would really fit. So there are one or two pieces in here that are a bit older but fit the theme really well.

“As for the theme of starry night, it’s like you are outside on a cold winter’s night looking up – you know how bright that sky can be. And I think the artists were really enthralled with how they could interpret it.”

Works range from Robert Alspach’s dream-like and haunting acrylics I Wish I May, I Wish I Might and Stars Fell On… to Susan Barker’s lovely Starry Drive.

The intricate details of Pat Matheson’s The Farm are extremely compelling, as are the stunning selections of jewelry created by Wendy Meeres and another acrylic piece, Moon Mountain, by Marianne Harris.

Looking ahead, there is an exciting event coming up – the Arts and Craft (Beer) Fundraiser – for the Red Deer Arts Council. Folks will be able to enjoy craft beer, live and silent auction items, appetizers and live music with St. James’ Gate in a fundraiser slated for Jan. 31st at Festival Hall. Tickets are available via the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.

Things get underway at 7 p.m.

“Ninety per cent of what will be up for sale will be experiences,” said Anderson.

Live auction items include experiences like building your own guitar with master guitar maker, David Gilmore or an Alfresco barbecue dinner for eight and live music with hosts Morris and Hazel Flewwelling.

Other items are in the works as well.

Silent auction items will run the gamut from digital photo lessons one-on-one with a professional photographer, painting lessons, beer making equipment and lessons, decorating cake lessons, pottery lessons, dance lessons for both kids and adults, learning how to make glass jewelery with wire wrapping techniques, cocktail and martini making lessons, murder mystery dinner party, pet therapy and more.

And looking a bit further down the road, the Council, in partnership with Country Pride Dance, the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society and the City of Red Deer, will be launching a series of Friday night family dances – starting Feb. 13th at Festival Hall.

“From kids to grandparents, come and learn to do a variety of dances to live music.

“We just believe in our prairie culture of going out to a family dance,” she said, adding that currently there aren’t many places around that allow for family-type dances.

“We’ll be doing it four times a year to start.”

Ultimately, Anderson is excited about the mandate of the Council, which continues to broaden and influence the growth of artistic ventures across the City.

In the spring of 2010, three organizations, the Red Deer and District Allied Arts Council, Cultural Charter Partners of Red Deer and District and the Cultural Development Association of Red Deer (Culture Link) merged to form the Red Deer Arts Council.

The purpose of all three groups was to bring arts and culture to the forefront in the community. Their objective has been to develop the artists, the arts and culture delivery system, arts and culture engagement and audience development.

Coming exhibits for the Red Deer Arts Council include ‘Dear Little Friends: Ceramics by Alysse Bowd’, which runs Dec. 30th through to Feb. 22nd. For more information, check out

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