Local artist hosting show and sale Aug. 18th

A local artist is gearing up for a show and sale that will feature a wide array of works and styles from artists across the region.

Pat Matheson, who specializes in ceramics, is hosting a show and sale at his scenic farm near Sylvan Lake on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

His farm and studio is located one mile west and one mile north of the Aspelund Road and Hwy. 20 intersection.

About 12 to 15 artists will set up their own booths in his yard for the event, and the work ranges from vibrant paintings in oil and acrylic to slump and stained glass, Matheson’s own striking raku-styled ceramics, lathed woodwork and polished stone creations as well.

“It’s an opportunity to have a fun day with other artists for one thing, and it’s great for the general public to come out and see what’s out there,” he said.

Matheson didn’t originally set out to specialize in the medium of ceramics. Printmaking is what first held appeal.

But he can’t imagine not working with clay and firing it in the ‘raku’ technique. The method originated centuries ago in Japan, and features hand-molded pieces that are removed from the kiln while still glowing hot.

He then places them in large metal containers filled with bunched-up newspaper, which of course promptly burst into flame. The containers are covered and the pieces of clay are smothered in smoke. After a few minutes, they are placed in water and brilliant, shimmering colours and designs are the result.

An interest in art surfaced at an early age, and Matheson went on to formally studies in visual arts initially at Red Deer College. But clay, as was already mentioned, wasn’t at the forefront of his thoughts.

He set his sights on continuing his education in Calgary with a focus on printmaking, but couldn’t get into that program. There was room in ceramics, however. It proved a pivotal season in his own artistic journey.

After he wrapped up studies in Calgary, he returned to Red Deer and began working at RDC. He later decided to pursue further education, so headed off to Regina for a Master’s degree and followed that up with another teaching stint at the university there. After several years, he returned to Central Alberta and settled on the family’s farm in 2000.

Looking ahead, Matheson said Art at the Lake is set for November plus his own annual Christmas show and sale runs in early December as well.

Check out www.patmatheson.com.