An exhibit featuring ceramic sculpture and hand-coloured etchings can still be enjoyed at the Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery. Landmarks, created by Pat Matheson, is on display through to the end of August.
The works showcased in the exhibit were produced for Matheson’s masters thesis in 1994 and donated to the Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery in 2007. Some new works created specifically for this exhibit which look back through the 20 years since the original concept was sparked are also included.
“My artwork has consistently been inspired by my surroundings, in particular the Central Alberta region,” says Matheson. “Further, my research at the Plains Research Centre in Regina helped me understand what the environment, culture and times were like prior to the arrival of my ancestors and how dramatic the changes really have been in the last century to the region.”
Landmarks reveals the history and socio-economic forces that have taken place to cause significant changes to the Central Alberta region.
Matheson’s work is also described as a personal search of family roots and a look at the much larger factors that coincided with his own family’s presence on the land.
Meanwhile, Matheson’s home and studio are located on the homestead settled by his great uncle and then further homesteaded by his grandparents in the Rainy Creek district between Bentley and Sylvan Lake.
“My work attempts to reflect and communicate responses I have to various influences in my life,” he explains in his artist’s statement. “As complex as life itself, they are meant to portray the multiple layers of interests and experiences that form who I am.
“A grandson of Alberta pioneers, I am inspired by the cultural, socio-political, economic factors that shaped the history of the region and impacted its physical landscape.”
He worked in the visual arts department at Red Deer College for several years and currently is the public art coordinator for the City of Red Deer.
“Art is a form of communication and if my work can initiate dialogue with the viewer that is informative, questioning or thought-provoking then it is succeeding in its intent.”
Another annual exhibit viewers can check out is the 31st annual Alberta Wide exhibition.
Three provincial zone shows provide the venues for artists in the surrounding regions to showcase their work, and pieces selected from these shows advance to Red Deer to be re-juried and selected for the Alberta Wide show.
Winners are selected in several categories and additional paintings of merit are selected to complete the show. A closing critique runs Sept. 5 at 2 p.m.
For more information, call the Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery at 403-309-8405 or check out www.reddeermuseum.com.