CREATIVITY – Local artists Suzanne Le Beau

Art in the Garden showcases locally-crafted masterpieces

  • Apr. 10, 2013 2:58 p.m.

Those who appreciate artistic expression in a range of genres will want to check out the Art in the Garden Spring Show & Sale, presented by The Spirit of Art Group on April 13.

Folks can enjoy purchasing from a range of artisans and musicians – there will be paintings, ceramics, jewelry and photography.

The show and sale runs from 9 to 5 p.m. at the Parkland Garden Centre three miles east of 30th Ave. on Hwy. 11.

The Art in the Garden Spring Show & Sale was organized by local artists Suzanne Le Beau, Marlene Kallstrom-Barritt and Shirley Toner, and they are all members of The Spirit of Art Group as well. Le Beau, who created the concept for the sales events and the group, is a Red Deer ceramics artist, while both Kallstrom-Barritt and Toner specialize in painting.

All three are passionate about the creative process and also about helping other artists to have their work showcased. Part of the mandate of The Spirit of Art Group is also, of course, to simply bring artists together for support, encouragement and inspiration.

“I think that’s the really exciting thing – to see artists at this show who have never really been in a show before and who do incredible work,” explains Kallstrom-Barritt. “It’s really rewarding – there are some really fine craftspeople out there.

“I think we are filling a gap – it’s nice to be part of that and to able to encourage others.”

Le Beau agrees. She said it’s easy to let the pressures of life sort of push artistic pursuits to the wayside sometimes, but the mandate of Spirit of Art is to encourage each other to keep a robust focus not only on being creative, but also on sharing work with the public at large. “There are great talents out there, and a lot of them don’t realize it. We have artists in this show that are just amazing.”

The women are thrilled with the opportunity to team up with Parkland Garden Centre as well, viewing it as an ideal fit with their event.

Meanwhile, Toner is working with acrylic paints in particular these days. She’s had a long-held interest in art, having worked with watercolour paints for about 20 years before switching over to acrylic. “I’m doing something a little different this time with a medium that makes things a bit more textured and structured.

“When I paint, the only things that exist are my brush and the canvas. I get right into it – it’s like a meditation. It calms you down, and makes you feel so good. You feel happy and inspired.”

Kallstrom-Barritt also had an early interest in art and eventually graduated from the visual arts at Red Deer College. As for Le Beau, she also studied visual arts at RDC. She completed her third year in ceramics and sculpture, and earned a diploma, and is still hoping to see degree status in the program one day.

These days, Le Beau creates a range of ceramic art. She is also open to new avenues of expression as well, incorporating wood and other sculptural items to further enhance her work.

Like the others, she is pleased to see local artists expressing interest in The Spirit of Art Group and the opportunities it can provide. “It’s been wonderful. It’s growing into something stronger and bigger, people are excited about it and they are calling to join.”

Plans are already in the works for a show this summer which is set to run July 27 from 2 to 7 p.m. on Kallstrom-Barritt’s acreage.

It was also pointed out that people don’t necessarily have to be members of The Spirit of Art Group to participate, but works submitted will go through a juried process.

As to the April 13 show and sale, folks are reminded that there is no bank machine on site. Purchases can be made via cheque or cash.

For more information about the show & sale or The Spirit of Art Group, call Suzanne Le Beau at 403-342-6344 or email artgroup@hotmail.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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