Museum exhibits reflect ‘prairie excellence’

  • Jun. 27, 2012 3:31 p.m.

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery presents ‘Prairie Excellence’, a unique and ground-breaking touring exhibition jointly produced by the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Craft Councils.

A selection committee, consisting of one curator from each province looked over 270 works submitted by 164 artists from across the three prairie provinces. Through an extensive jurying process, 35 pieces were selected for the exhibition, and awards presented for best emerging, mid-career and established artists categories.

While traditions of craftsmanship are apparent, pieces in ‘Prairie Excellence’ push well beyond the conventions, shifting toward more experimental uses of materials, techniques and forms.

Although natural materials and elements are prominent, references to climate change, gay politics, aboriginal affairs, and anti-consumerism offer creative comments.

Three local artists are represented in the exhibition.

Matt Gould, textile artist and winner of the Best Mid-Career Artists Award, “Enjoys challenging stereotypes and perceptions as to what is and what is not acceptable as a masculine pursuit.”

Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur – ‘the dynamic duo of public art in Alberta’, have worked together for more than 15 years. Their most recent public art piece, Waiting for Gordon, is installed at Sorensen Station in downtown Red Deer.

“Red Deer and region has many established, fine craft artists,” acknowledges Lorna Johnson, executive director at the MAG. “Their works are visible throughout the City, as public art or in public facilities and office buildings. Our community is so fortunate to have opportunities to interact with pieces that inspire a sense of wonder and whimsy.”

On Tuesday evenings in July, visitors are welcome see the exhibition and mix and mingle with participants and instructors from the RDC Art and Fine Craft Workshop Series from 5 to 7 p.m. starting July 10th.

For more information, visit