THRIVING - The Lacombe Art Guild is growing and the executive board encourages new members to join. From left are Secretary Penny Thompson

THRIVING - The Lacombe Art Guild is growing and the executive board encourages new members to join. From left are Secretary Penny Thompson

The Lacombe Art Guild is going beyond the canvas

The club is expanding to include more artistic members

With a passion for developing the fine arts in the community, the Lacombe Art Guild is blossoming.

With more members and artists from the Lacombe area calling the guild home than ever before, the club encourages the public to look beyond the canvas and appreciate the value of original artwork.

Now in her fourth year with the guild, President June Lundie said the club continues to expand.

“This year, in 2015-2016, we’ve had the most people that have joined the guild,” she said.

The guild offers classes and workshops throughout the month, featuring all types of mediums and encouraging all levels of artists, from beginner to experienced, to join in. What the guild offers is approachable art, designed for anyone who has a passion to create.

“You can bring your friends to classes or workshops,” said Lundie. “Perhaps you bring a friend who kind of does art, they may think it may be intimidating, they come and then they find it’s really not.”

The classes are open to anyone, of any age and of any ability. As a newly offered element, the guild also provides materials to attendees at classes who may not have access to the correct supplies.

“So if you don’t have the medium that we are using that night and you want to try watercolour or oil, we have all mediums to use for a minimal fee,” said Lundie.

Lundie added that the guild brings in a lot of high-end Central Alberta artists who lead the classes and workshops. Over the past two months the guild has hosted watercolour classes led by Michael Downs and Karen Scarlett.

Meeting this past Tuesday night in an upper room in the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC), a group of around 20 artists and members gathered for an acrylic class led by local multi-media artist Danielle Folkerts. The evening was a chance for the artists to try out a technique called under-painting and visit with fellow members.

Art guild member Elaine Atkinson Jones said she’s been attending the club for many years.

“It goes quite a ways back, my love of painting with acrylics,” she said as she set up her canvas at the beginning of the class.

Jones has also been a member of a few other art guilds in the region, but has settled on the Lacombe Art Guild for its central location and variety of workshops offered.

From its inception in 2007, the club has always met at the LMC. Artists past and present have been producing significant works in the Lacombe region for countless years and other art clubs have existed prior to the art guild. The current club began first as the Lacombe Friends of Art and changed its name to the Lacombe Art Guild when it became a registered society in 2009.

The club aims to promote artistic expression.

It also provides a social element to what some feel can be a solitary process creating art. They believe that artists can inspire, support and teach one another.

With around 50 active members, the guild is composed of people from all walks of life, all who share an appreciation for visual arts and the promotion of artistic achievement.

Past alumni include Bob Creurer, a local abstract painter; Shirley Flinn, a past featured artist at the Lacombe Art Show and Sale and Christel Langan, past owner of a local art store and winner of the 2014 Alberta Community Art Clubs Association (ACACA) Central Zone, to name a few.

In 2012 and 2014 the Lacombe Art Guild hosted the Central Zone Show for the ACACA and will again be the host for the 2016 Central Zone Show this May.

The art show is juried but is open to anyone who is a member of the ACACA.

Participation categories include youth, beginner, master, sculptor and digital. The public will also be able to view all of the art on display during the show.

The show will run from May 27th to May 29th in the County Room at the LMC.

More information will become available closer to the event.

It is also the guild that is responsible for the rotating displays of local art that adorn the hallway just outside Anna Maria’s Coffee Bar in the LMC. The artwork is switched out three times a year to provide local artists with a venue to display their work and promote original art within the City. Members are invited to share their art through this venue free of charge.

“We would like for them to be active members,” explained Lacombe Art Guild Secretary Penny Thompson of the displaying artists. “It would be great if they partake in volunteering as well.”

The guild offers classes two Tuesday evenings a month and one full Saturday. Memberships are $15 a year, with the club running from October to May.

For more information or to become a member, contact Donna Tugwood at 403-789-9190 or Penny Thompson at 403-782-7739. You can also find them on facebook at