With spring finally arriving in Lacombe, it is time once again for the annual Encore Art Show and Sale in support of the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund.
Organizer Maureen MacKenzie said the event began 15 years ago and was the brainchild of local artist Wayne Spink, the man behind the beautiful glass etchings in the Lacombe Memorial Centre and City Hall, and the Lacombe Art Club.
At the beginning, the sale was quite small, and has grown quite a bit over the years.
This year’s show and sale features 28 booths and 19 gallery artists. It also features a number of demonstrations by many of the artists, many of whom are known internationally for their work, said MacKenzie.
“It’s a chance to see some world class art,” said MacKenzie.
People come from all over the province and sometimes outside of it to see the show each year, said MacKenzie.
On average, 1,500 to 1,800 will flock to the Lacombe Memorial Centre for the event and this year organizers are actually hoping to get as many as 2,300 attending.
“We’ve had them as far away as Grande Prairie.”
This year’s show features only Alberta artists.
MacKenzie said that in the past, they have come from elsewhere in western Canada as well. She added that she tries to mix up the type of art displayed each year.
“Each year I try to source new artists,” she said.
“So, every year, it’s not the same artists over and over again. We have fresh faces, fresh art for people to see.”
MacKenzie has been organizing the event since 2010. She said that the artists involved have shared with other artists how successful their experiences were at the show.
Art lovers who frequent the event have also passed on their feelings about the variety of art, helping the show and sale to grow.
Encore is the brand name for any event that support the City’s Arts Endowment Fund.
All of the events encompassed within the annual Art Show and Sale are part of Encore, including Art and the Motorcycle, this year’s show and sale gala event.
Since she took over as the organizing head for the Encore Art Show and Sale, MacKenzie has tried each year to feature a style that is a little more obscure perhaps than what people generally tend to think of as art.
Last year’s gala was a fashion show entitled ‘Art of the Corset’ and it was one such example and this year’s gala, featuring the artwork on motorcycles, is just as different.
“The whole idea is to have people thinking beyond paint on a canvas.”
This part of the Encore Art Show and Sale is an effort to appeal to a broader scope of art enthusiasts, she said.
“We don’t want to be doing what everyone else is doing,” said MacKenzie.
“We want Lacombe to be known for cultural events that are different, that are of a broader scope, than what other places are doing and that are really interesting.
“I think with some of the things we are doing, we are appealing to a younger crowd as well.”
MacKenzie wanted to thank the event’s sponsors, particularly Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson, for supporting the Art and the Motorcycle. She said the event would not be possible without them.
Lacombe’s annual Art Show and Sale takes place April 25-27 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
Tickets for the Art of the Motorcycle gala are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are on sale until April 21 and are available at Sunny 94, Kraze 101, The Gallery on Main, Bladez Hair Company and Lacombe City Hall.