BY KALISHA MENDONSA
In the coming weeks, artists from around Alberta will be making their way to Lacombe, taking over the Lacombe Memorial Centre with everything from textiles to paint to live music and delicious food.
All of this will be available under one roof, on April 21st and 22nd, for the Encore Annual Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression.
The show will kick off Friday with doors opening at 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Appetizers and beverages will be served after 5. On Saturday, doors open at 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with beverages available from 2- 4 p.m. Admission is $5, with children under 12 allowed in for free.
The show itself is brimming with talent, from featured artist Arne Handley, a skilled potter, to the fabric designs and creations of Marg Blank.
As well, live demonstrations will be hosted by coppersmith Geff Blenkinsopp and painter ElBagir Osman. Musical entertainment will be provided by former Lacombe local Sam Lundell as well as classical guitarist Melissa Loeppky and an electronic music duo who go by the title of X62.
“To me, it’s really important that people understand art is more than a painting. People typically think of art as strictly paintings or a piece of pottery, but art can be coppersmithing, metalsmithing, jewellery making – even wine is a form of art,” said event organizer and Community Services executive assistant with the City of Lacombe, Maureen MacKenzie.
“This show is to help broaden people’s understanding and expectation of what art is. It’s also about people realizing that art can be fun, and that it’s meant to be shared and explored.”
She said planning the event is like Christmas to her, as she gets closer and closer to unveiling the event, filled with a variety of artists and artisans, musicians and creators.
From photographers to coppersmiths, live music and art demonstrations, to homemade housewares and precise paintings, the show and sale is guaranteed to catch the eye of all who walk through.
As well, over 50 pieces of student art will be showcased that have been created by students in Grades seven through 12.
MacKenzie was eager to share some of her most anticipated pieces.
“This year, we’ve got a couple of artists who are doing work with alcohol ink, and that’s very cool. Christel Langan, who is local, is doing some really cool things with that medium. She designs these chickens and they are just a scream! It’s a relatively new medium, but incredibly vibrant. She’s doing a lot of work with animals, and it’s very cool,” MacKenzie said.
“There is also a new artist from Calgary who is working with the alcohol ink as well. For me, the best part is just seeing what people can come up with. It’s very exciting.
“It’s so amazing to see what people can do. On that note, we have some just incredible student art – we have about 50 pieces of student art from Grades seven through to 12. One of those students has created a film, so we will be able to watch that and it should be very cool.”
She said the student artwork is particularly close to her heart, as she greatly values the Central Alberta schools that foster a love of art in students.
She said it’s very interesting to speak to the students, to ask them about their instructors and to revel in their talents.
MacKenzie has worked for months alongside a dedicated committee to bring together the Encore Show and Sale. This grand exhibit of Alberta artists and artisans is a true testament to the love she and others in the community have for unique, entertaining and pure art.
“I really want people to know and understand just how interesting this event is. It’s not stuffy at all. Our artists have a broad range of art, and a broad range of prices,” she said.
“It’s perfect for a date night on Friday, or coming to our Sip N’ Shop on Saturday. I just want people to come in and check things out, explore the student art and just take it in. I really hope people who have not been before will come by to check it out.”
She said she hopes those taking part in the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Trade Show – happening the same weekend – will explore both venues, making a day of the experiences Lacombe has to offer.