SUMMER SENSIBILITIES - A new exhibit in the Kiwanis Gallery at the Red Deer Public Library - ‘Into the Garden, Renewal’ - features lots of compelling images of summer. Pictured here is ‘Floral Fragment’ by Elyse Eliot-Los. photo submitted

‘Into the Garden, Renewal’ featured in the Kiwanis Gallery

Dive into summer with this new Red Deer exhibit

It may be wintertime, but a new exhibit about to open in Red Deer will hopefully transport you to a ‘summer’ state of mind.

The Red Deer Arts Council and Red Deer Public Library are pleased to present ‘Into the Garden, Renewal’, a juried exhibition from artists around Alberta running from Dec. 29th to Feb. 19th in the Kiwanis Gallery (located in the downtown library branch)

There is a ‘First Friday’ opening slated for Jan. 5th from 6 to 8 p.m.

For this event, folks are encouraged to come dressed as if, “You were heading out to the yard: to a garden party, to enjoy the hot weather or rainy weather, to garden in your grubby’s, or even to go sunbathing in your bathing suit – wherever your imagination takes you,” notes a release.

Artists will be in attendance and refreshments will be served as well.

As to the exhibit, flowers are indeed described as the universal symbols of beauty. “They complement our celebrations of love and offer solace in times of sorrow – and warm our hearts when the weather is freezing.”

‘Into the Garden, Renewal’ follows in the footsteps of four exhibits held at the Old Court House in the early 1990s and the Red Deer and District Museum in 1993, 2000 and in 2006.

The curators of these shows, Elyse Eliot-Los and Diana Anderson, showcased hundreds of works of art on a garden theme.

Eliot-Los, who is contributing some work to the new show, saw the exhibit grow in size to include patio furniture, birds, gazebos, trees, silk plants, garden swings, parrots and, of course, the beautiful artwork from artists from all over Alberta.

(The Old Court House Gallery show was called ‘Into the Garden’; as was the 1993 show in the museum. In 2000, the show was dubbed ‘Into the Garden, Again!’ and in 2006, ‘Into the Garden, Sanctuary’).

“This is actually the fifth incarnation, if you will,” explained Anderson of the attractive and very compelling collection of works. “We have 25 artists from around the province, and 48 artworks – there are sculptures, paintings, mixed media, digital images – all sorts of interesting things!” Artists hail from Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert, Delburne, Eckville, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer.

She’s also really encouraging those who attend to don their summer garb, as attendees have done in some of the past Into the Garden exhibits. “You can still put your parka on – we’ve got a place for you to hang your coat and put your boots – that kind of thing,” she added with a laugh. “We are going to go out and party for two hours – it will be so much fun.”

In a statement, Eliot-Los recalled how, “As curator of the Old Court House Art Gallery formed by the Red Deer & District Allied Arts Council, I mused about creating an exhibition in the early 1990s that would appeal to most people instead of the regular gallery goers.

“Growing up in Holland, I thought of the cultural importance of flowers and how it is the country whose major export to the rest of the world is flowers.

“Our target audience was all those folks with the winter blahs who could not afford to travel to a place like Hawaii perhaps and those darned credit card bills from the Christmas season inevitably arrive in January.

“As the series of exhibits, which started in 1993 and continued in 2000 and 2006, respectively, Alberta artists with a wealth of talent were inspired by the garden theme and responded with hundreds of entries.”

Eliot-Los noted that due to the overwhelming response of the initial show, others were organized in the following years, the last being in 2006.

“Many people remember that exhibition with such fond memories, that Diana, in her current position as curator at the Kiwanis Gallery will be carrying on the tradition as ‘Into the Garden, Renewal.’ My role will now be as a humble participating artist among the profusion of flowery beauty.”

‘Into the Garden, Renewal’ runs from Dec. 29th to Feb. 19th in the Kiwanis Gallery.

As mentioned, the First Friday opening runs Jan. 5th from 6 to 8 p.m.

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