Art show encourages diversity in attendance with Redneck Gala

Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression takes place next month

The 17th annual Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression is gearing up once again, this time with a theme that is sure to attract those from all walks of life.

The Encore Celebration is meant to showcase the talents and hard work from local artists in the community, from older and more experienced artists, to students who are just learning and forming their skills. According to Maureen MacKenzie, executive assistant at the City’s Community Services, there are also students from a few schools in the community and surrounding areas taking part.

“This year we have Lacombe Composite High School, AlixMAC, Outreach and home schooling. We’ve got artists from Edmonton and Calgary and from all areas in between which is wonderful.”

MacKenzie said that because of new artists, devoted volunteers and supportive community members, the event has become a great success and has continued for its 17 years because of those people.

Every year, the Encore Celebration hosts a fundraiser on the Friday night of the schedule, which is designed to be a fundraiser for the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund in which last year the event held ‘Date Night’, a night to dress up, eat hors d’oeuvres and enjoy the art show.

Although the date night idea was a huge success, the organizers have decided to change the fundraiser into something completely opposite, hoping to adhere to a new audience.

“Every year, we try to have something different to appeal to people from different walks of life because not everybody wants to come to a ‘highbrow’ event, so that’s why we tend to do things that are a little more fun- when we had the Coors Banquet concert, Coors donated some Coors beer to us and we thought what could we do with this? And then thought ‘let’s have a redneck gala.’ But, as it was, the beer expired,” MacKenzie explained, laughing. “I didn’t realize beer had an expiry date but that’s okay, we just went ahead with the theme anyways.”

And so, attendees are encouraged to dress down and come dressed as the most redneck character imaginable, where prizes will be handed out for those who do decide to dress up, which in turn hopefully attracts a different crowd.

“We’re always hoping that more people come and with the Redneck Gala we’re hoping to get people who have never come to an art event before,” MacKenzie explained.

All the funds raised from the Encore Celebration will be given to the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund, which MacKenzie explained is to go to different art grants and community events such as Music in the Park, where the fund has sponsored a session.

This year’s featured artist is Merv Krivoshein, a well-known wood artisan from Rocky Mountain House who has been praised by MacKenzie, saying that his work is well deserving of being a main artist at the Encore Celebration.

“Merv has been in our gallery portion of the art exhibit and sales for a number of years, and he also has a piece of his work in our public art collection,” MacKenzie said. “He’s been a really good supporter of the event, his work is unbelievably good, he works with wood and is also a sculptor and he’s just a wonderful, wonderful man.”

The Encore Celebration will begin on April 15th with general admission of $5 per person from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. admission will be $15 for the Redneck Gala.

On April 16th the doors will open again at 11 a.m. with a general admission of $5 until 5 p.m. with beer and wine being sold from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

shelby.craig@lacombeexpress.com