BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The annual Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression planning is underway, with a call to artists officially out in the community.
The event will take place April 21st and 22nd in Lacombe, but the City is looking for Alberta artisans to contribute their various works to the highly-anticipated show.
Maureen Mackenzie, community services executive assistant, said the event is a great cultural weekend where the City gets to show off amazing Albertan art, and is an event she looks forward to each year.
Right now, she’s hoping Albertans will respond to the call for artists to make the show a success once again.
“We are looking for artists and artisans to share their works. We are looking for potters, painters, metal-smiths, woodworkers, glass workers – anything like that, but not particularly crafts. We have in the past accepted people who paint on silk or weave arts but it’s varied. We’ve also accepted lapidary crafts before as well,” Mackenzie said.
She’s especially excited to showcase the work of Alberta potter Arne Handley of Medicine Hat. She said his works are a sight to behold, and she is looking forward to being able to share his talents with Lacombe citizens and guests.
“Our feature artist this year is named Arne Handley, from Medicine Hat. He’s an extremely skilled potter and a wonderful man who has become a very good friend of mine,” Mackenzie said.
“He instructs at Red Deer College during their series, as well. He will be demonstrating how to throw his clay and shape his pottery on site. He will have his wheel there to show everyone what he does. Arne always amazes us with his pottery demonstrations and the way he can pull a magnificent creation from a blob of clay, in mere moments.”
She said she has a tremendous love and respect for Handley’s work and that she is very much looking forward to being able to share this unique art with the community.
The Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression is a two-day cultural event, complete with wine, beer, appetizers and live music that is meant to showcase many unique art styles to the community.
Mackenzie said it is usually comprised of Alberta artists, but artisans from British Columbia or Saskatchewan have applied and have been featured in the past.
“We try to get new artists each year, because it keeps it fresh for our guests who come back year after year to see what’s new,” she said, adding there will be between 36 to 38 artists sharing their works and goods.
“This is our 18th year so we’ve been going strong for a long time. In years past, we’ve had special events to draw the crowds in, but this year, the art show and sale weekend will coincide with the annual Trade Show, so we’re looking forward to sharing that crowd with the artists and getting their work viewed by more people.”
She said the event makes a fun date night, and an overall culturally satisfying weekend.
“We’ve got wine and beer and appetizers to make it a leisurely shop for people, with live music throughout the weekend to really bring it all together,” Mackenzie said.
Right now, the call to artists is crucial to building a fresh show for guests. Artisans can apply via the City of Lacombe web site and will be selected by a panel to display and sell their goods in April.
The application deadline for the program is Feb. 28th. Applications can be downloaded online from www.lacombe.ca/living/arts-culture/art-sale.
Mackenzie said, “It’s a really fun weekend, a unique show and we’re looking forward to seeing the kinds of art that people can bring to it.”