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Local artists can flex their creative muscles via the Lacombe Art Guild

Local artists can further flex their creative muscles by exploring all the Lacombe Art Guild has to offer.

“It started in 2007 by some like-minded artists that got together and formed ‘Lacombe Friends of Art’,” said Leanne Simpson, the Guild’s president, adding that folks can spot Guild members’ artwork around town including in the hallways of the LMC, Family Eyecare, and the Eastside Eatery.

According to the Guild’s website, “Bob Creurer took the reins as first president; Eleanor Belair assumed the duties of secretary/treasurer and Betty Peers, Marlene Pavely and Jeanette Van Hyfte completed the core leadership.”

The Guild has encouraged the creation of original work among its members by means of workshops and critiques, by taking part in art exhibitions and sales, and also by partnering with the Alberta Community Art Clubs Association (ACACA).

The group’s moniker was changed to Lacombe Art Guild when it became a registered society in 2009.

Furthering educational experiences has also always been a main priority of the Guild, with a variety of workshops and classes held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre throughout the year as well, she said.

“We want to promote artistic expression in the community,” she said, adding that it’s always nice to get together with like-minded people as well, instead of mainly pursuing one’s art on a ‘solo’ basis.

“We have some fabulous artists, but I’m just kind of plugging along – trying it out,” she added with a laugh as she explained her own journey so far. She’s been enjoying the process of learning watercolour, coloured pencil and acrylic to name a few.

“We have classes in all of those – also in oils and alcohol ink, ” she said. “We try to offer a variety, and we also try to vary the skill levels, too. So we have some beginner opportunities to the more advanced instruction,” she said.

Instructors come from across the region, including Red Deer, Sherwood Park, Ponoka, Clive, and Calgary.

“We have one from Sherwood Park and another coming from Edmonton this month,” she added.

Registration is required, but folks can pretty much register right up until the last moment, too.

“We can have up to around 20 in a room, and of course the more the merrier,” she said.

Besides the superb education component, the Guild, which currently has about 30 members, is also an excellent way to make new friends and connections in the community, she said.

“The Guild was something I joined to build my skills, and I’ve also made some wonderful friends,” she said. And even through the pandemic, members kept connecting with each other via Zoom for various get-togethers.

“We even had a Christmas party so we could visit and just hang out,” she said, adding that Lacombe is generally a pretty ‘artsy’ community.

“The City also has the Art Endowment Fund and they put on an art show in April. People come from all over to sell their art,” she said, adding that they also put on the ‘Under $100 Art Market’ which is set to run Nov. 24-26 at the LMC.

In the meantime, Guild members are continuing to spread the word about the benefits of joining, the group, she said. “We’ve gone to the Active Living Fairs, and we’ve got a much bigger social media presence than we did a few years ago,” she explained.

“We’ve also made friends with other local art guilds in Innisfail, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer. All of us are working to recoup and re-group after these last two years,” she added. “We’ve all reached out to each other to offer help and support.”

Simpson said annual membership is $20 per year. “We would love to see more artists of all levels join us.”

For more about the Lacombe Art Guild, find them on Facebook or visit www.lacombeartguild.ca.

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