Arts celebration returns for 19th year
“Morning on Main Street” depicts Mark Farand’s surreal take on what passerby might see on a sunny day in Okotoks, Alta. Works like this will be featured at the 19th annual Lacombe Encore Art Sale. (Photo supplied)
Lacombe’s premiere celebration of the arts is giving its 19th encore.
On April 20-21, the Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression will return to the Lacombe Memorial Centre, decorating Centennial Hall with a plethora of whimsical paintings, detailed drawings, pottery, photography and nearly anything artists can dream up.
Held just two days out of the year, the show is an important one for many in the arts community.
“It’s huge. For a number of our artists, it’s the only one they go to,” said Maureen MacKenzie, organizer and community services executive assistant for the City of Lacombe. “This is typically the start of the selling year – we’re the very first event for most of them.”
Following a long winter season, it offers area residents their first opportunity to inject a bit of colour into their home or office with the works of 30 different artists.
Featured this year is Ponoka’s Sandra Bingeman, whose art often reflects quiet, peaceful settings, from barns on nearby farms, to flowers and animals. She’ll do demonstrations on both days at 2 p.m.
Eight new artists will be in attendance, as well as a number of returning artists, including Pat Matheson, known for his raku works, fine silversmith Candice Meyer, and potter Jennifer Regnier. Mark Farand of Calgary will also bring his unique view of architecture.
“He does the coolest paintings – they’re hard to describe. They have movement and flow to them,” said MacKenzie.
Artists are chosen through a juried process, but the Encore Art Sale and Celebration is one artists from across the province look forward to year after year.
“We treat them. We’re told often (the artists) get treated the best at our art sale and exhibit,” said MacKenzie. “We have an artist luncheon at noon so they can meet the other artists, and we have booth relief for them so they can take a break if they need to. That’s huge – very few events have anything like that.”
While there are a plethora of professional artists, there’s also a student showcase featuring the artwork of 34 local students. Students will not only be showing off their artwork, but vying for one of three $250 awards from the Arts Endowment Fund, including the Jan Holoboff Jr. High Art Award, the Charlie Donald Memorial Sr. High Art Award and the Dustin Peers Memorial Drawing award.
“I’m just blown away by how good those young students are,” she said. “It takes a lot of guts to put your work out there...Every artists puts a lot of heart and soul into their work. As students, it helps them develop a bit of a thicker skin so they can take critique a little easier.”
The show runs Friday from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the Friday, and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the Saturday. Sip and Shop – where attendees can browse the various booths while sampling craft beer, wine and desserts from Oodles of Chocolates and Leto’s – will also return from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, and 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Live musical performances will be held on Friday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Admission to the event is $5, and free for those under 12 years of age.
The art sale and exhibition is also held the same days as the annual Spring Trade Show, so even those who might not have a fine appreciation for the arts will have something to do in the city.
“Anna Maria’s Cafe is open on both days and it’s the same weekend as the trade show, which is great,” said MacKenzie.
“People can make a full day, take in both events and see all that Lacombe has to offer.”
For more information on the Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression, visit www.lacombetourism.com/festival-and-events/encore-festival/ as well as the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/150577008980459.