Art of the Peace Juried Art Show

An Excellent Representation of the Fine Art of the Region

by Eileen Coristine

Grace by Kiren Niki Sangra

Grace by Kiren Niki Sangra

The Art of the Peace Visual Arts Association launched the Iskoteo Arts Festival with their first juried art show. In the show, which was displayed at the Glass Gallery in con- junction with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards, 53 artworks ranging from paintings and pho- tographs to sculpture and fibre art, demonstrated the variety and excellence of our regional artists.

“Artists were challenged to submit work that met national standards for consideration in the show,” says Dale Syrota, president of Art of the Peace. “This show reflects the deep well of artistic talent that quietly grows in the Peace country.”

The jury consisted of Doug McLean, private art dealer and owner of the Canadian Art Gallery in Canmore, Karin Richter, Calgary artist and in- structor and member of CSPWC, ASA, the Cana- dian Federation of Artists and the Society of Cana- dian Artists, and Robert Steven, Director/Curator of the Prairie Art Gallery.

The winner of the first Award of Excellence was Grace, a collage of magazine paper circles on bamboo, by Kiren Niki Sangra. Second went to Island, an oil and mixed media by Ken HouseGo and third to Vase with Traditional Japanese Iron Ash Glaze, wood fired clay, by Bibi Clement.

Niki Sangra, currently the Creative Operations Coordinator at the Grande Prairie Centre for Creative Arts, says she was very surprised to have taken away the top award. “It is an honour just to be in the same show as Ken and Bibi, let alone winning.”

Sangra likes to work with a variety of media, especially found material and “green” materials that she can re-use. “Creating art makes me come alive and allows me to channel the ideas in my head into something I can share with others,” she says.

Island by Ken HouseGo

Island by Ken HouseGo

Ken HouseGo too, likes to give old objects and materials new life as artworks. “I respond with junk as well as painted and constructed material,” he says. “The world is a mixed material interface.”

“I was taken aback by this award,” says HouseGo. “I was delighted and pleased to be part of such a diverse show with a completely different group of people.”

Vase with Traditional Japanese Iron Ash Glaze, by Hythe potter Bibi Clement, was wood fired for 70 hours. “The color of this traditional iron ash glaze was a dream come true when we opened the kiln,” she says.

Steven explained to those in attendance at the show’s opening on June 16, that the jurors used a mathematical formula based on points for originality, skill and appeal to arrive at the three winning entries.

All three winners were awarded with cash prizes generously provided by event sponsor Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines.

As well nine artists received Honourable Mentions for their pieces. These were: Northwind, soapstone carving, by Grant Berg; The Argument, soapstone carving, by Leslie Bjur; The Tree Family, acrylic paint on canvas, by Vicki Hotte; Plato’s Cave, acrylic, by Carrie Klukas; Belong to Yourself, acrylic, by Kristine McGuinty; Make Hay, black and white photograph, by Katherine McLaughlin; Wild Peace, linocut print on paper, by Mary Parslow, Letting Go, photography print by Angela Patterson and Tree Studies- My House, acrylic and charcoal collage on paper, by Bernadine Schroyer.

Vase with Traditional Japenese Iron Ash Glaze by Bibi Clement

Vase with Traditional Japenese Iron Ash Glaze by Bibi Clement

The jurors, who had so conclusively scored the three winners, all came up with different favourites for the category of Honourable Mention. “There was no duplication in choosing, each judge chose three different entries, said Robert Steven. “This tells us that appeal, skill and ability do not necessarily equal preference.”

“I was impressed with the talent that is found in Northern Alberta,” commented juror, Karin Richter. “My wish would be to have more artistic communication between the regions, something we all could work on in the future.”

All of the artists who entered their work for consideration received valuable feedback from the jurors. As well the entire show was exhib- ited from the opening until June 21 and presented a dramatic panorama for the enjoyment of those present for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Awards Dinner.

“I would extend my congratulations to all the applicants for their efforts and works,” commented juror, Doug McLean. “There are some that will stay with me, and some that I wish were on the list, but sadly all cannot be there.”

Although not every entry was exhibited, all submissions to the show that were received by the deadline are presented in a virtual exhibition.

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