Wednesday, 28 August 2013 15:28

Salon to showcase art talent

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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An upcoming exhibition at the Art Gallery of Swift Current (AGSC) will highlight the work of some professional and aspiring professional artists from across the region.

The Salon, which will be at the AGSC from Sept. 7 to Oct. 20, is an annual invitational survey of work by artists who are practising their craft in southwest Sask.
“We have about 17 artists involved in it,” AGSC Curator Kim Houghtaling said. “They’re working at a professional level, which means that they’ve really made a long-term commitment to studying and making artwork and presenting it. Many of them sell their artwork on a regular basis.”
The exhibition will represent a variety of art forms, including painting, drawing, sculpture and photography.
“It is some really good stuff by some really good people from across our area,” he said. “We like to present the Salon on an annual basis. It works like a kind of a studio-watch program where we can see what our artists are up to on a regular basis.”
Participation in the Salon is based on invitation, which gives the exhibition added prestige.
“I am aware of what the artists are up to and what they are doing,” he said. “I invite them because I think it is a good time to present something. I discuss things with them and if they’re ready to show something, then they’re included.”
According to Houghtaling, the AGSC is an important venue to showcase the region’s artists because there is no commercial gallery or art dealer in the area.
“We’re really one of the only galleries in this southwest area that present artists in a really good way,” he said. “The other public galleries in the southwest corner are often presented and organized by local hobbyists. The other really good gallery in the southwest corner is in Shaunavon in the Grand Coteau Centre.”
The Salon provides art lovers with an opportunity to purchase art works.
“We also try and teach the public that it is okay to buy artwork and that you can even buy expensive artwork from a local professional,” he mentioned. “But as always, it is the exhibition that is most important. ...”
Houghtaling felt there is still a perception that artists are only professional when they are receiving an income or making a living from their artwork.
“In fact, it has nothing to do with it,” he said. “Professional artists have really made a lifetime commitment to their practices...
A coffeehouse evening  will take place Sept. 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. with a reception with hors d’ oeuvres, a cash bar and live music.

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