Medicine Hat artist Theresa Eisenbarth intelligently and concisely verbally expresses her feelings on a number of subjects such as the love for her city and her downtown neighbourhood in the Flats area.
She wishes the area would get more respect and would love to see street side markets pop up there like in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto.
She is also able to convey that in her acrylic paintings as she has an exhibition currently showing at the Esplanade. She never started painting in acrylic until eight years when she started her own company called Eisenbarth Art Studio (she does teaching and lectures) and it wasn’t only up until no more than 1.5 to 2 years ago she wanted about painting neighbourhoods. She had painted a lot of Medicine Hat and other areas but she wanted to zone in on a theme.
“I thought, you know what, I love these walks growing up in these neighbourhoods and to me those are where immigrant families settled, those are blue collar workers, they worked at factories, they worked at MedAlta, the worked at Ogilvie (Flour) Mill, we used to have a meat packing place in the Flats at one time … all of those people settled there. It’s not just something that is Medicine Hat, it’s every city in the western provinces,” explained Eisenbarth.
She has taken thousands of photos and she said she narrowed down those photos and then turned them into paintings. Painting is now her full time job doing up to 60 pieces a year, some commissioned, some for herself.
One doesn’t walk into the Esplanade and just inform management they are going to have an exhibition for them. Artists have to make a proposal (http://esplanade.ca/artist-proposals/) to have it worthy to show. With the pandemic it has turned into a lot of work just to get set up and be on display but it has been worth it.
She has worked very hard and diligently learning her craft and the result is some amazing work, much of which have eye-pleasing, vibrant real colours that really come off the canvas both up close and from a distance. One doesn’t have to live in Medicine Hat to under or appreciate the work.
While the “Walking the Flats” is a tour of a classic character and longtime Medicine Hat neighbourhood, people from outside the city can relate to it and enjoy her brilliance of what she conveys on canvass. Some of the area also includes natural areas such as in Strathcona Park, Lion’s Park gates and the South Saskatchewan River. She does commission work and this includes non-structural urban areas. Some of her work includes the “Forgotten Sunflower”; “Pair of Trees on the Ridge” and a lovely depiction of Horseshoe Canyon in Elkwater.
Besides at the Esplanade, she has paintings at the Rothwell Gallery in Ottawa. Her next project she would love to do is to go to Regina and do a similar exhibition there.
Those wanting to see the exhibition in person at the Esplanade will have to hurry as the exhibition is only around until Aug. 15.
Those who prefer to visit her exhibition through a virtual gallery can go to:
Those who want to get the ultimate Walking the Flats Tour can actually do a real walking the flats tour with an evening walk night set for Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Tour will start at the corner of Dominion St. And Minto Ave.
(Note: we will have a more in-depth feature on Eisenbarth in a future issue of Prairie Post.)