INNISFAIL – Local artists are out from the COVID-19 doldrums and ready to display their creative prowess and energy at their first annual exhibition since 2019.
Created in 2015, they are hosting the Innisfail Art Club Show and Sale in the Community Room at the Innisfail Library/Learning Centre on Friday, Oct. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission cost is $5. Due to the support from the Town of Innisfail in providing the venue for free half of the admission fees will be donated to the Innisfail and District Food Bank.
The event theme is Welcome Back! – simple and heartfelt to welcome back both the community-at-large and club members.
“We’ve been away from one another and isolated for two years because of COVID in our community, and we wanted to respect and care for others by staying away. We're excited to come back,” said Carol McKinnie, president of the 29-member Innisfail Art Club.
She said this year’s show will feature a diverse array of art mediums from several talented Innisfail and area artists.
“We want to honour and highlight them,” said McKinnie, whose club is promoting original artwork for the show and sale, including the "Artists of Aspenland."
“We have carvings. We have glass beads, we have pottery, we have sketches and drawings, we've got acrylic painting, watercolour painters, oil painters, and collage as well. We have a huge variety.”
Wilma Watson, the art club’s social media coordinator, said an exciting component for the upcoming show and sale is the increased interest of art created by the community since 2019; an interest clearly shown with last summer’s Welcome Mural project on the south wall of The Coffee Cottage.
“A lot of people have been coming up to me saying, ‘oh, I didn't know an art club existed. Where do I join? How do I get involved?' So, I think there's a lot of interest because of the mural project; that people are recognizing there are larger artists within our community, or those people who want to blossom and become an artist,” said Watson. “I think we found a lot of that because at the mural project. We had people from all generations and all walks of life who just came and enjoyed doing the art and spending time together.
“I think that's what art is. It’s about building community. That's what we'd like to do with the art club; build that art community, mentor each other, help each other and just be with each other,” added Watson.
Art club member Terresa Dersch said public resurgence for art has come in waves, noting an earlier one appeared in 2015 for the club’s first art show at the Innisfail Library/Learning Centre.
“We had a lot of people join. We offered several classes that were well attended,” said Dersch. “Is there another wave coming? I think an art show helps keep us in people's minds, and they remember we're here.”
Art club member Maryanne Styner added many people have been asking her about the club and where to get lessons, adding it’s essential to “get the times right.
“We need to have a time that suits everyone to come to classes. Not everyone can come on Mondays,” said Styner. “I think we're doing a good job at it. We're trying to get it so that students can come. Older people don’t want to go out at night.”
Beginning Oct. 17, the art club will be hosting weekly Monday art sessions from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Innisfail Golf Club in Divots Restaurant. This is for members for an annual $60 fee. New members are welcome to join.
As well, starting Oct. 22 there will be bi-monthly free Saturday drop-in sessions upstairs at The Coffee Cottage from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
For more information on this year’s Innisfail Art Club Show and Sale contact club members by email at [email protected]