SUNDRE — Uncertain as to how many people would attend the return of the art show and sale that prior to the pandemic ran annually, the Sundre Creative Arts president was pleased to see a steady turnout throughout the two-day event.
“We knew that we would have a crowd. We just weren’t sure how big,” said Lila Weiss, adding that about 230 people came through the Sundre West Country Centre, which hosted the event on April 30 and May 1.
“I was really pleased with the way it went, because we didn’t know with having been shut down for two years and with COVID and that, we weren’t sure what the attendance would be,” she said. “So, we were really quite pleased. And hopefully next year, we’ll have a few more artists as well.”
There were 15 artists for the show and sale’s return, which was down a bit from usual, she said, citing a variety of reasons including personal scheduling issues as well as ongoing concerns about COVID-19 prompting some to remain cautious.
Although the number of artists was slightly down, there was no shortage of paintings for the public to check out.
“We had 142 paintings,” she said. “That was good, that’s about average.”
Along the way, 49 paintings were sold by nine different artists, she said, adding organizers were pleased not just by the turnout but also sales.
Many people who stopped by to check out the art show and sale opted to err on the side of caution and continued following certain health measures such as donning a face covering.
“There were a number of people with masks – and that was great, if they’re willing to come out,” said Weiss.
And those who did attend, not only seemed to have no regrets but also appreciated the opportunity to get out and about.
“We were hearing lots of good things about the quality of the art that was displayed,” she said. “And lots of people that were happy that we are starting to have a show again.”
The theme this year was Flowers That Grow in Alberta. But not all of the paintings displayed were necessarily colourful blooms of wild roses and other prairie perennials, and included other genres such as mountain landscapes and portraits.
“It was really exciting to have a show again and get our enthusiasm up for painting again,” Weiss said when asked how hosting the show after such a long break felt. “It helps increase your motivation to paint when you see how much people enjoy it.”
With summer around the corner, the group soon plans to take a break, but will once again gather for meetings and plan for upcoming activities in the fall.