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Lethbridge arts groups embracing Arts Days 2016

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Get ready to get your art on as the “artumnal” season begins  Sept. 24- Oct. 2 with ArtsDays takes over Casa and much of downtown.Muffy McKay puts a poster up outide the Allied Arts Council. Photo by Richard Amery


There will be  numerous artistic endeavours happening during that time beginning with Word On the Street outside the Lethbridge Public Library, Saturday, Sept. 24.
 The next 10 days will be filled with music, art, drama and a whole lot of fun.


“ArtsDays usually starts with  Word on the Street, but they moved it to Saturday, so the event is longer,” said Allied Arts Council project co-ordinator Muffy McKay.
“We‘re doing activities beginning on Tuesday. But a lot of groups have booked activities during ArtsDays, so we’re happy to promote them,” added Allied Arts Council communications coordinator Kelaine Devine.
“We need to support each other,” she continued.


“An idea that came from the SOAR festival is we’re having an arts workers meet up at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 27, which gives a chance for people who work in the arts to come and meet and have a drink together. It’s right after work. And the Owl’s Drink and Draw is right after that which is great because I always want to go, but  when I get home, it‘s difficult to leave my house again,” Devine said, noting a lot of other community groups and arts organizations have planned events  to happen alongside ArtsDays.


 The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra opens their season on Monday, Sept. 26 with Finlandia at the Southminster United Church.


 The big event of the week is the annual Art Walk, happening Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 around the downtown. But before that, the Geomatic Attic brings Big Dave McLean and Tim Williams to sing the Blues at the Geomatic Attic, Sept. 25.
Two dramatic productions continue throughout the week — New West Theatre’s presentation of Cowboy: A Cowboy Story at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Sept. 27-Oct. 1 and University of Lethbridge’s Theatre Xtra has their first presentation of the season at the Dr. Penny Foster building downtown — Alexa Elser’s “Let Me Eat Cake” runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

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“… and You’ll Never Believe What they Saw!!!” at Casa this weekend

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Are you feeling a little curious this weekend?

Artist bekk QWells demonstrates how home made wings work in his new exhibti, opening, Sept. 17 at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery
 In addition to Love And Records, the Lethbridge Fringe Festival and the Lethbridge Folk club’s opening season, Bekk Wells’ new exhibit “… and You’ll Never Believe What they Saw!!!” opens at Casa, Sept. 17.


 Wells, who had an exhibit at the Bowman  Arts Centre  in September 2010 posing the question why stuffed animals are portrayed they way they are, asks a few other interesting questions in his latest exhibit which consists of  a few unrelated installations.


“This one is six  complete circulatory systems all interwoven. You can actually see the shape of the bodies,” Wells said, indicating what looks like an intricate web of red wires and hearts hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the Casa gallery.

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Jeanne Kollee’s Unter Dem Messer at Casa among new art exhibits opening

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Lethbridge artist Jeanne Kollee  explores Germany in the early twentieth century through abstract expressionism in her new exhibit Unter dem Messer which runs at Casa June 25-Sept. 2.
“It’s my  interpretation of  early 1900s-20s and 30s Germany during the Weimar republic,” Kollee said.Jeanne Kollee examines one of her paintings in Unter Dem Messer at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery


 She was inspired to produce the colourful works by reading Otto Friedrich’s book “ DeLuge — A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s.”
“ I used the colour palettes of artists like Otto Dix and Wassily Kandinsky for this project,” she said adding she was inspired by the conditions faced by artists of the time.
“It was a frustrating time for  artists, writers and actors trying to get their message across to people. It was a time of revolution and worker’s strikes. A lot of art was considered degenerate and debauchery. There were cabaret shows done in the nude,” she said, adding the artists had a lot of tough times to be inspired by.


“ Inflation was high. It was a time of reparations that had to be be paid after the First World War  but they couldn’t afford to pay them, so they printed more money which lead to higher inflation,“ said Kollee , who has German ancestry going back to the 1600s and has visited Frankfurt and Aachen.


“ So I was trying to visualize what they would have seen,” she said  she  expects audiences to read the titles of the work and interpret the works individually.
 She said her works are very textured as she liberally layered the colour palette of the day with a palette knife.
 All the works  were done over the past two years. So it was a project of intent,” she said.
Casa also opens  Pass it On, June 25.


“ Five local artists (Amy Dodic, Donna Gallant, barb Goodman, Angela H’Wood and Karina Mark) selected an item and painted a still life. When they were done, they passed it on to the next artist until the cycle was complete,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.


“ So there are 25 paintings. and the items they chose are on display too so you can see the source material,” he continued.


“It’s interesting to see the unique interpretations of each item. It’s a simple item, but there are five radically different  interpretations,” he said.
 The opening reception for both exhibits  is at 7 p.m., June 25.


 But before that, new exhibitions also open at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Trianon Galleries tonight, June 24.
The SAAG features Germany born, Winnipeg based artist Holger Kalberg’s new exhibit the Colony with an opening reception at 7 p.m., June 24.

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SOAR festival gives young artists wings

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 It is no secret that Lethbridge has an amazing arts scene  full of  super creative people.

So the second edition of SOAR takes flight in the first weekend of June to not only let  young artists aged 18-35 show what they can do during three cabaret nights at Casa, June 2 and 4, but also share some of their expertise during a series of symposiums simultaneously happening that week.

Muffy McKay looks at a couple of  works created by Kiley Grenberg and Arianna Richardson which will be part of the M.A.P.S art exhibit as part of the SOAR festival this year. Photo by Richard Amery
“We started SOAR in conjunction with the Lt. Governor’s Awards and part of hosting the event was to create an ongoing project that was sustainable, so we began SOAR for young emerging artists,” said Allied Arts Council projects co-ordinator Muffy McKay.


Local visual artists also have an event happening with M.A.P.S ( Making Art in Peculiar Spaces) which begins at the Casa Gallery on Friday. Patrons will take a tour of the downtown where original works in identical wooden boxes will be installed.
“ Last year we had the exhibition Loose Leaves, which exhibited work on paper,” McKay said.


“ This year we created plexiglass boxes for young artists to showcase their works,” she added, noting Casa curator Darcy Logan put out a call for artists to participate in M.A.P.S.


The SOAR cabarets  feature an array of entertainment including music, dance, drama, comedy and magic.The first SOAR cabaret on Wednesday, June 1 features Griffin Cork, Justin Many Fingers and Newman Mentalism.

 Cabaret 2, June 2 features Sundari, Tanya Plonka, The Bear, Kristin Krein and The Waif.
 Cabaret 3, June 4 features Improv with David Gabert, dance from Claire Lint and magician Ben Price
Admission to each cabaret night is $10 with performances beginning at 7 p.m.

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