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miniSAAG allows children to explore their creativity

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Children aged 6-10 can take a journey into the depths their imagination and creativity with the miniSAAG program at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.Emily Promise Allison demonstrates what students do during miniSaag Sessions. photo by Richard Amery
“While the program, for kids age 6-10, officially began Sept. 7, it runs every Friday until Dec. 7 and drop ins are always welcome.

“The program allows children how to express themselves by creating an environment of freedom through abstract thinking,” summarized SAAG Public Engagement Co-ordinator Emily Promise Allison.

 She noted there are a a variety of colourful blocks, fabrics and accoutrements for the kids to create their own innovative environment to play in.
“I have three dimensional larger than life blocks and fabric of all kinds,“ she described.

“Every session involves a wide range of ways for them to engage with these objects. It is also dependent on the group dynamic,” she said, noting they must work with each other to create their own worlds and environments and costumes through the project.


New space for artists at Mortar and Brick

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 Mortar and Brick offers a new spaces for southern Alberta artists to display their work. Joel Stretch performs at the opening of Mortar and Brick, Thursday, Sept. 27. Photo by Richard Amery
 They had a special pre-opening at their location ( at 20 316 7th street South), this week just in time for Arts Days with live music and a new exhibit “On Solid Ground.”

“It’s not specifically for Blackfoot artists but for  all contemporary  artists in the area,” said co-owner Cheryl Baxter.
“Though we have an exhibit coming up with a local curator  of Blackfoot artists,” she said, adding she has a lot of experience running an art gallery.
“I’ve been involved with Galleries for 30 years,” she said.
“I ran a  gallery in Canmore and Banff then my husband got a wonderful job halfway across the world. When I moved here I wanted to find an art community,”  she said, noting she joined up with partners Tim and Andrea Sandul, who have owned the Port Coworking space for the past two years, to incorporate a public workspace into Mortar and Brick.
“So we’ll also be holding events, weddings and corporate events here,” said Andrea Sandul.


Arianna Richardson leaning lots about trash and space usage from Garbage Party exhibit

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Lethbridge artist Arianna Richardson has discovered a lot holding her Garbage Party over the past couple weeks.
 She has been spending a couplArianna Richardson has been working n the Garbage party  in Lethbridge this month. Photo by Richard Amerye of hours each day, dressed in a shiny gold lamé jumpsuit from 2-4 p.m. picking up garbage in Galt Gardens (Sept. 15-21) and this week in Indian battle Park (Sept 22-28), chronicling the different types of garbage and putting it in a series of colourful garbage bins. She takes down the exhibit on Friday.

“ I’ve been asking people what they think think of  the city’s waste management systems and where they think it can be improved. I’ll probably give this data to the City. So far it’s been  an average of five out of 10,” she said.
“ It’s interesting collecting data when I have no idea how to do it. It’s just my hobby,” she said, adding that fits perfectly with her sobriquet of the Hobbyist.

“It’s been a great way to spend two hours a day,” she said adding it has been interesting what she has found.

“In Galt Gardens, I found 3,000 cigarette butts, which is gross. In Indian Battle Park, it’s mostly been the plastic wrappings from the straws in juice boxes. So it’s been interesting how garbage shows how people are using these spaces, though it might not be the ways I’d be compelled to use them,” she observed, adding she has also found  fake fingernails and empties and a few other objects she can't quite identify.

For art’s sake get downtown for Arts Days

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The streets of Lethbridge will be alive with the sounds and sights of the local arts scene, Sept. 22-30 as Lethbridge Arts Days features events all over the city.Kelaine Devine is excited about all of the activities happening for Arts Day this year. Photo by Richard Amery
There will be buskers on the street, live music, theatre, family fun, concerts, film screenings at the Lethbridge Public Library, artist talks, art exhibits, artisan market and lots more.

Simultaneously, New West Theatre’s production of The Million Dollar quartet continues throughout ArtsDays . And exhibits continued at SAAG and Casa.
“We have a lot of projects happening at the Allied Arts Council, Casa and downstairs. There are even events at City hall,” said  Allied arts Council communication manager Kelaine Devine.
“City Hall will be lit up with full lighting red, blue and yellow, the primary colours of art,” she said.

“It’s really exciting to have their support,” she said, adding City Hall hosts  the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guilt’s  ArtWalk Quilt show beginning, Sept. 25.
A week chock full of artistic opportunities begins Sept. 22 with Word On The Street at the Lethbridge Public Library.
“It’s out eighth year,” observed festival director Elisabeth Hegerat.

 “We have authors coming from Halifax to Victoria,” she said, adding Pauline Dakin who wrote “Run Hide Repeat,” will be a highlight.
“She spent most of her childhood on the run. So It’s about her fugitive childhood,” she said, adding there are a variety of different authors including cook book authors, true life drama and comic book artists reading from their works. Some of them will have ASL sign language featured.
“Roy MacGregor writes about hockey and his time travelling with his kids across Manitoba,” she added.
 There will be familiar faces like Clifford the Dog.

 And there will be a lot of live entertainment. The event opens at 10:50 a.m. with a blessing from Francis First Charger followed by a drum circle from Thunder Chief productions. The Saints play at 11:30 a.m. followed by  Japanese Minyo Dancers  at 12:15 p.m , Fawns  at 12:30 p.m., the Lethbridge Highland Dance Association (1:15p.m.); Ezra Sulin (1:30p.m.); Black Roses for Breakfast (1:50 p.m.); Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Troop (2:15 p.m.); Jolene Draper & The Inquisitive Few (2:30 p.m.);Will Big Bull (3:15 p.m.);  Alison & Danny (3:30 p.m.) and Ecuadorian Roots (4:15 p.m.)
 And the Sik-Ohh-Koytoki Friendship Centre are erecting a teepee for First Nations storytelling. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Centre will also have a presence at the festival.

As a bonus, Library memberships will be free during Word on the Street.

A lot of art exhibits open on Monday,  a youth art exhibit opens at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and continues through the week, Kylie Fineday opens an exhibit ninoson at Street Legal Records, Arianna Richardson continued her exhibit “The Garbage Party” at Galt Gardens, Sept. 15-21 and then Sept. 22-28 in Indian Battle Park 2-4 p.m. each day, plus 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 . Jose Luis Torre‘s opens “The Everyday Future” in the Hess Gallery at the U of L in W600. Dr. Margaret (Marmie) Hess opens an exhibit Walter Phillips in the Helen Christou Gallery.

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