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Bad luck? No, just unusual art

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 Mountain climbers is one of the pieces in Fortuna at  the Trianon art gallery. Photo By Richard AmeryBad luck has always fascinated Calgary based artist Stacey Watson, so she made it the subject of her new exhibition, “Fortuna” showing at the Trianon Gallery (104-5 Street South) until Nov. 20.
Her displays, which include an disabled oil well shooting streamers of oil, a wishing well and a mountain with dead mountain climbers at the foot of it along with some dark and disturbing oil paintings, were created in the unusual medium of paper maché. They are a departure from her usual medium of photography. She taught photography at the University of Lethbridge during the summer.
“I just wanted to make fun of the idea of bad luck, fortune and fate,” she said adding the humour is in the use of her materials.
“The mountain climbers have funny gloves on and they look like Halloween dummies,” she said adding her paintings were done with the idea of manipulating the paint as little as possible in order to create art which can be interpreted as to the audience‘s whims. Some of the subjects include a surreal waterfall, drowning sailors and what looks like people holding torches in a dark cave.
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Natural art in the coulee

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All things are temporal, including art, so catch Earth, Art,  Walk before it’s gone like the elements it is created from.Artist Troy Nickle examines “A Woman in the Woods.” Photo By Richard Amery
Lethbridge artist Troy Nickle has been making art out of natural objects for many years.
He has several of his pieces in a new outdoor exhibit along the Helen Schuler Nature Centre trails. But nature has already claimed one of them — a mud sculpture of a man’s face coming out of a barkless tree called ‘Populus’ was already decimated by weekend rains.
“I learned bark helps hold it together, it helps it stay attached,” said Nickle, indicating a similar female form attached to a tree with bark, called “ Woman in the Woods,” which is already starting to show signs of wear.
“As I started moulding this lump of Oldman River mud, it evolved organically into a female form,” he said adding he usually uses objects in and around the natural area to create his art rather than bringing in foreign materials, though he did have to haul a pail full of the mud into the site for this particular creation.
“It’s celebrating art in nature. A lot of people will go on a walk and come across the art,” Nickle said adding the new presentation is a unique take on the 100th anniversary of the bridge as it celebrates the elements upon which it was built.
 Darcy Logan from the Bowman Arts Centre came up with the project idea and Nickle ran with it.
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Pinhole eye’s view into new exhibits

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The Bowman Arts Centre is opening two new exhibitions this weekend with a Saturday night reception.Darcy Logan holds a picture of a garbage can pinhole camera taken with another pinhole camera. Photo By Richard Amery
The first exhibit, Gallimaufry, features several pieces created out of found objects by Lethbridge artist  Marie Imrie de Gomez.
“It’s a whimsical celebration of objects. Some of it is autobiographical of places she’s seen and places she’s been,” explained curator Darcy Logan.
“The whole thing is done with recycled objects she’s found in alleys and junkyards. It’s not political but there is a message hidden in it,” he continued.
“She’s taking a look at things we throw away. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
The display is located in the music room gallery.

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Art Walk brightens up downtown

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This is a map of Troy Nickle’s art by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.This weekend make sure you check out 30 local artists taking part in the sixth annual Art Walk.
 Their works will be on display in numerous local businesses  as well as the Bowman Art Gallery and The Lethbridge Library.
“It’s a free self-guided tour  of over 30  venues mainly in the downtown core exhibiting  works by local artists,” said Allied Arts Council  public relations specialist Lindsay Meli adding the art will mainly be displayed in store windows.
 Maps can be obtained at the Allied Arts council, The Bowman Arts Centre, downtown Lethbridge, the Galt Museum, the Lethbridge Public Library, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.
“It’s really accessible for a wide variety of people who otherwise may not get down to an art gallery,” she continued adding coincidently Art Walk coincides  with Alberta Art Days, Sept. 18-20.
 “It’s time to celebrate  art in the province. I think it works out great for us,” she said adding Art Walk activities will culminate in a event at Galt Gardens, Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the Most Vocal Poets. Also performing will be  the Ammena Dance Company, Troyanda Ukrainian Dance  Club, Feel the beat University of Lethbridge  global drummers, the Lethbridge Scottish Country Dancers,  and the University of Lethbridge Faculty Brass, information kiosks  and arts demonstrations.
“There’s a lot going on in Lethbridge,” Meli said.
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