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Festival of Quilts coming back to Lethbridge College

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Local quilters show their talents and passion for sewing, and quilting, June 2-3 at the Val Matteotti Gym at Lethbridge college as the The Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild present the fourth biannual Festival of Quilts.

Trudy Walker and Teresa Petriw hold up one of the two quilts to be raffled off  at the Lethbridge Festival of Quilts, June 2 and 3 in the Lethbridge College Val Matteotti gym. Photo by Richard Amery
“There are 203 quilts in this year‘s festival,” observed quilt show publicist Teresa Petriw, observing the participants were allowed to submit up to four quilts each for the show, which runs 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday, June 2 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 3. She noted all of them were created in the two years since the last show — the Quilting Canada show in 2015. Contributions come from all over Alberta and B.C. as well as quite a few from the 60 some Centennial Quilt’s Guild members.

A lot of the members gave away quilts to friends and family which they borrowed back for this show.
 “We had a quilting bee to give 1,000 quilts to the Ronald McDonald House. It‘s a busy, active group,” observed Quilt Show Chairperson Trudy Walker.
The Lethbridge  Centennial Quilter‘s Guild formed in the spring  of 1984 when a group of Lethbridge quilters joined together to make a quilt commemorating Lethbridge's Centennial. The enthusiasm   generated by this project led to the formation of the Lethbridge   Centennial Quilter's Guild in 1985.

Trudy Walker and Teresa Petriw show one of Walker’s quilts to be on display at the Lethbridge Festival of Quilts, June 2 and 3 in the Lethbridge College Val Matteotti gym. Photo by Richard AmerySince then the guild meets monthly to share individual expertise and promoting quilting. The guild presently has 136 members.
 The quilts in this year’s show aren’t your grandma’s quilts, though some of them include family heirlooms.

“I’ve got four quilts in the show. One of them includes lace doilies my grandmother made,” Walker said.

“One of them is a challenging group line quilt for which each member added a row to it,” she continued.
“It’s really a great an opportunity for people to see these works and for anybody who enjoys fibre art,” Pettriw, noting the quilts weren’t juried, so anybody who wanted to participate was welcome to contribute a quilt or four.
“These are all modern quilts,” Walker added.
Some of the highlights of the event are two quilts which will be raffled off.
There will also be a “Bed Turning,” where the quilters will tell the stories behind their quilts.
“There are 18 quilts in the bed turning. As each quilt is revealed, the quilters will tell their stories.


New Casa exhibits examine space and movement

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Two new exhibits at Casa explore the concept of space usage.

Darcy Logan examines one of Mandy Espezel’s works from her Pine Cones in Soft Mouths at Casa. photo by Richard Amery
 Kelsey Stephenson’s exhibit Divining and  Mandy Espezel’s “Pine Cones in Soft Mouths” opened on the weekend and run in the Casa gallery until  April 15.

“Kelsey Stephenson is a local artist who just graduated with an MA in Fine Arts  from the university of Tennessee,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.

  She explored  the idea of topographical maps painted on dozens of sheets of Japanese mulberry paper.
“It combines print and painting to evoke topographical maps reflection of geological impact of erosion,” Logan said, observing she used  a map of the Drumheller badlands as the base for her exhibit. The individual frames move as the viewer move pst them enhanced by a spooky soundtrack composed by  Alex Gray which plays in the gallery.

“They are actual topographical  maps of Drumheller badlands, but they are supposed to be altered  to look like aerial photographs. The badlands were her inspiration,” logan said, adding she worked off actual maps and created the works on Japanese mulberry paper, which is the toughest paper produced, the the movement won’t  harm it.


New U of L exhibit explores transience in Everything is Temporary

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Emerging University of Lethbridge artists show their  work at Everything is Temporary: The university of Lethbridge Annual Student Art Exhibition opening March 3 in the Dr. Penny Foster Building downtown.

Ildiko Barraclough and Amy Parks set up their exhibit in the Dr. Penny Foster building. Photo by Richard Amery
“There are 25 students involved, though some have more than one work,” said fourth year student Amy Parks, who  is co-curating the exhibition with fellow fourth year student Ildiko Barraclough as part of their  BFA museum curating program.
“They went through a jury panel which examined many submissions,” Parks continued.

“We wanted works a that really explore  the serious issues in the world,” added Barraclough.
 “We have some really exemplary local artists.

We have  some indigenous  artists and some artists expressing the hybrid of the Japanese Canadian experience,” she continued.


Local artist Rick Gillis releases new novel

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Lethbridge artist and writer, Rick Gillis  officially releases his new novel “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” at Casa this Saturday, March 4 from 1 to 4  p.m.

Rick Gillis releases his new novel on the weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
The novel is loosely based on his life growing up in the Crowsnest Pass in the 1950s and 60s. It was a time when the Pass was a booming coal mining and lumbering centre. The novel, titled  traces a period of time in the life of the Callaghan family, more specifically that of Little Ricky Callaghan, as told through the memories of his older sister, Kathryn.

The novel runs its reader through a rollercoaster of emotions, from humour, love, sadness and a surprising twist to its plot line.

The book is currently being made available through Casa in Lethbridge. Gillis returned to the Pass in March of last year and took a residency at the Gushul Writers’ Cottage in Blairmore for a month, a return to his hometown and more importantly to the very neighbourhood in which he grew up. It was at the Gushul that he wrote the lion’s share of  “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die.”

“Though the novel draws upon my own life experiences growing up in that neighbourhood, the story line diverts sharply from reality as the tale unfolds,” says Gillis.

“It definitely is not your standard fare, since few elements resemble anything close to a formulaic novel. Much of it seems reminiscent, but it is far more than that. As ridiculous as it appears at times, the anecdotes as told through the memories of Kathryn Callaghan are all, without exception, true, though at times altered or embellished in the interest of good story telling.

“To say that my decision to return home to write this novel was inspirational would be an understatement,” Gillis added.

  “Though sequestered for long periods of time at the writers’ cottage, my frequent walks through the old neighborhood brought back long buried memories, and with them a host of emotions and deeply-felt sentiments.”
In addition to being made available locally, “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” is also available on line through (not as well as

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