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Arts Days highlights local artists this week beginning with Word On The Street

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There is a whole lot of art happening in Lethbridge. Arts Days is a great opportunity to check some of it out this week.

Ashley Markus looks at a timeline of the history of Arts Days. Photo by Richard Amery
 The first big event is Sunday, Sept.20, with Word on the Street taking over  the streets around the library.

 There will be a variety of music and lots of authors speaking about their works and reading from them.

“ It’s a perfect way to kick off Arts Days,” said Allied Arts Council communications co-ordinator Ashley Markus, noting they used to be independent events, but when Arts Days expanded to a week, they included Word on the Street as a way to promote the literary arts.

“Arts Days is a chance for people to  see what arts are happening all over Lethbridge. It’s also a chance for artists to showcase their work,” she said adding Arts Days is  about supporting all of the arts in Lethbridge including music, visual arts and dramatic arts as well as literary arts.
“ I like seeing all of the different people at all of the events,” Markus said.

“ You’d expect to same all the same faces  but it’s always different. Someone will always come up to us and tell us ‘ I had no idea there was so much going on here,” she continued.
There are events every day all over the city every day  except Tuesday.“ That’s our break day,” she said adding many of the events are free to attend.

 On Monday,  Visual Arts Alberta / CARFAC present a free workshop at CASA for artists interested in learning how to  photograph and document their works. it is at 7:30 the ATB Financial community room.

Wednesday begins at 9:30 a.m. at  the U of L Art Gallery will the coffee will be brewing and  the public a  can see  Jeff Thomas’s new exhibit  “A Necessary Fiction — The Portrait,” which is curated by Josephine Mills. Wednesday is also movie night as the Allied Arts Council presents a series of short films from Alberta media artists —   Prairie Tales 17 at CASA 7 p.m.

 The U of L Faculty of Fine Arts  is also presenting a movie — the Valley Below, is four intertwining stories of Alberta's badlands including a pregnant teenager, a hard drinking musician, a reclusive taxidermist and an ambition RCMP officer. U of L New Media  professor Deric Olsen will be your host for the night.

The film, nominated for two 2014 Canadian Screen awards, screens at 7 p.m. in the Lethbridge Public Library Theatre at 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend either film.
Thursday will be a lot of fun. The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery hosts The Drawing Bar from 7-9 p.m.

“There will be snacks, there will be a bar so you can bring your drawing materials or knitting materials and hang out in the gallery and check out the new exhibit,” Markus said.
 One of Arts Days’ highlights take place at CASA at the same time.

Live in Lethbridge Community Cabaret  is a variety show hosted by Lethbridge improv group the Drama Nutz. It will begin at 8 p.m., Sept. 24. There is a five dollar cover.


Disassembled & Catalogued Identity examines people’s sense of self at CASA

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Lethbridge artist Barb Goodman’s “ the Disassembled & Catalogued Identity focuses on portraits of incredibly detailed body parts including eyes, ears and hands.Darcy Logan tweaks a piece in the Disasembled & Catalogued Identity exhibit at CASA. Photo by Richard Amery
The opening reception for the exhibit is Sept. 19 at CASA from 7-9 p.m.
“She’s a long time contributor to the Lethbridge Art community,” said CASA curator Darcy Logan.

“It is  portraits in the broadest sense,” he said adding the 34 pieces are designed to  make the audience think about how they look at themselves. In addition to several oil on canvass pieces, one wall of the gallery is dominated by mirrors marked with logos from Facebook and Twitter.

“It conveys  that  defining personal identity is quite often a paradoxical task,” Logan said, adding Goodman has been working on the exhibit since CASA first open and they  decided to feature her works.

“The works aren’t labelled. Instead they are more indexical. She put museological tags on each work cataloguing the subject, how she met the person, when she met the person and her relationship to the person,” he continued.
 The opening reception for the show  is 7-9 p.m. at CASA. There is no charge to attend.
The exhibit runs until Oct. 30.

 — by Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor

Annie Martin turns a house into a home with found objects in new exhibit

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Annie Martin examines one of her nests in her exhibit flotilla at CASA. Photo by Richard AmeryLethbridge artist Annie Martin was inspired by how people and animals next to create homes in her new exhibit “flotilla,” which opens at CASA, Sept. 19 just in time for Arts Days

“It’s been a work in progress,” Martin said, noting a smaller version of the exhibit ran at the Pith Gallery in Calgary back in 2013.

 She used some of those pieces and created several more “nests” hanging from the ceiling including a variety of found objects including leaves, branches,plastics, flowers and even flags which usually mark pipes in the ground.

“It’s the result of thinking about how people and animals turn a house into a home by decorating,” she said, adding she was influenced by how animals, particularly magpies pick up objects they find and incorporate them into  their nests.

 She will be holding a two part workshop in conjunction with Arts Day at CASA about crafting with found objects.


Unusual Suspects art show among Think Tank Events’ fifth year

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 It has been a long haul for Todd Lacharite, the mind behind Think Tank Events which celebrates five years of putting on unusual events in Lethbridge.Mayor Rajko Dodic plays with Hollerado at a Think Tank Event show in 2013. Photo by Richard Amery

Their events have included several visits by Vancouver, Celtic punk band this Real McKenzies, established acts like successfuls show with Vancouver punk pop band Gob, 54 40, Matt Mays and up and coming bands starting to gain larger audiences like Monster Truck, who he had open for FUBAR’s the Deaner and his band Nightseeker plus  the Glorious Sons who played Whoop Up Days this year and One Bad Son, who opened for Def Leppard in April. They have also put on events with rappers like Tech9  and Madchild, unusual acts like Hank and Lily as well as art shows and more off the wall events, which haven’t worked as well as Lacharite would have hoped, like Pac Man tag.

“ I guess it really started when I was at Henotic helping promote their events,” Lacharite said.
“ Then I teamed up with DJ Booda for about a year to do some bigger events and then decided to put on my own,” Lacharite said.

As with a lot of promoters, it can be a challenge to get people to come out to shows, so he lost money on a lot of events.
“I’ve tried to put on some events that are outside the box like Pac Man Tag and art shows and the Lebowski bash, which  have been successful, though they haven’t been with the money and time I put into promoting them,” he said.
 He will be taking a break from art shows after his cult film inspired art show “The Unusual Suspects,” which will run at the Owl Acoustic Lounge Sept. 18-Nov. 10.

“It will feature the art of Len Komenac, Will Woods, Russell Jensen, Leila Armstrong and Mockrabbit, but it will be open to all artists,” he said.
“They’re a great group who have opened the doors and have tried to support my ideas,” he said.

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