ArtWalk St. Albert 2022
Rain or shine, event takes place indoors and outdoors from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Thursdays of every month from May to September (May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, and Sept. 1)
- St. Albert Public Library (St. Albert Place)
- W.A.R.E.S Gift Shop (St. Albert Place)
- Musée Héritage Museum (St. Albert Place)
- Art Gallery of St. Albert, 19 Perron St.
- Visual Arts Studio Association (VASA), 25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave.
- Big Lake Artists’ Studios, 33 Rayborn Cres.
- Bookstore on Perron, 7 Perron St.
- La Crema Caffe, 44 St. Thomas St.
Outdoor Venues throughout downtown St. Albert — St. Anne Street from Perron Street to St. Thomas Street and in St. Albert Place Plaza.
- Confections Cake Co., 15 Perron St.
- Divine & Free Wellness and Medical Spa, 25 St. Michael St.
- Inspired Home Interiors, 15 Perron St.
- Turkish Coffee House, 24 Perron St.
- XO & Mane Boutique, 20 Perron St.
Visit artwalkstalbert.com for full listings of artists, events, and performers.
Everyone’s favourite walking tour of local art is fully rested after a two-year nap. It has taken its vitamins, stretched and warmed up completely, and it is ready for a five-month marathon of visual delights.
Yes, Virginia … ArtWalk is back. While the pandemic necessitated its hiatus, it also gave organizers a chance to step back and charge up for the right time. That moment is now, said chairperson Leah Louden.
“The ArtWalk committee is thrilled to see ArtWalk returning, especially after two years of planning and then having to cancel our plans,” she said.
“We're really quite excited for this year, and we have more artists taking part than ever before. There's going to be live entertainment in the plaza outside of St. Albert Place on every night. We've got all sorts of fun events planned at the various venues. I'm really excited for this year. I think it will be bigger and better than ever.”
Along with several indoor venues, there will be some outdoor venues where attendees can enjoy the atmosphere of art throughout the festival. She said three Amplify artists will start things off by bringing music to the crowds at the plaza at St. Albert Place, including local singer-songwriter Laura Charrois; bilingual artist Ange Caroline; and the throaty songbird Cyra, whose powerful voice will certainly amplify the majesty of her song list from decades past.
The ArtWalk Art Market will feature more than 30 local artists in the great outdoors of the plaza as well as along St. Anne Street.
As the months continue, other Amplify entertainers will bring their music and live entertainment, alternating with performers from St. Albert’s Ukelele Circle and the Arden Plaza Series (starting in July). Inside St. Albert Place will be monthly exhibitions, art demonstrations, and sales hosted by the Guilds with the St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council. The Musée Héritage Museum, St. Albert Public Library, and W.A.R.E.S. Gift Shop will have monthly feature exhibitions, while the Art Gallery of St. Albert and Visual Arts Studio Association of St. Albert will host monthly opening receptions featuring artist talks, tours, and family-friendly art activities.
The action isn’t only downtown in the Perron District, however. Take a longer walk down Riel Drive just a few minutes away to view artist studios and see live demonstrations at Big Lake Artists’ Studios.
Still downtown, monthly exhibitions will come to La Crema Caffe and The Bookstore on Perron, while supporting businesses will stay open late to offer ArtWalk features and specials.
Here's a look at some of what's in store. For more details, including full listings of artists, events, and performers, visit artwalkstalbert.com.
High Energy 27 at the Art Gallery of St. Albert
High school art students are some of the most enthusiastic artists around. Don’t believe it? Then check out the annual High Energy show that offers exhibit space to dozens of young Emily Carrs and Vincent van Goghs from Bellerose Composite High School, École Alexandre-Taché, École Secondaire Paul Kane High School, St. Albert Catholic High School, and Outreach High School. Their work will prove the show isn’t called High Energy for nothing.
Bellerose art teacher Lindsay Bracken explained what viewers will be treated to.
“We did a lot of larger scale images. We did hyper-realistic portraiture in chalk,” she said, adding, “They're so stunning. They're just beautiful. They're beautiful.”
Because of the high number of art students who could potentially participate, each school is typically limited to about 20 pieces. The massive project typically doesn't see too many Art 10 students. Maya Tomkinson, however, is one of the few from Bracken’s class. Her striking mixed media portrait of a clown will certainly make an impression on viewers.
The moment will definitely be a big one in the young artist’s life and career.
“I believe that art is important because it is a strong form of expression, an escape for most. When people can't show themselves through clothing or lifestyle, art is a perfect example of putting yourself out there,” said Tomkinson.
“In my art class with Ms. Bracken, we learned that everyone has unique ideas and different representations of themselves. My art style might be vivid and colourful, however, that might be different from the next. Art can be a statement.”
She praised Bracken as one of her greatest role models who has taught her so much about ar. “My art would not be the same without her lessons,” she said, adding that she also admires Frida Kahlo and hopes to be as fearless in her life and her work as the late Mexican artist was.
Grade 11 student Justine La Riviere was just at the end of her first year of high school when she received an Honourable Mention during last year's High Energy exhibit. Her wisdom, however, extends beyond her years. She says “art is one of the most human things we can possibly do.”
“It’s full freedom of expression to a degree that I don’t believe society would permit otherwise. Art provides many, including myself, with a medium in which one can be authentically and unapologetically themselves. And I think it’s miraculous how art can be simultaneously thrilling, calming, frustrating, tedious, analytical, and breathtaking all at the same time. It truly is the birthplace of profound and revolutionary concepts many don’t even understand yet, which is why I think it’s so important to propel society forward.”
Like so many other artists, she eagerly awaits the chance to have her work in an in-person exhibit. She says the phrase "out of sight; out of mind" is apt because “art shows barely exist online,” making it essential to physically put art in a place where more people can see it.
VASA gets sculptural for spring
The artist collective on Sir Winston Churchill is having some friends over for a grand display that crosses both the second and third dimensions.
Transdimensionality: What Moves You? features artists from the Sculptors Association of Alberta — Barry Kostiuk, Ellie Schuster, Keith Turnbull, Susanne Scheers, Roy Hinz, Wanda Resek, and Tania Garner-Tomas. They paired up with St. Albert artists who each contributed meaningful photographs to be the inspiration for the sculptors’ creations.
Resek said the show has been in the making for two years, which is when she received a photo of birds.
“The photos of the birds took me in a new direction with clay after many years of figurative sculpting. The Raku piece of pottery came from the photo of the fire, which is part of the process in this primitive firing technique,” she said.
Transdimensionality is designed to take the viewer from the three dimensions of the real world to the two dimensions through the lens of the camera and back to the artists’ three-dimensional interpretations.
Photo Club snaps up the library
They are no strangers to public spaces. While the snap-happy members of the St. Albert Photography Club are updating their rotating exhibit of works at Red Willow Place (home of the St. Albert Seniors Association), they will also be carefully selecting some pristine prints to put up at the St. Albert Public Library.
While you're still outside on the plaza at St. Albert Plaza, club members Brent Bromilow and Richard Smith will be among the artists showing their works in the Outdoor Artist Market.
"I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting people again," Bromilow said. "Being pent up for two years gets really tiresome. It will be fun showcasing some of my work."
Smith is also new to the ArtWalk scene, having only moved to the city at the end of 2020 and joining the club the year after. Like Bromilow, he's excited for the big show.
"It will be the first time my photos will have been printed and put on public display, so [I'm] interested to see the general reaction," said Smith.
He added that the pandemic offered him more free time for hunting photos, boosting his output by a few carloads.
"This was mostly wildlife in the area, but [I] saw lots of new animals and birds I'd never seen before."
The two will be joined by other club members at the market. Check out the ArtWalk's Outdoor Artist Market page for a full list and schedule.
Bookstore on Perron: a gallery for the Painters Guild
The famous downtown bookseller has the perfect gallery room that has become the favoured exhibition spot for the St. Albert Painters Guild during ArtWalk. Andrew Raczynski is thankful for the opportunity this summer to show his work and be in the public eye.
"First of all, that's the most important aspect of an artist’s life: meeting people who are interested in art, one on one, and enjoying that beautiful exchange," he said, noting that the recent Painters Guild Spring Show at St. Albert Place was a huge success, as was last summer's Art in the Open event, which will return this year.
"All the artists I have spoken to over the weekend expressed their delight in meeting with people. Some of them [are] people they haven't seen for a while and [they can enjoy] talking about their art, talking about the processes of their art, and all those wonderful things."
Raczynski will be joined by other guild members at the May ArtWalk and a rotation of different members will take their places in the four summer months to come.
Big Lake Artists’ Studios
And you thought ArtWalk was only downtown. The Big Lake Artists’ Studios are just a sidestep down the road, where you'll find a collective of 10 working artists including painters, mixed media artists, papermakers, and a mosaic artist. Oil painter Sandy Dewar and painter/sculptor Carol Pylypow will offer live art demonstrations and studio tours. It's located along Riel Drive at 33 Rayborn Cr.