Art is alive and well in Leduc

High School students compete with compelling artwork

Aimie Petrie: One of the winners of Leduc's High School Art Competition

Aimie Petrie: One of the winners of Leduc's High School Art Competition

On the Black Gold Rodeo weekend, at the Leduc Recreation Centre, the Leduc Art Club’s Show and Sale attracted an appreciative and steady crowd of art lovers who stopped by to admire fantastic art pieces by teen students and local artists.

This exhibit was staged by a dynamic group of talented artists and the club’s president, Ingrid Shields. With a handful of loyal members, the art exhibit was set up at the start of the Rodeo, in the Curling Club’s viewing area and remained during the entire rodeo weekend. Dozens of pieces of various sizes in charcoal, acrylic, watercolors and other media showcased some amazing talent. To display a large collection in such a high-traffic area, during one of the City of Leduc’s largest events, was a first for the Leduc Art Club.

The invite had been sent out to all the Blackgold Regional School Division (BGRS) high schools. However, in these busy times of the school year, only two schools registered their artists to show off their art. École Secondaire Beaumont High School (ESBHS) and Leduc Composite High School (LCHS) were the two schools represented by wonderful young artists.

On Sunday afternoon, May 31st, teen artists gathered with family, friends and their new kindred-spirit pals of the Leduc Art Club to hear the results of the judging by two highly respected artists. Susan Abma and Gail Seemann visited the exhibit over the course of the weekend, and at 3pm, City of Leduc Councillor Beverly Beckett came to present awards.

Julianne Simard and Monica Mytroen, both students of Ms. Mason’s art class (LCHS), received the First and Second Place Award, while the other teen artists also received a certificate acknowledging their participation. In her short and enthusiastic speech, Mrs. Beckett shared her profound admiration at all the art displayed, stating that, “Art speaks about our soul, it speaks of who we are.”

Each young artist had a bio displayed, and many of them expressed their gratitude to the art teacher who inspired them and sometimes helped them discover a talent they never knew they had. Congrats are hereby offered to Ms. Mason of LCHS and Ms. Baron of ESBHS who inspire legion of talented youngsters, each and every year, and to all the young artists who shared their art on this busy weekend.

A friendly art collector from Cape Breton Nova Scotia fell in love with the painting Cowboy And His Mount by Shirley McIntosh of Leduc and purchased it as a surprise for his wife, who was still watching the Rodeo performances. The artist was pleased to see her art go to a horse-loving lady in another province.

Exciting news was delivered before this eager group, a consequence of this high exposure: Councillor Becket and Councillor Bob Young (who was present, also an LCHS teacher) promised to start a conversation with their City of Leduc Mayor and colleagues, to create a permanent space for the Leduc Art Club. “The City of Leduc greatly supports our groups, the Leduc Art Club produces some amazing art, and introduces art to so many. It’s time for us to recognize it and find a space for its artists to paint in, and for its future growth,” shared Councillor Young.

Councillor Becket also encouraged all the young artists in our community to apply for grants with the Leduc Performing Arts & Cultural Foundation, which has a yearly budget for grants to three deserving students who wish to pursue art after high school. This Rodeo venue at the LRC was a great idea to provide much needed enhanced exposure to both our young and seasoned artists. Pat O’Graysik, Art Club member, shared that, “The Leduc Art Club is grateful to the City and to our sponsors for their continued support.” Our community and region should be grateful to the Leduc Art Club for re-igniting and developing the artistic talents of so many!

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