Aurora Art Show provides platform for emerging artists

Patrons examine works displayed at the annual Aurora Art Show Sunday, April 22, 2018 in Prince Albert. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

For a pair of guest artists at the Aurora Art Group Show held over the weekend, the event was an important opportunity to get their work out there.

In addition to the regular members of the Aurora Art Group, three guest artists were brought in for the 2018 show, held Sunday evening at the Arts Centre.

Judie Relitz, Colleen Clunie and Janelle Gosselin were the guests at this year’s show, and for two of them, the opportunity to participate is an important milestone in their budding art careers.

“It’s very exciting,” Gosselin said. “I was excited to be asked, and to have a spot where I can display some of my material I have been collecting. It’s an honour that they thought to ask me when I’m fairly new to the arts scene.”

Gosselin has only been painting for a couple of years. She got her start as a student of Christina Thoen, and took some inspiration from her former teacher’s work, submitting bold, vibrant acrylic pieces.

“She’s really into the big, bold acrylics,” Gosselin said of Thoen. “I was attracted to that, so she’s been a mentor of mine, and I like the vibrancy you get from acrylic.”

Clunie also paints in acrylic though she prefers watercolour.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s fun and interesting.”

Like Gosselin, she was pleasantly surprised when the Aurora Group asked her to show with them. She has a visual arts background, but hasn’t really been painting for the last 30 years. Clunie said the response she got from those in attendance was very positive.

“People are surprised,” she said. “I haven’t done anything for 30 years. I went to art college in Calgary for four years. I’m retired, and now I have time to do it.”

Clunie said she paints whatever comes to her mind.

“I don’t plan anything, I just do it,” she said.

The whole experience, for both artists, was very rewarding.

“It feels great,” Clunie said. “This is a great group of girls. I love them, and it’s been awesome. They’ve been very welcoming to me.”

“It’s a big, important platform for me,” Gosselin said. “It allows me to keep painting as I need a spot to showcase (my work).

“I’m very impressed by the turnout and how well the Aurora Group has organized this. They made it into a very classy function.”