‘Everything is connected’

Local artist Lorraine Beardsworth was at the John V. Hicks Gallery over the weekend to hang her latest exhibition, ‘Community: Exploration, Encounter, Connection.’ (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Local artist examines the meaning of community in upcoming exhibition

Prince Albert artist Lorraine Beardsworth’s latest exhibit didn’t turn out the way she originally envisioned it.

“It was around a couple of years ago, I guess, I started working on thinking about community and what that means, just as something to ponder once in a while,” she said.

“All my life I’ve been concerned with community issues and social justice, so it’s not too surprising that that evolved into doing this show.”

The show, entitled Community: Exploration, Encounter, Connection, runs from April 1 to 23 at the John V. Hicks Gallery at the P.A. Arts Centre. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 1 and will feature refreshments, music and a discussion with the artist.

Beardsworth said she went into the project with the intention of creating a portrait exhibit featuring P.A. residents with diverse backgrounds, with a particular emphasis on newcomers, to demonstrate that everyone in a community, despite their differences, has something to contribute to the group as a whole.

“I guess the real impetus was watching what was happening in the Middle East, because I also have done some voluntary work with resettlement services from time to time and throughout my life similar kinds of work with refugees, was thinking about how to keep that as a focus of the community in general,” Beardsworth said.

“My original statement changed a lot because people don’t have time to (pose for portraits) and also because as this year unfolded, I didn’t know there was going to be a spill in our river and that really put the focus on the natural environment and what that means to cities and communities.”

Over time Beardsworth’s themes of community an interconnectivity broadened, and while some portraits still remain in the show, there are also more abstract works that depict struggle, survival and, in the artist’s words, “The need for each other.”

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Got to go:

What? Opening reception: Community: Exploration, Encounter, Connection by Lorraine Beardsworth

Where? John V. Hicks Gallery at the Prince Albert Arts Centre

When? Saturday, April 1 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Admission? Free