Prince Albert art school students put their best piece forward at Year End Art Show

Paintings and drawings hang on the walls at Sandra’s Art Gallery in Prince Albert during the 2023 Christina’s Art School Year End Show. The 2024 version officially opens on Thursday, May 23 and runs until Sept. 17. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Whether it’s their first year, or their 20th, students from Christina’s Art School will have a chance to display their best pieces from the past 12 months and beyond when the school hosts its annual Year End Art Show on Thursday.

Student artists will display works in graphite, charcoal, coloured pencil, pastel, Acrylic, and Watercolour at Sandra’s Art Gallery in Prince Albert. Some of the pieces took a few months, while others are the result of more than a year of effort.

Instructor Christina Thoen said it’s always exciting to see how each student has progressed over the past year.

“I think a lot of time when the students are first beginning their classes, they have no idea what they are actually capable of,” Thoen said. “Many of them would never call themselves an artist, so there’s a lot of talk about that in class so that they can completely own that title as they continue.”

Students range from as young as eight all the way up to seniors. Their work will be on display until the new school year begins in September.

“It’s incredible, the feeling of seeing all their pieces up,” Thoen said. “I wish more students would show their work, but you can just really, really strongly encourage, and that’s what I do.”

Student Marj Somers will be the showcase artist at this year’s show. Somers has been a student for 20 years at the school, and Thoen said her work shows great versatility.

“She’s done many, many mediums, different subjects, she does a lot of pieces for her family,” Thoen explained.

Somers’ didn’t begin painting until after she retired. She had always talked about painting, Thoen said, but didn’t try it until her staff bought her a school gift certificate as a retirement gift.

Since then, Thoen said Somers has become a great example of what’s possible if you just take the first step.

“That was always her dream, ‘I’m going to paint,’ and then they (her friends) actually took the step and got her the gift certificate so she needed to show up and she just loves it,” Thoen said.

Thoen said Thursday’s opening is like the final performance for a group of dancers. They’ve worked for months on their craft, and now it’s a chance to display it for the world.

She added that most artists underestimate themselves and what they are capable of. Events like Thursday’s art show help boost their confidence.

“The reality of getting real instruction and drawing is key to anyone realizing the reality that they already are an artist,” she said. “They just need a little bit of the technical understanding and a little opportunity to grow first.”

The Year End Art Show Opening begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 at Sandra’s Art Gallery in Prince Albert.

@kerr_kerr •