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New Art Guild exhibit hopes to inspire mountain visits

“So many people who come here are avid hikers or skiers and you can’t help but be moved by the mountains. They are very inspiring and there is a real connection between the art that is produced for the gallery and the people that live here.”

CANMORE – The Canmore Art Guild Gallery is presenting a new exhibit to inspire people to visit the mountains.

The exhibit, which started July 20 and runs until Aug. 30, is a group showing, with Gillian Quinn as the featured artist.

“Usually, every month we also have a random selection of our own members to be part of the show,” said Heather Wood, a longtime member of the art guild. “This month we have a variety of people.”

Along with Quinn, the exhibit features the artwork of Carol Holmblad, Jannis Allan Hare, Claudia Schellenberg, Dana Roman and Barb Maki. The artwork varies from oil paintings to acrylics, to watercolours and silk dyes.

Quinn primarily produces art of landscapes, and her interest in art dates to her school years.

“I did history of art in school, but we never painted in high school. We just studied art in books,” Quinn said. “I am always looking at shapes, always looking at colours. I never get bored sitting at an airport because I am looking at shapes and colours.”

Quinn came to the area in 1981 from South Africa and painted primarily as a hobby when she had time. In 2011, she began to paint on a regular basis, and attends a class once a week. The materials she uses for her paintings have also changed over the years.

“Most of them are acrylics and others are oils. I just started painting in oils in September last year,” Quinn said. “Many years ago, I painted in watercolour, which I found to be stunning. I like watercolours.”

As for why she focused on landscapes for the exhibit, that came down to being in Canmore.

“It is just because of what is around us. I paint horses, animals, I have done some portraits,” Quinn said. “My latest painting is a boat on water. I don’t just do landscapes. I just put landscapes in the exhibition because it is in Canmore.”

Landscapes tend to be a common theme in the art produced at the Canmore Art Guild.

“So many people who come here are avid hikers or skiers and you can’t help but be moved by the mountains,” Wood said. “They are very inspiring and there is a real connection between the art that is produced for the gallery and the people that live here.”

The process of painting has always been rewarding for Quinn, especially when she sees how it impacts others.

“I just get pleasure from doing it,” Quinn said. “One man came in yesterday and bought a painting and he said the painting he looked at filled him with joy. I was surprised by that. That was good.”

She added she hopes her art gives people a positive thought or feeling when looking at a piece.

The Canmore Art Guild is open to all local artists, including from Cochrane, Calgary, and the surrounding area. Next month, the gallery’s feature artist will be Meg Nicks.

Wood also hopes people are inspired by the artwork at the gallery.

“I think one of our main aspirations are to inspire people to look at the art and enjoy it,” Wood said. “The gallery is hopefully a place of inspiration, to inspire people to make art and to enjoy the art.”