As a collective group, the Artists of Elk Run have never had the chance to come together as a herd in the downtown core.
Instead, their annual art tour, while organized as a group, has always been a solo affair, with each of the elk hunkered down at their separate studios. But finally, after years of wanting to come together and hold a gallery show, the herd has finally been able to cross the Trans-Canada Highway to downtown Canmore where they’ll hold their first herd show, the Artists of Elk Run DOWNTOWN.
The Artists of Elk Run is a collective of 13 artists who work out of studios scattered throughout the Elk Run industrial park. Member and painter Barb Fyvie said the group has always intended to hold a group show downtown, they were just waiting for the right opportunity.
And holding a show at the Hive Gallery and Gatherings, which Elevation Gallery owner Cheryl Baxter opened recently in a second-floor space on Main Street, proved to be the opportunity they were waiting for.
“The collective has been together for three or four years and we have worked out of our studios and had our tours while inviting people in to see our work in the past, but we’ve always had a mandate that we’d go beyond the studios and somehow show as a group,” said Fyvie. “It just so happened that we had been looking around and (Baxter) sent an email out to artists in town to say ‘this is what is going on, let me know if you’d be interested.’”
The members of the collective were interested and the Artists of Elk Run DOWNTOWN is on now until March 16.
Fyvie said the show features work across a wide range of mediums, from Canmore artists Peig Abbott, Tony Bloom, John Borrowman, Linda Cote, Barb Fyvie, Deanna MacAulay, Alexis McKeown, Meg Nicks, Rudi Peet, Barbara Rumberger, Nicole Tremblay, Kari Woo and Beth Woolley Monod.
While Fyvie said the show does not have a specific theme, she described it as a “multi-room, synergistic show.” By that she means the work will be spread out among the Hive’s multitude of smaller rooms and spaces (formerly offices and boardrooms).
“It’s been really fun to look at the work of our group and find ways of combining and finding synergy between artists sand seeing who works well with the others,” said Fyvie. “This gives us the opportunity to be in a different place at a different time and potentially with a different audience. We all have a real strong following of our group and our practices and this will allow us to open the doors to a new audience.”
The Hive is also hosting a smaller exhibition at the same time as the Elk Run Artists DOWNTOWN – paintings by Fyvie and Canmore artist Pascale Ouellet which were inspired during a 2015 arts residency on Fogo Island, off the coast of Newfoundland.
The back kitchen studio: Two artists on Fogo runs until March 16 with an opening reception at the Hive Feb. 27 from 6-9 p.m. Fyvie and Ouellet will host a presentation at artsPlace March 3 at 7 p.m. and then on March from 4-6 p.m., they will create a collaborative performance piece that reflects on their impressions of Newfoundland.
The Hive will also serve as one of the stops of the upcoming art tour Fundamental Elements, which celebrates Canmore’s natural environment. A number of Canmore’s downtown galleries are hosting exhibitions that focus on an element, be it fire, water, wind or earth. The exhibitions will be accompanied by artist’s talks and demonstrations and outdoor performances.
The tour is scheduled for March 5, 3-9 p.m., and March 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The walking tour is less than a kilometre in length.
The Hive Gallery and Gatherings is located at No. 200, 729 Main Street. Go to www.artistsofelkrun.com for more information.