Main Street Stettler became one big art gallery over the weekend, with local artists showing off what they do during the town’s annual Art Walk.
The event, which was organized by the town and Cabinet of Curiosities owner Andrea Hatch, took place on Saturday, June 13, and Hatch hopes that the event will get the word out about Stettler’s many artists.
“The strange thing about Stettler is a lot of people think there aren’t a lot of artists here,” Hatch said. “And there is a huge, huge community of artists. Artists are very quiet people; they don’t really promote themselves. They paint in their back spare bedroom and nobody ever sees it. So it’s a way for people to go ‘I didn’t know you do this.’”
A variety of artists came out to promote themselves – including a weaver, painters, and a musician. Hatch said that a magician was also scheduled to perform in the afternoon.
She was also supposed to book a fire dancer, but didn’t want to have the threat of the fire getting away.
“When I can find a spot with no buildings around, then she’ll come back,” Hatch laughed.
The Art Walk started as a show on the second fl oor of the Stettler Recreation Centre (SRC), but there were problems getting people to come look at the art. Hatch moved it to Main Street, where the art can catch the attention of people going about their business, and businesses like that the walk attracts people as well.
“It’s also educational for appreciation,” Hatch said. “A lot of the times we don’t appreciate what we have here…it’s a nice way for the community to appreciate what we have in the community itself.”
It doesn’t cost anything for the artists to participate in the Art Walk, but they are asked to give 15 per cent of their earnings during the Art Walk to the SRC on the honour system.
“If they don’t sell anything, then it’s no harm no foul,” she said. “They’ve gotten out, they’ve gotten to see other people’s artwork, and they’re still happy. The whole idea is to keep everybody happy. It’s not necessarily to make a ton of money. It’s not really a moneymaking day.”
Weaver Nancy Warwaruk was a quilter, and then she got into weaving about 20 years ago. She said she got “addicted” to the way threads play within the fabric.
“I hope that onlookers have a better understanding of what textiles are and the fabric that makes all their clothes,” she said.
Hatch said a big benefit of the Art Walk is that onlookers can interact directly with the artist and ask questions about their art.
“It engages people in the art process,” she said. “I think the biggest thing we forget is that art’s everywhere. You walk across the street; the stop sign had to be designed by somebody, the walk sign had to be designed by somebody, and we forget that.”