Sandy Roenspies poses with her art. The owls were made using paint and torn pieces of magazine print.

Sandy Roenspies poses with her art. The owls were made using paint and torn pieces of magazine print.

Curious crowd takes in Church Mice art show

The annual Church Mice Art Show brought in people from near and far on Saturday, May 14.

The annual Church Mice Art Show brought in people from near and far on Saturday, May 14.

People crowded the Stettler United Church hall to see the art created by the members of the Church Mice art group in the past year, which, for the group, runs from September to May.

Joan Baltimore and Donna Lea Ginther help run the group and organize the show annually. It’s been going on for almost a decade now.

“It’s a culmination of the year’s paintings, and those from the previous year,” Baltimore said.

Ginther added, “It gives everybody a chance to look at our our art besides the art group.”

The artists of the group create art in different ways. Some use watercolours, others acrylics or oils. Some do mixed medium, incorporating charcoal, foils, and tissue paper into their art. Others paint china.

Right now, the group consists of only painters, but it would be nice to have people who work in other mediums, Baltimore and Ginther noted.

Some of the work was for sale while others were simply on display. The $2 admission covered snacks for the day, as well as the cost of the door prizes.

During the year, the group meets at the church every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. There’s no fee to join and people of any age are welcome. A $2 tithe is collected at every meeting to help cover the cost of coffee and treats, with anything left over going back to the church in gratitude for the use of the space.

The Church Mice currently have about 15 members, and the membership is what makes the group work.

“I don’t think I’d paint at all if I didn’t have them,” Dorothy Anderson, a member, said. “I live nearby so I just walk over.”

The youngest and newest member of the group, Sandy Roenspies, had several pieces of art on display. It was her first year with the group.

“It’s been excellent,” she said. “We learn so much from each other. It’s a lot easier to be motivated in a group than it is alone.”

She said her work has improved greatly over the year, in part due to the feedback from fellow members.

“Sometimes you know something isn’t right, but you can’t put your finger on it,” she said. “Then they come and point it out. I’ve had really great feedback on my use of contrast between light and dark.”