Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nice Article About the Women's Art Show

Max Elliot and eight-year-old Darmody O'Donnell show off their piece, Lady Luck, at the Women's Art Show opening reception at the Banff Public Library. The art show, put on by the library in conjunction with the YWCA, is on display until the end of March.

Women celebrated in art
Shawn Slaght/Banff Crag & Canyon

To celebrate International Women's Day, the Banff Public Library in conjunction with the Banff YWCA held an opening reception Saturday night for their fifth annual Women's Art Show.

The show brought 13 local female artists together to display everything from mixed media artwork, to paintings, to poetry.

This year's theme was equality and this show was loosely based on that theme.

Artist Jane Newman is a regular at the Women's Art Show but had never put in a piece that followed the theme until this year.

"Usually I don't overly consider the theme when I am creating work," Newman said. "I just create work, but this year I had something very specific that I thought fit in that theme of equality."

Newman's piece, Rumi, is a poem that reads "Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doing there is a meadow, I'll meet you there."

She felt that idea of a meadow was a great place for equality, where there is no right and wrongdoing. This is Newman's fourth time showing work at this event out of the five years.

"I love the Banff Public Library," she said. "It is such a generous space for emerging artists and artists that have been well established in the community."

Tiffany Teske said she didn't necessarily work towards the theme of equality, but it still came across in her collage when it comes to human rights.

Teske went to Haiti twice as a photographer for a sponsorship program. She changed them into black and white and sewed them together in a quilt by hand.

"There are some words on how people are the same and are human," she said.

After the earthquake that rocked Haiti in January leaving hundreds of thousands dead, the quilt took on a special meaning to Teske.

"Last year I had three black and white photographs of women from Haiti," Teske said. "So this year I decided to do Haiti again. It was after those events but I had thought about it prior to that. It was just serendipity that it ended up getting more relevant."

Teske said overall that the show is a lot of fun. As an artist it is something that she looks forward to every year and enjoys being a part of a group show.

One of the more powerful pieces at the art show was entitled Freedom Denied, No Voice. It was a collage of photographs by Pam Knott.

Knott had visited Afghanistan in 1977 and all of the photographs were of Afghan women.

"It is something that I had been thinking about for a long, long time," Knott said. "I think these women's lives are supposed to be getting better and they aren't."

The concept of her piece was to give the Afghan women a voice to how they are suffering. She remembered taking a bus and thinking she was the only woman on the bus. She didn't realize there were two women because they were shrouded and never got off the bus.

She said with the current war in Afghanistan Knott figures a lot of the landmarks in the photographs are destroyed and she can only imagine the fate of the women in the photographs.

The Women's Art Show will be on display at the Banff Public Library until March 31.

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