If you've never attended the Westman Juried Art Show that's held each spring in one of our rural communities in the southwest area of our province, then you need to mark Sunday, April 28th on your calendar because the 2024 show will be held at the Kenton Community Hall!

Each year local artists from across the province submit up to two art pieces to their regional art show which takes place each spring in a host community.

The Westman Juried Art Show features between 100-150 art pieces from 70-80 artists each year, showcasing an incredible array of passions and skills, mediums and creativity!  Each piece is assessed by two guest jurors, who share insights and constructive tips to the artists. 

Twenty pieces are then chosen by the jurors to participate in the Travelling Art Gallery which takes one year to complete the tour across Westman, visiting approximately 20 communities. 

Ten pieces are also selected to participate in the Rural and Northern Art Exhibition that takes place in Winnipeg in September.  Ten art pieces from each of the 6 regions from across the province are displayed in the Winnipeg Exhibition.

Elaine Rawlings is the Chairperson of the Midwest Arts Council, which represents Hamiota, Kenton, Oak River and Miniota.

Rawlings says now is the time to pick up that paint brush or pencil, or whatever medium and tools you use to create the pieces to enter the show.  She notes that it does take some courage to enter the Westman Juried Art Show, to put your work and talents on display for all to see, and to be critiqued by the judges, but it's worth it as you get to learm more about yourself as an artist and you get to network with others who are passionate about art as you are!

"I remember being there myself," she laughs, "and feeling that you have to be really brave because you're self-conscious about your art, and you're worried that there might be criticism, but the jurors are always very, very positive and there isn't any criticism.  I think that it is often constructive critiques of your work, but I don't think anyone ever comes out of the experience feeling bad about anything."

"The Juried Art Show is a really great opportunity to meet with various other artists as well," shares Rawlings, "and to talk about your work and as you go through the show together with other artists and discuss all the different works, you pick up lots of tips and information just from other people, as well as from the jurors."

The exhibition showcases many different mediums, from oils and acrylics on canvas, to pencil and charcoal drawing, to fiber art to encaustic art with wax, to so much more! 

"It's a great way to gain exposure to lots of different media, and it also gives us opportunities to talk with those who do different kinds of work. As the President of the Hamiota Art Club I'm also looking for instructors. So, if an artist is doing a particular kind of art that we would be interested in learning about then we'll just talk with that person and ask if they'd be willing to instruct."

"You make a lot of connections that way, and it helps us to learn new skills!"

The 2024 exhibition has an optional theme: Chasing Light.

Rawlings says many try their hand at the theme, and if they're not sure what to paint about or what to focus their art piece on, the theme can help give them the spark of an idea. "When you're entering into the show the theme might just inspire you and tweak your imagination to create something with that inspiration!"

Please listen to more with Elaine Rawlings below as she shares more on the upcoming Westman Juried Art Show!

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