Blech. Winter. Sure, there are moments of holiday bliss, but there are also spinning tires, early nights and wind that hurts your face. What better way to make it through these harsh times than taking in an art class or exhibit? Here to keep you all warm and toasty this winter, is a curated selection of galleries, boutiques, hidden gems and works by local artisans—the best the Foothills art scene has to offer.
All are guaranteed to have unique and one of a kind gift ideas for your special loved ones….
Bluerock Gallery –www.bluerockgallery.ca
110 Centre Avenue W, Black Diamond
The Bluerock Gallery is a beloved attraction for tourists and locals alike. They represent nearly 200 regional fine artists and craftspeople, mainly from within 100 miles (160 kms) of the Gallery and nearly all products are handmade. They specialize in high quality products of all sizes and prices including paintings, drawings, sculptures, hand blown glass, textiles, and ceramic art as well as unique cards and books, (including many local authors), baskets, pottery and accessories: jewelry, scarves, clothing, hats and much more. They also provide complimentary gift wrapping and a personal shopper service. They host various events throughout the year, such as PopUp Markets, Artist Receptions, Artist demos, workshops, and are open until 9pm for shopping on Thursday evenings.
Light Up Black Diamond Open House – December 2 –
Celebrate the Season with all kinds of activities in this small town! Walk to everything, photos with Santa, wagon rides, late-night shopping! Meet Artist Steve Coffey from 1pm – 3pm, and pick up an autographed copy of his new book Fallen Star Cars; David Barnes will be doing clay demos from 5pm – 9pm; Susan Kristoferson will be featuring many of her upcycled works, including beautiful “Luminaria” – glassware covered in her unique fibre arts which can be lit from within from 10am – 9pm; and Jim Osenton will be doing woodturning demos, constructing his “Manitoba Mosquito Nesting Boxes”.
The Gallery will be hosting a number of other pop-up events where you can meet the artist, throughout the balance of the 2017 holiday shopping season. You can see their whole schedule on their website at:
Firebrand Glass Studio – www.firebrandglass.ca
634 3rd Street, Black Diamond,
Oh come all ye glass fans to the Firebrand Glass Studio. All are welcome at their Christmas Open House and tour. Catch one of many glassblowing demos throughout the day. Come and join artists Julia Reimer and Tyler Rock, along with the Firebrand Team with your friends and family, and learn more about the process of glass blowing! Each year, Julia and Tyler design a limited series of unique ornaments, new glass creations and one of a kind pieces that make perfect gifts 🎁
And for those who would like to experience the feeling of the material, workshops and classes are the ideal present 🎅 …. especially during those cccccold winter weekends.
The Studio & Gallery in Bragg Creek – www.facebook.com/The-Studio-Gallery-in-Bragg-Creek
16 White Ave, Bragg Creek
Winter Art Classes & Gift Certificates
Of course, Christmas is for children, but what about all the parents of those children who have a house-full of sugar-charged tyrant elves hopped up on holiday baking? Lucky for them, The Studio & Gallery in Bragg Creek has a variety of classes for kids and adults alike. The studio and gallery is home to 10 amazing artists, demonstrating their skills and selling their wares. An amazing collection of work to sooth any hyper holiday soul.
Pie Sundays at Art & Soul Studio Gallery – www.artandsoulstudiogallery.com/
120 – 6 Avenue SW, High River, Sundays from Noon to 4:00 pm.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Pie and art—what more could you possibly ask for? This winter join Art & Soul Studio Gallery on Sunday afternoons for Pie Sunday! It’s a great time to get out of the house with friends and family and enjoy the finer things in life! Come and see new artwork created by local artists and take in some live music by local musicians. Go for the pie and stay for the art. (Or just more pie).
Evanescence Gallery – evanescencegallery.com,
110a 3rd Ave SW, High River, the 3rd Monday of each month – 5:30pm-8:30pm ($20)
Evanescence Gallery and Art Studio exhibits the work of a select group of professional artists and fine craft producers dedicated to their individual studio practices. Whether it be paintings, jewelry, hand-dyed silk scarves or pottery, the work is remarkable; bold, passionate, dramatic and always original! Their Fall/Winter 2017 hours of business are Tuesday through Friday 10AM to 6PM, Saturdays 10AM to 5PM and Sundays from noon until 3PM. Visitors can also phone 403-796-4873 to arrange an appointment to view the gallery outside of their posted hours.
Does the fear of a hard sell at art galleries make you clam up? Luckily, the third-Monday of every month is officially stress-free at the family-owned Evanescence Gallery. Enjoy a totally relaxing evening of painting, colouring and puzzle-building at this gallery, giftery and creative space. (Did I mention pizza? There’s that, too.) And, only if you want (no pressure)—there’s an eclectic array of original works by local artists, art supplies and books. The gallery is technically closed Mondays, so for maximum carefree-ness, you can order online. “I guarantee it will arrive at your door before Christmas,” says manager Arlene Westen Evans. “Just like Amazon except I won’t enter your home.” Phewf!
Colossi’s Coffee House – www.colossiscoffeehouse.com
114 4 Ave SW, High River, Fridays from 6-9 p.m.
Friday Night Jams
This locally owned coffee house in downtown High River makes the perfect holiday hotspot—or, nudge nudge, date night—to sip eggnog lattes, peruse art on the walls and rock out every Friday night with weekly jam nights.
The Room At Home Gallery, Western Art at Bradley’s – www.theroomathome.com
123 3rd Avenue SW, High River, Friday 11-5 and Saturday 12 – 5
The Room At Home Gallery is located in the historic Bradley building, next to Maggie’s Diner, the home of the Heartland TV Series. The wood-framed structure is known as Bradley’s Western Wear to most residents in High River, Alberta, Canada. The building was fully renovated after the 2013 flood.
The Gallery celebrates Alberta and its artists, featuring acrylic art, watercolour, pencil art, fishing art, photography, MetalPrints, acrylic prints, canvas prints, framed and unframed original paintings and photographs, small gifts, and unique small furnishings.
Winter Wax Card Demonstration
December 1, 2-5PM, Watch artist Penny Gunderson make fine art cards with a simple iron and sticks of coloured beeswax in just a few minutes.
Pike’s Pottery & Metal Studios – www.pikestudios.com
70 9th Avenue SE, High River, Open whenever they are at the studio working or by appointment. As they are a working studio, please telephone them to make sure they are there so you are not disappointed.
Things are always changing in this unique Gallery. New work is being made, glazed and fired most every day. In fact, every time there is a kiln to unload, beautiful new pieces go straight onto the shelves so…BE SURE TO COME TO THIS GALLERY OFTEN
December 2, 9:45 – 11:45am, Make a mug using wooden stamps ($40); 1-3pm, Make a Fairy House ($40), Students should be 15 years of age and older. Register by phoning 403-652-5255 or email email@example.com
Leighton Centre’s – www.leightoncentre.org
144 St NW, Millarville, Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM -4PM, Closed Sunday & Monday
The Leighton Art Centre, Gallery and Museum has become a well-known art venue showcasing a variety of outstanding exhibitions by Alberta Artists. The predominant focus of art, inspired by the landscape, is the legacy the Leighton Art Centre is built upon. In addition to traditional paintings by both professional and emerging artists, they show works of fine craft that are inspired by the landscape, photography, and outdoor installations. It is located on 80 acres just outside of Calgary, near Millarville in the Alberta MD of Foothills.
Upcoming Exhibits, Programs & Events:
December 2-January 6 – Youthworks 2017
featuring artwork by local Junior & senior High School Students.
January 13 – February 24, 2018 – Vistas, Visions & Viewpoints
Celebrating the time honoured Leighton tradition of the landscape painting, this exhibit will feature the work of five local artists, using a variety of styles from realism to abstraction.
December 9, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ($85) Classic Hand Printed Christmas Cards
‘Tis the season to be creative and nothing does that better than making your own hand printed Christmas Cards. Join artist Michelle Wiebe as she guides students through some simple printmaking techniques. All Supplies are included, too, which is like its own gift.
Okotoks Art Gallery – www.okotoks.ca/culture-heritage/art-gallery
53 North Railway Street, Okotoks
Okotoks is a progressive town with a vibrant arts community. The Okotoks Art Gallery (OAG) reflects this wealth of creativity and dynamic energy. Located in the historic 1929 CPR Railway Station, the Gallery includes two gallery spaces for exhibitions , a gift shop featuring local and Canadian artisan wares, and also serves as the Visitor Information Centre for Okotoks.
November 17 – December 21, Spirit of Christmas Art Show and Sale
During the holiday season, the Okotoks Art Gallery will be transformed in the Spirit of Christmas, your best choice for holiday gift shopping, all crafted by local artisans. The Spirit of Christmas showcases one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments, jewelry, cards, and the walls will be filled with original, local artwork for sale. Everything in this holiday showcase will be priced under $200 so you can enjoy this brilliant, yet affordable, local art.
January 13 – February 24, 2018, Pleasing Everybody All the Time | Manny Blair
Okotoks artist Manny Blair’s intention for this exhibit is to attempt the futile – to please everybody all of the time. His work blends the kitsch element of the overtly decorative backdrop, in these cases garish curtain fabric, with a foreground of brutalist architectural imagery.
January 13 – February 24, 2018 – Turgor | Daniel Evans
Turgor by Edmonton artist Daniel Evans is an exhibit of large-scale drawings exploring themes of hybridity and the city as an organism. Bodies dissolve into a fusion of biology and architecture investigating the organic growth of urban environments and the physiological impact of these spaces on the bodies of their inhabitants.
March 3 – April 7, 2018 – Disbound | Kim Bruce
Disbound is an exhibit about education for girls. Using books as the starting point for each work, Redwood Meadows artist Kim Bruce strives to bring awareness to the importance of education and the role it has in shaping future generations.
March 3 – April 7, 2018 – Illuminating the Diary of Alda Dale Randall | Marlena Wyman
As a former archivist, Edmonton artist Marlena Wyman found women’s stories significantly lacking in archival collections, specifically the voice of early prairie women. This exhibit is inspired by the 1920 diary of Alberta homesteader Alda Dale Randall.
April 14 – May 9, 2018 – Life on Earthenware | Annette ten Cate | TREX
In Life on Earthenware, Medicine Hat artist Annette ten Cate has sculpted humorous and endearing representations of animals engaging in human activities. This exhibit made possible by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Traveling Exhibition Program.
Lineham House Galleries
33 Elma Street, Okotoks, Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 12 – 5PM; THursday 12 – 8PM; Saturday 11 – 5PM
Lineham House Galleries is Okotoks’ newest gallery and collaborative… All things handmade are housed in a beautiful, 110 year old Registered Historic Alberta Resource home. The house was formerly owned by the founding Lineham family of Okotoks, Alberta. A large and medium sized formal gallery and entry way on the main floor exhibits group shows of select artists every quarter. The main floor also showcases Okotoks and Southern Alberta artisanal items including jewellery, pottery, glass, metal, wood, prints and artistic gifts for heart and home.
Upcoming Exhibits & Events
November 30, 7pm – “The Manse” Book Launch and signing by Kelli Radford
Join us for Kelli’s first public reading of a Made in Okotoks story!
Kelli Radford was born and raised in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador; the hub of the south west of the province. She holds a Master’s Degree in education curriculum and instruction development. Kelli moved to Okotoks in 2013. Before moving to Okotoks, her experiences included teaching English second language in South Korea and Mexico. Her fascination with history and storytelling led her on a journey to seek out stories of the manse on 102 McRae st. and interpret them through writing The Manse’s Voice. The Manse’s Voice is her second published work. Kelli is currently working on other writings that involve telling other people’s stories as well as some of her own.
December 7, 6:30- 8pm – Annette Resler in Studio: After the Plein Air Studies
In a plein air state of mind – that’s where artist Annette Resler lives during her time spent creating art. Join Annette at Lineham House Galleries on Thursday, December 7th at 6:30 pm. as she paints in the house. She will share her thoughts about what painting on location in the great outdoors means to her and how it translates into her studio work.
Little Monkey Metal Works – www.littlemonkeymetal.com
RR#2, Site 13, Okotoks
At the head of it all is a husband & wife team that take great pride in their work. Their passion lies in creating the unusual and the ornate. They love to see their work in metal so it lasts and they get a thrill each time we hear ‘Ohhh’ or ‘Ahhh’. We are small company but work hard to keep up with demand for Michael’s creations. Combining art & function with metal works for your home. Specializing in silhouette design, Little Monkey offers a wide variety of metal art for the home, business or public arts. With a talented artist at the head of it all & a dedicated work crew, everything is hand-made locally.
Upcoming Events & Open Houses
December 16 & December 23, 11AM – 4pm – Christmas Open House
Come’on out to the country, enjoy a hot chocolate candy cane whip (courtesy of Michael’s sweet tooth) and have a browse. They will have any art available that they haven’t sold out of and lots of fire pits. No appointment necessary, just come!