The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Art sales allow for a dynamic mix of artists to showcase their talents and to meet with potential customers. The Wildflower Arts Centre is a facility run by the city of Calgary to teach affordable art classes. Recently, the facility held its annual art sale, the Wildflower Art Salon and Sale, where artists displayed their pieces while also raising money for children to express themselves through dance.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to see what people respond to and what attracts their attention,” said Dianne Hove, a visual arts instructor at the Wildflower Arts Centre.

According to Hove, whose favorite pieces to make were the carved bowls, having people come into the facility to view the different artwork is a learning experience.

Hove’s said she learned that art sales are opportunities to see which pieces attract people’s attention.

“I notice that people respond to [the carved bowls] very well and that makes me happy because I enjoy making them,” said Hove.

Hove hopes to continue creating pieces that bring joy to people’s lives for a long time.

The sale not only allows artist to meet people, it also allows the artists to share the facility with the public.

“It is a way to bring people in and to share the instructors work … and the facilities as well,” said Alice Helwig, an acrylic painter and art instructor at Wildflower Art Centre.

The instructors at Wildflower are all professional artists and the facility primarily hires local artists.

While Helwig currently teaches painting classes at the centre, the instructors are allowed to teach a wide variety of classes. Personal interest has led Helwig to gain experience with felting, clay and stained glass. But most of the time she sticks with painting.

“I always go back to the paintings, it is my first love,” said Helwig.

Susan Thrope

Susan Thorpe’s favorite course is the art combo, which consists of 9 weeks of classes from all fields of art.  Photo by Shaunda Lamont.

While the show has a mixture of student and instructor artwork, instructor work is primarily showcased, according to Susan Thorpe, a ceramic specialist and technician at Wildflower Arts Centre.  

“Some of our students have progressed to the level where they are really professional so by invitation they are included,” said Thorpe.

Thorpe said that the centre extends invitations out to artists in order to have a wide range of art on display for the sale. For example, the centre will invite an artist who creates blowing hot glass pieces.

“We try to fill in those holes so it is a nice, well-rounded show,” said Thorpe.

After the sale is over, a 15 per cent commission goes directly to the Footprints Dance Project Society.

“Footprints is a non-profit organization and it is meant to help kids at risk,” said Andrea Pass, an artistic producer at Footprints.

The organization works with at-risk children from Shagannapi Village and the Spruce Cliff neighborhood. Footprints takes referrals from social workers, the Calgary police and group homes.

“We do an after-school dance program that is free for kids that is integrating dance and digital arts,” said Pass.

The Wildflower Art Salon and Sale is a part of the Wildwood Community Winter Market which showcases artistic work to help children in need.

Andrea PassAndrea Pass, an artistic producer at the Footprints Dance Project Society, works the cash desk with the event to raise funds for the organization.  Photo by Shaunda Lamont.

Editor: Robyn Welsh | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.