By Eva Luna Frigon
he Homegrown Art show; the event of the new year here for Banff regional artists. A contemporary exhibit that annually shines in the heart of the Bow Valley, featuring a collection of local creatives joining in unison with the Town of Banff in order to enrich the minds of young and old with contemporaneous craft.
In recent years, there has been a burgeoning movement towards modern artwork, the recent focus on nature-inspired artwork is a focal point of this year's exhibition taking place at the Banff Town Hall. This spring's exhibition was a rich montage of artwork: a fine selection of landscape paintings, photography, digital print, laced with eye drawn tapestries that beg to be touched.
From the moment the gallery opened it was bustling, filled with art fanatics and art aspirants who stood chest to chest waiting their turn to get a glimpse. From Larissa Barlows opening piece, ‘The Lion of the Lannister” (inspired by Game of Thrones); a chainmail ring tapestry that took the inspiration from 12th century medieval knightship, dominantly stood welcoming guests into the venue. This special piece allowed the public to interact and appreciate the art by touch.
To ignite the auditory sense, a memorable written piece delivered by local poet Shawayne Dunstan, who has just published his seventh book of poetry, started off the evening reciting an original poem, ‘Found not sought’. It was the perfect uplifting welcome for guests to enter the venue.
From the fine art, to the location, to the bright and energetic environment, one of the centerpieces of the evening was the magical and lively mood created by two local musicians, The Ramblin Hey Ho Ha’s, playing live instrumental music throughout the night.
The ‘Homegrown’ art show was a true celebration of the different arts that are performed yet underappreciated here in the Bow Valley. Barb Maki presented a home grown piece that reflects both art & sport. Maki created a 2D textured painting, using light watercolor and acrylic paints to make a meter long canvas depiction of a rock climber at a slight birds-eye view. An original piece presented in the gallery that perfectly added to the multi art forms that Christine Larouqe, organizer of this year's art show, aimed to honor and praise. This year's aim was to bring awareness to local artists that have taken full advantage of the beautiful place that we live in. Although Banff is a magnet for tourists, the Town of Banff truly brought recognition to the talented artists that thrive here in Banff.
Overall, myself and undoubtedly the rest of the attendees left warm, head filled, and little giddy from the flowing Pinot. A brilliant start to this spring's art collection here in Banff. A small hidden town with undoubtable rapidly growing talent, coming from all corners of the world, planted together in a place we now call home. I hold Sheer excitement to see what the Town of Banff will bring us next!