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L.A. Beat

Art’s Alive and Well in the Schools cornerstone of new local exhibits at SAAG

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The Southern Alberta Art Gallery  (SAAG) showcases artists at different stages of their careers as they open three new exhibits on Saturday, May 13. Best of all admission to the exhibits is free thanks to a sponsorship from ATB.

 Arts Alive and Well in the School is in the Lower gallery and in the hallways.



“We always try to have all local artists when we have Arts is Alive and Well,” said SAAG interim curator Adam Whitford.

“ We have Arts Is Alive and Well in the Schools which is students at the beginning of their careers, Lonnie Powers’ #RAINTHATSRTUCK who is sust starting and April Matisz ’ “ Gathering near and far, still. She  is more established. She has had several exhibitions of her own, but is still up and coming, ” Whitford summarized.


Art’s Alive  and Well in The School focuses on over 100 young artists Grades 9-12  from the Lethbridge School District. It also features projections of works from artists in K-Grade 8.

“ Art’s Alive and Well In the Schools is back for the 43rd year. It started in 1977, the year after the SAAG opened.Other thana. couple of years during Covid when it was online, it has run continuously since then,” Whitford continued.


April Matisz’s Gathering new and far, still is at the SAAG. Photo by Richard Amery

“ We get a lot of families and see a lot of new faces who don’t usually come to the SAAG. We also get a lot of field trips,” he said, adding Art’s Alive and Well in the Schools helps give young artists their first exposure.

Art’s Alive and Well opens  with a reception between 2-4 p.m. and runs  until June 17.


April Matisz’s “Gathering near and far, still ” is in the upper gallery.


“It’s her first solo exhibition at the SAAG. April explores  the idea of gatherers rather than hunters. April is interested in biology. There are cutouts of figures of different  sizes  going gathering in the distant past and ceramic feet which reflect ancestral footprints of these gatherers,” he said, adding, the exhibit also includes ink paintings reflecting that theme.

University of  Lethbridge MFA candidate Lorne Power has set up a new interactive exhibit in the SAAG Library.


“#RAINTHATSTUCK is a project from the Saint John New Brunswick artist reflects on the concept of rain.


“If you contact him through Instagram at  (portlower), he will send you a postcard of a van window with red liquid on it and the hashtack #RAINTHATSTUCK and you send him back your story about being caught in the rain. So it’s ideal for the library because it is about writing,” Whitford said.


The exhibit features  some of the stories already submitted including a cut up poem from  Power  featuring pieces of stories already submitted.


“It’s about creating a community because everybody has stories about being caught in the rain,” he continued.


 There is also a new exhibit in the shop. MAO Projects features ceramics from Calgary artists Chris Savage and Mao Coon Chen.

Lorne Power’s  #RAINTHATSTUCK is at the SAAG. Photo by Richard Amery


 The opening reception for Art’s is Alive in the schools is 2-4 p.m., Saturday, May 13. It closes June 17.

 The opening reception for April Matisz’s  Gathering near and far, still and Lorne Power’s  #RAINTHATSTUCK is 7-9 p.m.. They run until June 24.

 Thanks to The sponsorship by ATP, admission to  the exhibits is free.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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