When she began her clothing and textiles degree at the University of Alberta, Darcy Gusse Edinga thought she would be a fashion designer. However, somewhere along the way she ended up being an artist instead. Painting on silk has provided Darcy with an artistic outlet and an unplanned career. Her Red Deer based company, Silk Concepts, has been in business for more than 25 years.
“Through my art, my goal is to enrich peoples lives and encourage them to become more aware of the beauty in their surroundings,” said Gusse Edinga, whose work is often inspired by nature. In her home based studio, Darcy produces hand painted silk creations such as scarves, blouses, and art paintings that are sold in galleries and gift shops across Canada. Her work has been gifted to national and international dignitaries and was featured in the prestigious Smithsonian Museum.
Darcy is just one of many successful artists who live and work in Red Deer’s dynamic art community. Artists and their work are an integral part of a community that realizes art really is life.
You’ll find art all over the city in many different forms. The Red Deer Arts Council supports and encourages literary, performing dance, and visual artists through scholarships, awards, workshops, and events. Here are a few ways to immerse yourself in the arts of Red Deer:
Visit an Art Gallery
Where there’s art, you’ll find galleries. The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery has rotating art exhibits and offers drop in family-friendly art classes every Saturday. The city also operates the Viewpoint Gallery and the Corridor Community Gallery, which display the works of established and emerging artists. The Kiwanis Gallery at the Red Deer Public Library has rotating exhibits from the Alberta artists and is operating by the Red Deer Arts Council.
There is also a large number of private art galleries in the city. The First Friday of every month is a special time to explore Red Deer’s public and private art galleries. It’s basically a free Friday night art party with exhibit openings, opportunities to meet artists, and enjoy live music.
Explore the City’s Public Art
You’ll find public art all over the city — sculptures, murals, and ghosts. Red Deer’s ghosts are life sized bronze sculptures of historical figures that are scattered about downtown Red Deer. The city has one of the largest life sized bronze collections in Canada.
Open Studio Days
Once a year the Red Deer Arts Council coordinates and event that allows a large number of artists open their studios to visitors. Open Studio Days is a chance to meet local artists, witness live demonstrations, and learn about their creative process. You can watch artists work with clay, ceramics, silk painting, watercolours, pastels, oils, bead making, stained glass, and so much more.
Take In a Performance
Performing art is alive and well in Red Deer. Central Alberta Theatre (CAT) offers regular dinner theatre performances at the Memorial Centre. At the Scott Block Theatre, you can take in a Bull Ski Comedy show, Tree House Youth Theatre performance, or an Ignition Theatre production. The Red Deer College Arts Centre offers live theatre and music by students as well as the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and other groups. The Hub on Ross in downtown Red Deer also has art exhibits, concerts, and fun art performance workshops and activities.
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