Thursday, 26 April 2018 06:39

En Plein Air Exhibit is a call for artists to be a part of annual display

Written by  Demi Knight
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The University of Lethbridge is asking artists across southern Alberta to pick up their paint brushes and join them at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage in Nanton this summer to create a collection of inspired pieces.

Recruiting all artists who want to explore the creativity and strikingly beautiful surroundings that the Coutts Centre has to offer, the U of L is hoping to bring these visionaries together over the summer to compile pieces for their fifth annual ‘En Plein Air’ Exhibit.
“This is the 5th year for En Plein Air, at the Coutts Centre, and every year these events have grown in participation,” says Jon Oxley, Administrative Manager at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.
“For artists all over southern Alberta, and beyond, the Coutts Centre provides them with an open, free and accessible space for their practices and after a summer of creating art, these artists are provided with the opportunity to submit work to the En Plein Air exhibitions, and expose their art to the larger general public.”
The En Plein Air exhibits which arose from two gifts that were given to the University several years ago to encourage students and beyond to pursue their artistic abilities are now looking for artists to be a part of the fifth annual showing in Lethbridge.
With both the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage being donated to the institution as well as the Dr. Foster James Penny Building in downtown Lethbridge where the display is held each year, the exhibit offers an experience for all artists to work in a private and inspirational space that activates and exercises creative minds of all ages and skill levels.
“Artists of all ages and talent levels are authentically welcome to participate, and this provides for a very diverse level of interpretation of the Coutts Centre as seen through the eyes of so many artists with such different experience levels,” says Oxley.
The Coutts Centre, which is located in southern Alberta just outside of Nanton, is home to extraordinarily fertile land with expanding views of the rolling hills and all of the clouds and storm fronts that brush over the voluminous rocky mountains.
With beautifully maintained landscapes the centre is also home to a natural forest of local trees, arbours, gardens and flower beds that have been known to inspire creativity in the minds of many.
And with outdoor oddities, heritage buildings, shady corners and gazebos this centre has seen a slew of different artists come out over the past five years to contribute their skills to the University’s exhibits.
“There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in Alberta,” says Oxley of why the centre is such a special place to create.
Now looking at hosting their fifth annual display, the University of Lethbridge is calling all previous and new artists to come out to one or more of their four summer workshops at the Coutts Centre to create, draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, compose and design artwork to be featured on the walls for the public to see this December.
With the upcoming workshops being held on May 13, June 17, July 22 and Aug. 19, all budding and experienced artists are encouraged to come out and partake in this growing event.
With the En Plein Air Exhibit opening in Lethbridge at the Dr. Foster James Penny Building on Dec. 5 until the 22, artists will have plenty of time to after their visit to the Coutts Centre to gather inspiration and create their own masterpieces before offering them to the University for the public to see later this year.

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