Airdrie Regional ARTS Society will showcase the work of local artists during its annual winter show, taking place this year at a new, high-profile location.
“In past years, we’ve held it at smaller locations around Airdrie,” said Bruce Solilo, society president. “This year, we decided to take a big leap forward, and we’re working together with CrossIron Mills mall, and we’re going to be doing our show and sale there.”
On Nov. 9 and 10, 12 local artists will set up in the corridor leading from the food court to the rest of the mall. Partnering with the mall will lead to significantly more exposure for the local artists, Solilo said, as the mall has estimated traffic of 45,000 people over the weekend. Artists will showcase work in a variety of mediums and styles, including realism, abstract, impressionism, woodworking and jewelry.
“Talking with the mall, they haven’t really done this type of showing there in the past,” he said. “We’re both taking a good look at it and seeing what it’s like, and, with any luck, we’re going to have a very successful show and look at doing it again [and] making it an annual event every November.”
Typically, the winter show is smaller than the society’s spring show, which corresponds with the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show. The partnership with CrossIron Mills is an opportunity to move the winter show forward, Solilo said, and make it as great as the spring show.
The increased exposure is both exciting and nerve-wracking for the artists, he added, but they are looking forward to exhibiting and selling their work, as well as interacting with shoppers at the mall. Shows such as this also afford artists the opportunity to find clientele for commissioned work, which can benefit them long-term.
“I want to encourage anyone that is looking for art for their house, whether they’re an art collector or just livening up their different rooms, to come out and take a look, see the different options that are out there for you,” Solilo said.
Airdrie ARTS Society was formed to promote the local art scene by educating, networking, promoting and bringing exposure to artists in the Airdrie area. The winter show helps fulfill that mandate, Solilo said.
Each of the artists is donating the proceeds from the sale of one of their pieces to Wounded Warriors Canada. With the show taking place in the days before Remembrance Day, Solilo said it felt appropriate to support veterans.
“[We’re] trying to get as community-minded as we can,” he said. “Getting the artists giving back to the community that they’re working in and living in – it’s very important for all of us to help each other out.”