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Year-long art challenge ready for viewing

It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of creativity, art and encouragement – 260 works of art created by five artists in Airdrie will be unveiled later this month, as the Studio 52 project comes to a close.
Local artists
As part of the Studio 52 project, five Airdrie artists individually created an art piece each week for the duration of 2018. Left to right: Melissa Bruglemans-LaBelle, Verone Solilo (holding a picture of Katherine Kimber), Cindy Zampa and Sharon Shuttleworth.

It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of creativity, art and encouragement – 260 works of art created by five artists in Airdrie will be unveiled later this month, as the Studio 52 project comes to a close. The collaboration between Airdrie artists Cindy Zampa, Sharon Shuttleworth, Melissa Bruglemans-LaBelle, Verone Solilo and Katherine Kimber saw the five artists challenge themselves to each create 52 unique art pieces – one per week ­– for the duration of 2018. With the project now completed, the 260 original and print pieces will be available for public viewing and sale from Jan. 24 to 26, at a makeshift gallery at 105 - 150 Edwards Way N.W. While the first evening will be for invited friends and family only, the other two days will be open to the public. The Jan. 25 showing will take place from 4 to 7 p.m., while the Jan. 26 event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to Zampa, the idea for Studio 52 came to her as she began her sojourn into retirement at the end of 2017. She said she wanted to do something artistic that would put her out of her comfort zone, and came up with the idea of creating a new painting every week for an entire year. Zampa posted her idea on Facebook, and she said Shuttleworth and Bruglemans-LaBelle quickly got on board. “We started chatting back and forth over the next couple of weeks about what it could look like, and how we could stay consistent and accountable to each other,” Zampa said. “Then, [Solilo and Kimber] joined, and we got through the year. We all completed 52 pieces of art.” Each of the five artists reflected a recurring theme or style through their completed pieces, according to Zampa. “For me, I chose the theme of portals to work on, because portals are another form of transition, and I was transitioning out of my career into retirement,” she said. Bruglemans worked with coffee on watercolour for all of her pieces, while Shuttleworth challenged herself to complete all of her paintings in one hour or less. “I don’t know how [Shuttleworth] did that, but she was very consistent,” Zampa said. “On her website, every Monday, she would publish what she did – and she would even record herself with a stopwatch next to her.” Solilo used bold, bright acrylic colours for all of her works, and focused on four different interpretations of the same subject matter, 13 times. While the rest of the members crafted their art with paint, Kimber used pen and paper to create 52 different greeting cards, which can all be coloured and given away for various occasions. Though it was a challenging initiative, Zampa said the collaborative aspect of Studio 52 helped keep the artists accountable, and each member provided encouragement to the rest of the group throughout the year. “Everyone faced different challenges,” she said. “We all experienced times where we struggled to get it done, and sometimes, we fell behind, but we always caught up.” Zampa added Studio 52 made her a better artist, as well. “It was a hugely productive and successful year, as far as the learning part goes,” she said. At the unveiling, Zampa said she, Bruglemans-LaBelle and Shuttleworth will also reveal a new project that they will embark on for 2019. “We’re adding new people – two other people – so we’ll continue to keep it going,” she said. To see some of the work that will be on display, visit bit.ly/2H5i3DP





Scott Strasser

About the Author: Scott Strasser

Scott Strasser, sports/RCMP reporter
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