An abstract view in Morden

Andrew Pruden

Lunar View is one of many pieces by Esther Hildebrand on display at the Pembina Valley Art Gallery throughout October. (ANDREW PRUDEN/Morden Times)

Lunar View is one of many pieces by Esther Hildebrand on display at the Pembina Valley Art Gallery throughout October. (ANDREW PRUDEN/Morden Times)


Fans of abstract art, and those curious about it, will enjoy the October exhibit at the Pembina Valley Art Gallery. Local artist Esther Hildebrand will be displaying her works at the gallery to show her passion for, and talent with, the abstract medium.

Like many artists Hildebrand’s passion began later in life. In Hildebrand’s case after she retired from farming and saw the next generation take over. “We decided to move off the farm in order for our and his family to live there [and] I decided to take a short interior decorating course.”

While Hildebrand had an interest in art her original reasons for joining the course were more practical. “I was not about to decorate our new home with the same wall hangings and pictures that I felt I had done justice to over the years.”

Originally Hildebrand’s plan was to use her own abilities to decorate her own space but a visit with a friend changed that idea. “I painted something for our dining room, and when a friend dropped by one day and fell in love with it I sold it to her. That is where the idea was born that maybe it is worth trying to sell my artwork.”

Abstract art is a style that can mystify some people, including Hildebrand’s husband. “I love abstract art in that I don’t have to try to make it look like a particular shape or landscape, etc. It is more about colour, shape, balance and energy [and] for me it allows much more freedom. My husband will often question “so what’s it supposed to be?” and the beauty of it for me is that it doesn’t have to be anything,

Nicholls is also very excited to bring in abstract pieces as she feels people can misinterpret the effort required. “I often hear people when they are talking about abstract artwork saying “I could do that” or “my child could paint that”, but there is actually quite a bit of work that goes into works like these. Starting with a base coat of paint, reflective of the colour palate the artist is working in for that piece, they then apply layers and layers of colour to create depth and movement within the artwork. The choices about which colours and how to layer, like drip, brushwork, or other methods, are painstakingly thought out. This complete process can take hours and hours for a single abstract work to be completed.”

Nicholls even has a few tips for first time abstract observers. “Instead of looking for identifiable objects in abstract artwork, I try to encourage folks who are not familiar with abstract work to think about how the artwork makes you feel when you look at it. Esther Hildebrand’s creations are on display right not at the Pembina Hills Art Gallery, for more information go to or phone (204) 822-6026.


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