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New season sparkles with local charm

Lori Penner


The 8th season of Altona’s Gallery in the Park began last weekend, and visitors are already flocking to the facility to check out the new exhibits.

Art enthusiasts will be delighted to find both floors of the main gallery are filled with creations by the Buffalo Creek Artists.

Although their numbers fluctuate, this visual arts group is currently made up of 10 local artists, including Peter Cole, Jill Ferris, Bev Friesen, Jake Goertzen, Margruite Krahn, Lloyd Letkeman, Ken Loewen, Gail Sawatzky, Norman Schmidt and Barb Wiebe.

The group has been displaying their work for about 15 years, locally and around the world.

Their mediums are as diverse as their subjects, and include everything from photography, metals, clay and textiles, to various kinds of paint and painting techniques.

Artist Lloyd Letkeman says, “There’s a sensitivity to which we interpret the subjects and people are often impressed with the depth of the work that’s being shown.”

The group’s theme for the season is “Interrupted”.

Letkeman says it’s an interesting theme, which opens the door to a world of interpretation.

“So what you have on display here for the first part of the summer is all kinds of interruptions. Interruptions in nature, in social media, and in all the every day rhythms of life,” he says.

“Our hope as artists is that you’ll be inspired. That you’ll be blessed. That these pieces will start conversations. That something will cause you to be stirred, whether it’s in your head, your heart or your will. May you please be interrupted.”

Gallery committee chair Frank Friesen says they are thrilled to focus on this eclectic group this season.

“One of the main reasons the gallery was created was to provide a place for local artists to exhibit and showcase their work, and this season’s exhibits are a celebration of these local artists.”

The gallery committee is also thrilled to present the latest permanent installation in the sculpture garden.

“Angular Ascent” by Altona area artist Todd Braun now stands majestically along the path to the fountain, shifting its textures and moods with the changing light.

The 1,000 lb. granite statue was financed by the Altona Community Foundation and the Friends of the Gallery.

Braun says in part, the piece’s name is derived from the remnants of stone from which it was made. “You see these remnants like the mistakes we all sometimes make, as things that need to be corrected or dealt with,” he says.

“But mistakes are just part of life and part of our journey as we move forward, the ‘ascent’ we all need to make.”

For more information on exhibits and hours, go to www.galleryinthepark.ca

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