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Foothills artists showcasing talent in DeWinton

A dozen artists to be featured at Art Works! Art Show and Sale at the DeWinton Community Hall Oct. 11-13.
Gary Briggs 5632
Foothills-based sculptor Gary Briggs poses with some of his works in his studio on Oct. 5. (BRENT CALVER/Western Wheel)

Art in various forms from sculptures to photography will be on display in an annual show, revealing the varied artistic talents of foothills artists.

The three-day Art Works! Art Show and Sale is a collaboration of artists Allen Wiebe, Ann Beswick, David Barnes, Elizabeth Ellis-Bassett, Fran Porter, Gary Briggs, Kim Berlie, Lanhee Cho, Lynda Vowell, Ray Swirsky, Robyn Feluch and Vincente Garces. The show takes place Oct. 11 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Oct. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DeWinton Community Hall.

It’s advantageous for us as artists to work together and each artist brings something different to the table,” said Berlie, an Okotoks photographer. “It’s not crowded, so they can talk to the artists about the medium that they use or why they painted that piece. It’s a nice relaxed show.”

This year marks the first Okotoks metal sculptor Gary Briggs is bringing his sculptures to Art Works! after moving to the Foothills from Ontario a year ago to be close to family.

Briggs creates bronze sculptures ranging from small pieces for display in homes and business lobbies to larger ones like driveway gates.

“I have half a dozen bronze cats and other things I’ve made over the last little while,” he said.

Briggs also hammers metal, creating beautiful life-sized goats, peacocks and bronze gongs.

I really enjoy talking to people about my artwork and getting other people’s perspectives on my work,” he said. “We’ll talk about the history of the piece, where I got my inspiration and how it’s executed. People often have a lot of questions on the process.”

Briggs is not new to drawing attention to his art. His sculptures have been featured in numerous galleries, events and museums in eastern Canada.

Now in western Canada, Briggs is eager to be a part of Art Works!, adding more variety to the show with his sculptures and hammered metal works.

“You’ve got to have new artists and new work to show people because they don’t want to come back and show the same work they saw last year,” he said.

The talent that will surround Briggs at the show is something to be proud of, he said.

“We’ve got some fabulous artists showing this year,” he said. “I’ve seen their work and it’s well worth the time to come out to DeWinton on the holiday weekend and bring your family and come and see the work and talk to the artists. We like to talk about our work and show people what we’re capable of and maybe sell a piece and get a commission.”

Among them is Turner Valley weaver Elizabeth Ellis-Bassett, who has been showcasing her fibre arts in the show for years.

“I enjoy the camaraderie,” she said. “We all pitch in and do what we have to do and get things done.”

What makes the show popular, according to Ellis-Bassett, is the variety of art offered from woodworking to pottery.

“It’s so much fun to be able to see the different types of work,” she said.

Ellis-Bassett will have numerous hand-woven tunics, scarves, ponchitos, shawls, tea towels, table runners and various other fibre works available for sale.

“I have a tendency to combine a lot of different fibres like cotton, silk and bamboo, all together on one warp,” she said. “I wind warps out of silk and hand paint them with dye and weave them and turn them into something gorgeous. I get all these ideas, but you have to keep an open mind because it’s not exactly what you wanted, especially when you’re experimenting.”

To give people an idea of the looming process, Ellis-Bassett will have a loom on site that she will operate as a demonstration.


Tammy Rollie

About the Author: Tammy Rollie

Tammy Rollie is a staff reporter at and the Western Wheel newspaper, focusing on Wheel's West, local arts and culture and entertainment. For story tips contact
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