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Galleries on board with beautiful art tour

The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta will feature six Foothills studios and galleries on Nov. 30.
SA ACD Firebrand Glass Studio 2659
Katherine Russell and Angus Harden create glass art at Firebrand Glass Studio in a past The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta. This month's event takes place Nov. 30. (Brent Calver/Western Wheel)

Artists across the Foothills are proudly displaying their creations in a tour that brings collectors into their studios and galleries for a day.

The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta is inviting the public to view the creations of Foothills artists by making eight stops on Nov. 30. The tour includes the Leighton Art Centre, Kristoferson Studio, Mady Thiel-Kopstein, Bluerock Gallery, Firebrand Glass Studio, Eversfield Ceramics, Lineham House Galleries and Okotoks Art Gallery.

Kristoferson is inviting people into her Turner Valley studio for the fourth year.

This year she’s teaching people origami and introducing them to her latest work – creating reproductions of 1700s historic paste papers that restorers of antiquarian books need in their work.

Kristoferson will also have on display tie-dyed paper, collages, holiday origami ornaments, paper earrings and an assortment of paper prints.

“When people get here they’re really confused because they have never seen anything like it before,” she said. “Then they begin to get that I’m painting paper rather than going out to the store and buying it.”

Many people who visit Kristoferson’s studio are bewildered, trying to figure out what it is she does.

“The studio is just crammed full with interesting things to look at like paper, tools and paints,” she said. “For some people it’s unusual to see someone doing what I do.”

Lineham House Galleries also plans to entertain visitors for the day.

Co-owner Cheryl Taylor has four artists and artisans scheduled to attend, with most offering demonstrations. They include Wendy Alger of BlackBird Art Jewelry, Jennifer Stables of Jenny Dale Designs, Lisa Schwartz of Whimsical Fibre Designs and Rattlestick with custom handcrafted items for men.

Demonstrations will be done in silversmithing, painting and fibre arts, said Taylor.

In addition, Lineham House Galleries is hosting a dedication for its Little Free Art Library at 1 p.m., created by Brian and Jennifer Payne.

“Our idea is to have a library that’s dedicated to art books and any kind of creative artisan pursuit, crafts, etc.,” said Taylor. “I don’t think there is one in Okotoks and being an art gallery we thought we would dedicate our little free library to those books in front of the gallery.”

Taylor said she hopped on board with The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta a year ago in September to showcase the talents of local artists and artisans close to home.

“I think it’s really important, particularly in this economy, for our galleries and artists to help promote each other and to include awareness of how many artist and creative activities are in the Foothills area,” she said. “It’s collaborating to cross-promote each other and share tricks of the trade and our love for what we do together as a group because together we are stronger.”

Taylor said many artists are feeling the effects of the economic downturn, which is evident in recent closures of art galleries across Alberta.

“You’re constantly trying to find ways to keep the doors open and encourage people to come visit and participate despite how increasingly difficult that is for Albertans,” she said.

The Leighton Art Centre northeast of Millarville is hosting its Christmas in the Country art sale featuring hundreds of pieces of original art and fine crafts created by local artisans and artists from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At Mady Thiel-Kopstein’s studio in Turner Valley, she will demonstrate her painting techniques and feature a special Christmas art wall of several new paintings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Firebrand Glass Studio in Black Diamond will feature a new series of work at its Christmas open house with glass blowing demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Eversfield Ceramics’ David Barnes is hosting a workshop where the public can view his students’ work in progress from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. near Black Diamond.

Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond is hosting pop-up markets featuring ceramic artist Katriona Drijber, painter Theresa Williams and painter/printer Michelle Wiebe, who will do letterpress demonstrations, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Okotoks Art Gallery is hosting its Spirit of Christmas Art Market, all created by local artists, and Gingerbread Station from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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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