Painters and sculptors showed off their western works of art during the Ponoka Stampede, which brought painting workshops and a historical display of the history of Maskwacis.
Organized by Inge Sybrandi, the Western Art and Gift Show was held June 28 to July 1 at the Ponoka Curling Rink and brought many central Alberta artists to the show. Red Deer painter and instructor Michael Downs held a three-hour workshop every day for artists.
“He came highly recommended to me,” explained Sybrandi.
She was also pleased to have presentations from the Samson Museum and Archives to give attendees a better understanding of how Maskwacis was formed.
“I think there’s so much history than people realize,” she said.
Brian Lightning works with the Samson Museum and he enjoyed being part of the art show for the first time. The historical presentation was geared to how Hobbema was formed and why it was named Maskwacis in the New Year.
“We thought it would be a good idea to let them (local communities) know about the name change,” said Lightning.
While there were no local Maskwacis art pieces in the show, Lightning feels that is a possibility but suggests it will take more co-ordination to be possible. “I think all the stars have to be lined up in order to do that.”
“There’s some incredible artists,” he added.
Lightning said the exhibit was quite popular and many people did not realize the history of Maskwacis.
Art auction growing
In an effort to draw more people to the art sale, Sybrandi developed the art auction four years ago.
While the auction is still a new event during Ponoka Stampede, she feels it will only get better. This year, the Stampede Association contracted pencil artist Bernie Brown to depict renowned chuckwagon driver Dallas Dorchester.
The original piece sold for $4,700 at the art auction June 30.
Dorchester’s widow Shirley was proud to see the piece in Ponoka. “I felt very honoured.”
She put many hours of work collecting old photos of Dorchester, researching how he rode and trying to find the best photos to depict the driver. Shirley says once the research was done, Brown did the rest.
“We let him decide what he was going to do with his artistic ability,” explained Shirley.