Art show finds new beginnings


No one will argue that the main action takes place on four legs in the arena during the Ponoka Stampede but part of what makes the event so great are the activities and shows that take place around the rodeo action.

The Ponoka Stampede Art Show has been taking place for almost 20 years, this year the event will be organized by one of Ponoka’s own.

If you have seen a Ponoka Stampede calendar for the past several years then you are familiar with 28-year-old Inge Sybrandi’s work. Sybrandi has now stepped up to run the art show and is looking forward to the challenge it presents.

“It’s my baby. I’m pretty excited and a little nervous,” said Sybrandi who has shown her work at the stampede for the last six years. “I know all of the exhibitors and they are kind of like my family. I’m from Ponoka and I care about the show and hopefully I can build on an established show and make it better.”

Being part of the show for the last several years has allowed Sybrandi to see how the event is run and she said she wants to keep the show relatively similar — with a few changes of course.

“I want to change a few things. I want to move away from it being too much of a trade show and get away from mass produced stuff,” said Sybrandi.

“I want people who make their own art and get a lot of handmade art in there.”

She understands that it will be a gradual process but wants to put the emphasis on the art and the artist.

With a multitude of talented western artists, getting authenticity in the show shouldn’t be a problem.

“The rodeo here is so unique so the art show should be as well. And so many of the rodeoers have family that are involved in the arts. We have a gallery so it helps if someone wants to put a piece in the show.”

One addition to the show this year will be an auction that takes place on Saturday.

“It’s the first year for the auction so there will probably be about 20-30 pieces and there are a few artists that can’t make the show but will still have an item in the auction,” said Sybrandi.

The show will feature oil paintings, water colors, bronze work, pencil art, wood carvings, hand crafted furniture, primitive rock painting and so much more. One area Sybrandi would like to see more of is from the native community.

“We have a huge native community not very far away and I’m trying to get some of that back because it is part of our history and our culture and we are still connected to that,” said Sybrandi.

One can recognize the passion and enthusiasm Sybrandi has when she speaks about the show at the Ponoka Stampede and she said this work couldn’t be done without the hard work of Lewis Reid who ran the show previously and the support of the Stampede Association.

A Ponoka Composite graduate, Sybrandi said she was turned on to the arts by her teacher Mary-Lynn Ghitter.

“I want to help promote art in the community here and try to bring some attention to it. No one is encouraged to be an artist and I feel like doing the show will help promote and eventually I’d like to get some high school students in the show. Lots of different things and getting people to come check the show out,” said Sybrandi.

The show itself will run from June 30 to July 3, opening its doors at 10 a.m. and closing at 6:30 p.m. and Sybrandi encourages everyone to check out the art work that will be on display during the stampede.

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