A new kind of blue

Lisa Goudy
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Moose Jaw Art Guild President Jean Bell shows off young artist Megan Garrett's painting, 'Shades of our Past,' on Dec. 3, 2013. It is one of the pieces in the guild's exhibition, which officially opens on Dec. 5, 2013 and runs until Jan. 5, 2014. Beneath Garrett's painting is the painting 'Birth of the Blues' by Sheila Phillips, who recently turned 80 years old. Bell says those two paintings show the age differences of guild members.

Following the theme ‘blue’ wasn’t easy for Jean Bell.

“Sometimes an artist gets used to working in one palette or they have a preferred palette. For instance, I generally do natural tones and blue is not a colour I work in much,” she said. “It was a challenge and it’s interesting. I found through the process I learned more about myself as an artist … It was just exciting to see how the piece came together in the theme.”

Bell, the president of the Moose Jaw Art Guild, is one of 19 guild members with artwork on display at the exhibition at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery (MJMAG) until Jan. 5.

The exhibition consists of 28 pieces of different mediums, including acrylic, oil, fibre, glass, sketching and watercolour. The official exhibit opening is on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

“I kind of think of it as a guild Christmas party,” said Bell.

The opening reception is the only time hand-painted tote bags will be available for sale. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend.

“The guild decided a few months ago to have a theme and they chose blue. A theme like a colour, which can also be an emotion, it’s open enough that it can be translated into any medium fairly comfortably,” said Bell. “At the same time, it brings us together to make a beautiful (cohesive) … look for the show and it’s been great to see the guild members come together on a different level.”

During the time the exhibition is on display, there will be a People’s Choice box where people can vote for their favourite pieces in the exhibit and write comments on it.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what the top three picks are and any comments people make,” said Bell. “It’s a great way to engage the public.”

The People’s Choice Award and the theme came from two different members who visited other shows while travelling, she added.

“It’s that kind of networking through our members wherever they go to other groups that keeps us fresh and connected,” said Bell. “For the show coming together, it was really exciting to see how everybody translated blue into their art.”

She added on Sunday, interested artists can display their work and interact with guild members at the MJMAG, 1-3 p.m. It will be the third time the artist-to-artist afternoon will have taken place.

“We invite members of the public who work in any art medium from professional to novice to bring one or two pieces of their work down and join the guild for coffee and we put their artwork up amongst our artwork. So, for a couple hours, they’re on display in the gallery,” said Bell.

“It’s been wonderful to see the effect and response our guests have when they see their art up. It’s encouraging for them, which is what we want to do.”

People can be hesitant about coming to a guild meeting, she said, because they aren’t sure if it’s a good fit.

“They don’t really know about it,” said Bell. “This is a place to come and see how they can fit in.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Art Guild, Moose Jaw Museum

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