Commemorating 30 years of support

Nathan Liewicki
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Moose Jaw Art Guild says thank you to the Uptown Café

Three different owners have run the Uptown Café over the past 30 years. 

Each of them has, however, remained steady in their support of the Moose Jaw Art Guild (MJAG).

The café’s current owner, Kin Chor Woo, was on hand for a special presentation from the MJAG on Saturday, honouring that support.

Jean Bell, president of the MJAG, presented Woo with a plaque honouring the café for 30 years of allowing MJAG members to share their artwork.

“For new artists, this venue has been their first public exhibit,” said Bell. “The experience has helped them gain some exhibiting skills and the encouragement needed to pursue developing their artistic abilities.”

About 15 MJAG members were on hand for the presentation of the plaque and a framed photograph of the outside of the café courtesy of Bill Kruse.

Since 1984, approximately 1,5000 artistic creations of more than 100 artists have been displayed in the café’s banquet room.

“If all of them could have been with us today, we would probably have to move out into the street,” Bell said, which prompted a few laughs from those gathered.

Not only has the café provided the MJAG with a continuous venue for members to bring contacts and prospective members to see art that reflects the variety of talents members have, but it has also provided inspiration.

Moreover, prospective buyers are free to contact the artist of a piece of art hanging in the café they are interested in purchasing.

“For developing artists, this has been an ongoing, dependable venue where they could share their unique talents with both the Moose Jaw community and the tourists that come through,” Bell said.

The MJAG artwork is rotated, on average, every three months and features creations composed using the likes of acrylic paint, oil-based paint, watercolour paint, fiber art and charcoal.

It’s like having the entire art guild in one place.

“For artists in a small community – at a grassroots level – having an ongoing exhibit is rare,” said Bell.

That rarity has, however, provided opportunities for people to take up an artistic skill, or resume one previously lost.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Moose Jaw Art Guild

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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