From the ashes

Justin Crann
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Artist Madria Stevens to exhibit works at MJCC

Madria Steven's art exhibit at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre almost didn't happen because of the Jubilee Block blaze.

Madria Steven poses alongside "Mask" — the work she calls her favourite from her collection on display at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre. The collection has its opening reception Saturday.

"We were almost done. We had everything measured out … and we had a whole wall of frames we were going to pick from, and a big box I brought, but they (Sooter Studios) lost everything in the fire,"  she told the Times-Herald Tuesday.

Steven doesn't have a television and isn't on social media, so she found out about the fire that destroyed Sooter Studios — where her work was being touched up and framed — while running errands. 

"I just saw soot and rubble and there were reporters there," she said.

At first, Steven was worried someone might have been hurt or killed in the fire. When she realized everyone was okay, her mind turned back to the exhibit, which she "didn't think was going to get done."

It took a lot of hard work on her part and that of collaborators Alicia Dionne and Della Desrochers 

"What we did in six months, we had to redo in three weeks. It was kind of stressful, but more rewarding, and now it's done … it was a team effort."

Steven said the exhibit — named God's Art — is "all photography and most of it is of nature."

The shots on display range from images featuring animals and landscape to shots taken on a trip to Ireland "and something special from Berlin."

Steven's works are available for viewing at the MJCC already, but she is hosting an opening reception — "with free cookies!" — on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. 

She will also be selling prints of the work on display and other images, as well as copies of an autobiographical book.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Sooter Studios, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Ireland, Berlin

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