Slow Art Day in Melfort featuring five local artists

MELFORT — The Northern Lights Gallery in Melfort will feature an exhibit for Slow Art Day with the local works of Linsey Levendal, Monica Daschuk, Al Jardine, Beth Bentz and Jim Mason.

Slow Art Day is a global annual event with the mission to help more people discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art.

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During the event, participants are encouraged to visit local museums and galleries to look at art pieces for 10 minutes each, and then meet together for a beverage to talk about their experience and interpretations.

“It is to promote the concept of slow down, and given the time we live in and what’s going on on the planet, people need things to focus on that helps improve the quality of life and cheer them up and make them think about something other than COVID,” said Sandra Dancey, the gallery’s owner.

“Art is a really good way to do that and it ties into music and everything. I don’t think people fully grasp how much art is a part of their life.”

The Northern Lights Gallery is one of 84 venues taking part.

Artists Linsey Levendal, Monica Daschuk, Al Jardine, Beth Bentz and Jim Mason will each have a piece on display, but Dancey said she won’t speak on the content of the artist’s selections as they’re being kept a secret even from her .

“I’m quite confident there won’t be a common theme. The whole point of Slow Art Day is you don’t even have to look at all of them, just one or two and actually take the time and look at them.”

Dancey said Daschuk in particular is known for having lots of hidden interpretations and messages in her work that requires a more extensive look.

“Monica is a Tisdale artist, she taught art for a number of years, she hasn’t been able to lately but most people in the neighbourhood know Monica,” she said.

“It’s not like you can glance at it and get it instantly. You might get one side of what it’s all about.”

Slow Art Day takes place on April 10. The gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dancey said appointments aren’t necessary, and one piece will be on display through the window so people don’t necessarily even need to enter the shop to take part.

“There’s art all around, it’s just a matter if you can stop and take a look and appreciate it.”

Afterwards, Dancey suggested using the opportunity to check out Treaty 4/Regina-based artist Sylvia Ziemann’s exhibit “Accidental Utopia”.

Accidental Utopia will be on display at the Kerry Vickar Centre from April 1 to April 23 as part of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC).

According to OSAC, Ziemann paints a menagerie of fantastical characters that are playful combinations of human, animal, insect, and plant. The art welcomes viewers into an imaginative realm where everything and everyone has its place.

“The artist affirms a philosophy of simplicity that is restorative, particularly in a contemporary context of pervasive social media and the often troubling news on TV,” OSAC wrote.

“Ziemann has long explored the tension between dystopia and utopia in her art, and with Accidental Utopia she paints the unexpected moments of utopia that emerge when folks come together in the wake of a disaster.”

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