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Red Deer Reality Rant #15 - Start-ists

Hello again, and welcome to another Red Deer Reality Rant! For today’s post I would like to talk about something near and dear to my heart, it’s relationship to Red Deer and the lack thereof. Most people who have made my acquaintance know that I am a visual artist. I have written several blogs on the subject here on Brutal Reality Digest, I run my own freelance artwork business - Art Is Off the Wall, and do contract and commission work. Ninety percent of my time has some connection to artwork, it is part of my process to be constantly percolating ideas.

So again, I am here to talk about the Arts and Red Deer. I will say that there are great things in existence for local artists. There’s a Visual Arts Diploma available at Red Deer Polytechnic, some learning opportunities at Artribute Art School, and A+ Art Gallery. There’s the Red Deer Arts Council, Red Deer Art Club, and a great little supply store, Alberta Art and Drafting. Not to mention, some great local artists and businesses who display local artist’s work.

Red Deer Arts Council/Alberta Art & Drafting/A+ Art Gallery

All of these things aside, their numbers are minuscule to the scope and potential that exists in Red Deer for the Arts. In years past, I remember there were arts and culture events, like Centrefest, Nuit Blanche, and Art Walk, that I believe should be brought back. And if not, then let’s get some new ones in place! This summer I know that Meet the Street is happening, but there needs to be more markets and events available for the sheer numbers of artists in the area.

As a working artist, I don’t view other artists as competition. Every artist is unique and has something different to offer, their own style and expertise. One person’s art is incomparable to another’s. It is what makes the arts extraordinary! Art has value to society, everyone I know has come across a piece of artwork that speaks to them, that they have hopefully gotten from the artist rather than Walmart or some bargain bin.

Someone said to me that there’s a lot of bad art out there, that there is a lot that they don’t like, so believe that it’s not useful. On the contrary, art is subjective, it’s personal, and it’s ok if you don’t like it because for a certainty there exists a piece that you do like. Maybe it brightened your day to see it, maybe it is on your wall at home and complements your style, or maybe it lives in your mind and memory.

Ross Street Patio/Words That Are Truth/The Velvet Olive - Has Local Art

Some of the other artists I know also are struggling to get this city to care about arts as a whole. We all likely want the same thing: community, and a place to share our artwork. Instagram is a place where you can do that and I have connected with some other local artists on there. However, there’s nothing like experiencing art in person, for which the galleries are great but we need more involvement by the city and the community in general.

Below are some links for anyone interested in local art, as well as my Instagram handle for some shameless self promotion along with the handles of some of the other artists that I follow local to Red Deer and area. Have a great Monday everyone!

My Website:
My Instagram: @Art_Is_Off_the_Wall

Some Sites to Check Out: Red Deer Arts Council
A+ Art Gallery
RDP Art Programs
Some Cool Local Artists on Instagram: Jayde Kimberley
Shelby Hippe
Brenda Smith
Gord Klaassen
....and many more on Insta!
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