Time is quickly running out to vote for your favourite work of art in the 30th annual James Weir People’s Choice art show. It is now on display in the Allie Griffin Art Gallery in the basement of the Weyburn Public Library.
Voting closes on Thursday, Jan. 30 before the “Hats Off” gala on Friday, Jan. 31. The winning piece of art work will be named at the gala, which starts at 7 p.m. No tickets are required to attend and an Yvette Moore print will be awarded to one attendee as a door prize. Moore won the very first People’s Choice Award and has since launched her own artistic career and opened her own art gallery in Moose Jaw.
Weyburn curator Ron Ror has been collecting the votes and tallying them throughout the month of January. While he can’t divulge who is in the lead, he said the “votes are rolling in”. As of Wednesday, more than 350 votes had already been cast.
“It’s exciting to see who will win,” said Rickee-Lee Webster, Weyburn Arts Council Director. “This is the one time the people get to vote.” Webster has a piece of art in the show and said it is interesting to see work by both known and unknown artists who entered the competition.
More than 30 artists entered the show for the 30th anniversary this year. The featured artists include: John Woodward, Gary Cooney, Jean Fahlman, Casey Kievets, Heather van der Breggen, Terry Creurer, Jaynie Himsl, Sandra Hanni, Murray Williams, Mason Sawatzky, Shelly Babiarz, Regan Lanning, Lawrence Barber, Jaren Bell, Christopher Borschowa, Brad Istace, Shelley Van de Sype, Sereen Ring, Peter Tucker, Jude Sidloski, Patti Shaw, Kathryn Groshong, Marilyn Nelson, Vicky O’Dell, Carol Reeve, Barry Lautner, Darlene Martin, Diane Forsberg, Dustin Duncan, Colleen Tait, Roland Olson, Joanna Fahlman and Michelle Craigen.
Tina Hudson, who won the People’s Choice Award last year, will also have a piece on display.
The Weyburn Arts Council will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. It was the first arts council established in the province, in 1964, and was spearheaded by James Weir, for whom the People’s Choice Awards is named. The council is an affiliate of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts and Council and is funded by grants, fees and donations. The Weyburn Arts Council oversees the Allie Griffin, Signal Hill and Credit Union art galleries in Weyburn.
The Arts Council’s annual general meeting is set for Monday, Feb. 17 and they are hoping to gain new members.
Currently on display in the Weyburn Credit Union art gallery is “Folk Art”, consisting of artwork from the city’s collection. The pieces are by four local artists, Raymond Churchill, Hugh Alexander, Kay Flury and Margaret Mainprize.