Event for artists looking to recharge

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Pembina Hills Arts Council is hosting their first weekend retreat for artists to pick up some new skills and work on their art.

Programs and Outreach Coordinator Tricia Dyck said the Arts Council and other organizers in the region have been mulling the idea over for a number of years.

“We have put a determination on it now to make this happen, so that we can offer this professional development opportunity for artists of all level,” she said. “It’s been batted around over the years. We have so many great programs that we are doing, that you just have to decide to put effort into that specific one.”

The retreat takes place at the Pembina Valley Camp and Retreat Centre. “We want to create ways to be outside in nature with nature walks and some other physical activities,” Dyck said.

Winnipeg artists Dominique Rey and Diana Thorneycroft will be leading the group through workshops like figure drawing (with a deconstruction aspect) and expressive drawing.

“Both of these artists are going to be using some cool mediums,” Dyck said. “We’re going to be using sharpened sticks with ink, we’re going to be using candles and smoke. We’re going to be using things that are a bit out of the normal box.”

Of course, artists will also have time to themselves to work on their own pieces. “There’s such a large space to work in that every single artist is going to have their own banquet table that they can set up their art for the whole weekend and just continue to come back to it,” Dyck said. “They don’t have to put it all away, it can just be there all weekend permeating in the culture.”

Dyck said the Arts Council is hoping artists that participate will be replenished in their creative flow. “We hope that this is an opportunity for them to get to the unfinished projects that they maybe haven’t gotten to for a while,” she said. “We hope for the retreat to be a kind of catalyst of new energy and creative forces, and also for networking between artists. You learn when you see other people working, you learn from them either in technique or thought or ideas.”

The retreat will include activities like trail riding and a campfire “Fire Stories” night.

Dyck said they were hoping for around 10-20 people, and around 10 have already signed up for the event.

“We wanted to start small and get a feel for what people wanted and what was going to work and build on that for subsequent years,” she said. “With an intimate number it’s going to be a fantastic weekend of growth, and we are really looking forward to it.”

The retreat takes place Oct. 4-6. For more information, contact Tricia at (204) 822-6026 or through email at programs@pembinahillsarts.com.

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