Community Art Program

See Edmonton on our walls

In 2017, we officially launched the Edmonton Convention Centre Community Art Program. It all started with an open call to local artists, and in 2020, we received more than 160 submission from over 50 artists. The submissions were evaluated by a panel of members from Explore Edmonton Corporation and total of 15 pieces from eight local artists were selected. These pieces from eight locally featured artists are currently on exhibit to hang in our venue over the next year.  They were officially unveiled during the fourth annual Art Night at the Edmonton Convention Centre, where all artists who made submissions were also welcomed back to sell their work. The Edmonton Convention Centre was transformed into an art gallery for an evening, and hundreds of guests took in a fabulous evening of art, food and cocktails in the heart of Edmonton’s River Valley. Learn more about our 2020-2021 featured artists below.

Rainy Nights by Caine Erickson

With a tendency to colour outside of the lines, Caine Erickson developed his creative instincts and a love for capturing moments in time after he recognized his true passion. From the time he picked up his first camera three years ago, he embarked on an unknown adventure with the arts.

Caine began his art career capturing landscapes and photos of his sister while exploring the outdoors. After moving to Edmonton, he photographed everything possible and gravitated towards showcasing our beautiful city at night. Today, in the summertime, Caine can be found walking through the city looking for new spots and angles to capture our city. While people compliment Caine’s ability to make Edmonton look beautiful, he cannot help but think they must be crazy because Edmonton is beautiful.

Caine’s inspiration for his art resides from the cyberpunk style. As someone who loves the rain, Caine is comfortable getting soaked in order to capture photos throughout the city. Rainy Nights was taken last summer during one of the many rainy evenings in Edmonton. When it rains, Caine loves to capture the vibrant reflections and colours–it’s the perfect element to shoot.

A Wish in Willow Wood by Josh Harnack

 

Josh Harnack communicates his ideas, thoughts and emotions to the world through the visual arts. Born and raised in Edmonton, Josh’s spark for the arts began in this city. After graduating high school in 2012, Josh moved to Vancouver to study film. Over the next three years, Josh’s passion shifted towards fine art as he immersed himself in painting at home while living in the expensive city. It was during this time that Josh was diagnosed with cancer on three separate occasions. His diagnosis resulted in surgery, radiation treatment and, ultimately, chemotherapy.

In 2015, Josh moved home to Edmonton where he began his career as a professional artist. Josh then graduated with honours from NAIT where he majored in Graphic Design and Visual Communication. While attending school, Josh also showcased his works in exhibitions and galleries across Western Canada.

While Josh’s work extends across multiple mediums, he specializes in oil and acrylic painting. His themes emphasize belonging, or lack thereof, blending in and standing out, and the sheer weirdness of existence. As an accomplished artist, Josh has received awards and grants in both fine art and design. His current work focuses on creating meaningful and worthwhile art.

“My work speaks to those who wander—who don’t belong. My battles with cancer as a young adult warned me that my time should not be spent trying to fit in, but learning to embrace the strangest parts of myself, including the monsters and demons. This struggle is found in each of my pieces: the corruption of realism with the surreal; the distortion of the physical world by our metaphysical imaginations. I believe that seeking to understand this internal dialogue is critical to a healthy life. Dozens of paintings later, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been in remission for five years. Hopefully, beholders will use my paintings and sculptures as prompts for their own self-discovery. Our journey has begun.”

Walterdale Bridge by Nadiya Maznychka

Nadiya Maznychka is a Canadian-Ukrainian, Edmonton based artist who works in her own studio. She is often inspired to create arts from her personal experiences and feelings as a visual translator of emotions, events and ideas. Nadiya uses observations in impressionistic, realism and modern styles while acrylics, oil, and pencil are her selected mediums.

Nadiya was exposed to visual art from a young age. Her mother studied a Master of Visual Arts while raising Nadiya and her brother. Following her artistic upbringing, Nadiya received five years of formal visual art training in Ukraine and finished her art program in 2006 before moving to Calgary with her family. Moving to Canada with limited English was a challenge and paused Nadiya’s artistic endeavors. She focused on learning English and graduated from Mount Royal University, Policy Studies and Business. After moving to Edmonton, Nadiya worked in her post-secondary field, but found herself drawn to art more than ever before. She painted after work and on the weekends, creating pieces for her friends, family and herself. In 2019, Nadiya participated in live art tournaments like Art Battle in Edmonton.

 Walterdale Bridge was inspired by Nadiya’s experience on the Edmonton Riverboat tour in the summer of 2019. She took a photo from the boat and looked up at the new bridge from the river and felt a sense of wonder when she saw it lit up during a cool summer night. In this moment, Nadiya felt like she was already looking at the art piece. She was instantly inspired to recreate that view on the canvas. Nadiya’s goal is to create more art and share it with the world on a journey that will help her grow personally and professionally as an artist.

Strawberry Fields Forever, North Saskatchewan Geography and Cambrian Edmontonian by Nicole Renaud

Nicole Renaud grew up surrounded by National Geographics filled with iconic ‘animals of the world’ which shaped her view of earth’s animals. As a lover of outdoor animals and pollinators, she spent her time drawing to focus her attention, and eventually it became a hobby.

In 2001, she studied at Carleton University, and then one day everything changed in the middle of completing her Edgar Allan Poe sketch⁠—9/11 happened. Her Human Rights and Political Science degree forcefully evolved to frame the political landscape of our post 9/11 world. Nicole was exposed to the crises of the world. It was then she put down her drawing pencil, and other than the odd sketch, she wouldn’t pick up an art instrument for another 18 years. As she sank into a deep depression, she learned about violence, environmental destruction and encountered the film An Inconvenient Truth. Impacted, she gained an interest in climate change and pursued a Master’s Degree in Geography with a focus on water security and climate change in the Peruvian Andes. She then began a PhD that landed her in sub-Saharan Africa, where she explored the impacts of drought for small-holder farmers and carved out a career in the climate change field.

After bouts of depression, Nicole felt the call for change and picked up an art instrument once more. Using a paintbrush and fluid acrylic paint, Nicole created geographies of places inspired by her childhood connection to the environment. Though silence is violence, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a painting even more. Painting that started as therapy became climate action.

Nicole’s paintings raise funds for important causes like WWF Australia’s koala campaign and draws attention to North Atlantic Right Whale’s declining population. She paints bicycles to promote eco-friendly transit and extinct creatures to highlight mass extinction. Last year, Nicole trained with Al Gore as part of his Climate Reality Project where she learned to give presentations and workshops based on An Inconvenient Truth and combined her painting with climate action. After 12 years of climate action, Nicole has learned the climate crisis is largely impacted by a lack of understanding. She hopes to inspire interest about our climate reality by igniting thought and conversation through art.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever is a whimsical take on biking through green areas with frequent stops to snack on wild strawberries, using a fluid acrylic ‘swipe’ painting technique. For me this takes me back to the fond memories I have of strawberry picking with my grandma as a child.

North Saskatchewan Geography

North Saskatchewan Geography was inspired by my love of geography and particularly the colours of the Boreal biome. I used the fluid acrylic ‘flip cup’ painting technique with the North Saskatchewan River embellishment for the portion of the river that crosses Edmonton.

Cambrian Edmontonian

Cambrian Edmontonian was created through the fluid acrylic painting ‘flip cup’ technique and an embellished trilobite for a fun take on the area’s inhabitants in the Cambrian era. The trilobite is such an iconic extinct animal that ties in with my pieces on currently endangered iconic animals in the present mass extinction event that is underway.

Bluehour by Peter Flanders

 

Raised in the Lake District in the United Kingdom, Peter Flanders has always held a passion for capturing a moment–those moments which can never be replicated again. His work shows glimpses of our world which people often don’t take time to stop and see.

Having started with film-based photography, Peter’s work ensured correct exposures as he transitioned to digital photography. Through this transition, Peter learned that the shot he captured was imagined before he even pressed the shutter. Always supportive of his work, Peter’s wife and children moved to Canada with him to reside in Edmonton in 2008. To this day, Peter’s desire to see the world from multiple perspectives continues to grow.

“I have always felt something magical in a city when the sun has fully risen before the world wakes. The blue hour in the morning is my favourite time of day. You still feel that chill of night, yet start to feel the warmth of sunlight coming through the new day. The new Walterdale Bridge has been a popular photography spot due to its architectural design and presence. My challenge was to capture a new perspective of the Edmonton icon. Leading lines guides the viewer into the morning sun rising in our city. I researched over months to get the right weather, sunrise and time of year. The location I chose to shoot between two bridges gave me the peace of quiet of an Edmonton morning and provided a gentle reminder of the day’s events when the occasional car crossed the bridge into the city to start their workday.”

City Swimmer by Talis Hardy

Talis Hardy was raised in Alberta arts’ festival culture. Her earliest memories begin backstage falling asleep in green rooms as her parents helped run the main stages. Since the age of 15, Talis traveled the globe and attended the Victoria School of the Arts in Edmonton. In recent years, she’s attended festivals in the Edmonton area as a live painter and currently works as a computer graphics and marketing designer.

Talis’ work reflects a fun and whimsical playscape of color and emotion. Her work is meant to evoke joy and create a pause of thought for the impacts we have and the way we ourselves become impacted as a result of our actions. Her digital art series often consists of still frames that capture moments and thoughts from her adventures.

City Swimmer is a mood Talis experienced while swimming in the rooftop pool of the Vancouver Fairmont hotel with a pair of waterproof earphones.

“I felt relaxed, like I was floating through the city 40 floors above ground–and I was. I envisioned City Swimmer in that moment, and so I captured it with a photo. This image is meant to create that same feeling for the viewer. I want the viewers, if even for a second, to take a mental holiday and float through their mind and relax in the chaos of the city. Ironically, City Swimmer doubles as a reminder of our environmental impact. If you understand it, it’s even a nod to politics.”

Birds Eye View and Daly The Storm by Terry P. Daly

Terry P. Daly is a visual artist who works with acrylic paint and clay in multiple mediums. As a fine arts student, Terry studied at the University of Alberta and MacEwan University before student loans led him to the construction industry. After spending a winter season painting in Italy, Terry was inspired to pursue his artistic passion. He practices art full-time in his Edmonton studio, gallery and garden space–a space reflective of his aesthetic. The art-filled garden was featured in the 2018 Edmonton Horticultural Society garden tour, and his character home was one of the stops on the 2019 Homes for the Holidays tour.

In addition to regularly hosting solo and group exhibitions in his garden and gallery, Terry has exhibited his work at The Works Art and Design Festival and the Multicultural Heritage Centre Gallery in Stony Plain. His art is held in private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe. Terry’s works are linked by their sculptural quality and his fondness for re-purposing objects. He is inspired by nostalgic and natural objects which cross his path, poignant reminders of our current cultural climate of consumption. His art is situated with a discourse on waste, a critical issue for our society. Often, Terry carves into paint to produce ribbons and shapes. He’s even chopped up maps to fashion landscapes.

“By using every bit of paint on my palettes and strips of old canvases, by reusing materials otherwise destined for the landfill, such as cupboard doors, I am drawing attention to the infinite possibilities for re-use of everyday objects.”

Bird’s-Eye View

As the title suggests, this triptych conveys a bird’s-eye view of the heart of our iconic river

valley. To construct this mini diorama of a chunk of our city, I carved the paint that was leftover on my palette to represent buildings. This detailed piece emphasizes three dimensions, to allow you to walk along neighbourhood streets, across bridges, through the Legislature grounds, down the funicular and into the green valley. These square canvases demonstrate my love for the city of Edmonton.

The Storm

Featuring clouds rolling in on the brilliantly hued canola fields that surround the city, this massive landscape does justice to our monumental prairie skies. With anthropomorphic clouds and prominent paint application, the four canvases offer to stretch the imagination. The striking cross-section of power line is symbolic of the minor and tedious space we occupy in this vast and violent natural world. The comparatively flat sun in the corner peeks out to offer brighter days ahead.

Kultura by Thea Szewczuk

 

Thea Szewczuk is a visual artist from Edmonton who paints in acrylic and oil across multiple subjects. Thea prefers figurative energetic works in bold, vivid and expressive colour. In 2009, Thea received her Bachelor of Education Degree in Secondary Education with a Major in Visual Art and Minor in Spanish Language. She then taught fine arts to high school students and balanced her creative pursuits. Currently, Thea lives and works in her home studio with the support of her two young daughters and husband.

In January 2020, Thea exhibited her work at A.C.U.A Gallery in the show “Kultura: Echoes of Our Roots.” Fascinated by culture and fluent in four languages, Thea explores and celebrates her Ukrainian heritage through her art. Language, traditions, folk motifs and myths inspire Thea’s work. Through travel, Thea experienced beautiful, diverse individuals with multiple global perspectives.

Faces intrigue Thea–a portrait is a connection to the spirit of the subject. Painting a face is a meditation and a fixation. The evolution of the character from the original concept to what comes through the canvas always surprises Thea as features transform organically. Thea collects photographs of people who are aesthetically captivating, and then combines their likeness with her expression of their spirit. She achieves this effect with gestural, expressive brushstrokes and colour palettes which translate the character’s essence to the viewer.

Thea is drawn to symbols and visual textures. Deep poppy red and Prussian blue dominate her work so the eye feasts on colour and ornamentation. Her Ukrainian heritage influences her choice of subjects and motifs with familiar patterns like the “vinok” (flower crown), poppies, sunflowers and mythical characters. The poppy and sunflower are pervasive Ukrainian symbols. The sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, reminds us of health and vitality from the nurturing of the sun–it stands tall, hearty and proud, and then droops at night as a reminder of our earthly journey. Poppies, whose seeds are wind-scattered, are beautiful and hardy. Their vibrant blood red petals are fragile–a reminder of the fleeting nature of youth, vitality and beauty.

“The painting process is a journey between impatient, energetic gestural works and methodical, deliberate explorations. The glide of pigment is visceral–it is an extension of me, in that moment. My work represents what I appreciate as beautiful and intriguing–I translate an appreciation of the individual, and of culture to my viewer.”

Art in UnconventionalSpaces

An iconic Edmonton venue, the Edmonton Convention Centre has supported local artists by displaying their work both in and outside the venue for over 30 years. Over 70 pieces of art are now on display. From the Paskwamostos (Bison) that stands guard over the River Valley and gigantic murals by Clay Ellis in the Hall D foyer to the pARTnership Gallery featuring the work of grade 1 to 12 students, locals and visitors from around the world can be seen stopping to snap a photo or pose for a memento in front of these works. Learn more by reading Art in Unconventional Places. We also encourage you to stop by, grab a walking tour booklet from our administration office and explore the Edmonton Convention Centre.