- New members are welcome
- Annual membership fee is $70
- We paint and create together
- We meet monthly from Sept through May
- We welcome all levels of experience and are open to any media
- Our shows are open to members after their first year
- We try to have at least one show and a workshop per year
- Leadership rotates: we take turns with executive responsibilities
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make first contact
The Grande Prairie Guild of Artist grew out of the landscape painting class offered by Grande Prairie Regional College. This class was instructed by Robert (Bob) Guest. When classes were discontinued in the mid ‘80s, a number of mature students formed the Art Club that officially became The Grande Prairie Guild of Artists Society in 1983.
Early members included Bea Collins, Ben Hall, Anton Kohalyk and Nancy Bortz among others. Past members have included Barbara Powell, Valerie Ditch, Cheryl King, Hettie Bidewell, Doug Laughy, Margaret Coe, Lonnie Redwood. We still have one founding member, Yvonne Dickson, active in the Guild.
In the beginning the goal of the Guild was to promote opportunities for creative development in the visual arts through weekly painting sessions, workshops, and critiques. We are proud of our tradition to paint actively and grow individually and as a group. Once a month the Guild gathers to critique and plan current and future projects. In addition to our meetings we host workshops to expand our knowledge and experience with various media and approaches.
Over the past 37+ years we have been privileged to have workshops and instruction from Peace Country artists such as Jim Adrian, Euphemia McNaught, Laine Dahlen, Jim Stokes, Peter Von Tiesenhausen, Phyllis Ljuden, Merv Bielsh, John Kerl, Carmen Haakstad and Suzanne Sandboe. Other workshops have brought in, J. C. Brager, Gregg Johnson, Graham Flatt, Heather Pant and Jean Pederson from Alberta, Marne Rose Edge, Terry Isaac and Janice Robertson from British Columbia, and Jack Reid from Ontario.
The Guild is open to all mediums, forms of art and levels of experience. While members have done pencil, pen and ink drawing, print making and painting in a variety of styles and paint. At one point the majority of membership were working in watercolours, while a few still do, we have members who have become very skilled with acrylic paint.
When the Guild first got organized it provided many members with a night of art away from the demands of young growing families. We made the most of our time by prolific painting and the stream of artwork resulted in many shows in a variety of locations Guild nights are a time of painting, sharing advice, tea and chatting. This ongoing camaraderie provides support and each member has the opportunity to develop as a unique artist in a nurturing and creative environment. Encouragement, group support, and ongoing learning are strong components of the Guild's success.
We appreciate the strong support of our community through show venues and sales. Seeing our work on display in a Guild show is always exciting and rewarding. We have also given back to the community through hours of volunteering at various events such as the Gallery’s previous Home and Garden Shows and through our years of commitment to the visual arts in Grande Prairie. Twice we have held a “Paint for the Cure Show”, in support of the Susan Korman Breast Cancer Foundation.
Our biggest commitment to showing and selling our work was from 2002 to 2004 when we operated a gallery in Muskoseepi Park during the summer months in the former tourist information log building. Here we were able to market visual art of the Peace Country and meet many travellers passing through the region. So, even though we are a Grande Prairie group, paintings have travelled coast to coast.
We have many wonderful memories of our art journeys over the years both literally and figuratively. There were many summer road trips and painting outings. We have painted plein air at Muskoseepi Park, Wapiti River, Lake Saskatoon, Old Bezanson Townsite, McNaught Farm and Lake, Dunvegan, Jasper and Kleskun Hills.
While the demographic of the group has changed over the years, our passion for painting and fellowship remains. The Guild continues to be an active working art group, with meetings once a month during the school year. Other dates and times are committed to as the opportunity presents itself.
We meet at the Center for Creative Arts on the 3rd Wednesday evening of each month for camaraderie and critique of our work.
The Guild is open to new members and welcomes all levels of experience and mediums.