The Stampede Art Show is a long running event at the greatest outdoor show on earth and artists are setting up their booths for when the gates open.
Organizers say there is always the exciting possibility the artists can sell a year’s worth of inventory in 10 days to collectors, new clients and brand new art buyers.
Curating the show takes months with each artist being evaluated early in the year by judges. Volunteer Sherri Zickefoose said it’s important to make sure the event has a little bit of everything for visitors with traditional art, but also some abstract and contemporary work to keep it fresh every year.
“Stampede and art go back to the very beginning,” said Zickefoose. “It’s a great tradition back when Stampede first started, we had the art of Charlie Russell helping our visitors really explore…that storytelling of the Wild West.”
This is Calgary artist Amanada Crozier’s first time showing her work and she’s thrilled about it especially after attending a number of years as a visitor.
“It’s been a dream to be here for many years and finally I reached a point where it’s like, yeah I can do this,” she said.
Crozier has learned from other artists at the show what to expect: the days are long, but they’re worth it. She’s looking forward to the interaction with Stampede visitors and says many like to hear the story behind the paintings.
“I love detail,” Crozier said. “It’s our landscape here, it’s so amazing that I want to capture that as best as I can and just show everybody what an amazing place we live in.”
‘BIGGEST SHOW IN CANADA’
Serge Dube’s studio is in Langley BC and this is his fifth year exhibiting his work at Stampede. He has worked up and all three walls of his show space and has brought another 70 canvases because he will be working on seven new pieces a day in front of visitors.
“Well, it’s the biggest show in Canada,” he said. “There’s talent here like nowhere else, you know, yeah you can see them individually but here they all gather together.”
Dube developed his unique style 12 years ago. He doesn’t use a brush but rather manipulates paint he’s squirted on his work surface from paint bottles.
“Being here, it’s a fantastic venue for that, I have a couple of galleries around the area,” said Dube. “So a lot of the collectors and new clients, if they want something else, well they can go to the gallery so like it’s a win-win in both directions.”
Jonn Einerssen also lives in British Columbia and shares some of his Stampede event knowledge with new artists at the show because his first one was in 1988 and he remembers it well.
“It still stays fresh in my mind when I first came in, you know what, I’m 34 years now, I’m the old guy around here, I never thought that would ever happen,” he said.
He’s sold a lot of art in those years and has a few different styles that customers appreciate featuring pieces with the ocean and sky.
“I grew up in the prairies and love clouds,” Einerssen said. “That was my TV as a kid: growing up was laying on a coolie bank watching clouds.
“When I figured out I could paint them,” he added, “I thought that was pretty good so I got into quite a series of doing a lot of prairie work.”
Einerssen said it’s good to have thick skin during the Stampede Art Show because thousands of people from all different walks of life visit and don’t hesitate to share their opinions, good or bad.
Learn more about the event here: https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/western-oasis/art-show