2D workshop offers feedback for artists

Matt Gardner
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A five-day workshop taking place this week at the Prince Albert Arts Centre is providing local artists with the chance to hear constructive feedback on their work.

Artist Karen Hoiness works on her piece 'Surfacing' during the first day of the Summer Independent 2D Workshop, which is running all week at the Prince Albert Arts Centre. The workshop offers common studio workspace and feedback for artists working in two-dimensional media.

Known as the Summer Independent 2D Workshop, the event provides common studio workspace for a maximum of seven artists working in two-dimensional media as well as offering discussion and critiques of each other’s work.

“This morning we started, moved in, and now they’re going to set a course for what they’re going to be doing for the next five days,” instructor and resource person George Glenn said on Monday afternoon.

“Most of them have a pretty clear idea of what they want to accomplish in the independent workshops,” he added. “So they know where they’re going and then with that in mind, I can talk to them about achieving those goals and how they're going about it, critique their work, give them resources (and) things that should facilitate their progress.”

Artists who qualified for the workshop must first have received fundamental training and must maintain an independent art practice.

While the focus is on wall art, each artist is working within their own chosen medium and progressing forward with their own ideas, which are then opened up to for discussion and critique.

One of the artists at the workshop on Monday was Karen Hoiness, who could be seen working on her “purely experimental” piece Surfacing, which incorporated sewing pieces she had worked on with multicoloured splashes of paint.

I’m getting the opportunity to do the kind of work I like to do and to experiment with new things. Karen Hoiness

“I’ve had them for a long time and I thought I’d try and incorporate them into a collage, but onto a larger canvas,” she said.

“That’s what I’m trying to do -- without losing them entirely, but without having them stand out too much.”

Describing herself as an abstract artist, Hoiness noted the formative role of the University of Alberta -- where she obtained her degree in fine arts -- in influencing her style.

“I find it fascinating to look at and I find it really interesting to do,” she said. “You can really swing around it … When I did my degree at the University of Alberta, that was the hotbed of abstraction at that time and so most of the professors were abstract artists. So that might have helped me fall in love with it.”

Currently retired, Hoiness has previously sold many pieces of her art.

One of the biggest appeals of this week’s workshop for her was the chance to hear some feedback from Glenn.

“I come up to see George every year, because he’s probably the best teacher there ever was as far as teaching art,” Hoiness said.

She added, “I’m getting the opportunity to do the kind of work I like to do and to experiment with new things -- and have somebody like George critique and talk about the work.”

Organizations: University of Alberta

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