Monika Beckmann believes an upcoming annual art show is a much-needed forum to showcase local talent.
Beckmann, who lives in Southland Park, is among 45 Manitoba artists scheduled to feature in Artarama. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the event is Winnipeg’s largest charity art exhibit and sale, according to Artarama chair Al Borys.
"It gives local artists, no matter what age, the chance to show our art. There are so many artists in Manitoba and not enough shows or small gallery space to show our art," said Beckmann, who works primarily with water colours and occasionally with acrylics, and also makes greetings cards featuring prints of her work.
"Painting in watercolour is challenging and the results provide a surprising, rewarding and wonderful luminous quality," she said.
Beckmann is heavily influenced by landscapes and her paintings — she will take between 10 and 12 to display (and potentially sell) at the event — reflect her observations of nature, ranging from a bold interpretation of a lake at Whiteshell Provincial Park to the martins circling the birdhouses in her yard.
"Sometimes, when I’m out with my husband, I see things and just want to photograph them and paint them," said Beckmann, whose work has been exhibited at various galleries across town, including the Wayne Arthur Gallery in St. Boniface.
"Living in Manitoba has given me a love for the Prairies, the big sky, our lakes and rivers and the Canadian Shield. There is nothing more beautiful than a Manitoba prairie sunset," she said.
Artarama 2013 will be held at Mary Mother of the Church at 85 Kirkbridge Dr. in Richmond West on Fri., April 5 from 5 to 9 p.m., Sat., April 6 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Sun., April 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a raffle at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, but winners do not have to be present.
The event is the 17th annual charity art show organized by Our Lady of the Prairie KC Council 5264. Borys said the waiting list for space to exhibit at Artarama is long, which means he can be selective when choosing exhibitors to maximize the quality of art on display. The show is the council’s primary fundraiser, with proceeds going to numerous organizations, including Rossbrook House, Habitat for Humanity and the Christmas Cheer Board.
Art at the event is displayed in two galleries. The first will contain framed art in various mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolour, collage and etching. Artists are encouraged to bring additional paintings to make sure the gallery remains stocked.
The second gallery will contain unframed art and thousands of cards. "The beauty of the unframed art is that not only are they much lower-priced than the other gallery, but frames can be tailored to the décor of one’s home," Borys said.
Hungry visitors will also be able to visit a café offering sandwiches and home baking, organized by the families of the Knights.
There is no admission charge for Artarama. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.