Karen Filthaut, president of the Sylvan Lake Art Society, is pictured working on a painting. (Photo submitted)

Karen Filthaut, president of the Sylvan Lake Art Society, is pictured working on a painting. (Photo submitted)

Art Society hoping to increase membership

The Sylvan Lake Art Society (SLAS) is dedicated to providing a time and place for artists (aspiring or veterans) to come together to enjoy their common interests and develop and share their skills and knowledge.

Currently, membership in the SLAS consists of local residents from 16 years old to retirees, but the group is hoping to expand.

“There’s so much we can do if we have enough people and interest,” said Karen Filthaut, president for the SLAS.

Filthaut said the group welcomes all skill levels, from beginners to professionals and anybody in between who enjoys making art.

“Even if they want to make art, but don’t know how,” Filthaut said. “It’s a great way to be part of the art community.”

Filthaut said art is a learned skill. People don’t need to be born with talent in order to practice and become artists.

“It’s a skill you can develop,” she explained. “For some people, it does come naturally. But you can learn, absolutely. Don’t be afraid to try. And everybody has their own style.”

The group was founded in 1994 but didn’t operate in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. The SLAS is currently putting together a new executive and recruiting more members. There will be a drop-in meeting on Saturday, Sept. 17 at HJ Cody in the art room, running from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. People can gather more information about SLAS or sign up.

The SLAS has done trips in the past. They also bring in speakers and presenters, host mini workshops and get together for painting time.

“Our artists work in a variety of media – pencils, pastels, pen and ink, watercolours, oils and acrylics,” explained Filthaut. “We have a strong community involvement, we do work with seniors and we are involved in any town art activities. But we need members in order to be part of that. We are lacking in consistent membership – people who want to participate, not just show up for a class.”

If you’re an artist, or aspiring to be one, Filthaut said the SLAS is the place to be for inspiration and to connect with other artists in the community.

“I joined for the connection,” said Filthaut, who joined in 2003. “I’m an acrylic scenery painter. I started painting when I was a child, but my full-time work is painting. I have a gallery in Saskatchewan that I put my artwork into.”

Filthaut was also teaching art before the pandemic.

While the group plans to meet once a month, Filthaut said there is the option to do more things outside of the regular monthly meeting, if the membership wants.

The SLAS recently completed a fundraiser for Ukraine, where group members created ribbon and flower lapel pins and had them available at local businesses for a donation. The group raised $743.55 and the money was sent to the Calgary Donation Warehouse for Ukraine.

For more information, find the SLAS on Facebook.

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