“I never cease to be inspired just by our surroundings,” said Norma Barsness, a Birchcliff based artist who’s been selected as guest artist for Encore, the 14th annual art sale and celebration of creative expression in Lacombe next weekend.
“This is a huge honour,” she said during an interview Tuesday morning. “I’m so honoured to do it, to be able to show my work and represent this area. There is a lot of incredible talent in Central Alberta.”
Much of her artwork is contemporary landscape paintings representing areas around Birchcliff, Sylvan Lake, Nordegg and Rimbey.
“I’m really inspired by the trees and like just being out here,” Barsness said. She and her husband moved from Calgary to Birchcliff when they retired then she took up painting about 2003 and just loved it.
Barsness describes herself as “mostly self-taught” but said she has taken some weekend courses. She also took a one year course at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary many years ago. “I think that did give me the foundation for what I do now.”
A description of her work states, “Norma Barsness’ paintings transport us to a place where time stands still. Her compositions portray quiet time, yet powerful images of wind and movement can be seen. Her paintings are richly complex and filled with colour, peacefulness and at times humour. They tempt those who choose to look beyond the mundane and to experience a unique and timeless look at simple life.”
Some of her work is currently displayed at the Gallery on Main in Lacombe and she has exhibited at the Calgary Stampede’s artists’ showcase and in many different galleries in the past.
Part of her role as guest artist involves doing demonstrations and talks each of the three days of the Lacombe celebration.
It’s a great event for families or young teens interested in art and working on their creative side, Barsness said. “It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.”
Art from over 60 Alberta artists and artisans will be showcased at Lacombe Memorial Centre from Apr. 19 to Apr. 21. The show is open from 1-4:30 p.m. on Friday then there’s a ticketed Fashion Show and Arts Benefit in the evening. The show is open 11-5 on Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. Admission is $4.
Two other Sylvan Lake artists — Marg Metcalf and Diane Dahl — are also showing their work at the event, said Barsness.
All are members of Sylvan Lake Art Society.