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Art exhibit a peaceful scene

Mike Kroecher, Sandy Troudt, Ken Lane, and Don Hoffman featured in latest show at Peace Gallery North

Four of the finest local painters and photographers have come together for the latest group exhibit at Peace Gallery North.

Living In Peace is a mixed collection of original prints by Mike Kroecher, Sandy Troudt, Ken Lane, and Don Hoffmann, an homage to the mighty views and playful wildlife of the Peace River, to the meandering still shores of its neighbour, the Beatton River.

“The ecosystem is so interesting. It’s always changing, it doesn’t matter what time of year you go there, you’ll see something new,” Lane says of the Beatton valley, who spent much of his time there this summer gathering photographs and inspiration for his latest series of acrylic on canvas works.

“It’s a hidden gem that’s five minutes from town, and there’s a myriad of trails and riverbanks to walk on. There’s no end of things to explore there.”

Photographer Don Hoffmann captured one particularly striking shot in the show, two bears in a playful fist fight along the Peace River just outside of town.

“When you’re capturing a picture, you’re capturing a moment in time,” he says. 

“There was a spot where they were coming out to some stuff that hadn’t been combined, and we were sitting out there waiting for some bears to come out, and they come out and starting playing around there and we were able to get some good pictures.”

"It's wonderful living in a valley with so many nice places to take pictures, and it’s always a big thank you to all the landowners that have let me enjoy the incredible views that they have."

The show is a prelude to the return of the gallery’s annual Art Auction, going into its 37th year on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Planned is a catered dinner, live music, a 50/50 raffle, as well as the live and silent auctions with dozens of works by local artists up for bid.

There will also be one, if not two artists doing live paintings throughout the night. Tickets are limited, and selling quickly.

“We’re doing very classic art auction, we’re trying to do everything to a very high level,” says curator Jacqueline Benedetto.

The gallery has also resumed its free Let’s Art program for youth, running Tuesdays after school for kids age six to 12, and Friday afternoons for youth 12 to 18.

“Each week will be an age appropriate craft or art project,” says Benedetto. “Mostly, they are geared to be completed within 90 minutes, sometimes the teens will have a project they’ll do over the course of a couple sessions.”

Proceeds from the art auction will help keep Let’s Art running, and support other artist programs ongoing at the gallery.

A newly launched paint night series has also proven popular with aspiring artists as of late, with a sold out show Saturday night featuring Lane teaching his tips and tricks on how to paint an autumn landscape scene.

“We take people through entire painting from start to finish in two hours,” he says. “It’s a great way to meet people, and draw people into what’s actually a really enjoyable way to spend your time.”

Another paint night with Lane is scheduled for January. Supplies and refreshments are included in the registration fee.

“We’re going to do a Hawaiian night, so we’re going to paint some tropical scenery, crank the heat, put on some Hawaiian music, put little umbrellas in people’s glasses, and have a good time,” he says.

In the meantime, Living In Peace will be on display until Oct. 29.

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