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Peculiar art on display in Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery

It took less than two months to plan and organize the exhibit.

SASKATOON — Charming, whimsical and unique are some of the words that might come to mind when viewing the Small Quirks members-only exhibit at the Saskatchewan Craft Council that celebrates the skills of the 71 participating artists.

SCC exhibitions and education co-ordinators Stephanie Canning and Maia Stark were the brains behind the Small Quirks exhibit. They got in touch with the artists and organized the pieces that are displayed.

Boutique and administration co-ordinator Jean Price told SASKTODAY that this is the first time they offered this kind of exhibit and they were pleased with the response from the public since they opened on May 28.

“We had a gap in our scheduling, so the exhibition co-ordinators had this idea that they were playing around with for a while and saw this as a great opportunity to … explore. They put the call out to the members and we have this exhibit,” said Price.

“It’s been great. People seem to enjoy it. There are 71 artists and 99 pieces, so there is something for everyone because the artists played around with the idea of small and pieces having a quirk in them.”

She added that all artworks on display are from SCC members who live in Saskatchewan. Each one played around using new materials and trying different techniques that they have not done before to create their pieces.

“The show is a lot of fun to look at. We’ve had lots of people come in they would come in for five minutes but would stay much longer than that. They’ve been kind of like sucked into the gallery just by looking at the pieces of art,” said Price.

“There’s a tradition in art galleries of having shows of small works. This is sort of playing on the idea of having a show of small works but we added the quirk, having a small work with something a little different and interesting about it.”

One of the pieces displayed is Nostradamus by Deborah Potter, which Price said is from three separate pieces that the artist found while searching for things to buy in a yard sale.

“All of the pieces here are done for fun. You see one that you like and move around further then you will say, ‘Oh, I love this piece too.’ It’s like every piece has something amazing about it. It is such a great show and we had a good response from the visitors,” she said.

Price said that they commend Canning and Stark for organizing everything on short notice as it took them less than two months of planning and preparing the exhibit before it opened May 28.

“The planning was done very quickly. We had a sudden opening on our schedule. We had a show before this, so the exhibit needs to be taken down and then install the pieces for this one. It was a really fast turnaround for an art gallery,” Price said.

“The artists were fantastic and responded quickly to our call. Normally, we plan years in advance but for this, Small Quirk, small planning time,” she added with a laugh.

Price said summer weather and the gallery being on Broadway make it easier for people to visit and look at the exhibit.

“We get a lot of summer traffic. We’re lucky we’re on Broadway and there’s so much that happens on Broadway. We’re really busy during the festive seasons, like Christmas. We saw an increase when COVID restrictions have been dropped,” she said.

Some of the pieces are for sale with the bulk of the money going to the artist and a percentage goes to SCC as their commission. The artworks that are marked with a red dot are already sold with the owner waiting for the exhibit to end before getting their piece.

The exhibit will last until Aug. 27, with the SCC gallery on Broadway open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.