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A weekend all about art in the Battlefords

It was an artistic weekend in the Battlefords as arts council members and other delegates came together from across the province for Showcase 2010.

It was an artistic weekend in the Battlefords as arts council members and other delegates came together from across the province for Showcase 2010.

An annual event held by the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), the weekend serves as an educational and networking opportunity, plus a chance to preview the adjudicated performing arts and visual arts exhibitions scheduled to tour the province within the next few years.

Performance artists representing a variety of disciplines were chosen by a selection committee to present 20 minute showcases that represent their full length performance.

Also presented was a selection of artworks by established and emerging Saskatchewan and Canadian artists, a taste of the larger palette of exhibitions available to tour with the Arts on the Move program.

A hands-on workshop at the Allen Sapp Gallery saw delegates take part in a tour of the gallery, featuring the work of renowned Saskatchewan artist Allen Sapp, and participate in a hands-on workshop in the gallery's educational facilities. The tour included a large screen video presentation on the life and work of Allen Sapp, an introduction to the present exhibition, and participation in some First Nations games. ?Delegates could also take part in a hands-on collage workshop with artist Tim Moore, and a member services workshop offering valuable information to first timers and veterans alike about OSAC's services, grants and bursaries available to encourage organization development, volunteer education and development, plus more.

After a successful debut at the showcase in Swift Current last year, said executive director Kevin Korchinski, the "table sessions" held Saturday morning allowed delegates to attend four different 20 minute sessions with various arts professionals.

The concept was actually based on speed dating, laughed Korchinski, allowing delegates to get a general overview of various areas of arts activities. Several local facilitators took part.

The weekend ended Sunday with a performing arts exchange and a visual arts exchange and members-only meetings. OSAC presenters were able to hear more about performing artists available to tour and to make preliminary selections for the upcoming season. They were also able to engage in a dialogue surrounding all aspects of delivering a strong and viable visual arts program throughout the province.

The adjudication of artists and artists' work, both performance and visual, is actually a fairly brutal process, said Korchinski. There are a lot of talented people out there, and narrowing the choices down to a few is not an easy task.

Planning of the resulting tours is a long term project, he pointed out. Preparations are already underway to put the 2012-2013 tours together.

OSAC is a non-profit charitable organization that acts as an umbrella for community arts councils and schools across the province. A member based provincial cultural organization, it is funded by Saskatchewan Lotteries.

Through its membership of 46 arts councils, one affiliate member and 100 associate members, OSAC help bring people and the arts together. On an annual basis, 15 exhibitions tour to over 100 venues and 250 performances are enjoyed by a total audience of 100,000 people.

For photos from of the OSAC table sessions visit photo albums under the community tab.

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