Skip to content

Winners named for Weyburn's James Weir People’s Choice contest

The artist-partners of Collabartive Studio in Weyburn came away with the first and third place trophies in the James Weir People’s Choice Exhibition, and a first-time entry claimed the second place prize

The artist-partners of Collabartive Studio in Weyburn, Malia Brackpool and Krystal Glowatski, came away with the first and third place trophies in the James Weir People’s Choice Exhibition, and a first-time entry from Sheila Roncin claimed the second place prize.

The winners were announced at a reception on Thursday evening at the Weyburn Art Gallery by curator Regan Lanning, who provided the details of the voting that took place from January to mid-March.

The first-place winner. Malia Brackpool, won for her piece, “My Babies”, a painting of three cats which were modeled on the faces of her three children.

“It’s really exciting. It was totally unexpected,” she said of the first-place win.

Lanning noted that Malia's daughter came on one of the classroom tours, and was very proud that the painting was based on her and her two siblings.

Coming in second place was Sheila Roncin for her needle-felted sculpture of Peter Rabbit.

This was her first time to enter the People’s Choice competition, and said she just started doing the needle-felt process a year and a half ago as an activity she learned during COVID.

Lanning noted that the children who toured the exhibition loved the Peter Rabbit piece, and said, “I loved the little bits of whimsy in it, like the ladybugs.”

Asked if she has had other training or experience as an artist, Roncin said, “I’m the farthest from an artist. I’m the one who struggled in school and never found anything that worked for me.”

She and her husband moved to Weyburn just after COVID started, and as she didn’t know anyone here, she looked online for activities she could do or learn about, and found a site for needle-felted work. She said she gone on to make more items like her Peter Rabbit sculpture, and has also done some beading work.

“I just really enjoy it,” said Roncin.

Third place went to Krystal Glowatski for an untitled landscape oil painting of a sunset on a lake.

“It was inspired by my relationship with my grandma,” she said, dedicating her win to her grandmother and mother for the legacy of art they inspired in her.

The painting was done in oil, so it took several days to make the painting, putting on layers.

“I worked on it in increments every three or four days, because it takes a little time between each layer. My last stroke was on Jan. 2, and I dropped it off on Jan. 3, it was still very wet,” said Krystal.

There were a total of 1,136 ballots cast at the gallery, and 266 ballots were cast on-line from 16 different countries.

Lanning noted that in addition to these, 319 ballots were spoiled by the voters not choosing three different works or not signing their name, plus one person voted 30 times for a piece, signing their name each time, and these were not counted as part of the total.

Votes came from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Tobago, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Denmark, Israel, India, China, Taiwan and Australia.

Lanning did 24 tours of classrooms through the exhibition, plus one noon-hour, and a few smaller tours of groups who asked her to give a tour.

“We discussed themes, principles of design and what makes a piece of art successful,” said Lanning, noting she started doing classroom tours in 2016. With the new home of the Weyburn Art Gallery in the Credit Union Spark Centre, she said they can now do tours upon request of every art exhibition in the gallery.

She also pointed out that the guest sign-in table featured a photo of the late Carol Reeve, who as a longtime Arts Council member loved manning the guest table.

She passed away on April 7 last year after a long battle with cancer, and in her honour, a number of the Arts Council members wore hats, as Carol loved wearing fascinators or carrying wonky purses, said Lanning.

She pointed out that the People’s Choice exhibition was named after James Weir, who was the first chairman of the Weyburn Arts Council, also the first arts council in Saskatchewan, and he went on to chair the Saskatchewan Arts Board for a number of years.

The Weyburn Arts Council is marking its 50th year in 2024, and this year is the 75th year of the Sask. Arts Board.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks