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Gudmundson, Farstad highlight adjudicated art show

The works of two local artists were among the highlights of the Estevan Arts Council's annual adjudicated arts show.
Linda Gudmundson

The works of two local artists were among the highlights of the Estevan Arts Council's annual adjudicated arts show.

An artists' reception was held Sunday at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum where it was announced that Linda Gudmundson and Sheila Farstad have been selected to submit a proposal to the Organization of Saskatchewan Art Councils for a travelling art show.

Regina-based artist Gerri-Ann Siwek had the task of judging the entries in this year's show and had high praise not only for the artists, but the for the show itself, calling it the best she has been involved with.

"I have really enjoyed my visit to Estevan," Siwek said. "It's just wonderful to see the work displayed here."

In deciding on which artists should submit a proposal to OSAC, Siwek said she looked for work that "is finished in its entirety" and could be displayed anywhere.

She felt the work of Farstad and Gudmundson best exemplified those qualities.

"They fit together so well," she said of Gudmundson's exhibit OMG!. "It is a writer and curator's dream. The concept is strong in the way she dealt with materials and colours."

Gudmundson was understandably honoured to be selected, but especially so by Siwek, an artist she has a great deal of respect for.

"I have met her before and I respect her art work and her opinion. She is a very experienced artist I'm excited," said Gudmundson whose exhibit was comprised of a number of pink wooden boxes adorned with a variety of messages and different art work.

"They are true confessions of women on-line. They are talking about motherhood and their own femininity. They are private and meant to be secret thoughts and that's why I did them the same, so they had anonymity. You can't tell who said them, but yet they are individual at the same time."

Gudmundson noted the OMG! collection is part of a larger series that she has been working on. She has 50 boxes in total which have been sealed with beeswax and string.

"It's meant to tempt the viewer to want to open them. It's a reference to women's clothing, the flirtation, women's sexuality, all referring to clothing."

Farstad's mixed media work, Quintessence I-V also drew positive comments from Siwek who said she could envision the paintings in a travelling show.

A veteran of past adjudicated art shows, Farstad said the Quintessence pieces represented a departure from the work she normally does.

"I have done a bunch of blossoms and what I enjoyed about them was the texture, the play of wet against dull," she said. "So I just took it to the next level, not worrying about subject matter so much as those interactions between light and dark, shiny and dull and those kinds of things.

"That's what this is all about; more texture and less about what it is it could be whatever you want it to be. The way I work is it is all on the floor and I just sort of throw at it and whatever happens, happens. Happy surprises."

All of the work in the adjudicated show will be on display at the gallery until the end of October. The public is also encouraged to vote for their favourite entry for the People's Choice Award which will be announced on Oct. 29.