Countering Covid canvas by canvas

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, April 27, 2023

The April 22 Foothills Art Club showcase at St. Andrew’s United Church was a good-riddance-to-Covid event, featuring such works as Hanne Seidel’s Anticipation (top centre), Audrey Arisman’s Riding the Rails (lower left), and Sharon Massen’s Donkey Friends (lower right). Photos by Warren Harbeck

After a three-year pandemic pause in their always-appreciated showcases, the Foothills Art Club has done it again. On April 22, at St. Andrew’s United Church, they celebrated Covid’s departure with a truly inspiring display and sale of the creative works of many Cochrane-area artists. And yes, I must quote Dostoevsky once more: “The world will be saved/healed by beauty.”

Indeed, the church hall was a treasury of beauty last Saturday. Immediately catching my wife’s and my eyes was Hanne Seidel’s acrylic/collage, Anticipation. Hanne tells me she worked on this colourful piece during those dark Covid days. She says it proved to be “a therapeutic diversion” to honour that bird watching over its nest of eggs – anticipation of wonderful days to come.

That optimism characterized so much of the artwork on display. In acrylic, oil, ink, water, scratch board, collage, and mixed media, these creative Cochranites gave expression to their inner longings for the beauty of better days in breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, florals, still lifes, abstracts, and more.

I was even able to read into a couple of their works a bit of post-covid humour.

Audrey Arisman’s acrylic, Riding the Rails, depicted a bear on the tracks. Ah yes, I couldn’t resist interpreting it as the artist telling Covid to go ride the rails, “Scram!”

And then there was Sharon Massen’s mixed media piece, Donkey Friends. The expression on those two critters’ faces told me immediately that they were giving Covid the lip, as if to add, “And don’t come back!”

So, thank you, Foothills Art Club, for doing your part in saying good riddance to Covid’s despairing days.


© 2023 Warren Harbeck

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