Gallery showcasing local youth talent unveiled

November 22, 2023

Gallery showcasing local youth talent unveiled

Strathcona County is excited to announce the opening of the Gemstone Gallery, a new art space dedicated to exhibiting artwork by local youth.

“Youth are a vital part of the creative spirit that weaves through the community and this space will reflect their artistic achievements,” says Kelly Andres, Public Art Curator.

Located on the recently renovated second floor of the Emerald Hills Leisure Centre, the Gemstone Gallery is situated in a tranquil seating space with floor-to-ceiling windows offering natural light. The area is also wheelchair accessible.  

“The gallery is an inclusive place where youth work can be shared and enjoyed by the public. It is also a place where individuals can learn about potential opportunities to become further involved with arts and culture through the annual Show and Sale or County art classes and programs,” says Andres.

The gallery will feature a selection of youth artists in an annual exhibition as well as a series of permanently displayed youth artworks from the Annual Art Acquisition program.

“An early career artist needs the support from the community in order to gain confidence to face the inevitable adversity of the industry. A dedicated gallery space focused on highlighting the artwork of County youth is imperative to fostering that confidence,” says Josh Harnack, a former youth artist from the 2010 Annual Art Acquisition program. “In my personal experience, it is this type of support from the community that has made all the difference in my early career.”

The yearly exhibition represents the award-winning artists from the Art Society of Strathcona County’s annual Student Art Competition Show and Sale which features students from Grades 10, 11 and 12 who are registered in an accredited school program within the County.

Creating welcoming places and spaces to address inclusivity is a priority identified in the County’s Recreation and Culture Strategy.

Community members are invited to celebrate the launch of the Gemstone Gallery on Wednesday, November 29 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided as guests admire the talent and creativity of our youth.

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595