Back in the Saddle: New show on the horizon for Stampede artists

A new exhibition by Calgary Stampede artists will be held at the New Horizon Mall from Aug. 28-31. This pictured work, Home Sweet Home by Paul Van Ginkel, shows the vastness of the exhibit space -- ideal for a socially distanced show.

The pandemic may have led to the cancellation of the 2020 Calgary Stampede, but one local artist decided to find another way to showcase the artwork that so many people view — and purchase — at the event each year.

The Western Showcase, including an extensive art show, has become one of the Stampede’s most popular attractions over the years. But the COVID-related cancellation of the Stampede meant the art show was cancelled, too.

This prompted Calgary artist Paul Van Ginkel to begin looking for other public exhibition opportunities this summer.

“I remember being impressed with the design of the New Horizon Mall and was aware that it still had lots of available space,” Van Ginkel says. “The mall was appreciative of my proposal to stage an event there so they offered me two 3,000-square-foot spaces.”

The result is a new art exhibition called Back in the Saddle at the New Horizon Mall, located just east of Highway 2 between Calgary and Airdrie. The exhibition will be open Aug. 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and, Aug. 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Van Ginkel emailed a “first come, first served” invitation to some of the fellow artists who have also shown their work at the Stampede art show over the years. A cap of 10 artists was put on the project to ensure they would have sufficient space to display their works.

Artists featured in the south space of the mall include Van Ginkel, Michael Perks, Neil Hamelin, Keith Andrews and Cecile Albi, while the north space features Andrew Kiss, Branko Marjanovic, Brad Holt, Mark Farand and Michael Sydoryk.

The event, which will follow COVID 19 protective protocols, will also feature live music all day on the Saturday and Sunday of the exhibition.

Van Ginkel, whose work is also being shown until Aug. 26 at the new Central Library, notes that it takes less than 25 minutes to get to the New Horizon Mall from the centre of Calgary.

“The brief drive to our event will be well worth it,” he says. Visitors will experience “quality art in a very cool space.”

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