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Opinion: Art for arts sake this weekend

So the August long weekend has come and gone. The following weekend may feel like the next birthday after a milestone but not so, dear reader! Hang on to that long weekend feeling with a tour around Cochrane to discover our vibrant art scene.
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Airdrie visitors Hayden McKelvey, 15, left, Klayre Bodo, 12, and Del Bodo stop for a photo in front of the Man of Vision statue in Cochrane on Thursday, July 9, 2020. (Chelsea Kemp/The Cochrane Eagle)

So the August long weekend has come and gone. The following weekend may feel like the next birthday after a milestone but not so, dear reader!

Hang on to that long weekend feeling with a tour around Cochrane to discover our vibrant art scene.

Route 22 Start with a visit to the latest addition to the local arts community, Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery, which, as the name suggests, was created by a consortia of artists in Cochrane and area. Officially opened in mid-June, it’s a beautifully designed space with lots of natural light and an eclectic collection of multi-discipline pieces. The art here is juried meaning the collective weighs in on which pieces should be displayed. Every month there is an interchange (get it?) where the current display is completely replaced. This means you will have to come by at least once a month to see what’s new.

The Gentry Then amble over to The Gentry Espresso & Wine Bar, a few doors down. And while you’re thinking about that special piece you may just have to go back and purchase, treat yourself to a delectable artisan coffee and a house made treat. You’ll immediately notice how this place supports local artists, by the canvasses and photographs that adorn the walls.

From art to artisan The art of making jewellery is in a class by itself. Stop by Peacock Jewellers and you may catch a master at work…or she’s two doors down running a workshop to show you how to create your own masterpieces. Supplies are also for sale here as well as at Final Touch Studios.

Public art A stroll around town will reveal a host of treasures. Bronze monuments created at the famed Studio West Foundry are pure eye candy. See the Legacy Statue in Centennial Plaza that commemorates the pioneer women of Cochrane, fondly known as the chicken lady. Inside the Cochrane Library, you’ll find two incredibly life-like bronze children with their books. The latest edition is a stunning piece installed at North Star Ford entitled “Early Calf,” depicting a cowboy on horseback with a newborn calf slung over the saddle in front of him, rescued from a late spring snowstorm. And it’s hard to miss the iconic cowboy on his horse overlooking the town and the river valley below.

Finish up at the Cochrane RancheHouse for the piece de resistance, a giant mural mosaic made up of individual tiles supplied by more than 200 local artists to depict how the west once was. For more ideas, take a look at our article, Cochrane’s Self-Guided Art Tour.



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