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Local artist collective gallery presents "Smalls Show"

All 15 artists in the show were given time to create four about unique pieces, which each cost $200

The Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery is showcasing, 10-by-10-inch textile, painting, photography and glass art by local artists in the "Smalls Show" until Dec. 31, or until all pieces are sold.

All 15 artists in the show were given time to create four about unique pieces, which each cost $200.

Lara Kruger, president of the gallery, said she hopes it will generate more foot traffic and visitors, especially with the upcoming holidays.

"We've done similar types of shows with artists," she said. "It's really us trying to involve all of the different artists and kind of maintain a level playing field for everyone while hopefully creating more sales for the gallery, especially around Christmas time when everyone is looking at getting their shopping done."

As part of the gallery's operation model, artists volunteer at the gallery to talk about shows and their work, allowing customers the opportunity to connect with the art and the artist, said Kruger.

Local fused-glass artist and gallery member Heather Lagos has two decorative bowls up for sale in the show, as well as three wall pieces inspired by Cochrane's view of the Rocky Mountains and the fall and winter seasons.

"I cut all my pieces by hand from sheets of glass and then stack them on a kiln shelf and heat them to various temperatures to create things such as bowls, plates, and the artwork that you can see hanging here [at the gallery]," she said.

Lagos explained that she is not used to constraining the size of her pieces and wanted to step outside her comfort zone for the Smalls Show.

"Sometimes depending on the size of pieces, glasswork tends to be a tiny bit more expensive and so for people that maybe can't afford some of the higher price points," she said. "I really wanted to make some pieces that were affordable for people who might want a piece of glass art in their home."

Despite opening during the pandemic in December of last year, Kruger said the gallery has done remarkably well. 

"We've had great community support," she said. "We've had to close down in terms of capacity a few times and close the gallery completely for a short time. But overall, I think we've been able to keep that presence for the community to come in and see local art and for artists to keep showing and selling their work throughout the whole thing. So, it's been a challenge, but it's working."

Lagos, who moved to Cochrane last spring, added that she does not know how she would have fared the past 20 months without being able to channel herself through her artwork.

"For me, particularly, art has always been something that helps me to relieve stress and be more in the moment in life," she said. "It has helped me immensely to get through the pandemic doing my art. Being creative and having that outlet has been able to kind of propel me through some of the harder points of this this - being locked down and whatever else during this time."

The show also includes work by local artists of Cochrane and surrounding area Karen Pedersen, Barb Scott, Jackie Harbidge, Sandy Rogers, Suzane Whitney, Sherry Telle, Denise Smith, Janie Lockwood, Penny Barker, Susan MacLennan, Val Rengen, Cindy Zampa and Karen Chaisson.