Do you enjoy exploring galleries and works of art? Do you create your own artworks? Whether you’re a celebrated artist or someone who hasn’t picked up a paintbrush since middle school, art is for everyone, and the public library can be an excellent place to immerse yourself in art and artistic expression.
Getting lost in the flow of creating something is a pleasure that everyone can enjoy- the process is worth a try regardless of the end result. Playing with colour, texture, light and shadow engages your senses and pulls you into playfulness. Your focus is honed in on your craft as worries and concerns fall to the wayside for a while.
Participating in art programs at the library can be a great way to socialize and engage with others in your community without feeling the pressure of breaking the ice or making small talk- everyone works on their project and chatting happens naturally, or people become so sucked into their work that they become blissfully unaware of everything going on around them. There’s no pressure felt here- in fact, the opposite is experienced- calm release.
At Wood Buffalo Regional Library, we strive to support artists of all ages through our art & crafting programs, art books and media, and free-to-book display areas. We love showcasing local art, and we also have many talented artists on staff- you might even see some of their creations in and around the library and out in the community! We hope you’ll come in and get lost in the many worlds of art with us.
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint” – Frida Kahlo
While we have some really talented artsy patrons, quite a few of our staff enjoy art as well! Rebecca from Community Services can be recognized for her awesome window canvas over at the Syncrude Program Room where she also occasionally hosts our paint nights for patrons. We asked Rebecca a few questions to see a little of her perspective as an artist here:
How long have you been doing art?
“I honestly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing art! I spent my entire childhood drawing, stamping, painting, designing… My skills grew very naturally alongside my interest, and I’m entirely self-taught”
What are your favourite mediums?
“I definitely prefer traditional mediums over digital ones, and my favourite is ink – the smaller the pen the better, because I like to do very intricate drawings”
Is there anyone who inspires you?
“Literally too many to list”
What has it been like to do art for the WBRL/teach the art programs?
“Nothing beats being able to spend your workday doing something you seriously love. I will say that planning, preparing, and running art programs – knowing that patrons would be looking to me for demonstrations and guidance – was way outside my comfort zone at first. But I think we’ve created a special atmosphere here where people can come and learn and try new things without feeling pressured to follow strict rules or make something that looks a certain way. I keep it casual and encourage experimentation, so it’s always really fun”
What’s your favourite thing to draw/paint?
“Unicorns, trees and plants, and people”
What’s it like as an artist in Fort McMurray?
“I guess it’s like being an artist anywhere else. You find some supplies somewhere somehow, and you make stuff”
–Rusul Jaafar & Shauna Darbyshire,