Pictured is ‘Visitors in the Peony Patch’ by Laura Leeder, a 16”x20” original work that is available at Cranbrook Arts. Leeder is the featured artist for May at Cranbrook Arts’ gallery and shop on Baker Street. (Laura Leeder file)

Pictured is ‘Visitors in the Peony Patch’ by Laura Leeder, a 16”x20” original work that is available at Cranbrook Arts. Leeder is the featured artist for May at Cranbrook Arts’ gallery and shop on Baker Street. (Laura Leeder file)

Spring is in full bloom at Cranbrook Arts

May’s featured artist, upcoming workshops and much more coming to the arts scene this spring

Although pandemic restrictions have put a halt to many activities across the city, Cranbrook Arts is gearing up for what will hopefully be a busy spring and summer.

May’s featured artist at the Baker Street shop is Laura Leeder, with her exhibit of freshly-picked mixed media art to delight the senses.

Perfect for spring, Leeder’s collection of mixed-media collage paintings on wood panels feature gardens, birds, and surrounding landscapes. They are created through techniques reminiscent of art deco and stained glass.

“I plant seeds of beauty and happiness into every collage painting. Each is a celebration of nature and all are made with love,” said Leeder. “I hope that my paintings will warm your heart, lift your spirits and beautify your home.”

The stylized paintings sparkle with lighthearted and expressive celebrations of nature, and often include a touch of whimsy, Leeder adds.

Leeder started painting 20 years ago and since then, her work has evolved through experimentation, techniques and methods. She is constantly seeking to enhance her skills and artistic experience to create a more joyful connection between her work and the viewer.

The Cranbrook Arts Gallery and Gift Shop on Baker Street remains open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Just down the road at Cranbrook Arts’ newest location, 1401 5th St. N., work continues on the gallery space as the Arts Council gears up for their premier exhibit, ‘Kootenay’s Best’ running from June 17th to September 8th.

Artists from across the Kootenays are encouraged to apply for the juried exhibit. Applications close on Friday, May 7th at midnight. A full list of application details can be seen on the Cranbrook Arts website at www.cranbrookarts.com.

Along with the ‘Kootenay’s Best’ exhibit, the new Clay-Time pottery studio is slated to open to the public this summer, should restrictions allow. There will be pottery classes available for beginner and intermediate potters, as well as open-studio time for experienced potters/members.

Under the current provincial COVID-19 restrictions, art classes for children and youth ages 0-21 are still permitted and continue to run at 1401 (at limited capacities). Cranbrook Arts will be hosting two workshops for children and youth on May 21st and June 4th.

On May 21st join Wendy Franz in a fun two-hour class painting watercolour cards in the design of cute little birds. This class runs from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and is intended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are $25. A second class will be offered on June 4th, painting flowers.

Later that afternoon, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. kids can enjoy two hours of painting garden bugs (painted rocks). This class is intended for ages 6 and up and is $20. A second class will be offered on June 4th.

To sign up or find out more information about upcoming classes, visit www.cranbrookarts.com.

Those interested in working with or volunteering for Cranbrook Arts should stay tuned as well, as several opportunities are on the horizon. Cranbrook Arts is seeking volunteers to help during gallery opening hours for the ‘Kootenay’s Best’ exhibit.

They are also the recipient of a grant from Canada Summer Jobs and will be hiring three summer students to teach arts-based children’s summer camps. The summer camps will run on weekdays during July and August.

Anyone interested in getting involved can get in touch with the arts council by contacting programming@cranbrookarts.com.