Laureen F. Guenther
Times Contributor


Akokiniskway Gallery in Rosebud opens a new exhibit March 31, featuring the artists who attended Glacier National Park’s Art in the Park in the summer of 2016.
Valerie Speer, Resident Visual Artist at Rosebud School of the Arts, was one of the Art in the Park participants.
On Saturday, April 1, Speer and two fellow Art in the Park artists – Jeff Wilson of Vancouver and Jennifer Ireland of Calgary – will be the gallery hosts. At 3:30 p.m., Wilson will give a short talk. Refreshments will be served.
In August, Speer, Wilson and Ireland and nine other Alberta and British Columbia artists spent four days in Glacier National Park, hiking, drawing and taking photographs. In the evenings, they gathered to share their days’ experiences.
The Art in the Park show includes three pieces from each of the 12 Art in the Park artists.
“Most of us have quite a different style, and some were in different mediums,” Speer said. “(All the artists) represented the same experiences in different ways.”
Wilson works primarily in acrylics, emphasizing figurative, portraiture and urban landscape work. His Art in the Park work focuses on the portraits and stories of park wardens and other park employees. Ireland is a mixed-media artist, working on a Masters degree in applied arts. Speer calls herself an “immersionist” and focuses on painting landscapes with acrylic.
In light of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, Speers said she hopes the exhibit will expand Canadians’ appreciation for the national parks.
“This is one of our jewels in Canada, these raw natural places of beauty,” she said. “As a nation, we have treasured them by making them into a national park. I see (this exhibit) as just trying to highlight those jewels, that raw beauty that we take for granted.
Akokiniskway Gallery will be open between 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31. On Saturday, April 1, it will be open between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and again between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Art in the Park show will run in the Gallery until June 3.