PDAC opening causes ripples

The Portage Citizen

One of Portage la Prairie’s largest and arguably one of the most important art collectives here – Prairie Ripples – opened a show at the Portage and District Arts Centre to much deserved fanfare on Feb. 22.

A small poster tacked on the wall of the gallery explained the group was formed in 2007 to create an awareness of hidden local talent. Prairie Ripples is a dynamic group of individuals who promote the arts by sharing their skills, techniques and enthusiasm for art.

Accomplished artists representing many medias, the collection hanging on the walls in PDAC’s main gallery is testament to the variety and flavours that the group is umbrella to.

In her opening remarks

Margaret Bernhardt-Lowdon, PDAC executive director, called Prairie Ripples “an amazing, dynamic group of 23 artists.”

“Prairie Ripples really gets it,” she said. “They understand the necessity of sharing ideas openly and the need to promote not just arts, but the artists.”

Bernhardt-Lowden gushed that Portage would not be the same without the artists that you have (represented) here tonight.

Prairie Ripples founding member Rusty Rutherford explained the art collective is now entering into its12th year. “In 2007 Gabriele (Neuschwander a talented local potter) and I had a little germ of an idea. (This germ of an idea) grew into a small group of artists who were concerned about promoting art in the Portage area. From that small group of five or six people came the plan to make art in Portage la Prairie and area more visible to the public.”

Those were the humble beginnings, said Rutherford, explaining the hardworking artists began experimenting with how to promote and market art in the area.

Today the group hosts studio tours, a Fall art and crafts sale, participate in Culture Days activities and support local causes like the Garden Tea Party in support of Palliative Care.

A website (www.prairieripples.com) and Facebook page keep the public up-to-date on activities throughout the year and showcase these energetic artists’ quality handcrafted creations.

“Portage and area had a lot of really talented artists,” Rutherford said. “By hosting these events we hope to give the public the chance to see them Events like this (give a chance) to talk to the artist and hopefully inspire the new artists coming up.”

The Craig Dunn GM sponsored display continues until March 31.

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