Arts Arena part of Aldergrove Fair Days

Aldergrove will be host to a group of 15 artists from the Lower Mainland during the 99th annual Aldergrove Fair Days this weekend.

Set up under the “big white tent,” this section of the fair has been created to introduce the arts to Aldergrove, where there is currently no public or private gallery.

“There’s nothing really to engage the public in arts in Aldergrove right now,” said Robin Bandenieks, organizer for Art Arena 2011. “So we’re bringing the arts to the people.”

In the past, the section has been named Artisan Alley, but this year Bandenieks has decided to change it to Arts Arena to better reflect the type of work being displayed.

She is bringing together a variety of artists to showcase different mediums and art forms. Craftsmen including weavers, sketchers, oil painters, abstract painters, fabric artists, a potter and even a calligrapher will be set up under the tent.

Each artist will have two tables for displays of original, hand-made artwork and public demonstrations. They will be working on new projects onsite and discussing them with the public. The idea is to engage the community in the process of creating artwork and illustrate what kind of work goes into their pieces.

“It’s neat to see something you make with your hands, not bought in a store,” said Bandenieks. “There’s something really special about it.”

An Aldergrove artist herself, Bandenieks says hosting set-ups like the Arts Arena has had a very positive impact on the Aldergrove community.

“In the past I’ve seen a lot of interest from kids, saying ‘wow that’s so neat, I want to be able to paint like that.’”

“I feel I have connected with kids, especially when demoing, and the adults too, even if it’s just to encourage them. And that’s what I love doing. Looking to the people and saying, ‘yes do it. It is hard but it’s fun. Don’t wait until retirement. Do it now.’”

The Arts Arena will be set up at the Aldergrove Fair Days Country Carnival rain or shine on Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Other events at the carnival include a fair and midway, the Aldy Show N Shine Classic Car Display, a kidzone, a main stage, a 4-H display, and an antique tractor pull.

“It’s just so much fun and so wonderful,” said Bandenieks. “I’m so looking forward to it.”

Admission is by donation, with free parking for the entire weekend. For a list of participating artists in the Art Arena, visit www.aldergrovefairdays.com.

The Fair is located at South Aldergrove Park, 26770 29 Ave., next to Aldergrove Community Secondary School.


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