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Artists Choice 2020

Alberta Society Of Artists

The Alberta Society of Artists invited all Juried Members to submit to the exhibition, The Artists’ Choice 2020. This annual open-themed exhibition highlights the strengths and interests of the individual artists of the ASA.

Karin Richter
Burst Of Energy #10

This small abstract is part of a series I call “Burst of Energy”, a sensation I experienced when our country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Suddenly there was all this time to create and experiment which made the isolation for artists bearable and even enjoyable and productive. I worked fast by laying down bold marks in black paint keeping an eye on composition and textural interest.

© Fred Spina Pierrot the Clown

Ferdinando Spina
Pierot The Clown Awakening To A Dream

Awakening to a dream from a dream
Pierrot folds in on himself like an origami swan
With multi layered creases and pleats
He is destined to follow each fold to the end
And each end to a new beginning
A new birth
While lesser men are born of women and womb
He is born from dream to dream
He dreams himself from here to there and every where
With each reverie he dreams himself into being
With each being a new sorrow a new joy
One day he will dream himself through the eyes of God
And joy and sorrow will fall away
Leaving golden light and new found sight
Without the plight of wrong or right
Sleep sound
Dream well

Ed Flanagan
Alberta Falls #59


My work often uses the techniques employed by children particularly their use of invented symbols. By using symbols  I have moved away from specific subjects to a more general or universal result: from representation to abstraction and from depiction to design. I have found that applying these methods to almost any subject can result in my own work becoming more expressive, unique, and symbolic in nature. This in turn engages the viewer in interpreting the work in their own subjective manner and suggests they look for a higher meaning than just depiction.

Laara Cassells
Queen Of All She Surveys

 This painting is from a series depicting images of Alberta wildlife. Art and nature have been common threads in my life since childhood and I love to observe nature in the wild. I take countless photos of animals and their habitats in order to recreate the elements of a realistic painting that will ring true as a powerful depiction of nature as I experience it. 

Ilse Anysas-Salkauskas
Past, Present And Future

One can’t have a past without a present and they both lead to hope for the future. The rusted background representing Fall leads to a flowering future in Summer.

David Harrison


Pat Strakowski
Social Distancing


Liz Sullivan

 I grew up hearing my parent’s stories of their childhood years in the Netherlands during the Second World War. They lived on farms only 15 kilometers from the German border. In 1944 my mom’s brother hid in a cornfield to avoid capture and deportation to Nazi war factories. In this painting his outstretched hand holds a Rosefinch with a blue sky overhead, a sign of hope. The direct expressive painting techniques mirror the raw rugged emotional challenges of war. My artwork is a tribute to all who seek freedom.

© Debra Hovestad The Chase

Debra Hovestad
The Chase

In my paintings, I try to capture the mood just before, or just after an event. Be it a thunderstorm, a heavy wind, or just a cloud passing overhead. Some of my works are from life, but the majority are improvisational, inspired from nature, with the final painting often being a surprise. You can be anywhere to see the sky, and it’s combinations are endless. Living in Alberta has given me many opportunities to explore it’s vastness and beauty.

I’ve always felt a strong connection to the natural world and I find great inspiration in the vast prairies, and high contrasts such as the intensity of the prairie heat or the biting winter winds. My paintings generally evolve layer upon layer through random and controlled processes; emphasizing form that reveal the depth and life​ of a landscape. The majority of my work is from my imagination; places I would rather be.

Roberta Murray
We Are All Searching


“Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
This is the thing I find to be:  
That I am weary of words and people,          
Sick of the city, wanting the sea;      
Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness    
Of the strong wind and shattered spray,      
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
Of the big surf that breaks all day.”
– Edna St. Vincent Millay – Exiled

This painting relates to the passage of poetry above, but the meaning goes much deeper. The way the figures show connection and disconnection speaks to what many are searching for in life – love, companionship, human connection, and connection with the earth. 

Deborah Catton
Corset Vessell

Corset Vessel is a 3 dimensional soft sculpture piece that comes out of a larger body of work that explores the concept of a vessel and what the purpose of a vessel is. A vessel by definition is used to hold or contain something. Corset Vessel is meant to hold the heart of matter.  It is not to restrict it or restrain it, only to gently hold with care, tenderness, and safety.

Peter Deacon
The Prime Elements #863

The paintings in this series are based upon the interplay of signs, images and symbols; irreducible components that I have named as “Prime Elements”. The component images referencing geographic location, personal experience, memories, prime numbers, geometry and primary colors etc. are “irreducible” in the sense that I regard them as being absolute. They are both Autobiographical and Universal. These works make particular reference to locations on or near the Continental Divide, the most important symbolic and geographical metaphor for my own location in Calgary. Depicted here is Castle Mountain.

Wanda Rottenfusser
School Days

Growing up on a farm in rural Alberta, going to school was a privilege and the first day of school was an occasion to celebrate. Dressed up in our best hand-me-downs, clutching our homemade lunches, the event was always captured for posterity. These were my formative years as well as thousands of other baby boomers and this exploration of our roots hopes to uncover some of what defines that generation. Subdued tones reflect the post-war era and the coming of fall, but the expressive brushwork reflects optimism, hope and joy for the future.

Chris Brooks
River Study #24

The intention of the riverscapes is to ignite our tactile desire to connect with water. Inspiring a consideration of the reciprocal commitment we have with water. 

Developing this collection, fine resin proved to be the ideal medium for its ability to maintain fluid qualities as a solid. The ice is cast in sheets and cut to shape. Comprised of four layers, each layer consisting of four to six unique tints of resin. Manipulating tints creates depth and movement that becomes stationary as it solidifies. The viewers movement animates the art as the way light absorbs and refractions evolve. 

Dawn Thrasher
Game On

 In the search for equilibrium, the juggling of discordant pieces to create a balance is a challenge. When life becomes altered or restricted our sense of security and freedom can be threatened, forcing our priorities to shift and energies to be redirected. We move into the unknown, a new frontier with new problems to solve, new opportunities for change. “Game On” is about seeking balance, evaluating options and restricting the visual components of shape, colour and pattern in search of equilibrium and harmony.

Sharon Thompson
Letting Go

 I am an abstract painter with a particular interest in exploring space and light and its impact on the human psyche. This recent painting focuses for the viewer the feeling of freedom that comes with letting go. Despite the appearance of fluidity in the painting, the space and light have been carefully structured to support the central ‘gesture’ of the painting which carries this feeling of freedom. The warm colour and exuberant brush work further support this feeling.

Wendy Borglum
Raven Remembers

 Inspired by a raven encounter near Alberta’s Icefields Parkway in winter, this painting reflects the magic that can transpire from an experimental artistic spirit and approach combined with the atmospheric qualities of watermedia. I began with a design and colour scheme in mind and painted using palette knives, found object impressions, and household items—only a few touches with a brush. Multiple translucent layers help to convey the complexity and sophistication of the raven. I also enjoy working with words—the title is intended to reflect the stance of the corvid, and to introduce ambiguity, mystery, contemplation, and wonder.

Linda Craddock
Self Portrait Age 9

 I have inherited the narrative of the familial history through personal experience, reiteration and photographic documentation. On a psychological level, I carry familial experience with my own: the story and visual memory stretching and collapsing Space and Time. Therein contained are elements of both inaccuracy and truth; of past time overwhelming the present and of the present collapsing. As with a single movie frame, I present specific moments of these experiences as both participant and observer.

The photographic reference to the family album stands as the purveyor of a truth. I experience these visual references as elusive evidence. My artwork is the extrapolation; the reality of shifting relativity.

Brent Laycock
On The Verge Of Spring 

From the aspect of colour and texture there is an interesting transition that occurs from winter to spring.  This painting explores the subtle range of neutral colours, mainly greys, browns and yellows that dominate the landscape before the spring greens appear.  The leafless trees have a transparency that offers a different perception of space.  Every season possesses a unique beauty.