CIAS Opening Vibrant New Multi-Discipline Art Gallery

Article shared from Cochrane Now as reported by Noel Edey Wednesday, Mar 11, 12:00 PM

A ground-breaking Artists Collective Gallery will be opening its doors in about two months.

Last week, arrangements were completed for the gallery of the Cochrane Integrated Arts Society (CIAS) to be located in the previous home of Winters PhotoGraphic, 312-5th Ave. Dusty Lott, CIAS public relations officer, also a talented metal sculptor, says there are several components to the gallery that will make it attractive to both patrons and artists. For one, the multi-discipline gallery will be open year-round.

"We're not just going to have paint, we're not just going to have sculpture, we're not just going to have glass, we're going to have fibre arts and everything else.There are lots of different possibilities. That's exciting because we believe having all of the disciplines in one space is more intriguing to the patrons."

Secondly, the art displayed will be juried.

"That says to the artist, I'm raising the bar on my art, I have to bring my best work to submit to the gallery," explains Lott.

"It also tells the patrons that they're going to get something special when they come here, that there will be a qualitative aspect of the art that is displayed here. That's a really important part, both for our patrons and our artists."

Lara Kruger is the gallery director and is working hard with a committee to bring the gallery on stream.

"We're lucky and happy to have her here in town. She's local, she's always has been. She's putting out a lot of effort to make this project work, and CIAS is grateful to have her helping us out with this."

At its recent annual general meeting, CIAS unveiled the project to the local artistic community. The response was enthusiastic, and 17 people stepped forward to be part of the collective. CIAS is now reaching out to the Cochrane Art Club, Foothills Art Club, and other artists to join. The door has been left open to consider establishing programming in the future, for everyone from children, beginners, and experienced artists.

Lott says they have been receiving tremendous support to make the gallery a reality, including that of Grand Central Properties.

"We're a nonprofit organization, so we're looking to the community to see if there are people who are interested in the arts, and supporting the arts culture here in town. We're getting a lot of really great support, but that doesn't mean we'll turn away anyone else who wants to help. CIAS continues to grow, and this gallery will give people a clearer understanding of its aims," he says.

"With this brick and mortar scenario, we have people on the ground, we have art being displayed and that is going to catalyze a sense of the reality of what CIAS is trying to do."

The CIAS website is currently being updated but should be operational soon. In the meantime, if you want more information, you can contact Lott at or by phone at 403 813-6630.

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