By Mamta Lulla

The Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove is looking to grow.

The Allied Arts Council manages the Spruce Grove Art Gallery.

The arts council runs out of the Spruce Grove Public Library space currently.

“Although we run out of the library, we are not part of the library,” said the president, Cindy James.

Over the years, the council has grown and so have the art shows and events they put on. So the board is looking to grow both in space and membership.

The council currently has 60 members with eight board members consisting of the president, vice-president, treasurer and so on. The council’s next election is in March 2018.

Looking into the future James said the arts council wants to see members who would be ready to lead the team.

Members pay a $40 fee annually. Although volunteers are needed to run art shows, members are not required to pitch in time or attend meetings.

“We do need help but it’s not a requirement,” she said.

Membership is open to anyone with or without prior art experience.

Members receive help with material, art framing and hanging apparatus.

“So the person who buys it knows it won’t fall out of the frame or come apart,” she said.

That’s what makes the council useful to beginners because it helps artists in their journey. They learn basic skills that they could take to any art gallery and are confident that it meets a certain standard.

Artists can attend workshops and take part in art shows that will help them grow as artists.

With the growing interest, the arts council shows have gotten bigger as well. Open Art competition, currently ongoing has received about 200 entries. The show is open to anyone in Alberta.

James explained there’s a growing interest in arts and culture within the community and keeping that in mind, they need to look into a bigger space – a facility with a storefront and better visibility.

The gallery focuses on watercolour painting, oil painting, acrylic painting, encaustic painting, sculpture and photography and hosts classes and workshops for adults and children.

On Oct. 27, the gallery is hosting a Painting and Treats event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Instructor Tina Bourassa will help students to create their own painting. Art supplies will be provided. There will be refreshments and treats at the event. The cost of the event is $25 for a non-member and $20 for a member.

More information about upcoming shows and events can be found online at alliedartscouncil.com/spruce-grove-art-gallery/