The Southwest Open is a non-curated show that encourages visual artists from Swift Current and surrounding communities to pursue their passions and share their creations.
Morghie Flaterud is the programming and communications director for the art gallery, and is an illustrator and painter herself.
As a non-curated exhibition, the art gallery accepts as much work as they can fit in their space, always showcasing at least one piece from every artist that submits.
Some of the participants are showing their work for the first time at this year’s show, according to Flaterud.
"I think it's a wonderful way to take that first step in becoming more serious about your art,” she said.
Entering the Southwest Open comes with more benefits for participants than just getting to display their personal work.
Last Saturday, a public reception took place at the West Wing Gallery for artists to invite their friends and family to view the show—the first one since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The annual reception is an opportunity for artists to meet with each other, their families, their friends, and an art professional from outside the community to discuss their work and adjudicate.
Morghie spoke at the event congratulating the artists, thanking the sponsors, and explaining to those who might not be familiar with the show, what it is.
After that, refreshments were served and creators each spent time with this year’s adjudicator, Regina artist Terri Ridelak.
Adjudication is the process of the professional choosing a select few artists and inviting them to apply for the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Council’s travelling exhibition, called ‘Arts on the Move.’
Every year the Swift Current Arts Council sponsors this process, giving local artists an opportunity to have their work shown across the province.
"Southwest Open exhibition is also valuable for our community to see all the talent we have right here at home,” Morghie said. “Talent is not just in bigger centres, it's also in Swift Current and surrounding towns.”
The exhibition opened for public view on June 24 and will be at West Wing Gallery until August 20, hosting work from over 30 different artists from the area.