Celebrate Inspire Your Heart With Art Day and check out your new favourite Alberta art gallery and the talents of gifted local artists. Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, January 31, is a day to spotlight amazing creators and the work they pour their heart and soul into, as well as tap into your own ingenuity. Learn about the incredible roots of Alberta art, and get inspired by Cochrane’s arts scene.
Here are five easy ways to immerse yourself in Cochrane’s vibrant and distinct arts year-round.
Five ways to participate in the Cochrane art scene
1. Take in public art
Incredible artwork is hidden in plain view in your own backyard. Take a self-guided art tour and discover Cochrane’s extensive preservation of ranching culture and history, and how it’s deeply connected to local artwork.
Step back in time and delve into the stories behind the many bronze statues erected around town, depicting the hardships and triumphs of the rancher lifestyle. Each monument acknowledges and celebrates the many people who paved the way to make settlement in Cochrane possible.
Admire the permanent murals that echo the western culture and history so prevalent in our town. Each piece is painstakingly created by professional muralists to highlight the enduring and colourful past, present, and future of Cochrane.
The tour features 17 stops that showcase expansive murals, bright mosaics, detailed sculptures, and more. Pick up a map in the brochure rack outside the Cochrane Information Centre, and hit the streets to see the many displays.
2. Explore Studio West Foundry & Art Gallery
Stare up in amazement at the bronze sculptures designed and created at Studio West Foundry & Art Gallery. For over 50 years, Don Begg and his wife Shirley have been meticulously creating award-winning bronze sculptures at the foundry right here in Cochrane.
Each piece is handcrafted to stand the test of time and remain an iconic monument to its subject. “Visitors from across North America are amazed that public statues and monuments in their home towns were created here in Cochrane at Studio West Ltd.,” Shirley said, noting that guests are delighted to meet the artists and take a peek behind the scenes to see how statues are made.
Don’t forget to schedule your free tour, so you can marvel at the skills required to produce such monumental artwork. Don and Shirley will tell you, “Sculpting is like life, we slowly carve what we are destined to become.”
3. Experience Saffron Collective Studio
Get your hands dirty and “kiln” a few hours at Saffron Collective Studio. This special Alberta art gallery and studio showcases pottery, paintings, and knick-knacks created by local artists and made within the studio.
A hub for pottery enthusiasts, the studio hosts classes for children and adults of all ages, so you can celebrate the art of pottery with a lesson on the wheel, or learn how to build a piece by hand. Registration is still open for winter classes—it’s not too late to craft a unique and heartfelt gift, or create the perfect mug for your morning coffee.
4. Browse Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery
Bring the calm and tranquillity of nature indoors and be moved by the breathtaking creations of local artists at Alberta art gallery Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery.
Peruse displays of photography, sculpture, woodwork, glasswork, mixed media, and paintings, often influenced by our stunning local landscapes. The collective is home to over 40 artists, who transform the space every second month with new juried artwork.
“The arts play a huge role in building healthy communities and maintaining mental wellness,” Karen Chaisson, Director of Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery, said. “The COVID-19 crisis has brought this to the forefront and further illuminated the importance of art in helping people cope in the current difficult times.”
Route 22 Artist Collective is dedicated to supporting artisans, and connecting the greater community through visual arts and creative expression. Book the space to host your own solo exhibition and show off your skills, or visit the gallery to see the artists’ visions come to life and uncover a space of great innovation.
Inspire your heart with art in Cochrane
Commemorating the hard work and talent of local artists is easy when Cochrane displays such a colourful history interwoven with the art scene. On Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, take a deep dive into the many visual displays the town has to offer, like an exceptional Alberta art gallery, or try your hand at a satisfying new art form. Plan your day with us at Cochrane Tourism.