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All-female art exhibition to feature local talent, fundraise for Transition House

“Bloom” is the theme of the art exhibit, which runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 27
Female artist exhibition
Erin Zimmerman and Jess Zoerb have organized "Bloom," a two-month art exhibition at the Cultural Centre featuring an all-female line-up of local artists. Photo by Jason G. Antonio

Thirteen female artists from the Moose Jaw area hope their artwork at the Cultural Centre art gallery will bloom in visitors’ hearts and produce donations for a community charity.

“Bloom” is the theme of the art exhibit, which runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 27 and features the works of emerging and established artists from Moose Jaw, Regina, and Bethune, many of whom will be showing their work for the first time. The two-month exhibition is also doubling as a fundraiser for Moose Jaw Transition House.

An opening reception is scheduled at the cultural centre for Saturday, Sept. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the artists, enjoy live music, admire the creation of live art, enjoy snacks, and have their photos taken. Donations will also be accepted; needed items include feminine hygiene products, diapers, wipes, pyjamas, leggings, and cash. 

This exhibition came together for almost the singular purpose of creating art to support a good cause, namely, the transition house, which helps families during hard times, explained Erin Zimmerman, who teamed up with Jess Zoerb to organize the event. The goal is to make this an annual event.

A reason for the all-women exhibition is because it focuses on women helping other women — many of whom are mothers — going through difficult challenges, Zimmerman said.   

“It amazed me how much local talent we have that I had no idea were here,” she continued. “People that contacted us, we put out an art call thinking that it might just be the two of us, so … 11 other people felt it was worth spending their time and their effort and money into art supplies and create for this show. It’s absolutely amazing.

“I don’t think we expected the turnout and that we didn’t even know that these people had the same passions as us. I think our hope is we can combine all of our passions for art to create good in this community.”

Zoerb credited Zimmerman with having passion and enthusiasm for the exhibition. In turn, Zimmerman replied that she is passionate about art and helping community artists showcase their work. Many of them paint and draw but don’t always display their work — or have the chance to — in public since there are few accessible public spaces. 

“It’s helping artists, but it’s also helping other people. And that should be what we’re doing,” she said. 

An in-person art exhibition is different from seeing work online since people can’t truly experience art without being in its physical presence, said Zoerb. Similar to an in-person conversation, seeing art live “is an energetic exchange.”   

“Especially today with technology, people don’t necessarily pause long enough to take in what they’re experiencing. The gallery gives them the opportunity to do that,” she added. 

The idea for the theme came from a quote that Zimmerman and Zoerb found and shared. The quote — partially attributed to author Christine Caine — is, “When you are in a dark place, you tend to think that you have been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom.” 

It’s an expression about becoming more beautiful or being able to overcome challenges, Zoerb said. Bloom holds different meanings, so they left the interpretation of that word up to the artists to decide how they wanted to approach their creations. 

Besides fundraising for Transition House, the other goal is to build community in the art world in Moose Jaw by bringing artists together and strengthening that presence here, said Zoerb. This goal is something that she and Zimmerman share since they both paint together in a studio that Zoerb developed.

“I think art can be such a very solo sport, but when we create together, or we support each other, we become inspired and we grow more,” chuckled Zoerb. 

“Bloom,” laughed Zimmerman.