The Winnipeg River Arts Council Inc. enhances quality of life in north eastern Manitoba by advancing arts and culture.
WRAC looks forward to serving residents, visitors, artists and arts groups within the Winnipeg River corridor (east of Highway 11 and north of Highway 317). The region is culturally diverse and home to many talented artists and arts organizations that provide opportunities for arts and culture. WRAC’s regional structure will help community arts organizations, schools and recreation services work together to plan larger regional arts initiatives by facilitating the sharing of resources, information and talents. WRAC seeks to contribute to economic grow by promoting the region’s arts and cultural assets to residents and tourists.
Artist Of The Month
For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features previously highlighted visual artist, Jan Claude. Although she is originally from Winnipeg and still has ties there, she and her husband live year round at Bird River. She has worked in most painting mediums, but presently she concentrates on creating her main love, water colour pictures.
When asked about her passions and inspirations, Claude cites a wide variety of sources: people, situations, and other artists. She adds, “But it’s mostly the beauty that surrounds us in this incredible country of ours. My husband and family are the primary source of encouragement for me. They are all incredibly supportive!”
Her artistic inclinations do not include instructing other artists but she admits to teaching her grandchildren and willing participants in a few spontaneous situations. Although she has had no formal training, her creative bent and love of all things involving design and art drive her to make art. She says, “I simply must create to feel whole.”
When she joined the Pinawa Art Gallery, it gave her momentum to paint more regularly and the courage to show her work, which led to more opportunities. Her work can be seen primarily at Pinawa Art Gallery and online at her website: janclaude.ca. She has also shown work in the Boreal Shores Art Tour, every Eastman Juried Art Exhibition since 2015, as well as the Rural and Northern Art Show of Manitoba.
Claude’s work has won the water colour division of Eastman Juried Art Exhibition and gone on to be displayed in the final exhibit of Manitoba Rural and Northern Art Exhibits at The Buhler Art Gallery, and The Gallery in the Park at Assiniboine Park. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MRANAE is being presented online and runs September to December on the Manitoba Arts Network website. Claude’s “Slumberland” won first place in the painting category.
Her newest pursuit is creating water colour earrings. She says, “These are fun to do in between larger projects. My goal in the next year is to do some larger works.”
She encourages every person who has an interest in art to just go for it and pursue their passion and have fun without comparing themselves to others. She says, “There are so many different styles of “artwork.” Find the one that suits you and appreciate the ones that are different than yours. Join an art group of some type.”