Showing off four decades of art in all forms
Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor
Compared to the big cities, Regina hosts a collection of art-centered festivals. Usually, residents think of the main ones like The Cathedral Arts Festival, or even Mosaic, although Mosaic leans more towards culture-based art.
For forty years, The MacKenzie Art Gallery has presented Regina with a one-day festival meant to bring together artists and art lovers. It is a place where profit can be made and art shared.
On June 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bazaart was open for business on the MacKenzie grounds. Despite the possibility of rain overshadowing the festivities, guests were lined up ready to get in and see all types of creations Saskatchewan’s artists had brought to sell and share.
With over 130 stands to visit, it would be surprising if no one found something that piqued their interest. Exhibitors sold work such as candles, ceramics, glass, jewellery, metal, mixed media, original prints, paintings, paper, photography, sculpture, soap, and wood.
In this mix was a team of potters who have been selling their work at Bazaart since the its first year. Wendy Parsons from “Parsons Dietrich Pottery” in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan talked about what a beautiful, sunny day that first festival was.
“There were huge crowds. There was nothing like this festival back then. People wanted something like this,” said Parsons.
The potter also mentioned how, because of Bazaart, she and her partner, Zach Dietrich, decided to make their living off of pottery.
“It’s larger now and we have food here when it used to be all crafts and art. It’s expanded,” the pair said. “It opened our eyes.”
Compared to other festivals, this is more of a sale.
“People come here to buy art. The attitude of this place compared to others is different,” Parsons said.
Vendors young and old come back to the festival, and for some, this was their first year. Justin Inkson, a woodworker from Inspire Woodwork stationed in Ituna, SK, had the pleasure of doing his first ever show at Bazaart.
“It’s exciting. The weather could be better, but everyone here is friendly. I like joining a new group of people,” said Inkson.
The festival made a good first impression on Inkson, especially with the variety of products.
The executive director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Jeremy Morgan, was also in attendance. Having been at the gallery for a year and a half, he was limited in a history he could give of his time with the festival, but as Morgan said, “it keeps getting bigger every year. We have 12 new booths added this year.”
Every 2 years, the gallery hosts a “Dimensions” art competition during the festival, which attests to the high quality of art we provide and as a commitment to the public.
Hopefully next year it will be sunny and warm,” said Morgan. “We’re looking to make the festival bigger so we can have more exhibitors and customers attend.”
Having the festival go for 2 days instead of one is also an idea, but the director doesn’t want to overreach.
Besides the selling of art, when people attend the Bazaart festival, they can enjoy live music provided by the Regina Folk Festival, face painting for the children, a ribbon cutting ceremony before the festival officially opens, delicious food, and a friendly environment that keeps people coming back year after year.