Community Art Program

Community Art Program

In 2017, we officially launched the Shaw Conference Centre Community Art Program. It all started with an open call for local artists, of which over 160 submissions were received from 60 artists. 14 pieces from five local artists are currently being exhibited at our venue over the next year. They were officially unveiled during the first annual Art Night at the Shaw Conference Centre, where all artists who made submissions were also welcomed back to sell their work. Edmonton’s convention centre was transformed into an art gallery for an evening, and 250 guests took in a fabulous evening of art, food and cocktails. Learn more about our 2017-18 featured artists below.

The Shaw Conference Centre is currently accepting submissions for its 2018-19 Community Art Program. Visit our Call for Artists page for full details.

Rhythmic Coat-Rack by Julie Witten-Land

Art by Julie Witten-Land

Studying industrial design had greatly expanded Julie’s exploration of material, form and function; though the constraints of designing for mass production is a lot more limiting than creating unique one off pieces. She found herself drawn to the artistic properties in design. She presents the public with highly original designs such as this ‘Rhythmic Coat-Rack’, which is hand bent from a steel rod that’s inset into hardwood. Her designs are a balancing act of utility and artistic beauty that stimulates excitement and enjoyment through the seamlessness of form and function.

Julie is an Artist and Industrial Designer working from her home studio (SALTED studio), in Ardrossan, Alberta for over 10 years. A graduate of Fine Arts at MacEwan University and Industrial Design at University of Alberta, her work can be seen in permanent art collections in Strathcona County and be purchased in over 20 exclusive art boutiques and galleries across Western Canada.

This piece was selected as a part of the Shaw Conference Centre’s 2017 community art program and is available for sale through the artist. For more information, contact or visit Julie’s website.

All on iPad by Gordon R. Johnston

Art by Gordon R. Johnston

September Clouds, High Level Bridge, Early January Morning and YEG Ice are four magnificent pieces of artwork that represent Edmonton and are all produced by the artist on his iPad.

iPad Artist Gordon R. Johnston takes his drawing studio wherever he goes…literally. His electronic sketchbook (a tablet with a drawing app) is relatively light and portable, and carries all of the necessary tools for drawing and painting. An assortment of pencils, various paint bushes, erasers and other mark-making materials are built within the iPad app – enabling him to draw quickly and freely with colour on the glass screen using his stylus or finger.

iPad drawings are a new hybrid art form created and made by hand, but only exist on a computer – until they are printed; in small editions on Stonehenge Archival Paper 340g/m2.

Embracing new technology and innovation allows artists to experiment with new mediums and new perspectives creating new ways of considering the world around us. Gordon works, draws and lives in Edmonton.

Gordon works, draws and lives in Edmonton.

The pieces were selected as a part of the Shaw Conference Centre’s 2017 community art program and is available for sale through the artist. For more information, contact

Art by Jay Bigam

Art by Jay Bigam

Beaver Mountain River
This work depicts an interpretation of the Edmonton river valley prior to settlement. Most photographs or artworks portray post settlement Edmonton. Jay has tried to imagine, in his own style, the river valley as it looked before any construction of modern day Edmonton. The view is looking north towards the Riverdale Flats and the hill that will become the Legislature grounds. Also pictured is a dramatic summer storm which he feels is very representative of Edmonton.

Buffalo Lake Skies
Buffalo Lake Skies is the title piece of a series of pieces produced in 2015 which reflect a love of the prairie skies and landscape, especially those around Buffalo Lake, Alberta near Stettler. Jay’s family has had a place on the shores of Buffalo Lake since 1998 and it is there that he truly began to experience the breathtaking beauty of this part of Alberta. When he began to paint in earnest in 2015, the years of stunning sunsets and sunrises, storms and sunny days in the rolling hills around Buffalo Lake all began to creep in to his work. This piece and the series attempt to capture those fleeting moments just before or after sunrise and sunset; before or after a storm; or simply a beautiful day at the lake.

From working with major Edmonton art festivals, to producing and recording various music and video projects, Jay Bigam was very involved in the local arts community in the early 1990’s. After focusing on running his family business for a long period of time, Jay returned to his passion in 2013 and began painting again with renewed joy. He has become an advocate for local artists, and in 2016 was nominated for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ 25 influential artists over the past 25 years award.

The pieces were selected as a part of the Shaw Conference Centre’s 2017 community art program and is available for sale through the artist. For more information, contact or visit Jay’s Facebook page.

Live to Transform by Sofia Cristanti

Art by Sofia Cristanti

Live to Transform is inspired by artist Sofia Cristanti’s six years as an immigrant worker living in Canada. The story reflects thoughts running in the mind, a surreal life of a restless body who is struggling with mental health, acceptance of reality, and the pursuit of happiness. It demonstrates the relationship between reality and her interpretation of it. The series is visualized from the perspective of a human head and body of a butterfly that is a metaphor for transformation. The visual idea is experimental and is a combination of surrealism and pop art style that uses industrial brands, daily objects, imperfect shapes and freely flying objects inspired by doodling. Involving design and spontaneity from incidental events in the painting process, the Live to Transform series is a mediation of dynamic, fast, busy, and colourful life events, and a retrospection that gives wisdom.

Originally from Bandung, Indonesia, Sofia Cristanti speaks four languages and has had a passion for the arts since she was young. She majored in painting from the University Institute of Technology Bandung and has worked with many diverse mediums, including acrylic, oil, pastel and watercolour. She believes creating art gives deeper meaning to how we see and experience the world, to see the beauty in our daily reality. In 2011, Sofia was recognized with the Diversity in the Arts Award by the Edmonton Arts Council.

The pieces were selected as a part of the Shaw Conference Centre’s 2017 community art program. For more information, contact or visit Sofia’s website.

Double-Edged Blade by M.N.V.

Art by Krista Acheson

The painting depicts a homeless man who was passing through the back alley of the artist’s home in Beacon Heights. His friends call him ‘Blade’. He lives with the compulsion to save things from being discarded, seeing value in what people throw away. The artist wanted to capture his likeness because she feels the same way.

Krista Acheson is a self-taught painter and sculptor who creates distinct series of work under three separate art aliases. Under this alias, M.N.V, she paints surrealistic juxtapositions of objects and people she has photographed. Her intent with this body of work is to express her own psychological assessment of the impact that certain elements, trends or events have on human behavior and societal development.

This piece was selected as a part of the Shaw Conference Centre’s 2017 community art program and is available for sale through the artist. For more information, contact or visit Krista’s website.

Art in Unconventional Spaces

An iconic Edmonton venue, the Shaw Conference Centre has supported local artists by displaying their work both in and outside the venue for over 30 years. Over 70 pieces of art are now on display. From the Paskwamostos (Bison) that stands guard over the River Valley and gigantic murals by Clay Ellis in the Hall D foyer to the pARTnership Gallery featuring the work of grade 1 to 12 students, locals and visitors from around the world can be seen stopping to snap a photo or pose for a memento in front of these works. Learn more by reading Art in Unconventional Places. We also encourage you to stop by, grab a walking tour booklet from our administration office and explore Edmonton’s convention centre.