The weekend of October 27-29 offers something special at Prairieland Park in Hall C. This weekend marks the 27th annual Reflections of Nature Art Show & Sale, which features over 500 pieces of art from over 200 North American artists, carvers, sculptors and photographers. Those attending the show get to see these incredible artists of all ages and skill levels express their love of nature and wildlife through their art. On Friday night, an incredible evening Gala Wine & Cheese will be held for $22/person, and those attending have the opportunity to meet the artists during the live and silent auctions. Admission for the show is $5 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, with children 12 and under free. “Saturday and Sunday will feature various presentations, workshops and demonstrations combined with an ongoing photography slideshow and our annual Quick Draw, Pin Carving and children’s activities,” organizer Harvey Rebalkin stated.
With this year marking Canada’s 150 birthday, the event will see an expansion in all programming to highlight the momentous occasion. “There will be a Canada 150 celebration featuring a display of the Grey Jay in all media. As well, we have partnered with The Friends of Prince Albert Park in a special photography competition. We have another special competition for Indigenous Art. Upcycled Art and Carved Canes and Walking Sticks and Fishing Fly typing demonstrations are all new this year,” Rebalkin added.
Other popular events that will be featured include the annual pumpkin carving event, which includes various celebrities that have been invited to the event. The pumpkins will be carved on Saturday and sold on Sunday in an auction. “In 2015 some of the carved pumpkins were purchased, then donated to Ronald McDonald house. So come to Sunday’s auction if you want to purchase a pumpkin for yourself, or donate to another deserving home such as the hospital, crisis centre or seniors homes where they can be appreciated by many,” informed Rebalkin.
This year, the event will feature award winning Martensville artist Judy Kasdorf (Epp). Kasdorf has been invited to give a Feature Artist Presentation on Saturday at 7:30pm as part of the Reflections Banquet.
At a very young age, Kasdorf began to show interest in sketching, and those around her would often find her sitting quietly with a pencil and paper in hand. As a child, Kasdorf, who grew up on a farm near Langham, came upon a sketching her grandmother had done that was tucked away in a drawer. Seeing the talent that her grandmother possessed, it inspired young Judy. Years later, her father, seeing the creativity his teenage daughter had, contacted an art school in Minneapolis who then sent a test package to the Kasdorf farm. Judy, who did quite well on the test was visited by a representative from the school and invited her to sign up for a correspondence course. Due to her young age, the family politely declined the invitation and Judy continued to practice her abilities on her own time. “It was nice because someone looked at my work and gave me pointers. I took those pointers and continued sketching, always trying to improve,” the artist explained.
After getting married and having two daughters, Kasdorf took a break from her art to raise her family. It wasn’t until a close friend encouraged her to attend an art class once her youngest daughter was attending kindergarten, that Judy continued exploring art. This class, which was taught by the late Pat Grove, lit a fire inside of Kasdorf. “Pat was one of the best mentors I have ever had. She was the one that sparked my interest in wildlife painting, which I had never really done before. One of the best compliments I have ever received was from her when she told me that I reminded her a lot of herself, not just in the way I painted, but the way I looked at things,” Kasdorf said of her dear friend and mentor. It was through Grove that Kasdorf began attending the Reflections of Nature Show. “I found that this event was such a great way to interact with people, and learn from one another. We encourage each other.”
With some of those childhood sketches still remaining, Kasdorf can look back and see her progression throughout the years, reminiscing of those years spent riding the school bus with her creativity spilling out onto the pages of her notebook into works of art. “I am very happy if someone talks to me and asks for my guidance because for the longest time, I wouldn’t have thought I had anything to say, but when I look at my work, I know that I have progressed along the way. Yes, I have made mistakes, but that is how you learn. When that creativity is in you, it has to come out in one form or another. There is something inside of me that makes me want to create.”
Kasdorf has received numerous awards in her time attending the Reflections of Nature Art Show, including; 2016 – 2nd Best in Show – “Focused” (baby lynx), 2015 – Best in Show – “Catch me if you Can” (tigers), 2014 – Poster Award – “Call of the Wild” (elk), 2013 – People’s Choice Award – “Kenyan Family” (elephants), 2013 – 3rd Best in Show – “Bella” (tri color collie), 2012 – 2nd Best in Show – “Pipe Dreams” (frog), 2011 – Best in Show – “Marsh Lookout” (wren), 2010 – Best in Show – “Little Darlin’ ” (frog), 2009 – Best in Show – “Call of the Wild” (elk), 2009 – 2nd Best in Show – “Jungle Jewel” (frog), 2009 – 3rd Best in Show – “Along Came a Spider” and 2008 – 3rd Best in Show – “Summer Song” (butterfly).
For more information on Judy Kasdorf, visit www.judykasdorf.weebly.com.