Arts Mosaic provides new arts programs in virtual studio

See Gary Bajus display and the Mosaic Market

Arts Mosaic has received funding through the province’s Safe at Home Program, which means there are now new virtual arts programs available for all ages. Arts Mosaic’s facilitator, Christa Milne is super excited with what she has to offer to the public.

It has been a tough year for the arts. COVID-19 mandated closure of public buildings, including Town of Virden’s CPR Historic Centre, meant that visits to Arts Mosaic’s gallery and gift market became a virtual experience for a while. The building opened in a limited way during the summer, only to close again with RestartMB Code Red last fall.

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From March of 2020, the gallery’s monthly revolving showcase of local talent has been posted online and it continues to be available on the website:

Once again, Arts Mosaic office and the Mosaic Market are now open by appointment.

Arts Mosaic workshops have, through the years, offered opportunities for kids and adults to learn different art forms. COVID restrictions stopped the in-person sessions.

When a new grant became available under the Manitoba government’s Safe at Home program, Milne put in an application in January and received approval in February.

Through that grant, Arts Mosaic is providing 18 virtual workshops, free of charge to those who register.

This series of free virtual workshops, the Virden Creative Studio Sessions, are available starting Feb. 19 throughout the end of March. You can find the list on Facebook.

Participants need to register now as spaces are limited for each workshop. Just indicating you are “going” on the event page does not mean you are registered. You can phone Arts Mosaic, but Milne says the best way to register is by messaging her through their Facebook page,

Milne says, “We are thrilled to have received funding from the Manitoba Government and the Safe at Home Program to make these workshops possible.”

The funding also means the clinicians, “the rural artists, are getting support,” says Milne.

If there’s enough interest, some of these workshops could be offered again in the spring, however, the free program does not extend beyond March.

Virtual gallery

February’s artist, Gary Bajus, a photographer from Elkhorn, began cataloguing the vast wildlife of the area about eight years ago. His show has been mounted virtually and is not on the walls of the gallery.

Bajus’ extraordinary wildlife shots are presented as prints on metal, some as large as 11 x 17 and as beautiful, matted prints as well; all available for purchase.

The vast majority of Bajus photos are taken within a 20-mile (33 kms) radius of Elkhorn.

The immediate future of the gallery shows is not finalized, but Milne says there’s no March gallery display planned at this time.

Mosaic Market

This is the 12th year for Mosaic Market in the CPR Historic Centre. The market features handmade items created by local artists. While the building is now open to the public upon appointment, online shopping is also available at the Facebook page @mbartsmosaic where there are virtual photo albums for each individual vendor.

The participating vendors are:

Kerri McFadzean Main (piecedloveandhappiness), Amanda Blanchette (freebird boho), Cedar Lane Woodwork (Carmen & Jason Lane), Charis Honey Farms (Brad & Stephanie Cole), Steel Leaf Design (Tracy & Greg Gill), Howard Hansen, Barb Widger, the Prairie Mommas (Noni Rolston & Allison Desjardins), Ruby Rishel (Sew Pretty Purses), Margaret James and Marian Waldner.

This is our 12th year for the Market, and we are so thankful to the vendors who agreed to participate in such an unusual fashion.

The market accepts e-transfer payments as well, and items are available for curbside pickup.

A related service to the community and beyond, the Costume Closet will be open once again, on appointment, just as it was for Halloween 2020, which worked well, Milne said.

© Virden Empire-Advance