Exposure Photography Festival broadens its scope to include all of Alberta


Exposure, a festival that celebrates the art of photography, is taking a bold new direction today by expanding its reach embracing an even wider geographical area and, more importantly, providing greater opportunities for photographers and lovers of photography across Alberta to become involved in a visual arts festival of the highest calibre.

“As the Chair of the Festival I am pleased to announce that Exposure 2015 will be a province-wide photography festival,” said Peter Duthie.  “Now galleries and independent photographers from across Alberta will be able to participate in a month-long  photography Festival this February.

Adding, “During the previous decade Exposure has proven itself to be one of the premiere visual arts events in Canada by attracting diverse photographic expression from Alberta and other parts of Canada and the world and showcasing it through collaborative exhibitions and special events.”

In Its first 10 years, Exposure programming was focused on the communities of Calgary, Banff and Canmore.

Exposure will continue to operate throughout the month of February with submissions now being sought from Alberta-based artists and gallerists. Exhibitions and events will be featured in a professionally published guide and on the festival’s website.  Exposure also hosts photography related presentations and workshops during the month of February.

Internationally recognized photographer Larry Louie is an example of an artist who now has the opportunity to participate in Exposure. Based in Edmonton, Louie will present an exhibition of his sumptuous black & white works capturing the daily life and struggles of people in the developing world. Another Edmonton venue already booked for Exposure 2015 is Harcourt House featuring the photographic works of award-winning artist Alexis Marie Chute.

Exposure is truly a celebration of photography in all its forms,” said Duthie. “Tens of thousands of people each February have participated in Exposure and now all four million Albertans are invited.”

For more information go to expsourephotofestival.com, or contact Festival manager Wes Lafortune at T. 403-919-2502 or email at: exposurefotofest@gmail.com.


One on One Art Coaching for Marketing Success

Are you an aspiring artist but get stuck with the next steps after you’ve created your work? You’re not the only one. Many artists are unfamiliar with how to get their work out into the world and effectively market themselves.

I had the benefit of growing up in an entrepreneurial family full of professionals that instilled in me the business focus in any venture. I paired this knowledge with my long experience as a professional artist and my love of helping others. When I coach artists, I offer advice and guidance in these areas:

  • Writing an effective artist statement
  • Applying for exhibitions (and where to find them in the first place)
  • Building a social network platform
  • Applying for funding
  • Photographing your work
  • Applying for Artist Residencies
  • Professional practices for artists
  • Blogging about your work

There are so many creative ways to get your work out of your studio and onto gallery and client walls. It is doable. Attitude and knowledge are key. Having someone to answer your questions will prove invaluable and will help propel you to achieving your goals.

To read more about my art coaching, please click here. Or email me at info@alexismariechute.com

The Editing Stage: A Necessary Torture

Do you love free writing? Do the ideas just flow out of you and you find you can write for hours? Are you a master at hammering out the first draft? Congratulations, your right brain is serving you well!

What about the very left-brain process of editing? Does that flow as freely for you?

If you’re like me, the draft stage is easier than what follows. At one time, I said I hated editing, that it was like torture – pulling teeth, a slap on a sunburn, slowly dripping water… Although, after very thoroughly editing my first memoir, I have come to appreciate editing in a new way.

I still see editing as a form of torture but also a process that makes my work stronger and more potent as a result – and it’s always worth the effort. Watching my manuscript evolve with each complete edit was like witnessing a child grow-up before my eyes. It turned out that editing was actually a very beautiful and sensitive stage of the writing.

During editing erroneous details are eliminated. Key themes are refined. Characters’ voices are made more authentic. Wordiness is exchanged for clarity… These are all positive qualities we want from our work – but they must be earned.

I’m still figuring out my editing style. I tend to have an epiphany of what needs improvement and then do a full run through of the manuscript focusing on that one element. It is a labour intensive process and sometimes I wonder if I have memorized my sentences. Usually at that point I need a pair of fresh eyes to look at my work, if not just a good night’s sleep to reset my brain.

How do you edit your work? Do you jump in like you do at the drafting stage or do you need a deadline to get focused?

I welcome you to share your reflections on the torturous and yet necessary stage of editing. I’d especially like to hear from those that love refining their work and what words of encouragement they may have for the rest of us.

Happy writing!

Commission an Original Painting

There is nothing like commissioning an original painting to stimulate the visual environment of your home or workplace.

I strongly encourage individuals and corporations to commission original art for three reasons:

  • The perfect size.

When I receive a commission, I view the space where the artwork will live before I get started. I discuss the size with my clients and make recommendations of how to best utilize the space with the goal of creating a statement piece. Then, I create artwork perfectly fitted like a tailored suit. There is no grumbling over a pre-made piece of art that is too large or too small or the wrong orientation. Commissions fit just right.

  • The perfect colour palette.

I take my cues for the colour palette from my clients and their environments. I listen to my client’s preferences and we brainstorm together as I ask guided questions. I look at the wall colour and consider whether the furniture is maple or birch, and what the space is used for. My client’s and I hash out a plan of what will both blend in and also pop out of the space. It is a fun collaborative process at this stage.

  • The perfect conversation starter.

Imagine having company over to your home or welcoming business associates into your boardroom. If the walls are bare, they will forget the room once they leave it – but if the artwork catches their eye, you may strike up an engaging conversation. Where did you get that art? Oh, it’s a commission, that’s interesting. So you worked with the artist to pick the size and colours? Was she the eccentric artistic type? Oh really, down to earth and easy to work with. Nice. I really like this section over here. Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I do see a face in those abstract drips. Boy, is that ever cool!

You may have heard that owning a one of a kind, original artwork is an investment. This is true, but it is also a fun process to be a part of; influencing the creation of something which had its inception in you. The outcome of a commission will never be exactly as you imagine during the conception stage, but that is one of the thrills of the process. The result at the end will be a surprise but one with a story that will make your artwork even more meaningful.  

To get more information about commissioning an original, please click here. Or email me at info@alexismariechute.com

Summer Art-Making

What creative fun did you have over the summer?

I find the summer to be a sporadic and dysfunctional season for my art making practice. That’s not to say it isn’t a productive time, I’m always prolific it seems; but that I am a little all over the place as I balance travel, family time and my hours in the studio. Yet, through the experimentation and creative play during the warm months of June, July and August, I always have a lot of fun with my art.

I started making pen drawings of people, which became felt drawings, eventually morphing into paintings. These were quirky surprises that began as simple doodles. When I make art, I love sitting back and seeing where my subconscious will take me.

Also during the summer I painted for my The Quiet Rebuild series. (Yes, there are three manifestations of The Quiet Rebuild: the sculptures, the portraits and the paintings.) The paintings in this series are represented by the Art Gallery of Alberta in their Art Rental and Sales program.

This is only a smidge of what I have been up to over the summer, my favorite season. I’m inspired by the vibrant colours of summer and its humidity and playfulness. It’s no wonder my work reflects the flirtatious fun of those sultry months. Yet, now that we are firmly planted in September, I am loving the return to routine it inevitably brings.

Refocus your Writing Life this Autumn

Summer lovin’, had me a blast. Summer lovin’, happened so fast…

It did happen so fast and now that summer is reduced to a scrapbook full of photos, it’s time to refocus on writing. During the blissfully warm vacation season, it’s easy to slack off and develop poor writing habits. Who wouldn’t want to swim in the lake instead of pounding out the morning pages or tee up on the golf course instead of cracking down on the challenging scene from the work in progress?

Alas, now that September has arrived there is no better time to get your writing practice back to where you want it to be. Just like any habit, it will take some time but do not fret. Developing good writerly habits is a matter of mental determination and will power.

Try these tips to help you refocus:

  • Write out a list of projects you wish to accomplish and how you are going to achieve them.
  • Free write to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Read a new book to get your mind alert and engaged.
  • Take in a theatrical performance or visit an art gallery for inspiration.
  • Go for a jog and think about your manuscript as you sweat.
  • Tell your family and friends that you can’t hang out on certain days because you are writing – and get them to hold you accountable.
  • Visit a writing group or attend a workshop.
  • Duck tape your butt to your chair and get started.

Sometimes the most challenging part of getting back into routine after the summer is just getting started. Once you pound out a hundred boring words, I’m confident you’ll find your rhythm. Even if those first hundred words take you an hour, remember breakthrough is just around the corner. Writing is not easy. It is a habit of perseverance, determination and hope.

Good luck with all your writing projects this autumn!



Alex Colville Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario

The woman with the strong arms holding binoculars up to her eyes, the man behind her reclining and obscured…

I will never forget that image. The first time I saw it I was in my BFA undergrad studies at the University of Alberta. The lecture theater was darkened and I sat on a wooden folding chair as the art history professor projected the image, “To Prince Edward Island” by Alex Colville as large as the wall. I never imagined seeing “To Prince Edward Island” in person; that thought never occurred to me back then. When I was in Toronto for work recently, I snuck in a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario and was pleasantly surprised to find a retrospective of Colville’s work.


The smooth manner Colville painted skin tone, his stylized approach to form and the way his characters seem to float in their environments; the artwork is captivating and timeless.


When Alex Colville died in July of 2013 at 92 years old, it was the loss of a great career artist. He worked at his paintings for more than seventy years, a similar length as his marriage to his wife Rhoda. Their love story can be seen on many of Colville’s canvases. I found it so compelling, and romantic, that the artist used his wife as a muse and painted her at every stage of her life, doing simple every day things. Colville also painted her, and himself, near the end of their lives, their bodies obviously changed from the youthful images found in early paintings like “To Prince Edward Island.”


There is something magical about seeing famous art in person. It is mesmerizing and surreal. I cherish these opportunities to lean in close to witness first hand every brushstroke, each tiny detail. Colville’s fine details seem to vibrate on the canvas, the surface work of the paint so skillfully applied I imagine the artist being a patient man with a steady hand.


The retrospective was inspiring. It runs from August 23, 2014 to January 4, 2015 at the AGO. If you have the chance, I strongly recommend seeing it.

Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5T 1G4
Call 1-877-225-4246 or 416-979-6648


NOTE: There was an additional $5 fee to access the Colville Retrospective on top of the gallery entrance cost.