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The Juried Art Show: Showcasing Talented Artists from the Thompson!

Northern Manitoba's art community is buzzing with excitement as the 48th Northern Juried Art Show (NJAS) approaches. The NJAS is an annual art show hosted by a different northern Manitoba community each year.

Northern Manitoba's art community is buzzing with excitement as the 48th Northern Juried Art Show (NJAS) approaches. The NJAS is an annual art show hosted by a different northern Manitoba community each year. This year, The Pas is hosting the event from March 21st to the 23rd at the University College of the North (UCN).


The NJAS was first held in 1977, and it has become a staple of the province's artistic community. The mandate of the NJAS is to provide a venue for artists of all ages and abilities who reside north of the 53rd parallel to show their artwork, be juried by professional artists, support young artists, provide educational workshops, give opportunity for artists to network with their peers and be exposed to the work of other artists.


Elma Dean, one of this year's jurors, discussed the show's roots in The Pas. "It began in 1976 by a group of artists right here in The Pas who decided to create a show that included all of Northern Manitoba," she said. "The history tells us that it went to each different community: Flin Flon, Lynn Lake, Snow Lake, Gillam, Churchill - it's been everywhere."


The NJAS draws artists from all of northern Manitoba. It provides exposure to audiences outside of the north through association with the Manitoba Arts Network and the Manitoba Rural and Northern Juried Art Show. Prizes are given in varying categories to recognize achievements and encourage artists to continue their art. The show is open for viewing by the general public and serves to broaden the artistic experience of the community.


This year's theme was "Northern Pulse," and there were adult and youth categories to take part in. Some categories included oil, acrylic, watercolor, drawing and printmaking, digital art and photography, and 3D art, including stained glass and pottery.


The NJAS is a great platform for artists to showcase their work and have it adjudicated by professional artists from across Manitoba. Winning entries were then eligible to participate in the Annual Northern and Rural Art Show in Winnipeg.


The NJAS has been a great opportunity for local artists to showcase their talents, such as Adira Carter, this year's Photography winner. Adira Carter drove up from Thompson to attend the Juried Art Show and won first in the adult photography category with a picture she took at the bonfire of Winterfest. The portrait elegantly captures a portrait of her sister in front of the blurred waving flames in the back.


Carter has entered the Juried Art Show for the past 10 years and before that has entered the Thompson Art programs and won frequent awards for her art at both. "I have been involved with art my whole life and involved with the Mall of The Arts. There were so many great art cases this year! Lots of paintings," said Carter.


The NJAS provides a unique opportunity for artists to display their works to a wider audience. This year, as The Pas hosts the event, it is an opportunity for the town to showcase its artistic community. Because the Juried Art Show isn't designated to any town, Thompson will soon be hitting the Northern rounds of holding this prestigious event.


The Pas has a rich history of artistic expression, and the NJAS is a continuation of this legacy. It is a celebration of the artistic community and provides a platform for artists of all abilities to showcase their works. The show is open to the public, and it is an opportunity for art enthusiasts to experience the creative works of the region's artists.


The NJAS has been an integral part of Northern Manitoba's artistic community for over four decades. It has provided a space for artists to showcase their talents, and it has helped to foster a sense of community among artists in the region. With this year's event just around the corner, the excitement is palpable, and the artistic community is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to showcase their works to the public.


~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen.  The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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