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alleyscape studio hosts new Boultbee exhibit

A cozy little downtown art studio is celebrating five years of presenting a fascinating range of artistic endeavours. alleyscape studio was first launched in early 2004 above Sunworks. Owner Paul Boultbee later moved to the current location at 4930C Ross St. beside the Velvet Olive.

Boultbee’s latest exhibit, Right Up My Alley runs through March 31. A mix of wonderful drawings and ceramics, it’s a means of marking the special milestone for the gallery.

“I was offered this spot in August of 2007 and took it the next day,” he explains with a smile. “It’s a perfect spot.”

The name ‘alleyscape’ was inspired by one of Boultbee’s past exhibits which portrayed several of Red Deer’s back alleys. He chose the moniker for his own gallery before he actually moved into his current spot. Many of the pieces he created for the exhibit in 2004 in the Kiwanis Gallery at Red Deer Public Library are now being shown at alleyscape studio.

Boultbee has never been shy about exploring a variety of creative expressions, and these drawings richly reflect that ability. There is also a selection of small, finely-crafted ceramic bowls called ‘votive bowls’ for visitors to check out. “I like the shape of them, the feel of them and the look of them,” he says. “All but one are sawdust fired, and that’s a process I also enjoy very much.”

Originally from southern Ontario, Boultbee settled in Red Deer in 1982 to work at Red Deer College. In the fall of 2000, he enrolled in RDC’s visual arts program and graduated in the spring of 2003.

Besides featuring his work in solo shows, Boultbee has also taken part in several group exhibits. And besides being shown in both private and corporate collections across Canada, his work has been displayed in New Mexico, Texas and Oregon as well.

But his creativity isn’t limited to the visual arts – he’s also an exceptional actor as well. Tapping into other genres helps fuel his overall creative output. “Visual art can be isolating, but with theatre and film work you are always working with a group of creative people.”

Meanwhile, alleyscape studio has also succeeded because it’s situated in the heart of a supportive downtown community. “It’s a good neighbourhood to be in because other retail businesses in the area support what I do. We support each other,” he says.

The community at large has also rallied behind the arts more and more over the past several years. There are about 13 art galleries in the city now, as opposed to just one or two several years ago. That welcoming attitude creates a fabulous environment for virtually any kind of artistic expression.

“Red Deer is very supportive of its arts, whether it be visual arts or the performing arts.”

Mark Weber. Red Deer Express

alleyscape studio hosts new Boultbee exhibit
February 18, 2009