Our incredible river valley holds special meaning for many Edmontonians. But for one local artist, it represents not only a sense of belonging but also a body of work spanning seven rewarding years. Her paintings have been shown at City Hall and the Jubilee Auditorium and celebrate Edmonton’s iconic views and festivals. Meet Lori Frank…
Tell us about your ties to Edmonton and why it inspires you.
I was born and raised in Edmonton but have travelled extensively, and it was my trips to New York that inspired me to bring more awareness to the river valley, which is 20 times larger than Central Park. The beauty of our valley, walking in it, living overlooking it, and painting it brings me a great sense of belonging and joy.
How has your River Valley Series evolved?
I’m on my 7th year and have over 50 paintings to choose from as reproductions. The series began with various stairways in various seasons, leading to our valley. At that time, I also developed my series of trails in our valley and have since continued those series, adding bridges, people, and architecture. I feel like I’ve just started painting Edmonton and its valley… I will continue it as long as clients keep asking me to paint their favourite spots.
Who’s inspiring you right now?
I’ve been teaching acrylic art classes to seniors the last few years. Their work inspires me, and I really admire their willingness to learn, apply themselves, and give it their all. They keep me on my toes. I’m so proud of them all.
What advice would you give someone transitioning to being a full-time artist?
My advice is not to until you’ve done the research, learned about marketing, are financially prepared, have confidence, and are an expert of sorts in your skillset. Dip your toes in by doing shows like the Whyte Avenue Art Walk… you’ll meet other artists, get direct feedback, and learn a lot. I recommend baby steps—then jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride of your life!
—By Carmen D. Hrynchuk