Leah Read Schroeder's half exhibit "Unscripted" was unveiled on Jan 9, 2013, along with Linda Leger's "Fall & Winter Collection." See below for an in-depth look at how this experience has enhanced Leah's love of art, and how she's gone from a "non-artist" to one who cannot help but create:

One week ago I would not have referred to myself as an artist. One week ago I hung 15 pieces of artwork in the SAC hall gallery. The day prior to the hanging I spent wrapped in angst, self-consciously peeking through a cloud of doubt. Exhibits are akin to exposure. To speak my secret thoughts on talk radio, or print my private journal in the local paper: such notions are anathema to my sense of personal privacy. These things I hold close: rolling them between the fingertips of my mind in the sanctuary of my solitude. And yet this choice: to learn in the public eye. For that is what this endeavor has been. I have tentatively reached for the brush of masters before me, becoming transparent in my infantile attempts at replication.

This process too has necessitated the exposure of others. To hold a face in your eye: bathing it with admiration; slowly undressing it to gently peer beneath the skin. To delicately hold it on your paper and discreetly clothe it with pencil, imbuing it with relationship: the relationship between muse and artist, between admired and admirer. To copy is to see: the copier becoming interwoven with the copied, until there is a third form created from the relationship: the art.

Formerly dabbling in pencil sketches, I naively decided to reach beyond my knowledge and experience. I explored different mediums. Like a child choosing markers before mastering crayons, I have run ahead and subsequently retreated in frustration and dejection, yet with the chest-fluttering, breath-catching taste of adrenaline tracing lines of silver around the cloud that is my head. The thrill of the mistake. The lure of failure. These are new and exciting boundary-flaunting ways: the way of the artist. The technique of abandon. This is what I now desire to master. To revel in imperfection as a beauty unto its own. This is where my brush with art has landed me, scathed and breathless and ready to start again and again.

I have disturbed the waters: creativity has awakened in the murky depths and I am not a little nervous of it. What dares reveal itself to me? Me, who is unworthy in ability and training, and yet has tasted the seductive sweetness of the brush, and will return over and over to the edge.

Submitted by Leah Read Schroeder

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About the Steinbach Arts Council

The Steinbach Arts Council, an umbrella organization for performing and visual arts groups, enriches the lives of our community through development of local artists and musicians and exposure to professional art forms. The Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre is a home for all these groups and their programs. It’s purpose is to create an environment where all arts disciplines can work together under one roof and share their resources and their talents with each other, and the entire Arts Community!

For more info, visit steinbachartscouncil.ca.