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Western artist George Kush featured in exhibit

One of George Kush’s most recent paintings which will be featured at the show is a 16-inch by 20-inch oil titled A Queen’s Cowboy.

Local history promoter and artist George Kush is holding his first southern Alberta art show.
Kush, whose western art is highly acclaimed, is showing at the Mueller Art Gallery in Lethbridge until March 6.
Kush’s art brings to life the early days of southern Alberta from the First Nations peoples to the scarlet-coated North West Mounted Police, and the cowboys, pioneers and plainsmen who etched their lives into the land.
Kush is particularly renowned for his works on the early days of the North West Mounted Police, which are in great demand.
“This is my first local show and my first solo exhibition in southern Alberta,” Kush said.
The exhibition and sale, called “George Kush: Good Medicine,” will consist of 25 original paintings, both watercolours and oils.
“It’s all my own work, with some done especially for the show and not currently featured on my Web site,” Kush said.
There will also be a few giclee copies (high-tech digital reproductions) available at the show.
“Up until now I’ve more or less shunned the print market,” Kush said. “My former high school teacher, wildlife artist Robert Bateman, as well as many others, flooded the art scene in the ’80s and ’90s with little more than high-priced photocopies, and I never wanted to be tagged to the phony print crowd. I’ve always believed, as an artist, in giving people true value. Real art and reasonably priced. However, the demand for my North West Mounted Police works has been so great that I have had a few giclee copies digitally produced and on stretched canvas. It’s a costly process but results are satisfactory and apparently the lifespan is measured in hundreds of years.”

Artist George Kush in his Trail’s End Studio.

Kush has been interested in history since childhood, and when he moved from Ontario to southern Alberta 30 years ago, he knew he’d arrived in his element.
“I’ve had a keen interest in all things historical from childhood. It’s probably part of my DNA,” Kush said. “My art is simply an extension of that interest.”
Kush lives in Monarch where he works out of his Trail’s End Studio.
“My wife and I have lived in the Macleod area for almost 30 years and most locals are familiar with my efforts to promote various aspects of local history,” Kush said. “Not having been born and raised here, I guess it’s a little easier for me to appreciate what a truly colourful and exciting past we have right at our doorstep. I suppose sometimes it takes an outsider to recognize this . . . although my wife and I consider ourselves well-established members of the community.”
Kush has had art shows in distant places for a number of years, and decided it was time to set up a local exhibition.
“In the past I’ve exhibited my work at shows such as the Calgary Stampede Western Art Showcase and the Charles M. Russell Masters in Miniature at Great Falls, Montana, so this is a welcome change. No travelling or shipping expenses involved. Just a very nice way start 2011.”
The added boon with the Lethbridge show is that his wife Josephine along with gallery owner Stuart Mueller pretty much arranged and set up the show, Kush said.
“I can’t say enough about gallery owner Stuart Mueller’s enthusiasm about the opening and show. Stuart and my wife Jo have done all the real work, all the important stuff; I just paint. It keeps me out of trouble.”
The Mueller Gallery is at 105 Eighth St. S., Lethbridge.

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